Guatemala Mission Trip, Day 5

I’m sorry I didn’t post last night. Shelby had to use my iPad for band practice last night because she is leading worship this morning. We woke up nice and early yesterday to make sure we could see the sun rise over the mountains; however, it was really hazy and cloudy, and so we were unable to see it. So we took off on a day full of adventures. After getting stuck in traffic for awhile and stopping off at a superstore, we may our way to the coffee plantation of Cafe Azotea.

This was a dream come true for me. As many of you know, I am a huge coffee fanatic! I was finally able to see how the process of coffee from seed to cup happens. Our guide talked us through the history of coffee, the varieties of coffee, how different regions affect the flavor of coffee, and finally how they process it. After a history lesson, we were able to go outside and see the beans drying. Not only were we able to see them, WE WERE ABLE TO TOUCH THEM, HANDLE THEM, AND THROUGH THEM IN THE AIR!!! It was so much fun. It took everything in me not to start rolling around in the beans. After playing in the beans, we went over and watched the fermentation and washing process. We then were able to try the different roast of beans they had (by eating them, not drinking), and we also tried some local cocoa. We then traveled through the plantation to see the coffee cherries growing on the trees. It was such a beautiful scenery. Shelby has plenty of photos that I’m sure she will allow me to share. We finished the tour with a coffee tasting, and it was a great cup of coffee (Shelby even said it tasted good black). Shelby and I bought a bag of medium roast coffee, a jar of coffee jelly, and of course Shelby got her routine mug (I think she’s more obsessed with mugs than I am with coffee). What I am most excited about is the green coffee I bought! I am so excited to start roasting, and if it turns out well, I would be glad to share with y’all.

After leaving the plantation we drove towards the volcano of Pacaya. We stopped of to eat some of the famous Pollo Compraro for lunch. We had been hearing about how good the chicken was all week, and it didn’t disappoint. We then embarked to the top of the volcano. We drove up as high as we could before embarking on horse back. Here’s a Gary Brill joke for you: “Gary Brill doesn’t ride a horse; He carries the horse between his legs.” But seriously, Gary hates horses and only made it about 40 minutes riding the horse before opting to walk the rest of the way up and down. However, I enjoyed riding the horse because it made me reminisce about how John Wesley rode thousands of miles praying, reading, and writing on the back of a horse. As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, it was a really cloudy and hazy day. The top of the volcano was covered in a cloud. We were literally riding horses up an active volcano in a cloud. It was so dense in some parts that I couldn’t see the person 10 feet away from me, at best they were a shadowy figure. It was also chilly and wet (we were in a cloud). In my mind I was picturing us going to Camelot or a scene in Lord of the Rings. It was eerily exhilarating. When we got to the top of the volcano, we stopped at the Lava Store, which has been featured and advertised by National Geographic. Everything they sell is made by local artist and incorporates lava rocks within the jewelry. We then went further into the volcano and roasted marshmallows and made s’mores over hot rocks. We didn’t get to see actual lava flowing because of the cloudiness, but it was an amazing experience. To pick up rocks that are hot or finding pockets of hot air all around the top of the volcano was intriguing in and of itself.

I am very thankful that Edger and Fountain spent their day taking us two these two amazing places, and I’m also thankful that Gary and Jeannie allowed us to do this. I can cross of 1 1/2 things of my bucket list (I still want to see flowing lava). I will soon be able to cross off another when I start roasting coffee. What a great God that we have!

May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!


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