Bears In Pana: Day 2

Our second day was interesting, exciting and fun. 


Last night while Leiane was taking a shower, the water just stopped half way through. We weren't sure the issue, but thought that perhaps we were using too much water and pump reservoir was empty, and that it would be filled by morning. Nope. In the morning there was still no water. So we added this to the list of things that weren't working quite so well, including: one of the upstairs toilets is not working, hot water does not work in the washing machine, and to get hot water running to any other faucet in the house you have to 'get it going' by turning on the hot water in the tub upstairs in the master bath.

Since we obviously needed water, I coordinated with our landlord, a brother who lives in the Canary Islands, for a local repairman to come to the house. He was there in about 30 minutes and diagnosed the issue quite quickly – a faulty pressure switch on the well pump. He had to run back into town for the replacement part, but once back he had that issue resolved, as well (no pun intended) as all the other issues listed above – a true handyman!

The shiny new pressure switch on our well pump that got the water flowing again.

So, we got the water going just in time; friends here had recommended a cleaning lady to help us with some of the initial cleanup in the house, and she was to arrive at 10:00am. She was actually running a little late, which was ok since we had the issue with the water. As she came inside the gate, though, with just a bicycle, I thought to myself, "is she bringing the cleaning supplies later?" You see, this is all part of the learning process – we don't know how things work here, and we had not yet purchased any cleaning supplies, none were left by the previous tenants, and when a cleaning lady comes, she cleans using your supplies.

After speaking back and forth into my phone using the Google Translate app (I've got to work on my Spanish!), we apologized and asked her to return the next day at 4:00pm, once we had acquired some cleaning supplies.

After the events of the morning, we made plans to go into town for some supplies and then we were invited over for dinner by a couple that has been here about four years and helped start the English congregation (Lago Atitlán Inglés).

We knew that we needed to get used to the walk, so we started out down our road (Calle de Las Manos), across the bridge and into town. Our first stop was a hardware store. It is a different experience from anything in the States, for sure. One of the kindly employees, in Spanish, asked if I was looking for something. I picked up some of what she said, but quickly realized that I should have prepared my requests in Spanish beforehand. She clearly saw that I was not 'getting it' so she led me over to a computer where she had Google Translate on screen (major facepalm). Once we were able to communicate clearly what was needed, she enters information into their system and prints out a slip with the info. I then take this slip to a cashier behind a window and hand him my slip and pay. He then hands me a different colored slip that I take to the back of the store where they fetch the items purchased. Like I said, interesting.

After this, it was back to the Despensa Familiar for cleaning supplies and a few other things. Now we had to hurry back to the house with our purchases while carrying Sebastian so we could catch a tuk to the other side of town for our dinner invite.

Exciting and Fun

We quickly put our things in the house, came back out to the street and hailed a tuk. Rides are Q5 per person, except small children. Perhaps this is just because it is new to us, but it's pretty fun – Sebastian loves it.

Side note: Q = Quetzal, the Guatemalan dollar ($1 USD = Q7.63). So a tuk ride for the three of us is about $1.31 USD.

Enjoy the shaky cam recording of some of our tuk ride!

The couple that invited us over for dinner are Bill and Nancy Gross. (Click here to read their blog.) Sebastian was wiped out from the day's activities and he slept while we ate Nancy's delicious homemade pizza, exchanged stories and got to know a lot more about each other. It was really a little bittersweet, because we will only get to see them while we are here for this trip. On our return flight June 8th when we move the whole family here, they will be in the air, moving back to the States. They have witnessed and been a part of the exciting growth of the English field in Guatemala. Though we will have known them for only a short time, I know we will miss them and they will definitely be missed by the congregation here.

After saying goodnight to Bill and Nancy, we caught a tuk ride home and went to bed. We needed our rest for tomorrow – our first day in the ministry!

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