Sunday, April 29, 2012


My  lovely sister, Briana turned nineteen on Friday.

Look at her already graduated from high school and done with her freshman year of college and onto fun and exciting things! I'm so proud of her and I look up to her in many ways. 

Love you Bri! You are my bestest friend and I can't imagine the family without you. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

last bit of guatemala

On Thursday of our trip to Guatemala, we took a break from our labors and went to the famous market in Chichicastenango. Brett and Elliott were sick that day due to drinking the water (don't drink the water!) so Rachel and I explored the market together.

The market was so fun and so busy! There were so many Guatemalans screaming their prices and trying to get our attention and bargaining with us and bombarding us with little trinkets. I loved everything that they sold there and I wanted to buy it all! I really wanted to get some Mayan shirts and skirts that the Guatemalan women wear, but I decided against it because I would never actually wear them in real life. The Mayan shirts looked great on Rachel though as seen here:

She ended up buying this orange shirt for 25 quetzales (which is about 3 U.S. dollars) because the little old lady who made the shirt kept bugging Rachel until she bought it. The shirt was originally 80 quetzales, so it was quite a bargain.

Here are the other pictures from our adventure at Chichicastenango's market:

I put my backsack on my belly instead of on my back to prevent any sly pickpockets from stealing my goodies. I also put my money in a Victoria's secret place (if you catch my drift).  I'm a pro at this traveling business.
 Down one of the little streetways.
 Cool cathedral right in the heart of the market.

 Pretty art sold at the market.
I got beautiful jade earrings, a refrigerator magnet (Brett and I collect them), bookmark, nativity scene, 6 brightly striped placemats and napkins, and some other stuff I can't remember. It was a shopping success!

Then we ate lunch at Hotel de Santo Tomas right across the street from the market. The place was absolutely gorgeous and we stuffed our faces at the delicious buffet.

 The courtyard inside.

 End of the buffet line.

 Mayan bowls the food was placed on.
Rachel and I tried cow tongue. It wasn't that bad. It was just really chewy.

The rest of Thursday we spent with sick Brett and watched We Bought a Zoo, which is an adorable, inspiring movie and you should watch it. There was a crazy lightning storm that night so we snuggled inside.

On Friday, we went ziplining! I was pretty nervous beforehand because I am terrified of heights, but it was actually amazingly fun.

 The three amigos with our ziplining gear on.

 Monkeys on our hike up the mountain!

 We crossed some treacherous bridges with beautiful waterfalls.
Brett after one of his rides down the mountain on the zipline.
 Rachel cruising on the zipline.
And me.

 The whole group had to go through an obstacle course at the end. Two of the girls, Annie and Larissa, got intertwined and were stuck for quite a while. It was amusing to watch.

We also went to a lovely butterfly exhibit
 Cool beetle huh?

After ziplining and the butterfly place, we said farewell to the Rancho Grande Inn and Panajachel and headed on the three hour bus drive to Guatemala City. That night we stayed at a wonderful, fancy hotel called the Barcelo and had an extraordinary seafood buffet. We also had the privelege to talk to mission presidents from all over Central America who were there for a big conference.
 The seafood buffet. We all had such red noses.
 The Call family at the buffet.

Sadly, we had to leave on Saturday. It was such an amazing trip filled with work and fun.

Candland/McCloskey picture before we left for the airport.

Rachel, Brett and I got to Las Vegas at 2:00am (you know, in the morning) and then drove straight to Provo. We parked our car in the parking lot of a Walmart for a few hours so Brett could get some sleep, and then drove on. We got to Provo around 9:30am on Sunday and promptly crashed and slept for many hours.

Guatemala was spectacular. I am so happy that we had the privilege to be there among the people and experience so many new and exciting things. That place will always have a special place in my heart.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

soundtrack for my life

If I had to pick a song that would be the constant soundtrack of my life, it would be this:

(it gets especially good at 2:15)

It's called Hoppipolla from the Icelandic band Sigur Ros. Hoppipolla is Icelandic for "Jumping into Puddles."

