Interestingly the Catholic church is no longer completely dominant in Guatemala – there have been large influxes of various Protestant evangelical orders. Our friend who lives in Antigua and is involved in many projects there is not very impressed with these newer churches, since they don’t provide schools, hospitals, clinics, etc.
For our “last supper” we went out to have dinner with our friend Deet and ended up at a nice Indian restaurant. Just as we ordered our food, the power went out and stayed out for about 20 minutes, but came on again in time for our food to be served, which was much better than eating in the dark!
The next morning, we got up at 5am and our taxi drove us to Guatemala City airport, making what had been a one hour journey the other way in less than forty minutes. If Guatemala ever needs a formula one driver, they might have some candidates in their taxi drivers.
Just as we neared the airport, we noticed one of the mountains puffing smoke – the volcano was erupting! Thankfully, unlike the Icelandic volcanoes, this did not seem to interrupt any flights so we made it out on time, flying to Dallas where we connected for our last leg to Austin.
In the airport, I still have some Guatemalan Quetzals in my wallet so I did something I haven’t done in a long time – bought some duty free booze, which was very reasonable. Guatemala apparently makes some good rum and we bought what we hope are some good samples. Since flights to the US must clear customs at the port of entry (Dallas for us), then go through airport security again, the rule limiting you to 3oz of carry on liquids applies (or it is re-applies?). This means that they give us the duty free on the way onto the plane, but once we arrived in Dallas and cleared customs, we had to pack the rum in our bags for the connecting flight to Austin. Thankfully they told us this, so we knew we had room, and they also packed the bottles pretty well, so they made it in one piece.
Now we are back in Austin (getting ready to go to Los Angeles this weekend to visit family). Time to deal with the insurance company about the lost bag…