Where in the World is Jillo?

Guatemala

Day 10
We began our day on 12-12-12 with a bit of orientation according to the Maya Priest. We had a special ceremony at the spiritual site on the mountain, actually just a little way down from the Dome we stayed in.  Everyone had to climb up the 400+ steps, but we only had to walk down a few. The Maya priest prepared the ceremonial fire in the sacred place.  It was interesting to note that each time a ceremonial fire is prepared, different items are used in it and the ceremony is different depending on the day, the occasion and the intentions. The priest always wore a head covering wrapped a certain way about his head and he wore a large sash wrapped about his waist.
This day we were told we could ask a question or make a wish as we put our candles in the fire and the Maya priest would read the fire and tell us an answer or comment on something.
The most interesting one was when Hermann, an older gentleman from Switzerland, put his candles in the fire and asked no question. The priest looked into the fire and smiled and then through the interpreter, Juan, told Hermann that the grandfathers were very pleased with him that he had come to Guatemala to be part of this group experience. He told Hermann that the grandfathers were smiling at him. This was when everyone in the group looked at me as I had seen an old Mayan face under the copper pyramid and it was smiling at Hermann when we did the water ceremony. Unexplainable things to the logical mind for sure. Hermann was all smiles the rest of our time there.
Three of our fellow travelers had to leave us today as they had other schedules to follow and couldn’t be with us the last day.
Day 11
This morning we boarded the boat and crossed the lake where we boarded a bus back to Antigua.  On the bus ride we passed fairly close to the active volcano that had erupted in November. It was evident where the lava had come down the mountainside.  We were fortunate to see two or three puffs come out of the volcano on our drive back to Antigua.
Again, we were able to view the different crops that were growing in fields along the way. Sugar cane was also a big crop we noticed.
On a side note:  I have made it a point to try a Coca-Cola in each country I’ve traveled to, to compare them to what we have in the States.  So far, Guatemala has had the best tasting of all. It tastes more like Coke did in the States when I was little… the Original Coke. I always read the ingredients and Coke in Guatemala had sugar cane as the sweetner.
When we reached Antigua after the three hour trip, we checked into the hotel and had the afternoon to do some more sightseeing on our own or do a little shopping. We broke up into little groups and off we went. I purchased a few little items to bring back in my suitcase.
Our last dinner together that night was very special as we each shared what one thing stood out for each of us on this trip. More new friends were made.
Day 12
After breakfast we boarded the bus to catch our flight to Guatemala City. Most of us were on the same flight back to Houston, but a couple were on a later evening flight. There was quite a bit of confusion this trip with people’s flights being rebooked or late or lost luggage. It was nice to arrive back in Houston to “real” bathrooms and toilet paper in the stalls!

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