Guatemala City, Guatemala
We arrived in Guatemala City just in time for a New Years Eve party with Ben's old friend, Noah Sapone, an elder he trained on their mission to Ecuador 12 years ago. They definitely had a lot of catching up to do! We met his lovely wife, Linda, and fun and friendly family who all tried their best to speak English to me; I tried to speak Spanish and we all ended up speaking in sign language instead. They were so welcoming and accommodating. We were fed very, very well and of course we had to light fireworks just like everyone on our street, in the neighborhood, around the city and throughout the country! We heard fireworks for days-- scared me to bits when there would be a "BOOM" out of nowhere in the middle of the day!
On New Years Eve it is tradition to open a few last Christmas presents. The family did their exchanges and Noah and Linda even included Ben and I, giving Ben a traditional sweater and me a necklace.
Traditional New Years Eve cake.
Noah is also known as Bishop Sapone. Although tired from a fun night of partying, we enjoyed attending the ward with their family on New Years morning.
Ben and I attended the beautiful Guatemala City Temple.
We shopped at the food and artisan markets downtown...
We enjoyed the old architecture of Guatemala City...
We celebrated Ben's 32nd birthday!
Because of the Sapone family we saw Guatemala City in a way we never could have as "tourists." We had such a memorable experience and can't thank them enough for their hospitality and friendship.
Believe it or not, our trip is not over yet. Stay tuned!