This song reminds me of the freshness, beauty, whimsy and magic in life.

I fell in love with it when I watched the movies Penelope and We Bought a Zoo (it's in the climactic scenes of both movies). And then I searched and searched until I found it and have become gradually obsessed with it.

Have a happy day. Today I'll be dancing to the tune of Hoppipolla .

Monday, April 23, 2012

guatemala part 3

On Tuesday of our adventure, I barely took any pictures. Sad.

Brett and I spent the day at the orphanage on Tuesday. For the first half of the day, I was the interpreter at the little medical clinic we had set up there. A lot of women came with their numerous children and we tended to their needs by giving them baby formula, antibiotics, pain killers, child vitamins, etc. It was rather difficult to interpret because a lot of the women talked so fast or had a strange Mayan accent. Sometimes they had a hard time understanding me as well because apparently I have a thick American accent. I have to work on that. But, it was neat to work as an interpreter! My Spanish definitely improved and that night I dreamed in Spanish. Many of the women had dental problems and were experiencing a lot of pain in several of their teeth, so next trip we might try to bring some dentists down as well.

After I interpreted for the medical clinic, I interpreted in the distribution center where we gave an incredible amount of kid's clothes to many mothers. It was a bit chaotic because some women just started grabbing clothes and running off with them and we started to run out faster than we hoped because of that. Eventually we got all of the women under control and were able to give out the rest of the clothes in peace. I was the only Spanish speaker up there, thus it was so exciting to interpret again!

Sadly, here are the only pictures I have from Tuesday's work:

 Inside the orphanage. Pretty rainbow.
 My friend, Bri, right before we laid out all the clothes for the distribution center.
Brett giving out sweets to the little kids.

Tuesday night, after we ate dinner at the Rancho Grande Inn, we explored down town Panajachel and may have gotten a bit lost.

 Madeline and Elliott are from Jewish descent. Here they are reconnecting with their Jew roots.
 Brett and Elliott looking manly whilst trying on doo rags at a street vendor's shop.

 Walking hand in hand down the streets of Panajachel. Loose khaki pants are the way to dress on a trip like this I've decided; they were so comfortable!
Guatemalan natives to the left and other Guatemalan natives to the right playing the xylophone. Their music was ringing through the whole street and I loved it.

Wednesday, we went back to Chuti Estancia.

For the first part of the day, Rachel and I put little baby clothes and hats into packages to distribute out to the pregnant women or women who just had a baby.

Then we helped make beds and stoves and played around with the kids.

 Making beds in the hot sun. We made about 10 of them.

 Boys eating lollipops we gave them.
 Evelyn, my mother-in-law and founder of Pan En La Boca (the humanitarian organization that organized the entire trip) talking to the women at the medical clinic in Chuti Estancia.
 Adorable children eating apples we gave them.
 Brett and I with all the kids at the school in Chuti. Right after this, Rachel and I tried to teach all the kids a song in Spanish and they just stared at us with blank expressions. It's probably because they couldn't understand our accents, dang it.
 I love the kids!
 Dog that just had puppies.
 Brett and the other Rachel (Elliott's sister) matching and looking sly.
 Brett resting on one of the many beds we made. He might be a little too tall for it though.

 10-year-olds, Leona and Annie playing down by the banks with the Guatemalan kids. They also wrestled them in the dirt and it was hilarious to watch.
Me with a cute Guatemalan toddler who loved to cuddle.

We had to say goodbye to the people in Chuti Estancia, which was bittersweet. We hope to go there again on our next trip.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by a terrifying Indiana-Jones-like bridge and crossed it like crazy people. I'm just a little bit scared of heights . . .

That is Tuesday and Wednesday of our trip. The last to come in one final post.

Happy Monday e'erbody!