It will be long so I hope you can bear with me. Pictures follow my post. Hope you can put up with reading before scrolling down to check them out :)
Most of our time in Amatitlan we were told we were mainly to build relationships by teaching English & just interacting with the kids & others we meet.
We held 2 sessions each day. The earlier session was the older kids (14 yr old +) and the later session was to be the younger kids. They go to school at different times so that was the easiest way to do it. The younger kids were at school in the morning (only about 3 hours in school!) and they older ones, if they were still in school, went in the afternoon. Many older kids had to stop school & get a job for money for the family.
It turned out our morning session was 4 young girls. They were just precious. We painted nails & talked about their lives & of course taught English & we taught each other songs.
This is where we learned they had something like 14 classes! Then as we talked more we found out that they would have music class maybe one time in 4 weeks. It's amazing they could retain the information they are learning from that class at all.
The afternoon was our largest group. There were some children in this session that were older but they hadn't made it out of the Primary school yet. This group was lots of fun. They played musical chairs, soccer, painted nails, UNO. This of course was after the part of the session that we taught the English words for colors & parts of the body, different greetings like "Hello" and "How are you?". It was fun for us to teach them these things & they also taught us as well.
They never came to a session dragging their feet like we may see our kids do for school. They came happy & very much wanting to be there with us. Many were shy at first but after that initial few minutes they opened right up. We were getting hugs & kisses before they would leave.
Wednesday & Thursday we were blessed to go & visit the schools. Wednesday we visited the school closest to where we were staying. We were able to walk there. We sang songs & our kids did a skit that showed 2 girls struggling with the temptation of walking away from God. Every time I watched this I cried. They did an amazing job each & every time. They did this at the schools twice. The second time they did it Dr Elry had explained what was happening beforehand so they could understand it a little better. If I'm able to I will post the video of this soon.
Thursday's trip to the school was a bit more exciting. We got to ride the CHICKEN BUS!!!!! It got it's name "Chicken Bus" from the coin they used to use to be able to ride it. There was a chicken on one side of the coin. We found out where our school busses from the states go to die. They get our busses & totally pimp them out. Oh and there is NO maximum occupancy in Guatemala!! Oh my. At one point we were squeezed in there like sardines. People standing in the aisle & squished on the seats. We got to take 2 buses going up to the school. WAY up a mountain.
When we got the school all the children were already waiting for us in the courtyard. We spent a lot more time here singing & doing the skit (again 2 times). After we were done our boys played soccer with their 6th grade boys. Then (get this) the teachers of this school wanted to know if the ladies in our group would play them in basketball. Ok, seriously, the extent of my basketball knowledge you could fit on the end of a pin! I go out & shoot hoops every once in a while with my son or daughter but that is it. I didn't go in at first then realized I needed to help out my team (mostly because it was HOT & a never ending game)! We were NOT doing well! I call this Guatemala team of women AMAZONS!! They seemed like they were 10ft tall & just about as wide but that isn't the truth - as you see in this picture. All I kept thinking was WHEN WILL THIS GAME EVER END!!! At one point my son hollered at me "Mom, you have to JUMP!!". Wow.
|Basketball - Guatemala vs USA|
I can honestly say this trip started out for me as something I could give to children & people that maybe didn't have much. I left there with so much more than I gave. I left knowing I will go back some day. I left knowing Dr Elry, Liz, Sammy, Andres & all the kids there are my extended family. I left knowing that while we might think a language barrier will stop us from communicating, it really only does that if we CHOOSE for it to. There is always a way to communicate.
I watched my daughter that last night by the edge of the lake catching little minnows with a couple girls from the village. They talked & used hand signals & they were just loving being with each other.
So now I want to remember my time there. I want to see things the way God sees them. I want to remember that I am blessed. REALLY Blessed. but while I may not live in a 3rd world country, there is so much that I wish I had that they have. Simplicity is a big one. I'm working on that. Relationship. I'm working on that too. My priorities have been out of whack. I'm working on that.
Oh and I'm working on my husband saying ok to heading back down next year.
I hope you enjoyed my posts about our trip. I wish we could be sitting across from each other so you can look at the pictures with me & just feel my excitement & passion for what we were doing. I am trying to share what's in my heart but I'm not sure this is doing it justice.
Thanks for reading. I hope you stick around. My passions have grown but fitness & healthy living is still my big one. I'll be back with more of that & more of my family stuff.
Let me know what you think about our trip. Have you been out of the country on a mission trip? I would love to hear about it.
You can follow me on Facebook & Twitter too at Imperfectlypamela
Be Blessed & Healthy!!!!
|This black tank is what held all the water for showers & toilet flushing for the day!|
|Prepping the front wall of the clinic to be painted & leveling out the ground.|
|Painting the wall :)|
|What color would you like?|
|Such a little thing we take forgranted but these girls did not. They LOVED this!|
|Painted the wall in the back yard. This is out background for the last picture here :)|
|Who doesn't LOVE a game of musical chairs??!!|
|More painting....inside the waiting room of the clinic.|
|The men deserved every minute of their break.|
|School #1 - kids doing the drama|
|School #2 (soccer with the kids)|
|A last round of backyard soccer.|
|No communication problem here. They were intent on catching minnows together.|
|The sun was setting but we couldn't say good bye to our new friends.|
|My Guatemala sister in Christ - Liz|
|Us with our Amatitlan family. Forever in our hearts.|
|Ah, the finished wall & garden. Beautiful.|
Be Blessed & Healthy!!