Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Let's get a cab: Stories from A to Z

On Sunday, our second full day, we felt like we’d been there a week already. Not because it was boring, but because we had so completely embraced and acquainted ourselves with the environment. 

Forrest had researched where the nearest unit of our church was and what time it started. “It’s about thirty to forty minutes to walk. So we will need to leave here in time to make sacrament meeting at ten.” 

That sounded good to me. A nice walk on the way to church would be delightful.

Except that it was uphill all the way and not pleasant. We went along busy streets with no trees, past a few weedy lots and scattered buildings. Too often, no sidewalks either. 

After twenty minutes of this, I said, “Let’s get a cab.” 

“It’s only a little farther, Mom, probably at the top of this hill.” 

Then another ten minutes, no church building in sight, but yet another hill. 

I saw a cab coming our way and hailed it. He was going the opposite direction and already had a passenger but said he'd drop her off first, then us. I got in the back seat with the girl and Forrest sat in the passenger seat. 

He drove most of the way we had already walked, let the girl off, then turned his cab around and drove back up the hill. He went straight to one of our church buildings without any trouble, although it was in a different direction from the one Forrest assumed we were walking to. 

We arrived right before the meeting began and sat in the back. As soon as the sacrament had been passed and the first speaker stood up, Forrest and I were nonstop on our phones, because Wi-Fi! 

When not looking at my screen, I glanced around at the congregation, composed of well-dressed worshipers with fantastic hair. Of course, because this is Chile, the land of beautiful people and amazing hair. 

After sacrament meeting, we stayed for the Sunday school class, spending the entire lesson on our phones. During which, Forrest figured out the route for traveling from Coquimbo to Peru, passing through several key cities for stopping along the way. 

While he did that, I booked the hotels online at the cities he listed: Antofagasta, Iquique, and Arica. Forrest planned to do a side trip to the Atacama Desert which didn’t interest me. Instead, I'd stay in Iquique, and he would meet me there before our final bus ride to the border city of Arica. 

We spent a highly productive two hours at church, making the most of their excellent Internet. When the meeting ended, Forrest stepped outside to the sidewalk, looked around, checked his phone, and immediately knew where we were. How he managed to do this, I have no idea. It was his super power. 

“Want to go home via the beach?” he asked. Of course! 

Walking along the beach was scenic and peaceful and like floating on air. I took a picture of us looking healthy and relaxed, the Pacific Ocean in the background.

The way home felt like ten minutes instead of the forty minutes trying to get to the church, which probably was never there in the first place. I figured if I hadn’t flagged that cab driver, we would have pressed on and on, never finding it. No doubt it was the one the cab driver took us to going a different direction. 

Forrest didn’t agree with me, since his super power status was at stake. “Nah, the church was on the other side of the hill. We’d have reached it in five minutes if you hadn’t stopped that taxi.”


  1. I'm impressed by this high quality, high quantity offering for just one of the A-Z days. Great work, Karen! I'm cheering you on from my humble abode.

  2. Time was, when it didn't matter to me if a hike was up, down, or flat terrain. Times sure have changed. Thirty minutes of climbing? Sheesh... No.

    1. Especially not in the morning without breakfast and wearing church clothes.

  3. Great post. The little difference of opinions between you and Forrest at the end made me giggle. Thanks. And so glad you had a short time of good Wi-Fi. :-)

  4. That church was nourishment for your soul in more ways than one. Good thinking to hail that cab; good thinking for Forrest to find a better way to where you were staying while he had access to map programs.

  5. I can completely see this scenario with me and my son!


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