Catie Come Home

Our adoption journey to Guatemala

April 13, 2005

Where Catie's Adoption Stands

We take Catie to the doctor this afternoon for one last appointment, and if all goes well, we will be at the embassy tomorrow morning to complete the final step in her adoption (not counting the "re-adoption" process in the states that begins in six months or so). After our morning meeting at the embassy, one of us will return in the afternoon to get the paperwork. Technically, we could leave Guatemala then, but Lord willing, we'll be heading to Antigua for a few days instead.

You can't really experience Guatemala unless you get out of the capital city, which in many respects is very much like the capital city of the United States. People here generally dress in suits, casual clothes or other common clothing. They have American chains like Chili's, Domino's Pizza, McDonald's, Burger King and even Chuck E. Cheese (or Charles Edward Mozarella, our codeword when discussing it in front of the children). You can even buy luxury cars or high-end clothing at a combination shopping mall-car dealership just a few blocks from our hotel.

Antigua and the surrounding areas, on the other hand, are populated by many Mayans. They flock to the town square to sell their handmade goods. You also can tour a jade museum in Antigua and learn how they harvest and refine that popular Guatemalan jewelry. And when we adopted Elli, we toured nearby coffee and macadamia plantations. Coffee is a staple in Guatemala, and the macadamia plantation is an innovation designed to stem pollution from the open fires, smog-generating cars and other realities of the atmosphere here. I don't recall all of the details from the tour three years ago, but apparently macadamia trees soak up some pollutants, so if Guatemalans can be convinced to plant more of those trees, pollution can be alleviated.

We look forward to our travels to Antigua most of all when we come here, and now we're excited because my parents will get to enjoy it with us.


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