Today, we began a little later than usual in order to recover from yesterday’s busy day and to prepare for some light travel to Lake Atitlán. Our morning went smoothly, helping Hope Haven fit several patients into wheelchairs and standing frames! Dick, an American physical therapist who now resides in Guatemala, helped the Stand With Me guys modify and fit standers to several patients. We ended up giving out six standers today! Next, we convened for lunch and planned our shortened afternoon and our trip to Panajachel, a popular town on the lakefront.
Before setting out for the lake, we reviewed some fundraising information for the project and discussed our ideas for the future of the project at Kent School and teaming up with other, similar programs in Central America. Around 4 o’clock we boarded our van. Scott Sr. bravely brought us to our destination, testing the limits of his passengers, our vehicle, and even the roads themselves. We unfortunately ran into some slow-moving traffic in Chimaltenango which delayed our arrival by several hours. While waiting in traffic, Scott, Riley, Emory, and Trey ventured into the town. They scouted ahead and managed to find a restaurant that served takeout! They returned to the van food-in-hand and fed our party of eight as we trudged through the traffic.
Eventually, we turned off the Pan-American Highway into the department of Sololá. Unfamiliar with the route, we traveled down some apparently-unfinished roads littered with potholes and low-visibility speed bumps. Scott Sr. handled the van expertly, as if it were designed for difficult conditions, all the while retelling and reciting famous Mitchell family jokes and songs. After nearly six hours of driving, we arrived in good spirits, ready for a stationary, bump-less bed, and some local pie. We stayed at Hotel Kakchiquel, right on the lakefront, and returned to our beds only after tasting some local lemon meringue.
Quote of the day: "BumpBumpBumpBump!"