Some reflections from another of our travelers, Leah Siciliano:
Today we visited a few villages to experience some Guatemalan bartering. I bought a beautiful blanket hand woven with numerous colors. The boat ride was a great addition to the festivities! (Don't sit in front if you don't want to ride the waves!) After our shopping extravaganza, we returned to the hotel. We had a special visit from the village midwife. She gave a comical demonstration of how a home birth was performed. Often, people with a specialty in Guatemala claim they received their calling through a dream. If they ignore their calling, they quickly become sick. The midwife told us she started practicing when she was fifteen years old. Afterwards, our hostess Marbila dressed up in traditional Guatemalan clothing and sang (cantar) a few songs to express her happiness and say farewell. I believe I speak for us all when I say we couldn't have asked for better hosts. Marbila and Felipe have been our second parents throughout this trip. Our developing nursing skills came in handy when we ice and wrapped Marbila's knee injury the other day. They seemed to understand our stresses of adapting to a new culture. For example, after we returned from a long day they always had fresh hot Guatemalan coffee available! After almost a week of waiting, I finally got a motorcycle ride from their eldest son, Mike. Talk about exciting!
I will be returning to the states with a heart full of gratitude, and peace of mind knowing that if I return, there are selfless people that would give me a second home.