This is a picture of a lake in southern Guatemala, Lake Atitlan, or Lago de Atitlan. This lake is very, very large and is surrounded by three volcanoes. On my last medical mission to Guatemala in April 2005 I was able to take a boat tour of this beautiful lake. It was a slightly overcast day and a big foggy, particularly near the middle of the lake. You couldn’t see the shoreline and it almost felt like you were in the middle of the ocean. I had a wonderful day on the lake.

Now, the something I have to look forward to as I mentioned in the title of this post is a trip back to this beautiful lake and wonderful country! I was able to find an organization, Christian Medical Mission, Inc., that is leading a team to a small town at the edge of the lake for a medical mission next July. I haven’t yet but plan to soon fill out my application and get the paperwork process started.

As some of you may or may not know, this will be my third medical mission trip to Guatemala. The first one was in August 2003 with a team led by a pastor my auntie CB was acquainted with and I was invited to join them. My aunt and I spent twelve days together, shared a hotel room for I believe all of that time, and came home closer than ever. We had some wonderful bonding time when we weren’t both too busy being amazed at being so far away from home in such a different culture. And I don’t think she’ll mind too much me speaking for her when I say we both fell in love with the country and the culture. I knew on the airplane home from Guatemala City that I would one day be returning to visit these wonderfully friendly, polite, and grateful people. (As an aside, I have to mention this… one of the first things my mom asked when I returned home was “Are you and CB still speaking after spending that much time together?” I just laughed and said of course we are.)

Two years later, in April 2005, I did return with another team put together by Cascade Medical Team. I’d heard about the opportunity from some coworkers of mine, two of them who had gone before with this team. I again had another wonderful experience. I only wish I’d been able to share the second experience with my aunt, as well.

Approximately three months ago I started feeling very called to return to Guatemala, for lack of a better way to phrase that. I started looking into returning with the Cascade Medical Team and in the meantime ended up leaving my previous job for the new one I’m going to be starting in two weeks. The Cascade Medical Team trip is in February so I won’t have the time off work available. So this morning I did some research online and found this new opportunity. I’m very excited!