Monday, July 21, 2008

Guatemala - Day One

This was written on Thursday, July 17th.
We are here in Guatemala! Everything went great yesterday with our flights and the staff from Healing Waters, Aguas de Unidad, met us at the airport. We had the chance to talk with them and another couple on the ride to the hotel in Antigua. We settled in, rested a bit and met more of the group for dinner.

Chris & I in the center of Antigua

The view from the hotel balcony

We started out early this morning for breakfast. It was the same restaurant where we had lunch 2 years ago when we visited Antigua with Rebecca. I got weepy at breakfast, just being so thankful to be here. After breakfast, Daniela, who is on staff here with HW gave us an orientation about the culture and history of Guatemala and then about HW. Then we drove to Chimaltenango to the elementary school. The school has about 50 students K to 6th grade. When we arrived they had a presentation for us. Several of them played songs on the marimbas, maracas, etc. One girl recited a poem and then the children performed a Mayan dance. I can´t describe how enjoyable it was!

Then we got to work. Chris worked with a few others on recementing the entryway. A few others helped repaint the lines on the basketball court. A few others began painting a mural on the courtyard wall. I was in the group that did flower planting, ok mom, you can stop laughing. The kids all helped us, they dug the holes and we put in the flowers and plants.

I brought some little bottles of nail polish and was able to paint some of the girls fingernails and even the nails of some of the teachers. It was great one to one time to connect. A lot of Spanish has come back as I hear it.
From there we had lunch with a family that uses the water from the water systems. Their home is connected to a small restaurant and we all ate in their backyard. The pastor and his wife and 2 daughters were there and there was a lot of conversation with them about the water system and how it has impacted their church and the community. More about that later. Then we went back into Guatemala City to see a water system and how it operates. One couple from our group has personally co sponsored that system it was special for them to see it in person.

ETA: I want to talk more about the water systems and how it all works, so I will start with that on the Day 2 post!
We made a few stops for supplies for more work at the school tomorrow and then came back to Antigua for dinner.
I don´t know if I can fully put into words how wonderful today was. It was the feeling of being in EXACTLY in the place where I was meant to be. Being completely in the moment, soaking in every interaction, being at the point of tears because I am so amazed to be here and to have this experience.
Tomorrow we will work for a few hours at the school and then Daniela will bring us back to Antigua and we will take a bus to the orphanage which is near Lake Atitlan. We will spend the night at an apartment at the orphanage and help a group that is already there with a Bible school for the kids on Saturday.
Time to go, I can honestly say this was one of the best days of my life! I am grateful!


Sara said...

Thank you for sharing your trip. I really enjoyed the pictures of where you were at. Glad it was such a meaningful trip for you!

Lauren said...

I'm so glad you had an amazing trip.
Seeing those pictures makes me miss Guate and the people sooooo much.