A Small Change In Plans

So I really feel like a traveler now, because even though I just got back from the mission trip, we're leaving tomorrow to go on a short family trip to St. Louis!
I'm pretty excited - I've never been there. I feel like I've been working Ebony to the bone lately with my photo-taking, because I know I'll be taking a lot there.
So here's the deal - when I get back, I'll finish my Guatemala posts, and then I'll post about St. Louis.
Sound good?
See you when I get back lovelies!
PS: Could we reach ninety followers while I'm gone?


Guatemala in Words: Part II

Day 2 at the Home:

This morning we woke up at five o'clock because breakfast was a six fifteen and we had to be at the church for VBS by eight-thirty. Breakfast was terrific - fresh fruit and scrambled eggs. Eating everything here - including the freshly squeezed orange juice and lemonade - makes me not want to eat processed food ever again. But as I texted my mom earlier, scratch that comment - I'm eating oreos in the dorm room. 

VBS went extremely well - Savannah, Caressa, and I are in the eight year old class and we could actually understand most of the lesson, which was on Daniel. The Guatemalans are sweet. I've started to enjoy hearing Spanish so much. It's so pretty. 
the woman in the yellow jacket is my grandmother...
Today, we spent the afternoon putting together Bible packets for the children on the last day of VBS. I've taken tons of pictures - exactly 900 as of now - and each one tells a soulful story. What I love is the clothing - it consists of thick woven skirts, wide black cloth belts, and floral shirts that would possibly be considered clashy with the plaid of the skirt. But it is much too bonita to ever be considered unfashionable.  
Today, at lunch, one of the four-year-olds declared me her Americano amiga. She is in need of a sponsor, and I know that God is calling me to do it. I'm going to ask about it tomorrow. She told me that she loves me. 
mi amiga... my lil' girl.
The city where the church is located is amazing. The main modes of transportation are multi-colored buses and three-wheeled taxis that stop for no one. You could stand in the middle of the street and they would run you completely over. 

The small and older children walk home from escuela by themselves, and it amazes me how young some of them are. I have gotten some amazing cultural shots. 
The woman walk with baskets on their heads, like something out of National Geographic that I would have once dreamed of seeing. The stray dogs number more and more by the day, and bulls are often transported in truck beds. 

Everyone dries their clothes on rooftop clotheslines, and it makes for some colorful shots. Most of the natives are friendly enough and will smile when you take pictures of them. 
The marketplaces are full of freshly picked fruit.  

I hope you are enjoying the tales of my journey so far.
Until tomorrow, lovelies!


Guatemala in Words: Part I

I kept a very detailed travel diary during this trip so I decided that I am going to share my entries with you. Day 1:
We made it. After two flights, one to Houston and the other to Guatemala City, we are now in our hotel room. 
Everything is different here. From a distance, with all the lights and billboards, the city could pass for downtown Memphis. But once you look closer, you see that the ads are unreadable to an American tongue, and that everyone is talking in jumbled voices that make no sense to a U.S. citizen. 
The airport wasn't as hectic as it could've been, I suppose, due to the fact that we have a few Spanish speakers on our team. None of the bag checkers spoke English, and one can feel pretty useless when the extent of your Spanish vocabulary is "gracias", "hola," and "adios". 
The poverty in this country was evident from the moment that we stepped out to meet the bus, where a man was begging the people passing by to buy pens. I felt a tug on my heart - a tug in the right direction. I know that I'm supposed to be here. And I know this place needs my Father. 
Tomorrow we'll leave for the children's home, where we'll start our ministry. God will do great work here. I know it.  
Day 2:
A word for Guatemala: {vivid}
Everything is vibrant here. From the turquoise front doors to the coral flowers, all is gloriously bright. The drive here was phenomenal and enjoyable. We saw three volcanoes on that way, and you can see two from our dorm room. 
the view from right outside our dorm room.
A word for Guatemala: {lush}
The bus window's view was breathtaking. Mountains, cloaked in green fields resembled patchwork quilts, rose high above us. Everything is freshly grown and tastes rejuvenating. 

A word for Guatemala: {scenic}
The sky is made up of layers of grey, blue, and white, like a mural painted by angels. There are stray dogs everywhere, standing on rooftops and snuggled in corners, along with cows who graze right outside the dormitory walls.  

valleys surrounded the entire property.
There are so many colors here - no one is afraid to explode with interior decoration. The girls' dorms have butterflies, or mariposas, on the walls, and paper lanterns, in every color of the rainbow, hanging from every ceiling. 
Our dorm is painted lilac and has a tin roof that sounds heavenly when it rains, which it does so spontaneously. There are two dogs as pets here. One is named Daisy; a golden lab. I'm not sure what the other is called, but he is a black lab and very sweet. The cows are innumerable, and they graze all day while their mooing interrupts our puppet rehearsal.    
we performed  puppet shows every day of the VBS that we helped organize.

