Seventeen other students and I decided to go to Coban and Lanquin, some beautifully unique cities north of here. Friday, after lunch, we boarded a bus and car with the idea that it would take us 5 hours to get there. 9.5 hours later we arrived at a hotel in the middle of the rainforest. It was about midnight. We talked and slept during the trip, but we sure were ready to go to sleep. I don't have a lot of pictures for you because I chose to enjoy the moments rather than capture them on film, but picture a camping lodge. The rooms each had 2 beds, a chair, and table. Hammocks were hanging outside some of the rooms.
Saturday, after eating crapes for breakfast, we headed for the cave. What fun! This place would definitely not pass the safety test in the states. Every surface was covered with slippery mud. I was one of many who fell. The guide led us around the lit cave, up and down many stairs. We saw rock formations that were named after the animals they looked like. I got within 5 feet of a bat. Yes, I screamed.
Then, after the guide told us that the river was higher than it should be, he asked who wanted to go tubing. When the few brave souls who went ahead returned and said that it was okay, I went with the second group. The water was freezing! I knew I had to do it though because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The river was beautiful but there were many branches hanging over the river from the banks. At some parts, I just covered my head with my arms and hoped for the best. Today my back is so sore from paddling. Certain parts had some fun waves. When the guide yelled, "A la derecha ahora!" we paddled as hard as we could to the right to grab a rope. We all made it and exited the river safely. We then rode this special truck back to the hotel.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that my teacher Erika went on the trip with us. I think she had a great time. Do you know what that meant for me? I spoke Spanish for about 60 hours straight. It was good practice but so tiring.
That night, we played games in the main meeting room. (I can't wait to get back and play one of them with Thrivers.) Erika went to bed early, so I was able to take a break from Spanish for a few hours. Here's where things got interesting. When I got back to the room, a surprise was waiting for me on my blanket. A scorpion 4 inches long! Now, if I had not been dealing with bugs in my room for the past 7 weeks I would have screamed and stayed up all night, but I just went next door to get my friend Lisa for moral support while I killed it. She kindly took care of it for me. It took a while to go to sleep that night. I woke up a few times and searched my bed with a flashlight. Erika slept through the whole thing. Folks here tell me that the smaller and clearer the scorpion, the more harmful they are. So I'm thinking that my gigantic black bug was no big deal. If you know otherwise, please, do not tell me until I get home.
The ride home was really good. People took turns telling their testimonies and praying for each other. I wish that Erika could have understood but God can work through language barriers. She enjoyed looking at pictures of my family, friends, and students on my iPod.
Part of my homework tonight is to write this whole story in Spanish so I'd better get started. I miss you all. See you in 5 weeks!!