Wrapping up in Guatemala

By URL Radio
The beginning

This car (called the pig car) is where everything started. The house is a smaller version of what service teams build when they are here.

It is almost time for us to say goodbye to this beautiful  place (we can say that because we are in Antigua which is one of the more friendly places to be in Guatemala).  The days have flown by as you can see we didn’t get to put anything in for days 2-4.

Day 2

On day two we got a tour of the Dreamer Center.  It was awesome – we even got the see the car “the pig car” which is the car where things got started & a smaller version of the houses that they build when service teams come down (18 U Mary nursing students are building 4 of them right now).

Then it was off to Iximche Mayan ruins.  That was fascinating – it really felt like we were walking in the clouds.  Fluffy puffs of moisture hung in the air & the energy there was incredible.  We of course went a little too far there.  We had no idea until this 100% Mayan guy came to talk to us.  We thought he was giving us a history lesson, but really he was kind of lecturing us for going into the sacred ceremony area (oops).

Day 3

On day three we went to Casa Jackson which is named after Gene & Sue Jackson from Dickinson; there is also a floor named after Sister Thomas Welder there.  There were around 20 infants there ranging in age from 1 month to 9 years old.  They are there because they  are malnourished .  The nine year old barely weighs 30 pounds.  We got to hold babies, feed them, play with them & change their diapers.  Stacy & I had twin girls & when we laid them down next to each other they held hands – it was priceless.

In the afternoon I hung back to work on some pictures & video, and Stacy & Amanda went to the gun range with Patrick.  I guess they don’t usually see women there so they were stared at.  There was also some kind of military combat training going on as well so there was a lot of yelling & pointing their guns in every direction but the target so it was pretty scary.  Both Amanda & Stacy brought their targets back & I must say – DON”T MESS WITH THEM if they have a gun!

That night Sister Kathleen & I went to Nim Pot which is kind of like a Wal Mart for Guatemala & a beautiful Catholic church.  Here they put hair & clothes on their statues.  They are also big into having tombs with Jesus in them (he was super skinny) .  Amanda & Stacy went salsa dancing with some of the God’s Child volunteers.  Amanda wanted to play the tamborine in the band, but they wouldn’t let her because she didn’t bring her own.

Day 4

This was probably the most exhausting & rewarding day.  We started out by being hauled to the Scheel’s Center.  We were guided by: Vinnie, our skinny bodyguard/future CIA agent, Debora, a teacher at the Scheels Center, Lionel, the academic director of the Scheels Center, Oliver, the social worker.  We hiked straight up a very high hill.  We were super sweaty & at one time I tried to refuse to go any further.  At one home we learned how to make tortillas, at another we visited with a young girl who had a kidney infection & because of medicine misunderstanding the mom wasn’t giving her the correct dose.  It was very fortunate that we went to correct that.  They also traced around everyone’s feet on a tablet of paper so that today they could take them new shoes.  They said that today they get to be Santa Claus when they deliver the shoes.

We took some tuk tuks back to Dora’s for lunch & then back to the Scheels Center again for our radio class & broadcast with the students.  For the first hour we talked about the station & what we do, the next half hour we gave them radio tips & then for another hour we broad casted live with them.  It was so awesome.  It was so cute – four of them kept going to the bathroom to fix their hair.  We told them that it was radio & they didn’t have to worry, but it was such a big day for them they wanted to look their best.  I’ve never experienced kids so eager to learn & grateful.

That night we didn’t get supper until 8:00 because we had to head straight to the homeless shelter to server supper.  We were pretty exhausted by the time we returned home, but still stayed up late into the wee hours discussing our week & figuring out life.

Day 5

Today is pretty laid back.  We are going to wrap up our live broadcast from down here around noon & send it back to the Bismarck location.  I got to help hand out vegetables to the mothers today.  They do this every Friday for the mothers who are following their education program & who’s children are attending school.  They got tons & tons of fresh veggies & wrapped them up in blankets, put them on their heads & walked home.  Some for miles.  Amanda & Stacy blew bubbles to help entertain the kids during the vegetable distribution.  They are also having a mother’s day celebration today.  No school on Monday because it’s a three day holiday.  I think the US should think about this too.

We are happy to go home to see our families, but will miss many of those who have become our Guatemalan family.  The people who are part of the God’s Child Project from staff to families in the program – are amazing.  Our hearts are full, and we are very grateful for this opportunity.  There is so much that we didn’t say here, but hopefully in the next week we will have all of our videos, audio interviews & pictures up for you to see.  Thanks for reading & caring!!

Pictures, videos & interviews coming soon!

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Filed in: More News • Friday, May 7th, 2010


I am so proud of all of you. Thanks for sharing you experience! Can’t wait to hear the interviews!


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