27 Jan Day 4: Starts with “Jesus Party”, ends with conquering volcano
Today was the day that we conquered Volcan de Pacaya. We started our day bright and early by attending our first Guatemalan church service. It was nothing like the church we are used to, rather it was more like a Jesus Party. Every single person in the building seemed ecstatic to be there, worshiping with their whole hearts, the whole congregation dancing and jumping to the music, even the old people.
After the lengthy service, we started the drive to the volcano. It took two hours, but it was filled with a lot of beautiful scenery and treacherous roads. We began our hike up the volcano, occasionally stopping to catch our breath and regain feeling in our feet. We couldn’t see much because of the mist from the volcano. We made a couple of friends along the way, “Pedro Perro” and “Brown Perro,” a couple of dogs that followed us all the way to the top. Once we finally made it through the forests, we reached the “Sharp Lava Rock Valley.” Last year this area was covered in flowing lava, but now it was just a sketchy, loose volcanic rock wasteland. This was where we settled to roast our marshmallows in the rock crevasses.
From this point, we could hear the grumbles of the volcano and see the smoke emerging from the top. After a few pictures, we began our decent down the mucho slippery rock fields. There were many slips and falls along the way, but Stephen took the prize for the gnarliest wipeout, somersaulting multiple times before meeting a fat rock, and then proceeding to get up and laugh about it. All in all, today was an adventure of a lifetime and despite the aches and pains, “the whole class lava’d it,” said Mr. Friesen.
–Isaac and Jesse