6.26.2011

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. 

6 comments:

  1. I am so happy you had a great time. I am looking for a missions trip to go on as well. I think I am going to do some training weeks where I live before I go out of the the country. I am working on the sketch of T. It will be a few more days. (The eyes are no working with me:)

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  2. Wow! It looks like you had an amazing time! The pictures you took are absolutely beautiful! :) Can't wait to hear more!

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  3. oh wow! the way you write is so exquisite and narrative. I love how you incorporate the things you've done that day and explain it in so much detail! It really is amazing! It sounds and looks beautiful there! I hope to see more soon! :)

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  4. Looks like so much fuN! :) Next time, Invite me.
    Excuse me while i sob.

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  5. Princess - I am so excited about your sketch!
    Olivia and Hope - Thanks so much!
    Rachel - I sure will! You would love it there.
    --Mary Catherine

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  6. I think my heart is melting!
    Next time, you must take me.
    -Sara Beth
    www.purpleish247.blogspot.com

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