Monday, December 25, 2006

"...the bombs bursting in air..."

There appears to be a guatemalan tradition of using fireworks during the Christmas holidays. We have heard an increase of fireworks and firecrackers during December, which peaked at midnight last night. Shortly before midnight, we stood on the Lohrenz roof overlooking a large part of Guatemala City. Sporadic fireworks had started at dusk, but at 11:55 (someone couldn't tell time!) the skies over Guatemala City looked like WWIII had started! These were not the little "piddling" fireworks that you see in someone's back yard - no, these were worthy of the Spirit of America fireworks on the Fourth of July!!! Between all the "booms", and the resulting car alarms that went off, it was deafening! There was also the bracing smell of gunpowder in the air! At 6:00 AM this morning and at noon today, there was a repeat, although not to the level of last night! It seems we will get to experience this again on New Year's Eve, but we will have to see if Panajachel can outdo Guatemala City!

I played for two candlelight services last night, then we had the obligitory "Christmas" tamales and ponche (hot punch with fruit). It has been fun seeing the traditions of our new country but we miss the cameraderie of family and friends. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a joyfilled New Year!

Johnny and Maria

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