There are around forty kids, possibly more, here. I'm getting used to the jumbled up speech and I'm starting to like hearing it. 

The younger ones are our greatest teachers. They are more patient than anyone else, and will sit and name everything in the room. Tonight Elle and I helped in the little children's room. The minute that you step through the door, five of them are there to clobber  you with hugs. We sat down and began playing with them. 
One of the most fun things to me is the fascination that they have with my camera bag. They could probably sit in my lap, toying with the shiny silver zipper and snaps, for now and into eternity. They also love hair. As soon as the three little girls saw the three ponytail holders, in neon colors, on my wrist, they grabbed them and started twisting my brown locks into all sorts of braids. Before this, I had never met a four-year-old who was capable of braiding hair.  
ignore watermark - i didn't take this one
They also loved my old point-and-shoot camera. The minute I showed them how to use it, they started taking pictures and telling each other to say cheese. 
They started counting the words on my shirt and telling me what color my necklace was in Spanish. When she was done with my hair, one of the little girls told me, in Spanish, that I was very beautiful.  
Their other fascination was with my DSLR itself. I got it out to snap a picture of Mrs. Denise reading to the little kids, but then the little boy in my lap wanted to see the picture so I ended up showing him all of the shots I had gotten that day. By the time I had gotten to the beginning again, there were three little heads bent over the monitor, naming everything I had taken a picture of (casas (houses), bacos (cows), and peros (dogs)) and watching like it was some sort of intriguing movie. 

They all wanted to try on my rock necklace, and I asked Mrs. Denise how to say "rock". She said roca. When I attempted the word, the little boy who had just finished braiding my hair for the third time shook his head and showed me how to correctly roll my r. I said "r-r-r-r-roca - si?" He nodded and laughed. 
That's another thing that I love - their giggles. Laughs are a universal language. 
The children love to be tickled. And hugged. And held. One of the girls, when we were tucking them in for bed, wanted me to hear her prayer. 
"Senor Jesus..." 

We were assigned to groups this afternoon and sent out to distribute flyers for the movie that the home was showing in the gym tonight. We walked down the road to the colonia, where many people live near the home. There is such a variety - from the small girls giggling and whispering "gringos" (spanish slang for "white people") to the small boys herding goats on the countryside. 

all of their clothes are dried outside.

The countryside was glorious, and so were all of the flourishing crops. There were birds calling fervently as we strolled and handed out flyers. 

Everything is beautiful here. 


Guess Who's Back?

Well, okay...
If any of my followers have an IQ higher than .01, they'll know that it's me.

I'm completely exhausted right now, but tomorrow I'm going to have a nice picture-laden post for you guys, mkay? My time in Guatemala was fantastic (I'm still terriblyterriblyterribly sad about leaving everyone - and the seventy degree weather) and I can't wait to share every last detail with you.

Until then - here's a sample picture from my adventures (one of 1604):

ignore me... just focus on the adorable baby, k?


Au Revoir

Today I leave. At approximately two o'clock this afternoon, our plane will take off to Houston, and shortly after, to Guatemala. 
I'm going to miss everyone and all of you so much! 
But not to worry - I'll be back on the twenty-fourth and I'll probably start posting again on the twenty-fifth, full of new observations and pictures and ponderings. 
Pray for me, dear lovelies. And I will see you when I get back. 


On the Golf Course

Today was my mom's birthday (care to share some b-day blessings?), so we headed over to putt-putt for a couple of rounds of golf.

the lovely lady herself. love ya, mom.
The little kids had a fun time with it.
The three musketeers:

Of course, dad had to take a stab at it. He ended up getting a hole in one and winning a prize.
M had a fun time as well, but she also kept getting frustrated with the ball when it didn't go where she wanted it to...
I decided not to play and (obviously) took pictures instead.
taken by mom. I look terrible. the reason why I am normally on the other side of the camera... ahem. 
Dear old daddy. I'm missing father's day because I'll be in Guatemala, but this was partly an early celebration for him too. Plus I made him a pie - I think that makes up for it.

T was pretty tired the whole time, not being able to play and everything. But I love this picture. The reflections in her eyes are making me mini-swoon over and over.

M found a pinecone.
"Can you take a picture of it?"
She knows me well.

You can tell how pink and hot she is, but I love this picture.
Then we went to watch the boys and dad ride the go-carts.
Dad and P - but you can't even see the top of my brother's head...
After that, the two littlest and my parents went on the bumper boats.


It was a fun family outing on a glorious (but hot) day. Now, however, I'm hoping the power doesn't go out again - it's storming hard. Gotta love our weather. Ahem.
What do you do to celebrate your parent's birthdays? What are you doing for father's day?