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Marjolein in Guatemala
My family in Guatemala
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MY FAMILY IN GUATEMALA!

Yes it took a long time, but here the story about my family in Guatemala:
 
It was on Thursday July 3rd (a day before my Birthday) that my family landed at the Flores airport early in the morning at 7:30 hrs. I made a deal with a taxidriver the night before to come and pick me up and bring me to the airport. I had made a big sign saying 'Fam. Breikers, Bienvenidas en Flores!' as a welcome. I arrived early and ate some breakfast at the airport. Of course all the other planes arrived on time, except the one with my family on it! But finally around 8 it arrived!! I could see my parents and my brother getting out and it was SOO good to see them again! Weird as well, seeing them here with me in Guatemala.
 
The family had a long trip and we went straight to the hotel, Hotel Santana, where we (yes I could also stay with them in the hotel) had 2 rooms WITH airconditioning! They had a nice big balcony and view on Lake Petén Itzá. The family was tired and took a nap, while Sara and I had a small feedback meeting with Saúl and Billy from Alianza. That evening we all went out for dinner at the Mayan Princess with Marco and we went to bed early. It was SOO incredibly nice to finally sleep in a NICE and BIG and SOFT hotel bed in a room with airconditioning! I hadn't slept that well in days! :-)
 
My Birthday on the 4th of July!!
Today was my Birthday!! I shared a room with my brother Sander, and when I woke up he sang Happy Birthday for me! It was really nice! My parents had brought me some presents and some birthday cards from family and friends. Nice surprise!
 
Today we went to San Andrés and San José with Sara's friends Nicole and Kim (who also arrived yesterday) and with my family, to show them around the Spanish schools and our hostfamilies. First stop was San José at Marco's family. It was fun to be with them, but also sad, because we had to say goodbye as well. :-( Karla the mother and Guadalupe were extremely sad and were crying when we left. It was REALLY hard to say goodbye to them... After that we stopped at the Bio-Itzá Spanish school and at my former hostfamily. My dad even taped something for the people at home.
 
For lunch we decided to go to the small restaurant in San Andrés with the small micro-bus. When it finally arrived, there was only room fo 3 more people. My dad, Sander and I got in. My mom and Sara with her friends would take a ride in the back of a pick-up truck who was just passing. It was really funny, because Sander was sitting on my lap when he asked me a bit stunning 'there is a chicking sitting right next to my leg!!" haha! And seeing my mom travelling in the back of a pickup truck is a very funny sight that I won't see even again!
 
After lunch we visited the hostfamily in San Andrés where we also said goodbye. We took a lancha back to Flores. Luckily we managed to find José to come with us, the lancha guy who always sings and plays his fake trumpet, as he did this time! Wonderful what a way to spend the last few days in Flores. I realised I was certainly going to miss this place!
 
That night we had a goodbye party in Tico's restaurant with everybody from Ecomaya, Alianza Verde and some people from ProPetén! It was a LOT of fun! We had a nice dinner and some drinks and Saúl made a nice goodbye speech. It was a fun evening, but also sad because we had to say goodbye to everybody.
 
TIKAL (5-7-2003)
The next day we got up early, because we were going to Tikal. The family went, but also Sara and her friends ánd Masatoshi the Japanese guy! Even though it was the 3rd time for me in this park, it was special because this time I could show it to my family! I was even amazed by how much knowledge I had about all the temples and even the plants, trees and animals in the jungle. You really become an expert of the Petén jungle spending 6 months there! We had a laugh about Masatoshi and his modern camera and the amount of pictures he took with it! A real Japanese!! I also had to laugh with him, because at some point he and I climbed part of a temple. When going down (sitting on my ass) my camera stayed behind on one of the steps, and I didn't see it. Masatoshi did not know how to make a real sentence in Spanish that I was forgetting my camera, so he only said 'ADIOS CAMARA!!!"  It was SOO funny!!  The highlight of the day was Temple IV, the only temple with a wooden stairs going up. It was neat because I even got my dad to go up there, and he is terrified of hights! We got it on camera, so we have proof! After all the temples and seeing most of the important things of the park, we ate some small dinner at one of the restaurants and took the bus back.
 
After we refreshed ourselves back in Flores, we removed the last furnitures from our house, our nice house where we enjoyed staying for so long.... Sara's family gave my bed as a present to Marco's family, so he came to pick it up. It was another sad moment, because we had to say goodbye to Sara for now. She and her friends were going to take an early bus to Belize the next day, so we wouldn't see them anymore. So after 6 fun months we had to say goodbye for now. The house was empty and Sara and I seperated....
 
The Sky-Way (6-7-2003)
Today we were going to have a relax day, but we did not want to just do nothing, so we decided to go to the Sky-Way park, the park with the hanging bridges. I already walked around the park with Sara and her boyfriend Machiel, but I did not have my camera with me that time. Plus it's just a beautiful park, barely any tourists and beautiful nature. Along the path you have to walk over 7 hanging bridges hanging over the tops of the jungle trees with a beautiful view. Right at the beginning of the path we saw a real jaguar! First I thought it was a cat, but soon I realised there are no house cats in the Petén jungle! It was really cool! When it realised we were there, it ran away, so too late for taking a picture.
 
Since my dad is afraid of heights, I wasn't sure if he was going to appreciate the high bridges. But after making sure they were steady, he decided to go for it! Of course he didn't want us to move or walk to hard on them, but he did really good! I am proud of him! He really overcame his fears here! :-) THe walk up to the viewpoint was beautiful, but very exhausting. I kept telling them that there would be a person on the top with some drinks (that's how it was when I first walked the route), so that kept the family going. However when we finally arrived at the viewpoint, there was nobody there!! OOPS!! But even without the drinks the view was wonderful!
 
Ceibal (7-7-2003)
Today we were going to take the Ceibal trip. I already showed my family some jungle, but the Ceibal trip definitely includes the best jungle experience of them all. We were picked up at 8 in the morning and brought to Sayaxché. There the trip continued by boat. We saw some baby crocodiles, pretty birds and turtles. When we arrived at the beginning of the path to the ruins, the first real jungle experiences already welcomed us: about a dozen of monkey's were climbing right above us in the trees! Really neat! Another jungle experience was also present, millions of mosquito's gave us a nice welcome!! We sprayed on some DEET mosquito spray, but apparently the mosquito's there couldn't read the prescription of the spray, because it did not help a thing! The people at the entrance gave us a can with incense to  help get the mosquito's away. It did indeed help a bit, but we had to keep swinging it around.
 
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