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Hello all. 



 It has been an embarrassing 3 months since are last update.  

The pictures above are from a horse back ride we went on a month ago.  Great views of the surrounding mountains and looking back at the pictures... small horses.  When I was on the horse he seemed so much bigger.   

It is now April 4th and we are preparing for Semana Santa week.  Samana Santa is holy week and Antigua swells with visitors.  All the prices start to increase a bit and there are so many cars.  When the traffic gets jammed, and I mean to say no one can move, most people just exit and leave their cars.  Remember that Antigua is not a big city and the roads are narrow.  If you look back to last April you can relive the excitement of that update.  Well, we have the pictures also so we decided to skip out of our little town and go to the Rio Dulce and Livingston.  Last year work was slow the same week so we are only going to open on Monday.  We are then left with six days to fill.  This is the longest vacation we will have so far in Guatemala! 

The Rio Dulce is a hurricane harbor and small port mostly used by the sailing crowd.  I look forward to chatting them up and seeing some boat designs.  We then leave Rio Dulce ("sweet river") and go to Livingston.  Livingston is on the gulf coast of Guatemala and you can only reach it by boat.  I get the impression Livingston is Guatemala's answer to the Caribbean vibe.  We will of course be super tourist and take lots of pictures.  There is a old Spanish fort near Livingston that was used to fight off pirates, so of course I am doubly excited.

We are still getting settled into our new place.  Every day I feel like I am camping.  Part of it is because I get bit by ants or stung by bees most days.  It is a lot of fun living here and we certainly have not ran out of things to do.  We added three more members to our animal farm.  Two rabbits and a kitten.  We hope to breed and eat the rabbits but we agreed not to eat the kitten and keep her as a pet.  


She is a very cute kitten as you can tell by the photos.  We have (Flory has) two other cats and one of them, Jedi the Siamese, didn't show up for about two 1/2 weeks.  We were not too worried in the beginning but after the first week we feared the worst.  The other cat seemed stressed so we decided to look for another companion for her.  A few days later they were giving away kittens at the pet store we buy pet food from.  We brought her home in a paper bag, we still do not have a car (hurray! besides my bike has lots of trunk space). 

The next morning the other cat showed up again.

 So now there are three: 

We were very relieved to she that cat again, not only because she is a decent cat but we were not looking forward to writing Flory an e-mail about a missing cat.  I wish the story could end and all the cats love each other, however they are having hierarchy issues they need to work out.  

We are almost finished with remodeling the clinic.  We still need more plants and to finish up our room inside.  We will take pictures of the new finished product and show them soon. 

For you beach lovers here is a peek at Monterrico.  It is a west coast beach with black volcanic sand.  We have some German friends down here and this is their favorite hangout.  They have a car and whenever they go they let us know and we can tag along.  Monterrico is located on an island, so you have to cross a river to get there. You can choose between a short crossing or a long boat "tour".  Every vehicle has to do this, including the big trucks... Monterrico is a very peaceful place, ultra relaxing.




Not much to do but sit around and read ( Shogun is a great book!), go for a swim and eat.  The biggest event was a turtle race.  There is a hatchery for sea turtles along this stretch of beach.  Out turtle did not win, but we like to think he is still swimming out there somewhere.


Henk, my father in law, came to visit.  He was on a business trip (to Guatemala!!!) and was able to extend it a few days to play with us. So of course we put him right to work cleaning our yard.  This was his first machete experience and it went over very well.  I hope he comes back real soon.


Well as you can see it wasn't all work and he did get a good chiro fix from Annette.  It was great to spend time with him down here.  We will take lots of pictures in these next few weeks and I look forward to sharing them with you.  I leave you now with a picture I took from the yard.  I keep telling Annette we would have such a beautiful view of the horizon if all these majestic mountains and volcanoes were not in the way. 

Lots of love, Nathan and Annette