Guatemala Day 3
Hola! Today our reflection comes from Maddie, who is entering her senior year of high school. Enjoy!
Today was another great day in Guatemala! This morning we woke up a little earlier than usual because we had mass at 7:15. Father Tony had a great homily about giving our burdens, or our yokes, to God. It was very fitting because of all the hard work we would be doing following the mass! After that, the group went into the biblioteca to have breakfast which consisted of tortillas, bread, eggs, and pineapple (which was delicious). At 8:30, the first group left to go to their worksite which was building a wooden house. At 9:00, the rest of our group, including myself, piled into the van and made our way down to San Andreas where we would be clearing brush from around cypress trees and stacking rocks to build a wall. My group consisted of Father Tony, Griffin, Lauren and I. We used sticks, rocks, and string to level out a place where we would stack the rocks to build the walls. After that, Alberto, our leader at the worksite, showed us the rock pile that we would be using for the walls. Some of the women standing nearby told Alberto to warn us about “arañas” which translates to “spiders” in English. However, when Alberto came to warn us about them, he drew a scorpion on his hand! We had to be very careful when moving the rocks because we didn’t want to be stung. After working in the hot sun with no breeze, relief finally came when Alberto informed us that the van would be there soon to pick us up. We stood under a tree for some shade and Alberto told us about his life and his childhood. He told us that when he was around 14, he used to swim back and forth in the lake 3 times a day and could hold his breath for 2 minutes! I’m so happy that my Spanish is strong enough to have extended conversations with the people here and learn their stories. After that, we all piled in the van and made our way back to the mission. We had lunch which was tortillas, bread, macaroni noodles, and chicken soup. Then we all met outside the church, loaded into the back of the pickup trucks, and made our way to the Women’s Center. I love riding in the back of the trucks because you can really see everything that’s going on around you and get a better feel for the community and see how these people live. When we got to the Women’s Center, we were greeted with melodies on the marimba while Alejandra, one of the nieces of the women there, poked out from behind her aunt. From there we learned how to make tortillas in the traditional Mayan way, which was using a stone to grind the corn, forming it into balls, patting it into a circle, and then putting it over the fire. However, it was a bit hard to focus during the presentation because all the little kids got very interested in Joe, Coco, Patrick and I! This continued on throughout the afternoon. Next, we hiked up a hill to where the women do their laundry. We all brought along a dirty article of clothing to wash, and I got some help from Alejandra. Once everything was clean, we put the clothes in a bucket that we then had to learn how to carry on our heads. To someone who has great balance, this doesn’t seem too hard, but I can tell you firsthand that balancing a bucket full of clean laundry on your head is both difficult and stressful (if you drop the bucket, you have to wash all the clothes again)! Then, we walked back down the hill where we learned how to carry firewood on our backs using a strap around our forehead. While all this was happening, kids were running around everywhere trying to get us to play with them or put them on our shoulders or throw them up into the air! They were adorable and I am very excited to go back tomorrow and see them again. It’s incredible to me to see these kids, who have so little, are possibly the happiest people I have ever met. The joy on their faces and the sparkle in all of their eyes is such an amazing thing to see. After that, we headed back to the mission to have dinner, which was mostly leftovers plus potatoes with cheese. The teens then went into the living room for reflection while the adults did their reflection in the hotel. We talked about our highs and lows of the day (my high was becoming friends with Alejandra and my low was getting bit by a few ants at my worksite) and then discussed how the people here have been through so much yet still are dedicated to their faith. After reflection, we walked up the street to get ice cream and then returned to the hotel to play CatchPhrase! Today was a busy but fun-filled day and I can’t wait to get up and do it all again.
P.S. We will send out more photos in the morning. Until then be sure to follow us on Instagram (@ollyouthmin).
Sent by Michelle Boris on Friday, July 20 at 3:16AM