The trip has taken a turn for the remote. We've traded hostels for home stays with the locals of the altiplanos, and it's a different world. Dirt roads, livestock everywhere, outhouses and high cresting hills painted by farmland. This is more what I pictured when I imagined the trip, I almost wish we hadn't been spoiled by the modest but modern cities we've been enjoying. Showers, indoor plumbing and electricity are a thing of the past. As I speak, we're all huddled on the concrete floor with our sleeping bags pressed together as we play cards by the light of our headlamps. Our hosts are incredibly kind although facial expressions are the only form of communication since they speak an ancient Mayan language none of us know. We hiked the majority of the morning and worked on stove construction until sundown. The trek took us to a height of about 10,500 ft and was by far the most physically challenging thing I've done in my life. Two more like it when we migrate to the lake to stay at the next village and the next project.
As for the internal goings ons... I think I'm getting increasingly introverted as alone time is rare. Privacy is nonexistent and I'm thankful the majority of the group is made up of women.
Hiking today, I was struck by the beauty and the bigness of my surroundings. My God is so big and otherworldly, I feel so lead to this trip as He reminds me every day of his qualities revealed in His creation. I've also been reminded of my own fragility as I've been sick and weak, and finally conquered by a tortuous hike in daunting altitudes. I am weak in mind, body, and spirit and the delicious dependence I feel is much needed. I make God so small... But looking at the beauty of the mountains, the harshness of the volcanos, the resilience of the Guatemalan people, I see Him all around. It is hard trying to process through these feelings about my relationship with Christ alone, as there's not really anyone to talk to about it and I tend to be an external processor. But alas, I suppose I'll have to save it for later.