Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Lake Atitlán Boat Ride

Monday, August 21st, 2017


While staying at Panajachel, we went on a Lake Atitlán boat ride, which was beautiful! As we buzzed around the lake looking at the majestic volcanoes, we stopped at various villages along the shores of Lake Atitlán.


Video Tour: Boat Ride on Lake Atitlán

Take a look at the boat ride and the places where we visited along the shores of the lake:

When we arrived at our fist destination of Santa Catalina, we saw a baptism taking place! The people were singing a Christian song at the service they were having down by the water. Our boat man waited for us as we got out of the boat and spent about half an hour at this location.


We watched women weaving cloth right in front of our eyes. The women have been weaving this cloth generation after generation, and each tribe has unique colors to wear. The wall hangings are beautiful and often have “Guatemala” woven into them.


I love seeing all the bright colors of the merchandise:


We stopped and watched women making corn tortillas from scratch, frying them on a large flat skillet the size of a table. People would come here to buy their tortillas.


Each town that we visited had at least one church. San Antonio had two churches side-by-side in the whitewashed Spanish style of architecture. Most of the beautiful churches are Catholic, as the Evangelical churches tend to be simpler buildings.


As you can see in the video, at San Antonio we climbed up a hill and down a narrow alleyway where roosters crowed. You can see the destitute poverty of the area as houses are crowded up against each other.

At the third stop, the rain fell heavily (since it was rainy season), and we ended up eating lunch. A couple of hours later when the lightning and thunder stopped, the boatman was allowed to take us back to Panajachel.

Stay tuned for out next installment of our Guatemala Adventure series, and like our MK page to not miss any posts!

Tour of Antigua, Guatemala

Monday, August 14th, 2017


On our way from Guatemala City to Panajachel, we stopped for an hour to go on a walking tour of Antigua, Guatemala. I have always loved this city because of its antique architecture and ruins. When I was a little girl, I used to go on camping trips with Pioneer Girls here. I’ve been to leather factories, candle-making shops, and many other tours when I was a kid. It was fun to take my husband and kids on a quick tour, walking around this majestic city.

Video Tour of Antigua, Guatemala

Here are some of the highlights of our walking tour of Antigua:

Each of the antique buildings has a Spanish style, with lots of ornate carvings on the sides of the buildings. Most of the buildings are white, but there is at least one that is a stunning yellow color, which I included at the top of this post. The buildings always have multiple levels with arched windows.


Horses and carriages still clop down the cobbled streets, which are filled with colorful dust in different patterns on Easter every year. Parades go down these streets whenever the people are holding a festival.


The center square has trimmed trees, grass, and park benches, and the ambiance of the city is laid back and relaxed (although not so much as Panajachel, where we are visiting next).


It was so nostalgic to see this city, after not having seen it for over 20 years.

I looked at the black bars on each arched window. Security dictates that windows will be broken if there are not iron bars over them. This is true throughout Guatemala.


I loved looking down each street. Surprises meet the eye with old lanterns lining a street, or a ruin around a corner. The gates, doors, and entryways are unique, too, and anyone who enjoys architecture would love Antigua, Guatemala!


Did you miss our previous Guatemala Adventure posts?

  1. Our Guatemala Adventure
  2. Río Dulce Boat Ride
  3. Tour of San Felipe Castle, Guatemala
  4. Tour of Tikal, Guatemala
  5. Tour of Flores, Guatemala
  6. Tour of Cobán, Guatemala
  7. Coffee Plantation Zipline Tour
  8. Meeting Our Compassion Child in Guatemala
  9. SETECA Seminary, Guatemala

If you don’t want to miss any posts in my Guatemala Adventure series, follow my Missionary Kid page. And if you love to read about missionary kids, buy the book!

SETECA Seminary, Guatemala

Monday, August 7th, 2017


When I visited SETECA Seminary in Guatemala, I was astounded to see that nothing had changed in 25 years! My father was a professor of Greek and New Testament theology at this seminary (Semenario Teológico Centroamericano) for 20 years, which is why I grew up as a missionary kid.

Yes, I’m telling you there is a time warp in this location, as everything looks almost identical to when I was a little girl, going to Pioneer Girls here. I show you in the video the exact room where we had Pioneer Girls:

When we first drove up to SETECA, one of my dad’s former students was in my van, because he was the translator for the Compassion child visit. His name was German, and he told the gatekeepers that my dad was Dr. Gerardo Laursen. They looked at my face and exclaimed with joy, as they could see the resemblance of my face to my dad’s face. My dad was a well-loved professor here!


The parking lot is slightly different, as they seem to have added another building where the previous parking lot used to be. Now cars park along the tree-lined road, and even on top of the basketball court, where we used to shoot baskets!


The wood and iron benches are identical along the walls of the corridors of the double courtyard inside the main classroom area of the seminary. The floor is the checkerboard black and red squares that I remember so well.


The well-manicured lawns are lined with neatly clipped hedges and tropical flowers.


A large, multi-story building contains a library and the offices of the professors. I remember my dad had his office on the third floor, all the way to the end of the hall, on the left. It was strange to go up the gray pebbled-looking steps, remembering how I used to skip steps as a little girl on the way up to my dad’s office.


Everywhere I went, memories came flooding back. Even the laundry room had memories, as I looked at the pilas where students still washed some clothes by hand. (Washers and dryers line the walls as well, but I still see lots of pilas–large flat sinks for scrubbing clothes.)

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to stay at SETECA with my family after all these years!

Stay tuned for our next installment of our Guatemala Adventure series, and like our MK page to not miss any posts!

Meeting our Compassion Child in Guatemala

Monday, July 31st, 2017


The highlight of our trip to me was visiting our Compassion child in Guatemala. That’s saying a lot, because the nostalgia of seeing all the places where I grew up was wonderful and healing to my soul. The entire trip helped me to remember who I am, and that God has been good to me.


We traveled from Cobán to Salamá, where our Compassion child lives with her sister, her mother, and her blind grandmother. They all live together in one small cinder block house, as you can see in the video:

We stuffed everyone into our van and went up a steep mountain. The dirt road was full of rocks and potholes. I was glad it wasn’t raining, as the van would have gotten stuck in the mud. When we arrived at the top of the mountain, we looked out over the city of Salamá. It was truly beautiful!


We visited the school where the Compassion child gets Christian instruction. It was fun to see the other children waving at our camera. You can see the poverty of that area even in the school.


Our Compassion child’s favorite food is fried chicken, so we went to Pollo Campero, as you can see in the video. This is a famous Guatemalan fast food place, and one of my favorite places to eat!


We also went to a nearby town so that we could take a ride on a tuc-tuc. I filmed the ride around San Juan, and the child with her sister were thrilled!


We gave the Compassion child a backpack full of goodies: a Spanish Bible, a dress, a basketball, a journal, some stickers, a bookmark, a sketch book, a hair brush, a toothbrush, hair clips, etc. Her mother was truly grateful and choked up with tears.


I had plenty of time to get to know the mother of the child, and I love her so much! She is a Christian who believes in answered prayer.

If you would like to support a child and make a difference in someone’s life, I highly recommend Compassion International.

Don’t miss any posts in my Guatemala Adventure series! Follow my Missionary Kid page to see more videos and pictures from my recent trip!