And all through the house
No team member was stirring
Nor Annika Krause
I give up, I can't continue this.
Today we went to tour a few cathedrals and the jade factory with a tour guide, went shopping, and had a debrief.
The next two paragraphs have too much history.
We first went to the main cathedral in the central square of Antigua. Only a fraction of the building is used today for services; much of it was destroyed in previous earthquakes, and any restoration or reconstruction work was halted by the UN naming it a heritage site. Many of the images of the patron saints, including statues and paintings, were preserved, went missing, stolen, or destroyed.
The next cathedral was ruins of the cathedral Capuchinas. It had the cloistered convent, which was used to house nuns; these nuns were usually the first daughters of noble, royal, or other notable families, as a part of maintaining their power. A round room located in the ruins were where nuns would perform prayers of purity. If one stood in the middle of the room, they would hear an echo due to the acoustics of the room. There was also a crypt located under the convent, where they would bury and cremate their dead. The final notable room was the round storage room located underground. The room was perfectly round and had remarkably good acoustics; we sang a few songs while standing at several points along the perimeter.
The final cathedral we could not enter, as Tim and I were wearing shorts. Maybe next time.
After the cathedrals, we were led to the jade factory and had a tour there. Many of the original jade pieces excavated were made with methods we cannot perform today, even with our technology. If I asked my atheist friends about this, they would say "Aliens." I don't think anyone bought what was there as it was very expensive.
After lunch, the team had the chance to spend up to four hours shopping. As a man, I was done after visiting two places and ran out of money in about 1.5 hours. The rest of the time was spent sitting with the team's (new) belongings as they obtained more money to get more things. Even after a long week of missionary work, they had plenty of energy to shop. One day I will understand how that works; one day.
After dinner we had our debrief, discussing our highlights of the trip, our overall feel of the trip, as well as our action plans once we returned. We prayed for each other, and finished our night. I must say that Guatemalan style prayer, which is similar to Vietnam style prayer, is a lot more fun than what we do in Sherbrooke.
Overall, I'd say the trip was pretty good and would encourage everyone that's willing to go. Don't worry about the details and let the Jesus handle it, seriously.
- Andrew Pham