Three years ago we left the hills of West Virginia and travelled 2,000 miles west to Salt Lake City. We live in a great neighborhood called The Avenues, which is located between downtown and the University of Utah. This is probably the most diverse neighborhood in the entire county … a mix of urbanites, professional people, vegetarians, university students, protectors of the environment, animal lovers, kindred spirits, and various other people that make this neighborhood unique and feel like home. Hiking trails, the grocery store, a LIBRARY (which Sheri especially loves), restaurants, and other things we enjoy are within walking distance of our home.
All-in-all we love it here for lots of different reasons – heck, we even purchased the domain name WeLuvUtah.com. Probably one of the best things about being here in the Mountain West is that we are much closer to various sites we’d like to visit, such as Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, the Northwest, various Colorado towns, Boise, and we could go on and on. We are much closer to Sheri’s family, but alas we are further away from most of Keith’s family. We think that we might be here another 6 years until Sheri retires in 2016, but you never know – we are always up for adventure. The airport is also nearby, so please come visit us … our house is your house!
Speaking of adventures, we’d like to tell you about our plans to go to Guatemala later this year.
God willing, Keith is leaving for Guatemala on October 1st to spend one month in the city of Quetzaltenango (commonly known by its indigenous name Xela). Keith was given a passion for learning Spanish about a year a half ago, and now spends several hours each week learning it. He was laid off in January, which turned out to be fortuitous since that gave him extra time to study Spanish while he looks for work. (And thank the Lord for weekly unemployment checks!). While in Xela, in addition to 5-hours a day of Spanish language school, Keith will be participating in community development projects run by the nonprofit teacher’s cooperative called Pop Wuj. These projects are dedicated to supporting public health, education, and sustainability … particularly in the indigenous Mayan communities. Check out http://www.pop-wuj.org/volunteer/community-development.html.
Sheri will join Keith in Guatemala on November 3rd in the city of Antigua, and for the rest of the month we will vacation, eat lots of ethnic food, visit plantations, go on excursions, and also do some volunteer work at local charities. While Keith continues Spanish immersion training in the mornings at Antigua, Sheri will spend the mornings knitting, doing yoga, taking cooking classes, reading, and also being tutored in Spanish for one of the weeks. Sheri also looks forward to learning more about Mayan textile arts, such as the beautiful multi-colored garments and other items made through backstrap-weaving (which Sheri plans to try her hand at too). We definitely plan to go one day to the famous twice-weekly Mayan market in Chichicastenango where there are many Mayan vendors selling their beautiful and colorful handmade items. Check out the market by going to www.virtourist.com/america/guatemala/index.html, click on Chichicastenango, and then page through the photos taken at this Mayan market.
Mayans are the indigenous peoples who have been living in that part of the world since before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In spite of the hardships that they have endured, Mayans are peace-loving people who are dedicated to preserving their ancient customs, and are celebrated all over the world for their brightly colored fabrics and textile arts.
We would like to do something to help Mayans during our upcoming trip to Guatemala, and we’d like to ask for your help as well. Please go to our fundraising page at www.firstgiving.com/spanish and share some of your hard-earned money with the needy in Guatemala.
Thank you so much for your love and friendship. We are so glad that our paths have crossed in this lifetime, and we hope that you will prayerfully consider helping the Mayan people we will soon cross paths with while in Guatemala. Keith will be blogging regularly at http://fotopala.com/blog/, and we will also send you periodic updates on our Guatemalan adventure.
Sheri & Keith