Its your story. (Birthday Weekend in Rio Dulce)

25th birthday in Guatemala is by far the most memorable Birthday to date….. (a close second would be my 21st pizza party in Louisville). I will attempt to recap but I will warn you, its not going to sound good as good it was… Some things just need to be experienced…. 
Friday morningI woke up and our kitchen table was decorated by the girls. A sign saying “Happy Birthday Early” Empty wine bottles were painted and crafted by Faye.  Friday we only had three exams with our kids and then we were set to leave around 1:00 pm to Guatemala. 
I brought a chocolate cake to school for my kids, in honor of my birthday and decided to suprise them during Recess. My kids all full of cake and sugar went outside for recess just as I saw one of the boys and his moms walking towards me with a huge cake in hand. My kids started jumping up and down. “Dos Pastels! Dos Pastels!” Why not I thought? Two cakes in one day never hurt anyone (Or if you ask the principal she must think 5 are ok, because she easily ate five pieces of pizza on Friday)
My kids gave me more hugs than I can count. They sang to me on their own impromtu. I laughed and smiled as they screamed Happy Birthday across the room….. nothing much better than 22 second graders loving on you on your birthday eve. With a full belly and an in antipation of our weekend away the day went quickly. 
We left in true Honduran fashion around 1:35 pm. We had some pre-trip mimosas to start the weekend off well. Our drive took us through San Pedro Sula, up to the coast to Porte Cortez and then crossing the border up to Rio Dulce. Rio Dulce means Sweet River in Spanish. Border crossing is a bit strange considering it looks like a run down rest stop but the transition was simple. We did however do a very dodgy currency exchange through the window of the bus. Such a strange thing to do, swap currency through the window. It works though.
Rio Dulce lived up to all of the hype. The river flows into the Caribbean at the town of Livingston. The place we stayed was right on the water. Even so that the floor boards under our bed peeked down at the water. As we made our way Friday after school we saw the most incredible sunset on the ocean as we drove on the coast. Our trip included all of us teachers, Chele and Miss Emely. (Director of Pre-School).

We arrived late and ate dinner by the water. Emely suprised me with chocolate cake. The group sang and we all crashed in bed before 11:00 pm. The long day and long journey made for a incredible nights sleep.
Dinner Friday Night.
Birthday Chocolate Cake.

Saturday, my Birthday I woke up to skype with my Family. My mom even had a candle lit on Skype for me. (She is too funny). We had breakfast, drank coffee and attempted to talk to Emely with my Spanglish. We made a quick trip to town after breakfast to get money.  In town was packed. People selling everything you could imagine. The fruit and vegetable selection near the coast is so much better than our town. We bought mandarin oranges for less than $1.25 for 12, bananas, and lots of strawberry’s. We decided this would be good to take with us on the boat. Everything tasted really good.
The town of Rio Dulce is filled with incredible boats. Large sail boats and yachts people have sailed from all over the Caribbean and central America. We got on a lancha, a water taxi of sorts to take us an hour down the river towards teh Carribean. The moment I stepped on the boat I knew then this was going to be one of the most memorable brithdays yet. 
We drank coconut with rum out of fresh coconuts from the boat owners garden. Danced to music. Swam off the boat. We saw a huge iguana. Watched as women and children rowed down the river to for fishing. The sun was out and there was barely a cloud in the sky. We stopped in town of Livingston on the corner where the river meets the ocean for Pizza. We pulled the boat straight up to the shore and walked out to the pizza place. While the pizza cooked we walked into the town of Livingston. I got my hair impromptu weaved. The pictures are ridiculous. But seeing my hair in person is even more ridiculous. Livingston was a great little town, a lot more markets and toursim than where we live. We ate pizza, and got back on the boat to go back up river. Our tour/ boat ride was all day long. The boat had a hammock on it and Emely swing in the hammock as we flowed down river. We listened to music and all marveled at where we were and how incredibly beautiful it was. Molly and I attempted to drink out of the coconut while treading water. Pictures I think will do this whole day a little better representation. 

Public washing house in Livingston.

Prepping drinks.

After stopping by the hot springs on the lake we got back in the lancha to take us up the river. Two older gentlemen American and English knew that it was my birthday and asked if I wanted to drive the boat. Without hesistation I of course said yes. The boat was huge and standing up on the captains chair it was beautiful  I said to myself, “When in Guatemala? Why not.” I stood up, held the steering and off we went. Looking up river the sun began to set. I was heading straight into the sun, mountains aorund and my heart was full.
A few minutes into the ride, the owner of the boat said to his friend “She has done this before.”  in hesitation I responded to his comment “Yea, I have done this before”. (not that often to be honest). Perhaps he noticed my hesitation and casually replied, “Girl its your story you can tell it however you wish too”.

I love that……I told him I am going to steal this line. I love knowing that we each have a story. A story written just for us to live. This is my story. My story all along has included Honduras. God saw to it I would be in this place. With my kids. With these roommates. In this place. God writes the best stories so I am going to keep trusting in his.


Hotsprings Stop

Captain

As for the rest of our journey. The boat broke down. Yes this happened. After waiting for help we all felt pretty lucky to get to have experienced the sunset from the boat instead of by the dock. Only a few boats passed by and we watched the sun set, in one of the most beautiful settings. Faye and I shared a bonding moment on the back of the boat as we were towed to the dock. (hilarious)….It was an incredible day.

We had dinner that evening and stayed late until the restaurant hosted a party that evening. There was live music, (two singers and one backup dancer) They were entertaining to put it nicely. But we more enjoyed the DJ. I faded quickly as the sun and the day had worn me out and curled up in bed at 1:00 am to then wake at 5:00 am to get back to Honduras. I slept on the bus needless to say….

Love this one so much.
Yesterday was a bit lazy… did some laundry, graded some papers, planned our Thursday departure to Guatemala City and Antiqua. So excited to see my best friend again and do Thanksgiving together! Happy 3 day week at school!

Hope yall are doing well. Thank you for my many many Birthday wishes. They are so appreciated and do not go unnoticed. 

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