Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Climbing A Volcano

Have you ever been faced with something you thought was impossible?

I know I have - this past summer, on a mission trip to Guatemala, we were given the "opportunity" to climb a volcano. Cerro de Oro is a small volcano located on the shores of Lake Atitlan, in the western highlands of Guatemala. I had never climbed it before on any of my previous trips - didn't really want to climb it this time, either. But both of my sons were on this trip - and they both pleaded with me, the Drama Queen, to go along with them. Oh joy.

So, after church on a beautiful Sunday morning, I put on my hiking shoes, filled up my water bottles, and decided to tackle the volcano.

The climb begins easily enough - at the bottom. I couldn't really see how high we were going - which is probably a good thing, as I would have turned around and gone right back to the hotel room. But I forged ahead, putting one foot in front of another...

...And then another foot in front of the other, and another, and so on, and so on.

This photo gives you an idea of how steep it was in some places on the climb: I'm the one in turquoise.

So, the climb continues - and continues. I have to stop every so often to take a rest break; I AM middle-aged, remember! Again, another photo along the way to show the intensity of the hike:

I'll have to admit - it was pretty intense...I thought about turning around early, but everyone on the team was there to offer support and encouragement along the way. Without that support, I would have given up.

After about 3 hours of hiking, we made it to the top. Here's some photos of the top; the first photo shows the incredible view of the lake at the top; the 2nd one is of the whole group; and the 3rd photo is of my sons and me.

We sat at the top for awhile, enjoying some snacks and enjoying the view. After a few photos, it was time to begin the hike down. When we reached the bottom, I seriously kissed the ground.

Was it worth it? YES - it was. Would I do it again? Hmmm...I don't know. I learned some things about myself - I learned that it ALWAYS helps to have support when faced with a difficult challenge. It's too easy to give up if you're going at it by yourself. I learned that patience and perseverance pays off...what a view, huh? And I learned it's pretty awesome to do something with your kids, if to show them that you CAN!

Be sure to do your part today to save the world - one day at a time, one action at a time. Get support, if you need it - don't do it by yourself!


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