Friday, January 28, 2011

Work Team and Operation Rescue

These past two weeks, we have started back into several things that I really enjoy; work teams and going to Operation Rescue!!  I'll start with work teams...

On the 17th, our first work team of the year arrived.  It was a small team, only 12 people, from PA.  They were working at a small orphanage across the city, painting rooms, pouring a cement slab and playing with kids.  My dad, Abby, Risa and I went across and worked with them every day, and we also went to Antigua with them, so we got to interact with them a lot!!  After each day, our entire family was usually in bed by 9:00, I forgot how exhausting work teams were!!  It was a fun team to be with and we were able to get all the work done!! 

Getting the cement all evened out

Gotta love our re-vamped cement mixer!

Also did some deliveries with the team

Playing with Lucy (the puppy) out at the orphanage

More Lucy

Look at that, I actually worked!

I even painted!!

Took a bunch of kids from another orphanage to a park and ordered pizza.  They loved it!

The team

Workin' hard or hardly working?

More painting!

Kids time at another home
I had to get in on the kids fun too!!  =)

Also, this past week we went back to Operation Rescue for the first time of the school year.  It was so much fun to see all the kids again and have many of them recognize us and willingly come in for a hug!!  One of the "traditions" at OR is to greet each of the children as they enter the building.  I went ahead and got in the "greeting line" when all of a sudden someone was hugging me.  One of the little girls that we had met last year (and who had had a VERY hard Christmas break) had attached herself to me.  What can you do but simply hug them back and enjoy being with them again?  So that's exactly what I did!  She stayed with me the entire time the other students were coming in, every now and then squeezing me a little harder, but overall just staying close.  We greeted each of the 150 kids that entered the building and then got ready to serve the breakfast. 

= )

This little guy had lived on the streets, he recently moved into a house, but still has a hard life!

"Little kids" table!

Her father was killed in December, she goes to school with her siblings and 5 cousins.

As we were getting the tables all cleaned up, on of the little girls looked at me and simply said "You came back!"  I asked her if that was ok, and she just smiled and nodded her head yes.  It is often hard to see these kids and know that they have probably already been through so much more than I have, but it is those comments, the kids hugs and their smiles that show that it really is all worth it!!

So, now that work teams are back in session, Operation Rescue is back on the schedule, the weekly clinic is in full swing and school is moving along quickly, we are staying very busy!!  I really do love this time of year though, there is something about the craziness that really is a lot of fun!!!  If the rest of the year is anything like this first month has been, I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!!  =)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 So Far

I realized the other day that I haven't really posted anything here in 2011 so far, so, since we have a quiet day, I figured I might as well go ahead and do so now!!  There really hasn't been too much exciting happening so far, lots of "normal" life here in Guate, if that's even possible.  So, I'll go ahead and explain 2011 (at least, the first two weeks of it), the same way I did 2010, in pictures!!

We started 2011 off with a bang, quite literally!  We set off (and watched) lots and lots of fireworks, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to have any kind of celebration without fireworks anymore!!!!


Then, on new years day, our family (along with some "adopted" family!) went out to an orphanage that has lots of little kids.  Over Christmas and New Years, many of the workers want to be home with their families, so we figured we may be able to help out!  It was so much fun to snuggle the little babies, play with the toddlers and run around with the older kids!

Hannah (one "adopted" sister) and her little buddy

Risa having her makeup done, right before "surgery"

This little guy was 2 weeks old, found abandoned in the dump at a few hours old.

Susan (another "adopted" sister) and Karolin


Abby had her hair done by one of the older girls.

I want hair like that!

Me and 3 week old Antonio

Since then, we have been out to Fundaninos several times...

Abby and Carlitos

They act shy, but don't let looks deceive you!!



Just chillin'.

Angel, right after he bit me...

We (my dad and I) explored Zone 1 with Susan and her sister while doing some deliveries.  We also went to CENMA (Central Market).  It was a fun day!!

Flag by the national palace

Pinatas in Zone 1

Lots and lots of onions at CENMA!

Of course, we played with more kids and saw some different (and slightly odd) sights...

They are taking the Gallo tree down!!

Angel, abandoned at a few hours old, adorable little guy though!


= )

That's one way to catch a ride!!
Oh, and Risa decided to dye part of her hair red...

Also, over the past (just about) 2 weeks, our family has been doing a modified version of the Daniel Fast.  Those that want to in our church are encouraged to do so right now, I think it ends the 24th.  We have cut out all meats, sweets, and really cut back on the chips, milk, and other foods.  Let's just say we have been eating TONS of fruit and veggies, but so far, it has been a very good experience!!

Our fruit pile that didn't even last a week!

Mangoes are back in season!!!

I started an online college writing course this past week, it'll be an interesting experience!  I did a course last semester as well, but I think this one will be quite a bit more challenging!!  I think it'll be fun as well though!  Oh, and I dissected a sheep's heart and learned my blood type, just in case anyone is interested...

Have a heart!

On one final note, my "boyfriend", Mateo, turned one year old yesterday.  I have had the privilege of babysitting, snuggling and playing with him since he was about a week old and he has become a very special little guy to me!  So, happy first birthday Mateo!!!

He was a bit tired in this picture...

I think that about summarizes the first two weeks of this year.  Our first work team comes on Monday, so we will be getting back into that schedule, but I always love that time of year!!  We are pretty much taking life as it comes, playing lots of games (Hand and Foot in specific), trying to stay warm right now (40s and 50s, inside AND outside in the mornings and evenings!), and overall striving to glorify God in all things that we do!!