Adventures in Guatemala
Last week was kind of slow for us, which is why I didn’t write a blog or post any pictures. Also, because we had issues with our water, I couldn’t shower for most of the week and no one needs to see that! Haha.
I spent last weekend in the city with Mynor doing some running around. Sunday we went to church in the city. That was a great experience! They had a translator for me for the entire service. The service was about the 10 sicknesses that invade your life and inhibit your relationship with God. The pastor nailed it. It was a great way to start the day.
After church Mynor and I went to a family friend’s house for lunch. They are the Flores family and are some of the sweetest people. They made me feel right at home and we were all laughing in no time. It was a great afternoon.
It’s funny how fast we forget the blessings God gives us. This week reminded me exactly why I am here… for God.
Now to start with Monday. Heidi, Isabel and I made the snack again, more tamalitos. But this time, they were amazing! Not to toot our own horn (well Isabel’s, we just watched her make the inside and helped wrap them) Even the kids said they were much better than last week, and without hesitation. At the dump this week we washed several girls hair. It was such a blessing to be able to wash their hair and brush it out for them. Sometimes I feel like I am getting more from these experiences than these kids are. Just the smiles I see melt my heart and humble me. Makes you think about the blessings we have at home that we take for granted… like being able to just jump into the shower and wash our hair.
God is working in many ways at the dump, and it’s definitely not just in the children’s lives.
God knows our hearts and knows our weaknesses. He uses those weaknesses to build our faith in Him and He blesses us with comforts for our hearts to make us happy. I experienced both of those feelings this week, and to the extreme.
Tuesday morning I left to head to Tecpan (pronounced take-pan) for the week. I would be helping the new coordinator hand out the seedling books to her schools. That was all great, but I have some anxiety issues. I get worked up about being with new people and being in new situations, especially when they don’t speak English. So here I am, having an anxiety attack on the inside, but trying to keep a happy face on the outside about staying with a family I don’t know in a country that I don’t really speak the language.
Ready for blessing number 1?
I arrive in Tecpan, on a moto (don’t tell my mom) because I was picked up just outside the town. I get on a moto with a girl I just met ( we called her Mimi) with no helmets and I have to trust that God will get us to the house safely (the traffic is much different here… it’s very scary). She’s chatting away, I understand a little bit but am getting more anxious because I can’t respond. We arrive at the house, which by the way is absolutely stunning. We go inside and Maria Renee (the lady whom I would be staying with) introduced me to her husband Saul and her son and daughter, who were adorable. There was also another man there that Maria introduced me to and as he said his name “Kevin”, I had to look at him a little funny. I said the greeting ” mucho gusto” (nice to meet you) he said “igualmente” (the normal response here) Maria Renee started to tell Kevin that I was from Canada, he looked at me and said, “Oh really? What part?!” in English! He lives in the states only about an hour from where I am. He was on vacation ( had just arrived that morning ) and was visiting family. God blessed me with him because I was able to have a conversation in English to settle my anxiety right off the bat. That was blessing number 1.
Blessing number 2.
Visiting the schools is always an adventure. This one took an hour and a half just to get to! Tecpan is in an area that is highly populated with Mayans. The traditional Mayan dress is gorgeous and the kids are absolutely adorable.
Arriving at the school, the kids come running from every direction, which actually just makes your heart sing. I had actually convinced Kevin (although it didn’t take much!) To come experience visiting the schools. He jumped right in there handing out books and supplies, chatting with the kids and just soaking in their happiness. He got a little surprise too, his aunt whom didn’t know he was coming taught at that school, so he was able to see her and say hello!
We visited a school in the morning and a school in the afternoon, after that I headed to church with Maria Renee. By the end of the day I was able to understand quite a bit more Spanish.
Wednesday night, I woke up around 12 and was up for a few hours because of a really bad stomach ache, my stomach was not used to all of the Guatemalan food we had eaten throughout the day and was not afraid to tell me. So unfortunately Thursday I was really tired, but we headed out to the schools (Kevin joined again) to get them all finished up. After the schools, Mimi took me to the market and showed me the traditional Mayan clothing and taught me about the colours they wear. Mimi was great because she spoke very clearly and slower for me so I could understand. I ended up buying myself a bag and 2 belts. One is hand made and the other is made by machine … can you tell which is which?
Thursday afternoon they took me to Saul’s brothers farm. Remember when I said God knows your heart? Well, I am truly a country girl at heart. The land, the animals; perfect for me. The farm itself was absolutely stunning. Acres upon acres of green pastures and white picket fences, the bright red barn and the stunning wood house, it was picture perfect.
After lunch Kevin and I went for a walk to go see the animals, I was called a dork several times because of how excited I was to pet the baby cows and to watch a baby cow just run around the pen. Then we went to the horses. I wanted to steal them all. We were there for a good couple of hours just petting the horses. My heart was singing. Blessing number 2.
After lunch we went back to the house to prepare for a big family dinner. It was mostly meat, but my goodness it was good.
Friday we spent the day in the city. There is an area that they are building which is a community within a community. There is everything you need there, restaurants, shopping centers and they are building apartments as well. We went for lunch in an Italian restaurant. The food was amazing. Carpaccio to start and I had lasagna. Yum! After lunch, I said goodbye to everyone and Maria and Mimi took me to meet Mynor. From there we headed back to Jalapa.
God knew just how uncomfortable I felt and provided new friends and comforts for me. He reminded me just how amazing He is. He reminded me how much He loves me. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how easily I forget that sometimes. How easy it is to live my life without acknowledging the fact that God provides everything you need in life; even if it’s as small as watching a baby cow play, having the opportunity to pet a horse or just having someone who lives close to where I do at home and speaks English. God truly knows every corner of your heart and He showed me to trust Him regardless of the situation and that He was taking care of me.
This week was truly a blessing. The people I met are amazing and I hope to continue the relationships that I formed with them…Even with the language barrier.
I’m not sure what will be happening this week but I will keep you all posted.
Thank you for reading, until next week.
Originally posted to Adventures in Guatemala