Our trip to Guatemala was interrupted by the eruption of a volcano not far from Guatemala City, close the Guatemala airport. We had made it to Los Angeles, and then we sat for 27 hours for clearance to fly. We finally arrived about 6 in the morning just as the sun was coming up through the smoke and haze from the volcano. It made for a spectacular sunrise.
The delay also caused us to move some of our business part of the trip to later in the week and gave us time to relax in the first 2 days. Over the years Enfoque Ixcán has been fortunate to meet some Guatemalan angels. We had lunch with Franklin, an angel who has helped us with many needs. His friendship is a blessing. He’s the kind of friend who brightens the day and enriches one’s life.
The volcano’s eruption had little effect on daily life in Guatemala (except at the airport). There was a light dusting of ash on plants and windshields, but nothing serious. A normal part of life in this mountainous country.
“Pase adelante. Que buscando?” These are the frequently heard welcomes from the vendors at the central market. “Come on in. What are you looking for?” To shorten the shopping trip, as is my habit, my first Market shopping strategy was to take Joene to the only place I shop, in the southeast corner. Miriam’s shop has everything and I thought we could find all our needs there. She does have everything Guatemalan you might need, but Joene didn’t fall for it. Alas, Miriam didn’t have jewelry.We still had to walk by all the other vendors. After searching all the stalls in the market, Joene finally found the ring she wanted and in the right size. I had to take a picture with the successful sales woman.
Our business meeting with Santiago, our attorney, was full of good news. Ali, a member of the board of directors of Enfoque Ixcán, translated while Santiago told us how we are doing in the process of creating a branch of our organization in Guatemala. By the end of this month all the paperwork should be in the hands of the proper authorities and full government approval will take another 3 to 6 months, if all goes smoothly. Our fingers are crossed.
A meeting at the eye clinic, Visualiza, went well also. The clinic director, Douglas, gave us news of their ability to offer our patients sleeping quarters during their 2 to 3 day stay at the clinic when they go for eye surgeries. This could save us enough money to fund 2 more cataract surgeries each time we take a group to the clinic. Douglas also looked over our clinic plans and will ask the architect to begin drawing up the blueprints.
Next week we’ll take some pictures of the building site. If I can get an internet connection, I’ll share them with you. The group we travel with, from Massachusetts, has arrived and we all leave for Ixcán tomorrow.