Thursday, July 24, 2008

Guatemala trip - Day 3 - Saturday, July 19th

So when I left you at the end of the last day...we had gone to bed at the apartment at Eagle's Nest in Solola. When I got up in the morning I couldn't wait to go out in the living room and check out the view of the lake! When I looked out the window I could see NOTHING! That's right - we were completely fogged in! Well, it was only 6:30am - so I figured it would burn off - more about that later. We walked over to the orphanage at 7:00am and the place was already hopping! They have about 50 kids there - most are under a year and then there are just a few older kids. I believe that about 40 of these kids are matched with adoptive parents and just waiting for the process to be completed. New adoptions are closed for now in Guatemala, but those cases that began before the end of the year are grandfathered in, although the process has been quite SLOW! Most of the babies had been fed already, but I was able to give one baby her bottle "pacha". The local women that work with the children are called "mamas". The mamas were busy one-by-one taking the children back to be bathed and changed. As the kids came out, we and the other helpers (from the church group) were interacting with the kids. Reading stories, walking around with those learning to walk, etc. Chris and I looked at the clock at 9:00 and couldn't believe it had only been 2 hours. As much as we loved it, it was tiring work! The children are very well cared for, but you can tell they just crave that individual attention. Before we left, I emailed an adoptive mom that I met at the Orphan Summit, whose son was at EN and she got me in touch with several parents still waiting for their babies to come home. We were able to hug these precious babies and take some pictures to send to their waiting parents. I remember that during the waiting every picture was like GOLD!

Around 10:00 we went over the conference center. A church plant started at Eagle's Nest last December. They currently have a pastor, 6-8 women and 20 some children. The youth group from Illinois ran a VBS from 10-12 that they advertised through the church plant into the village. Several youth had gotten sick, so they were thankful that Chris and I were there to fill in some gaps! Around 80 children came and we followed one group of 23 kids from station to station. At the first station we sang songs - I was so excited when we sang "Yo tengo un amigo que me ama". My kids know this song from the Fiesta VBS CD we love to listen to. We also taught this song to the kids at Life Church. At the next station we helped them make a craft on a Meijer reusuable bag (felt just like home). The third station they did a story/skit and explained how to ask Jesus into your life. At the last station we (we meaning Chris) played soccer (futbol). It was great interaction with the kids! Once that ended we had lunch with the Illinios group.

It had been misting during the whole VBS time, but it cleared up a bit after lunch. We at least got a few glimpses of the incredible view from the "point".

Then it was back to the orphanage. By that time, it had quieted down a bit, as many of the babies were napping. We stayed there until our shuttle came to take us back to Antigua.
It was a long way to go for a 1/2 day, but the time was full and we really enjoyed learning about the ministry there!
We got back to Antigua just in time to meet the group for our final dinner. They all cheered when we arrived at the restuarant and were anxious to hear about our time at Eagle's Nest. Then we got to hear about their volcano hike and the tour of the coffee plantation. After dinner we went back to the hotel and debriefed about the trip. It was hard to say goodbye to such a wonderful group as it felt we had connected so quickly. Everyone had to catch early shuttles to fly out the next morning.
I'll do one more post tomorrow about all my final thoughts as I have still been processing it all!

1 comment:

Emily said...

Really enjoying reading about your experience and LOVE your pictures. Boy do I know about a picture being like gold. We just got our latest update and pictures.