By Anthony Albano and Joseph Mastrogiacomo
Today we got to sleep in until 7:45! Although this may not be considered ‘sleeping in’ we still got to sleep an hour and a half more than usual. This allowed us to wake up bright-eyed, as we anticipated today’s adventures. After eating a delicious breakfast, we all got to dress into our fancy clothes as we prepared to head to church. We then left our casa at 10am and arrived at the church, La Gloria Que Impacta, at 10:20. Here we got to experience Guatemalan church and the different cultural influences that impact things such as worship, message, etc. This was an awesome opportunity for us to share our culture with the Guatemalan people, whilst also absorbing some of their culture. It was amazing to witness the passion and pride that the Guatemalan’s have for Jesus. Furthermore, we were inspired by the faith and love that they displayed.
After church the entire group went for lunch. We went to this cool ‘mini mall’ with a food court containing a variety of restaurant options. The most popular choice among the group was a restaurant called Pollo Campero. This restaurant was basically a Guatemalan KFC. Many of us indulged in their fried chicken, enjoying food that reminds us of home. The other restaurant that was a hit was El Chinito Veloz which was a Chinese restaurant with excellent fried rice and wontons.
After lunch, we embarked on our journey to Vulcan Pacaya near Guatemala City. We drove an hour and a half through the mountains and forests, learning more about the Guatemalan landscape. Upon arrival, several little children ran up to us and tried selling us walking sticks. Although some of us said no, most ended up buying sticks because it was such a genius idea. We then walked an hour and a half through the forest on the side of the mountain. We eventually reached the resting point at the top of the hill, and there it was, the volcano. It was massive and looked straight out of a scrapbook. The volcano is currently active, thus, we got to see lava pouring down the far side of it. The coolest thing about this lava is that you could hear it flowing down the mountain. We then walked through the volcanic rock together, trying to find different heat pockets. We eventually found an awesome pocket where we roasted marshmallows. After taking pictures, we journeyed back down the mountain and back to the bus.
[Insert from Mr. Fuller: We would love to get some sleep tonight, but there is a party with loud music at the bottom of the hill and firecrackers going off right outside our windows. This is quite the missions experience, but we praise God for a safe and enjoyable day.]