Monday, September 26, 2011

A Weekend as Orphanage Directors!

I know many of you have read on Facebook about our weekend out in Santiago (across Lake Atitlan from Pana), but I figured I’d give my spin on the events!!  =)  We (Leamans, Rolando, my parents, Abby and I) went to relieve the directors for a few days and give them some time away.  There are 18 kids ranging from 7 months- 17 years, six of them are under 2 years old. 

We got up there on Friday morning, after a five hour drive.  We decided to leave early (6AM) to hopefully beat traffic and be well on our way by breakfast time.  Even though there were a few derrumbes (landslides) along the way, we made it out without major problems!  Soon after we got there, the directors left and we were on our own!  Ok, that’s not completely true, there were also three volunteers out there- they were a huge help in knowing the ropes and all!  Oh, and then to make things a little interesting, we didn’t have electric since two of the electric poles had come down!!  Thankfully, they did have a generator that we were able to run in certain rooms of the house, it was a life saver!!!! 
Derrumbe made some fun with traffic, but we only had to wait a few minutes!!

As far as activities with the kids go, we just kind of did whatever happened to come up!  Sheryl had brought some crafts along, and it seemed like everyone enjoyed those!  They also have a pool that was used on occasion; problem was that the water was REALLY cold!!!  There was also a trampoline that we attacked at times (ok, sometime I went out to jump by myself…  ;D) and the “pista” (airstrip) that was used for soccer and Frisbee.  When we weren’t doing activities with the older kids, there were also the babies to hang out with, change, feed, and entertain!  I guess it’s no big surprise that I spent quite a bit of time with them!  J
Preparing to take the plunge!



Pista for soccer and whatnot!

Overall the time went really well.  The kids were really well behaved and a lot of fun to be with!  Oh, and did I mention that they all spoke English?  ;)  We got electric by on Saturday, which we were all extremely surprised about, but in a good way!  The meals that we cooked seemed to be enjoyed, even though they were very “Pennsylvanian” (chicken potpie and beef stew!).  I think it’s safe to say that we all had a good time and that each and every one of those kids now has a very special place in our hearts!!   I can guarantee you we’ll be going out there again sometime fairly soon!!  


Supper time!!!

"The Staredown"

Mama and Mercedes

60+ eggs for breakfast!

Josue!  His mom is 13 and is at the home as well

Karina (AKA Peanut)

"Grandpa" Jim!  :)

"Grandma" Sheryl

Post-lunch bottle/lounge time!

I did her hair...  ;)


Some of us with all the kids!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Down time? What's that?? ;)

Well, work teams are over, visitors are gone, and life is slowing down, right?  WRONG!  I’m not sure there is such thing as a real “down time” here in Guate, maybe a time that’s a little boring and slow, but not actual down time! 

The one thing you must understand is that everything takes longer in Guate.  Something that you may think will only take an hour or two ends up taking four or five.  Whether it’s traffic (which is a VERY normal occurrence in Guate…), or just a grumpy person, everything is bound to take longer.  That being said, here are a few highlights from the past week+. 

Drivers Licenses- This past Tuesday, my mom, Buddy and I went to get our drivers licenses.  We’ve been driving on our US licenses, but since we have our DPIs (ID cards), we’re supposed to have licenses as well.  So, one of our friends (he’s a Guatemalan with connections) took us down to a license place and we got everything underway.  The first step was to take a “written” test.  Now, the test was a tough one, we had to look at the different traffic signs that they had on a sheet of paper and tell the instructor what they meant.  Hard!  Ok, maybe not…  Next comes the actual drivers test.  We had to drive around a few blocks down in Guate City, not too bad!  Oh, and we also had to parallel park, thankfully the instructor was a lot more forgiving then those in the states usually are!!  We all passed both of those tests, and then we had to have an eye exam.  Thankfully, the eye doctor was right next door, gotta love it! 

We finally got all the preliminary paperwork done, and then we had to go and get our actual licenses, simple, right?  We get to the mall and, before we can even go into the license place, we have to pay for everything.  Ok, that’s not too hard.  Once we get inside the first lady checks our paperwork, groups it together like it should be and sends us to the next person.  He once again checks the papers and sends us to yet another guy!  He (again) checks the papers and sends us to get our fingerprints taken (all 10 fingers…) and fill out paperwork describing what we look like.  Why?  I have absolutely no idea!  Finally we go to one final lady who (yet again) checks our papers and takes the picture for the license.  Once that was all done, we had our licenses in our hands within 5 min!  It was quite the process, yes, but hey, it’s done!!  =) 
Oso is thrilled that I'm all but "Chapina," really.
Guate licenses are cooler!  
 Birthday Party & Small Group-  Yesterday evening, Risa and I went to a birthday party for one of the ladies at our church.  It was fun to just get out and celebrate with people that we have come to love.  There was lots of laughing, carrying on, and weird looks from those around us!!  ;)  Tuesday evening I went with Susan to a bible study/ small group down in the city.  We didn't actually end up studying, but we did talk quite a bit!  Sometimes it takes fellowship time to make you realize how much you actually miss it!!  I’m looking forward to our times together in the future! 

Orphanage Visits-  Of course, we visited a few orphanages and hung out with the kids there, which is always SO much fun!  There is nothing like walking into an orphanage and hearing the kids calling your name (or something similar to it!) and wanting you to go play with them! 
Love these kids!!

So beautiful!

Heartbreaker  :)


How can you not love that face??

In addition to all that other stuff, we had our first, second service at church.  It'll take a little getting used to, but I think it'll be a good move!!  My dad and I have also had our normal day at the clinic.  Abby and my dad have been getting the clinic at Casa Bernabe set up and ready to roll.  I’ve gotten to spend some quality time catching up with and hanging out with a good friend, and we’ve all had lots of family time!  =) 
Risa in her cooking garb...  

Second service!!

Just because he's cute...   :)

What’s planned for the next few weeks?  Good question!  One thing you very quickly learn here in Guate is to go with the flow and just takes life as it comes!  So, I guess that’s just what we’ll do!!  J