Friday, 9 March 2012

A Fabulous Group of People, A Fabulous Mission Complete

It is with amazement that I write this - is it really Friday? We have fit so much into the six days we have been in Guatemala. It is also amazing to know that other teams have fit in double of what we did.

Today was House Dedication And Blessing day! We went back up that mountain with two vehicles full of housewarming present for each of the eight families. With under $250 we were able to take them so many useful items. A GREAT Big thank you to all of you for support (financial and emotional) that you have provided us!!

The families received a large supply of food, pillows, a duvet, pots and pans, a kettle, broom, buckets, and their chosen item of a stove or a storage cabinet. As well, we were able to give them two bags of donated items such as tea towels and household items.

We were treated to a lunch from the events group at the school, where kids can learn other skills to help provide them with opportunities. We were greeted and seated with such grace and poise. The wait staff were kids who were specially chosen for the role, because of their hard work in school! What an honour for us!!

I must say the unsung heroes in these missions are the mission workers. They are such friendly, openhearted people with so much love to give. Pastor Luis, Diana, Otto, Dora, Sara and so many others who have made it their daily mission to provide opportunities for these kids.

It is with gratitude and a bit of sadness that I sign off on this blog. We had an amazing group. Thank you to Chad, Chuck, Darryl, Doug, Len, Pat, and Wilson for an amazing, rewarding experience. Uncle Keith and Auntie Dee - you both kicked some Grandpa and Nana butt out there and I am so very proud to call you family. To my family - you are my inspiration!!

Until next time - Adios:)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Foundation for school - check

60 lb. bags of cement, 30 bags with sand and gravel hand mixed in. Ugh!

We started with breakfast at 6:30 am, left for the school and started work by 7:30. By 9:00 am we hand filled the form for a 30 by 8 meter slab, with only 2 and a bit left to go. By noon, we had completed the whole floor. Now to be fair, it wasn't just the 10 of us. We had an additional 13 volunteer and 3 staff members. It was a great group effort!!!!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Power of Pray

I may not be an overly outward spiritual person, but today I witnessed the power of prayer and the gratitude of spirit. Today was, for the ladies, food distribution day. We went to a small village, Pampay, where we took part in the sponsor program. The moms were given spiritual guidance, the kids pictures were taken for the sponsor's and we gave out food bags! The bags contained rice, black beans, pasta noodles, oil and a few other items for the household. This will supplement their food supply until next month. The bag was smaller than a Safeway bag.

The gentlemen were treated to a quick game of football (soccer) and then started painting the top part of the school. There was even some computer training going on. It was a full, rewarding morning!

The school treated us all to grilled hamburgers, baked potatoes and tons of fresh fruit. They have been so good to us with our gluten and nuts concerns.

The afternoon proved to be just as busy with more painting (see pictures below), food distribution at the school and bible study at the community library in Parramos. Darryl, Doug, Chuck, and Wilson put on two skits for over 100 kids. They had only expect 30, so the piƱata wasn't quite big enough. (pictures) below.

House Building Photos Finally

Thanks to Doug and Darryl!

Doug has an audience finishing off the paint on the sixth house.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Pictures of house building to come

I promise to get some photos up of our trip, just having upload issues. So sorry!!
Today we finished another four houses. It is interesting that the people we build for own a very little section of the land, and they work for the landowner.
Yesterday and today, the families offered us lunch. Yesterday was a chicken soup which a few took part in and thoroughly enjoyed. Today the offering was rice with tomatoes and broccoli fried in egg. It was delicious.

Tomorrow is a bit of any easier day for us, as we get to do work around the school and in the community. Food distribution at a local town and bible study class at the community library.

Thursday we go back to hard labour, which will include hauling a lot of concrete, mixing it in a large hole in the ground and then hauling it to the foundation we are working on. It will be a hot and sweaty day.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Guatemalan labour of love

With tears in my eyes, I write about our day. We started with a great breakfast at Marina's at 7:30 am. After a quick trip to the Arm's of Jesus school, we took part in the devotional with the morning class of about 250 kids. Darryl shared Big Flood with the kids. Afterwards we were presented with water bottles with beautiful handcrafted covers. It was so touching as each child came to present them to us, complete with hugs and a kiss. There were a few tears in each of our eyes. The kids were so excited and it was a precious moment.

Pastor Luis took us for a quick tour of the school and showed us the new land they acquired. We also saw the new site for an addition to the school, which we will be working on on Thursday.

We took a bus and truck to the shop, picked up tools and headed out. A rutted, steep road to the top. It was an eye opener to see the poverty as we went further up the hill. The country side was picturesque. But the garbage is everywhere. We forget the litter laws and government subsidy help our country.

We were very fortunate that the crew had taken the walls and tin roof to the sites. It was quite a hike down (read really hard on the way back up). We packed the tools, ladders and lunch down to the furthest site. Once there, it took just under two hours to get the first two houses built and painted.

The children would watch, sometimes shyly and other times following you around.

Over all it was an amazing day with so many memories for one day! Just think...we have four more days.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Another full day

Wow! What an amazing day! We have arrived in Antigua. After lunch, we were treated to tour of downtown Guatemala City where we toured in the Cathedral and around a huge market at The central park. We had just enough time to pack up the gifts bags for the family and the school.
The weather is lovely. We are sitting out in the terrace with a gentle breeze and a cricket to keep us company!