Today we took a day off from clinic for a little down time and to enjoy the people of Guatemala. We gathered together for an all-Spanish morning mass at 7:30. (So early!) The music was amazing, with a choir and live band!
After enjoying breakfast with the new medical group from Utah, we got into a boat on Lago de Atitlan and off we went to San Antonio de Palapo and the surrounding villages . This particular village was situated on the side of the mountain. We walked up the steep streets in a zig zag fashion and encountered many street vendors, where Gaby's gullibility was taken advantage of over and over again. After Mary bought something from every person in the village, and Mackenzie tried out a hairstyle popular with the locals (and demanded they remove it immediately), we then headed off to Santa Catarina.
We found more trinkets to buy even if we didn't really want them. Rich, aka Ricard, used some quick thinking to get out of buying something he didn't want, by using Carissa as his stand-in wife and saying he must follow her. We then enjoyed a delicious meal at the beautiful Hotel Santa Catarina. After lunch we again got into the boat and were ready to head off to Santiago when we discovered we were missing a member of our team. Our group leader, Bridget, was late because she was haggling for a good art deal.
In Santiago we saw the place where Father Stanley Rother was martyred. Emily, the animal lover, learned a very important lesson today: do NOT pet feral dogs. This was our last stop and it was good to see that the friendship between Dr. Ricard and Dr. Patricio continued. The two were so caught up in their conversation, they forgot their package in a store and had to run up together to get it. We returned home to our hotel after a 40 minute boat ride and were able to relax for a bit.
We are having a fabulous time here and we have been blessed with a great group. Along with being able to work as a cohesive team during clinic, we have been able to spend some great time together laughing, playing card games, and having a few cervezas. The weather is beautiful here in San Lucas and we don't want to leave, but it will be great to sleep in our own beds. We will be home safe and sound in a few short days, as long as Carissa survives her scabies.