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The thing I love most about visiting a foreign country is the chance to learn about and absorb the local flavor. In this respect, Guatemala certainly hasn’t disappointed. I’m not talking about the food, although it’s been wonderful. I’m referring to the sights and sounds all around me.
I’ve been at Hilario Galindo Hospital for five days now, and if you’ve been following along with the blog and photos, so have you. So I thought it might be nice to leave the hospital for a bit and show you around Guatemala, and especially Retalhuleu, the area in which we’re staying. If I were to choose the best way to describe what I’ve seen, I’d say Guatemala is a tapestry of contrasts.
There are the incredibly wealthy, and the incredibly poor. The vibrant and healthy, and the worried and sick. Those with Gucci shirts and new cell phones, and those with hand-made blankets handed down through the generations.
I’ve seen wide-open country with grazing horses, and heavily traveled roads congested with cars and busses. Beautifully-maintained homes and yards, and abandoned tin shacks surrounded by mud. Fresh coats of vibrant paint, and peeling facades faded with age.
I’ve observed crazy drivers racing at break-neck speeds, and content walkers ambling along the roadside. Emaciated dogs with pitifully sad faces wandering aimlessly, and regal and proud peacocks strutting for show. I’ve felt the sweltering sun in the morning, and the drenching rain in the afternoon.
Everywhere I turn, I see something new. And with each passing day, the tapestry grows larger, more colorful, more unique, and more beautiful.
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