Today is our 5th anniversary! To celebrate, we took Chris and Christy to Antigua. Berta scheduled a coffee plantation tour for us at 9:00 in the morning; however, because of a rock slide, we got stopped in stalled traffic and missed our appointment. Ahh, the joys of driving in Guatemala!
We quickly rearranged our schedule and decided to head to the market before catching the next tour at 11:00. As usual, Nate stocked up on coffee to help us raise money for our next trip. This has been such a great project for him, and the money from our coffee sales helped us pay for this trip. Interestingly, the plantation we toured is the plantation where the coffee we buy is grown!
To say I’m not much of a coffee drinker would be an understatement. I hate the stuff. But I loved the tour. We tromped around in the bushes looking for the ripe red berries. Our guide then showed us out to squish up the “cherries” so we could see, feel, and taste the sticky juice on the inside that is used to make Kahlua liquor. We could then chew on the raw white beans that would eventually be dried and shipped to Germany, Japan, Belize, and Starbucks. Yep, this particular plantation provides the “Antigua” blend you find at The Bux.
After the tour, we headed to another "nearby” city called Villa Nueva. There, we met our friend Chad Smith, his daughter, and sweet Alejandra (from the Buckner Baby Home). Alejandra looked gorgeous, as always. She chomped away at her fried chicken (from McDonalds! Who knew McDonalds served fried chicken) and smiled as Chad helped us ask her how she’s doing and what’s been going on in her life. As some of you may remember, Ale has a horrific past. She was sexually and physically abused by her family. Until I heard her story, I had never seriously contemplated murder, but hearing about her dad makes my blood boil. We are thankful that she has found a home at a place as wonderful as Vida Nueva.
We took Ale back to the home and spent some time talking with her, Chad, and his wife, Marlena. We are so lucky to know couples like the Smiths! They are passionate visionaries who have a heart for orphans and how God is moving in Guatemala.
On the way back to the city, I literally lost my lunch. Four times. I’m pretty sure it was because we had been in stop and go traffic for waaaay too long; nevertheless, we’d appreciate prayers for good health and settled stomachs.
No summary of the day would be complete without mention of our dear friend Berta. There are no words to describe how wonderful she is. After our first night at the hotel, she asked us how our room was. We told her it was amazing and gorgeous. She then asked if it had one, king-size bed like she requested. We then told her about how, because of our goofiness and my belly’s ever-increasing need for more space, we pushed our two double beds together to make one humongous bed. That night, when we got back to the hotel, we had a message waiting for us from the front desk saying that Berta had arranged for us to switch rooms. Lucky for us, the only room they had available was the honeymoon suite! As if that wasn’t enough, Berta made reservations for us at a beautiful steak house that looks out over the city called Portal del Angel. She got Christy and Chris a separate table and had the restaurant spell out messages on the tables with flowers on the table cloths. Chris and Christy’s said “te amo” (I love you) and ours said “Feliz Anniversario” (Happy Anniversary). To top it all off, today was father’s day in Guatemala. She arranged for a special dessert for the two fathers-to-be that included a message written in chocolate that said “Happy Day Father.”
Like I said, there are no words to describe the wonderfulness of our sweet friend.
We’re taking it easy tomorrow morning, and then heading straight to Eliza Martinez around 1:00. Christy and Chris are going to be leading the activities with the boys!