Branching Out

You better Belize there are two posts coming up about my recent trip that almost wasn't, but hermana from another señor (Deac. Sandra Rhein) came back to visit!

OK, actually to physically hand Rev. Sergio Fritzler three USB thumb drives containing recordings of all but 80 of the hymns in Himnario Luterano, listen to and critique a sampling of them, and make a plan for a) recording the missing ones; and b) adding lyrics. 

It was a short, sweet visit: just two full days on the ground. From the get-go, I was in charge of airport transfers and a 1/2 day cultural outing. I found out the day before she arrived that I'd also be interpreting and had to quickly get over the loss of what I thought would be a catch-up day, but in the end it was a joy to spend my Thursday listening to snippets of soothing, soul-nourishing music. Then right on schedule Friday afternoon...

Sandra's one request was to visit Franklin's souvenir shop en el centro

With a larimar pendant in hand and time to kill before an impromptu afternoon Halloween party, I knew exactly what our next stop was: Monumento Natural La Ceiba. Yep, it's a tree. 

An approximately 1,000 yr. old tree that's 55 meters tall and 43 meters in diameter at its crown! I drive by the sign every Sunday on my way home from church but had never gone the 2 km out of my way to see what it was about. 

The size and grandeur of the root structure alone are impossible to photograph well. I kept expecting gnomes or elves or something to come darting out at us. 

Even several yards away from the trunk, they're SO. BIG. AROUND.

Later, we enjoyed Oma Krey's famous donuts and cast our votes for the best MK Halloween costume. Queen Susan (Esther Krey, above) tied for 1st place. 

Yes, they have pumpkins here! No, pumpkin carving is not common in seminarian Demetrio's home country of Panama...

...but I think he did a pretty good job!

Until next time, blessings in Christ!