Trip to Guatemala – Part 5

Here are recent photos of las nietas, the granddaughters.


Samaya is active, energetic and a manager of the other older cousins. She understands English and watches chldren’s videos in English. She speaks almost all the time in Spanish, but for some reason she always says “Sit down” in English. One of her favirite words is iguales (equal) which she uses when she sees things that are similar, especially the same in color.


Genesis, at 7 months, has discovered how to transfer things from one hand to the other and how to hold things in both hands, and sometimes holds her own bottle while she drinks. She does a lot of grunting, humming and blowings bubbles. Anyone can make her smile, but for her sister she laughs out loud.

In Xela the main roads are made of cement but for the most part the streets are made of cobblestones.


On Friday, August 21, Melanie, JoLene and I took a taxi to another part of the city to find The Bake Shop, which is operated by Mennonite people and has a high reputation for excellence in baked goods.

We found it and right there on the center table we saw whoopie pies – in Guatemala – can you imagine?! For anyone who may not be familiar with the term, a whoopie pie consists of two soft chocolate cookies with a layer of white icing in between. It is a favorite item among German, Amish, Mennonite and certain other communities.

The bakery also has all kinds of American and Guatemalan pastries, whole wheat bread, homemade peanut butter, locally produced honey and on and on. You must come here and taste their pineaple pie.

The owners and operators of the store are Lauren Eby and his wife Esther, who have been missionaries here since 1985. They started the business so that the women of their church could earn a living.

The Ebys know many people in the Chambersburg area. One year when Lauren was home on furlough he did painting at my brother Cliff’s farm. I never thought I would find anyone in Xela who knows where Cheesetown, PA, is!

The Mennonites have no churches in Xela but several in towns about 45 minutes distance from here. The Ebys have the bakery open only on Tuesdays and Fridays. Melanie thinks she will return often.

And so our network of friends and colleagues keeps expanding.

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