Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Visitors, Hail, and Life

Oops, life has gotten away from me a little and I haven’t updated… so here I go!!  J

This past week (20-29th) my aunt and uncle and two cousins were here visiting.  They were only intending to stay until the 27th, but their flight was cancelled because of Hurricane Irene in the states, SO we had a few extra days with them!  We tried to travel all over with them, just so they could see different parts of the country.  One day we moved stuff from one clinic to the other at Casa Bernabe.  Another day we did “tourist” stuff in the city, shopping and all.  We did deliveries, Operation Rescue, cable cars, hiking through a coffee plantation, and quite a few other things!  It was fun to be able to show them around our home country and introduce them to what has become our life! 


Guatemala City from above

The kids loved having older boys (cousins) to play with!

Hiking at the plantation

Horray for cousins!


Down in Zone 1

View from the cable cars

Then, Sunday afternoon we had a big thunderstorm with LOTS of rain and actually some hail!!  It was enough hail that I went out and “played” in it, which hasn’t happened since we’ve been here!  J  We also lost power for about 9 hours and then we didn’t get water back for another several hours after that!  Our family got a real taste of Guate, that’s for sure!! 
Everything was candle lit!


So now we get back to “normal” life, if that is even possible.  We’re keeping busy with deliveries and whatever else might pop up.  I have two college courses that I’m working on (gotta love internet!) and Abby and Risa are plugging away at school.  It’s hard to believe it’s already the last day of August, didn’t 2011 just start?!? 

Anyways, that’s a quick update on my/our life around here lately.  We’re looking forward to having things be a bit quieter and more relaxed, but I’m pretty sure it won’t stay that way for too long!  ;)  

Oh, and I got my diploma, so I had to "make" a cap and gown... and we tried on a few more!  =)
Aww, sisters

Monday, August 15, 2011

Last Team of 2011!!

Wow, our 2011 work team season is over!!  Didn’t it just start?!  Anyways, this past week we had a team here from Salem Heller’s church in PA, it was a fun group!  We were once again out working on the wall, but also helping with a lot of childcare.  The staff at the orphanage had a retreat, so those from our team and a team that came directly through the orphanage provided the childcare!
Lunch with the babies!

The wall… what can I say?  It’s still a lot of work, even more now that we have to go DOWN from the side of the road!  Along the road (right after the guardrail) there is a slanted (45-50 degree slant) section that is covered with cement.  SO, we had to tie someone onto the guardrail and lower buckets of cement and blocks down by a rope.  I got to be the person hanging on the rope at times, it was a fun challenge!!  The group got quite a bit of work done, which is excellent!!
Lowering block...

Doesn't look like much, but it works!


The whole setup!

In addition to work and childcare, Saturday was a chicken BBQ for all the kids at the home.  We had something like 300lbs of chicken, and everyone had plenty to eat!  There were also different activities going on with the kids, so everyone had something to do.  On Sunday then, we had church in the morning and then went to yet another home in the afternoon to hang out and play with the kids. 
Buddy BBQing

She kept yelling "Hola pollo!"

Gotta love making visors!!

Sunday activities!

= )

So yes, thus ends our 2011 work team season.  It has been a lot of fun getting to know people from all over North America (Canada included!) and to reconnect with returning members!  It’s a little sad to think that we will not have another complete season of work teams with ORI, but it’s also exciting to see what opportunities God is providing for us in this coming year!  
Risa and her Pina!!

We lost electric...  

Rainy season= Hummer season!

What?!  Last team?!

Risa missed the memo...  =)

There we go!

2 services at Casa de Libertad, starting September!!

Just goofing off...

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Visitation day… a day at pretty much any given orphanage that some children are THRILLED to be able to see their families, other children are scared to see their families, and yet even other children are heartbroken because they have no families.  It is heartbreaking to be at an orphanage during visitation day, to see some kids so happy to see their families and then crying as they leave.  To see some children just hanging back, wondering if their families will even bother to come this time, or those getting all dressed up and ready only to be disappointed with nobody visiting.  To see other children not doing a thing different because they know they have no family to look forward to. 

SO, these past few months, our family has been trying to take a few children from a nearby home and do something special with them on visitation day.  We try to take the kids that don’t have anybody coming to visit, that way they can feel like they have a family, even if it’s only for a day!  Yesterday we picked up five kids (that the orphanage directors had chosen), ranging from 6-9 years old, brought them to our house and decorated cookies with them.  It was quite a hit and I think all the kids had a great time!!  But, come to find out, 5 kids decorating two batches of sugar cookies doesn’t even take an hour…  hmm!!  So we improvised!
Such concentration...

Oso's not sure what to think about all this!!

The whole clan

Our darling icer  =)

After the decorating was done, we walked the kids down to a small park in our neighborhood.  They played for a while and then mama came down with a plate of cookies.  Since each person had already eaten a cookie, they seemed to know that the cookies weren’t for them, but who?  Mama did a little bible story with them about how God gave us the gift of Jesus and how we are to give gifts to others.  Once the lesson was done, our whole crew walked up to the guard house and the kids presented the guards with this plate of cookies!  I’m not sure who was smiling bigger; us, the kids, or the guards!!  =) 
Lots of playing!!

Strike a pose!  ;)

The trek to the guard house

So excited to carry the cookies!!

The face says it all!

We spent the rest of our time eating lunch, playing with Oso, and getting ice cream.  At lunch, one of the girls thanked God for this “marvelous day” that He had given them, and then proceeded to attack her mac and cheese!  While out with Oso, another girl was talking about her dogs that she had at home and how they wouldn’t bite her because they knew her.  It was interesting (and saddening) listening to them talk about their lives, both now and from before. 
Oso went a little nuts...  but he did well with the kids!!


Nobody was quite sure what to think!

Mmm, ice cream!

Eventually we got everyone back to the orphanage, along with a HUGE box of cookies to share with everyone!  Many of the kids came and said thank you and then ran off to tell others about their adventures.  Others in the home that had gone with us before were asking when they could go again… I guess we’ll have to see!!  =) 

Looking back at the day, it’s easy to find myself thinking, “we only have them for a few hours this one time, what impact could that possibly make?!  Not to mention they ‘re starting to drive me crazy!!”  But then again, who knows what a little loving and a few cookies could do?  Maybe it will make more of an impact than I might think!  And, hey, these smiles and sticky handed hugs make it 100% worth it!!  =)