Adventures in Guatemala
This week has been full of excitement!
Monday, we went to the dump as usual. When we arrived the dump has changed a lot from the last time i was there. There is now a huge trench dug through the middle of the dump. It looks as if they are trying to make more room for garbage. Regardless, it blocks the view of where we park, so it took the kids several minutes to figure out that we were there.
We led some songs and I had some stuffed animals to give out as prizes to the loudest singer and most enthusiastic. After spending some time playing and getting them excited about us being there we separated them into their groups. My aunt sent me a care package a while back, and in it she included these cards that change pictures when you move them. We gave those out all throughout the lesson and the kids loved them! They were fascinated by them.
Since the lessons were underway, I started to really look around the dump. I have so much respect for those people that work there. They work so hard and are so good at what they do, it’s incredible. Everyone from 4 years old up to in their 70’s works so hard at collecting plastic to sell. The day we were there just so happened to be the day recycling was to be picked up. I watched in awe as these guys just tossed up those bags onto that truck like it was nothing. They had the truck full and ready to leave before we had finished with the kids.
These people truly know how to survive and I give them absolutely all of my respect.
Tuesday we had the pleasure of visiting one of the families from the dump. They stopped by our house and Heidi and I had a bunch of groceries and toys to give to them. As well as cardboard … to insulate their home. We piled the woman and her 3 children she had with her (the oldest girl was at home) and her wheelbarrow in the pathfinder and we set off for their house. Their dog, which is scared of cars refused to jump in, she ran beside the car all the way to their house. Once we got to their home she welcomed us in with a huge smile on her face. She was not at all ashamed of anything.
The house was built from tin. It is very thin and used for most roofs here, it had a bunch of holes in it, so on the inside they layered cardboard and tarps to help stay dry and warm. It was a tiny 2 room house with a small kitchen area. There were 3 beds for 6 people, and it was a dirt floor. Her husband was on one of the beds. He had had a stroke not too long ago leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, so that’s where he stays all day and night.
The older girls, 11 and 12 were very excited to show Heidi and myself around. They showed us the kitchen, the trees they grow and their radish garden, to sell for extra money. Their mother works 2 jobs washing clothes in the morning and picking out recycling at the dump in the afternoon. She needs to provide for their 4 children. The boys are 4 and 5 years old and neither of them attend school.
They were the happiest family that I have ever seen. They have absolutely nothing, not even blankets for their beds, yet they are so happy to have each other. That really touched me when I was there. As we were leaving, her husband asked when we would be coming back to visit. Heidi and I looked at each other and instantly tried to figure out another day to come see them before Heidi heads back to Canada. We will be heading there Thursday of this coming week with a few surprises for them. Also, we had discussed the possibility of sending the kids to a great Christian school that is just up the street. For all 4 kids to go, it would only cost $125 a month. That includes their uniforms, school supplies and tuition. If anyone happens to be interested in sponsoring this amazing family, please let me know.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday there was not much we could do. Wednesday, the president declared Jalapa to be in a state of emergency. Last weekend there were riots at the mines in the mountains and a lot of people ended up getting hurt. Guns, dynamite and a government vehicle was stolen by the people doing the rioting. Things escalated from the mines to people holding up cars and buses in the mountains, burning cars and threatening the government if things weren’t stopped in the mines. Wednesday morning the president issued a curfew on Jalapa, we are not allowed to leave our houses after 6pm. He also sent in 2000 reinforcements to the area to sweep the mountains for the stolen government property as well as keep the peace. You don’t mess with the mountain people, but you don’t even want to consider messing with the army here.
They are performing random house checks to try to find the stolen goods. If things happen to escalate further, then Jalapa will be forced into a lock down. Which means no one leaves and no one comes in. Please pray that things will be resolved quickly and that the peace will be kept between all people here. We are all safe and feel very protected having the army here.
Saturday we went to watch a horse parade. The horses were trained to dance to the music and run pretty. It was so much fun with the girls.
Next week seems like it is going to be crazy busy with trying to make up for lost time this week. I get to make Laney a cake for her birthday and we get to see that family again and bless them with something that will help them live.
Until next week. God bless.
Originally posted to Adventures in Guatemala