I’m back!

Apologies in the delay in writing an update after my trip! Our Guatemala trip was GREAT! Can’t believe the trip has come and gone so quickly. We arrived back in the states last Sunday.

Our flights to Guatemala City went very smoothly -we only lost one bag and luckily that wasn’t anyone’s clothing. We got through customs and jumped on a chicken bus headed to Chichi -a 3 hour drive.

Arrived in Guatemala City -waiting to head through customs.

My favorite part of the trip was teaching ESL to the older group of kids, the 16 year olds. Everyday, I took 3 students with me to a Christian school to teach ESL. We met with 4 classes in the morning, grades ranging from kindergartners to sophomores. The English teacher WAS there and we were to assist her. The odd thing was that she COULDN’T speak English! She was giving all the directions and correcting in SPANISH! Each class had an English book that they would open and we’d walk around and help them with pronunciation and grammar. The 16 year olds were reading paragraphs on health and I would ask them if they understand the sentences….NOPE! They didn’t understand ONE word of what they were reading. I coudln’t remember the spanish words for health or bones….so, I had a fun time playing charades or drawing pictures to get them to understand what we were saying.

At the school during recess.

I came down with a fever on Tuesday night, so I had to stay in bed on Wednesday morning. I was really disappointed to not be able to go to ESL but I felt better by dinner time.

Group picture at the hotel.

Josh and Leigh are the missionary couple stationed down in Chichi -directly from our church. We planned a baby shower for them and surprised them on Tuesday evening. It was so much fun. We had over 50 gifts for them to open, thanks to all the students and others from the church. Thanks to the Copus’ for helping me with the cookies. We decorated cookies before we left and they actually made it through customs with only a few broken!! I found a punch fountain at CVS for $20 so I packed it as well. I think it made for a nice touch. Earlier that morning, a few of us also went into town and found a bakery and bought 2 cakes for the party.

making cookies before we left.

The Copus Family artwork!

Casa Del Rey (our hotel)

After we taught ESL, we either went to an orphanage to build a fence around it or to a construction site in the city to build a house. My group always went to the fence project. We put barbed wire up -which I NEVER knew was that difficult to work with. One small cut from the barbed wire was incredibly deep. We also painted wood planks for the fence but with motor oil. That was interesting.

A welcome break at the hotel.

On Friday, we had a tourist day where we went to Lake Atitlan to ride a boat, swim, and ride a zipline. The water was beautiful and the zipline was CRAZY! It wasn’t just a point A to point B zipline. It had 8 lines from top to bottom. It took hours for the whole adventure! We saw wild monkeys on our way up the mountain for the zipline.

Lake Atitlan -surrounded by volcanoes.

All geared up for ziplining.

Not that anyone ever knows how much good they are doing for others, but we seemed to have made a dent in some of the work that we set out to do in Guatemala. I don’t feel as though God spoke to me directly with any profound words of wisdom, but it was a nice, quiet, place for me to get away and just be.

I came away thinking that the high school group might be who I want to work with at church instead of the middle schoolers. Although, I had relationships with all these kids from when THEY were middle schoolers.

Thank you to all of you who were praying, thinking and supporting me financially. I aspire to write all of you personally, but I’ll have to just be honest with myself and not set my expectations so high.

More pictures to come as soon as I get them from the students. You can find many more pictures on Facebook if you have an account.


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