Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Early Mornings, Hugs, and Full Hearts

This past week, I once again had the privilege of translating for a team that was here, only this time they were all youth and they worked at Operation Rescue!  J  There were about 45 youth on the team, so multiple translators were needed… it was fun!!

Our mornings started out early, like, I had to leave the house at 5:30 kind of early…  We (Mike and I) would drive down to where the team was staying in the city and then Mike would drive the bus (and the team) to OR.  The goal was to leave around 6:30 so that everyone could help with the different breakfast prep that needed to be done and get ready for the day. 

The bus rolled into OR at 7:00 each morning and each kid was greeted with a line of anxious highschoolers, ready to love on them and be with them for the day!  The team had a skit prepared for each morning, which gave some nice variety to the “normal” devotional (which is still amazing!!), and then breakfast was served!  I’m not sure the kids ever got breakfast so quickly with so many hands to make the plates and take them out.  Not to mention the normal workers didn’t have to worry about cleanup.  Trust me, they weren’t complaining.  J 
Beans and Eggs...  yum!!
After breakfast all the kids went to their classes and several youth went into each classroom to help out.  Sometimes they gave English lessons, other times they helped pass out materials.  Pretty much whatever was most helpful to the teachers was done!  Also, some of the group re-organized the one supply warehouse, which proved to be quite the job!  There were also painting, cleaning, and other odds and ends things to be done.  Oh, and there were kids to play with at recess too and never a lack of volunteers to do so! 

The morning classes got out around 12:15 and most of the group went back to the lodging for lunch.  Each day though, part of the group would climb on the bus with 90 of the kids and experience the delivery process of taking them home and seeing the areas that they lived in, as well as other parts of Guatemala.  At 2:00 each day, we were back on the bus and ready to return to OR for afternoon classes!
90 Kids plus 15 gringos= full bus!!
Afternoon classes were for the older kids in the school, so there wasn’t as much work to be done in the rooms, but it was a good time to get other jobs done.  More painting, organizing, cleaning, meal preparation, etc.  The team did really seem to connect with the older group of kids though, which meant a lot to the kids of OR!! 
Organizing the warehouse

Yay for clean rugs!!

Chillin' with the older kids
The final two days the kids at the school provided a special snack for the team, a “Chapin” snack!  All of the younger kids brought something special for the class; chuchitos, tostados, rellenos, horchata, etc.  It was fun for the team to be able to experience some of what the kids consider a “normal” meal, or even a special treat!! 
Snack time...  Guatemalan style!  :)


Final activity with the older kids
Wow… this is getting long, but hey, a lot happened!!  So bear with me a little longer…  J

One day we took all of the kids to a nearby soccer field complex and had an outside/soccer day with them.  It was impossible to keep the soccer balls away from those kid’s feet!!!!!  The morning was a bit of chaos, mostly because we had such a huge range of ages, but I think everyone had a great time!! 
Crafts for the younger kids during soccer day

Of course, a real game had to be played!!
Two of the nights a small group of the teens and leaders went out with Guiseppe on his street ministry.  It was really amazing to see some of the places that he goes and to meet those that he interacts with outside of the school itself.  We went into some really rough areas, but I think that may be a story for another time…

Friday afternoon we all went to another orphanage/hospital near San Lucas.  Many of the children at this home either have HIV/AIDs or one of their parents is positive.  These diagnoses make absolutely no difference in how everyone interacts with the children, but it is a different group of kids than what many teams are used to interacting with.  Guiseppe goes to this home once a month with a group of about 25 of his older students, so they all have a good relationship with the kids and workers there.  It was fun to tag along and watch them interact, and to play with the kids ourselves some too!! 
Group ready to enter the home

Baby time!


So sweet

Saturday morning we packed everyone into the bus and we were at the airport by 4:30, a little dazed and sleepy, but there!  It really was an awesome week and I loved watching the team interact with the kids at OR and then getting to know some of the teens as well.  It was an awesome week and I’m so glad I got to help out, even if it did mean some stinkin' early mornings…  J

Here are a few more pictures from the week...
The "goodbye line"

Morning greeting from Guiseppe!

Getting sandwiches ready for street ministry

The organized warehouse

Devotions time


A few bananas?

Our fearless leader

= )

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