Crossing and the empty atm's

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Apr 03, 2007

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Monday, February 12, 2007

hey guys, i?m going to fastfoward through my trip to the ruins of bonampak and taxchilan and my hike through the jungle in lacondona (but i must tell you it was aaammmazzzing!)..   but i?m not going to fastforward through jose alberto. Jose Alberto is 18, and has one more year of highschool left. He goes to school all day, and then works at the posada that i stayed out all afternoon and stays there most nights to guard the door. He is staying with his grandmother, and i can tell he is so intelligent, and such an amazing artist!! i asked him if he plans on going to college but he said that he can?t because he doesn?t have any support. you see the government here doesn?t help with school.. k-college is all paid for by the family. God has put a special place for him in my heart, and i haven?t told him, but i would love to try to gather support to help him through college. through investigation.. aka talking to the locals.. i found out that it costs $200 a year for tuition.. and then for living expenses about $300-$400 for 9 months.. so to support him it would be about $3000-$4000 a year. if anyone is interesting in helping let me know! i?m going to try to attach a foto..   ok.. so Gutemala.. first of all.. i didn?t know that we were going to have to pay $5 when we crossed, so all i brought with me was 20 mexican pesos.. about $2.. and no atms on the border anywhere.. definite culture shock.. luckily God put Mailie in my path. she is a very friendly.. and VERY talkative gal from Australia.. she is traveling the world right now.. went to peru, going to guatemala.. back up to mexico.. then to Africa!! anyway.. she lent me the money.. yay!! oh, and the border itself.. all it is, is a boat crossing. i was kind of surprised cuz i had heard that the mexican government was trying to keep guatemalans out because they supposedly have the immigration problems.. so i thought that there would be tighter security.. but no.. and the way the immigration office was set up, it almost seemed like more of an option.. interesting.. it was kind of cool pulling up to the guatemala border in the boat and having no security lines.. only women cleaning clothes in the river.. (by the way, the river between guatemala and mexico on this side is called usamecinto.. just fyi :) )   so.. on our journey to flores from the border our bus got a flat tire. i seriously felt like i was in a movie because we were in the middle of nowhere.. it took about 20mn?s for us.. well for the guys to change the tire.. during this, all the guatemalans were driving by on their motorcycles saying ?hola gringos! lol.. i thought it was pretty funny.. a lot drive motorcycles here.. i think cuz it?s cheaper and more gas efficient.. even the old ladies drive them.. and ana! they have those taxis you were talking about from india.. i get it now! lol..   so when we get to guatemala, we stopped in st. elena.. the town right before flores, and we went in search for an atm.. we went to 7.. count them 7 atm?s.. no dinero!! isn?t that crazy? so i guess they have a problem here with not having money in the atm?s.. somebody told us it was because they printed new currency in january and started burning the old ones too fast, and not enough new currency was made.. i dunno.. all i know.. is that this apparently was normal for all the natives... there was a lady that said there was one more atm, but we figured that we?d go back to the bus.. and when we got there.. it was gone! ay! it came back 10 mn?s later.. apparently it went to find those who had wondered off.. and went to an atm.. the one we decided not to go to.. and it had money!! well.. the bus went and dropped everyone off then brought us back about 30 mn?s later .. and guess what.. it was out.. i was soo frustrated.   i really feel like God is trying to teach me to trust on Him more.. cuz if it wasn?t for the passport thing.. and other circumstantial things.. i would?ve been there a dayearlier.. or a couple of days later.. both days where there was money.. well mailie paid for a lot of my things.. she had american dollars.. all i had was my debit.. soo stupid.. next time def bringing cash here for backup.. everyone takes it and it?s really easy to exchange..   we pretty much lived off of bread and peanut butter the next day lol.. we did get go to tikal courtesy of mailie.. bu ti will pay her back!! i promise!.. she?s off to antigua right now.. i will be there tomorrow..   i got really lucky though, cuz the owners of the hostel that i?m staying at.. los amigos.. took my passport and gave me a cuenta to tally up my meals and nights stay.. yay!! i wasn?t sleeping on the streets last night.. and today!! there was money..   it?s kind of sad to see how long these people have to wait for money.. and then to see how reliant i am on money.. and atm?s and credit cards.. i wish it didn?t have to be like this.. but hey.. that?s society right now..   but like last time.. it was all in God?s timing.. cuz i met some awesome people.. and some people to share my travels with.. and a companion for my journey to antigua.. so it?s all been good.   one of the girls, kristen was really sweet, and she told me the passage from the bible.. i think matthew that talks about if God feeds the birds in the air, and dresses the flowers, he will surely take care of you.. and she is soo right!! i?m excited to be learning how much God really does for me. ok, well, it?s hot.. i?m going to go swim in the lake with the crocodiles.. lol.. and you probably think i?m kidding..   God bless, love, michelle   "let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around yoru neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in th sight of God and humankind. Trust in the Lord with all your hart and lean no ton your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and h will make your paths straight." proverbs 3:3-8
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