Jason and Lorna's Amazing World Journey! travel blog

(To see these photos up close, run your mouse over the bottom left corner of the slideshow and click on Guatemala. This will take you directly to the album on Picasa.)

Guatemala, in and of itself, is a magical country...certainly a favorite of ours in all of Central America. Yet it was ever the more magical for Lorna being back in Guatemala, her home for over 2 years a mere 10 years ago. The biggest thrill: being able to share with Jason all of her favorite stomping grounds...from the lovely colonial city of Antigua, where we wandered along the cobblestone streets, enjoying the blend of new and old; to Chichicastenango, where Jason found himself in a photography playground with all the vivid colors of the artesan market and the weathered and expressive faces of the local Mayans; to the unparallelled beauty of Lake Atitlan, with its glistening waters surrounded by three majestic volcanoes and spectacular sunsets; to visiting the precolombian Mayan ruins of Tikal, where we climbed the ancient temples and stood above the treeline marveling at the tips of other temples towering high above the tallest tree!

We rode the infamous "chicken buses" everywhere we went, experiencing the uncomfortable and life risking event that was Lorna's everyday fare. And most special of all, was the all too short but ever so poignant moment of return to Lorna's home town of Huitan, Quetzaltenango. We began at one of her former schools, surprising teachers with whom she had worked so many years ago...warmly embraced and toured around the school to see that so much had changed (and yet so much was the same!) over the years. We then made our way to the town center, where we met one of Lorna's favorite teachers who had been promoted to supervisor of all schools, working in the center office. Then finally we walked down to Lorna's former home (now painted purple), pleasantly shocking the family with whom she had lived! A joyous and tearful reunion...embracing Dona Lidia, never wanting to let go, seeing Don Gabino, now blind and leg amputated from Diabetes, barely recognizing 13 year old Mariana who was only 5 when Lorna left, and meeting 4 new kiddos, only glimmers in the family's eyes 8 years ago...breaking bread with them and sharing it all with Jason...words defy the experience!

While truly a magnificent whirlwind in Guatemala, the entire visit was plagued with this continued ear infection suffered by Jason. We spent many hours visiting local doctors and pharmacists, and experimenting with medications in desperate attempts to give him respite from the pain and even more frustratingly, the pressure, blockage, and lack of hearing that he was experiencing. We were blessed to have email consultation with an MD from the US guiding our efforts, but unfortunately, nothing was helping. We were determined to dedicate our time in Belize to a cure before he was to get on a plane and fly home in just a few short days...to be continued...

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