Hi everyone! Today was a very bittersweet day. Due to our trip to Antigua tomorrow, today was the last day we got to play with the kids and work. You can obviously guess our emotions for each one, but just in case it’s not clear, we were so sad to leave the kids and relieved to be done with the work. Our aches and sores from working at the Yellow House, however, paid off, as we got a lot done. The old wall is completely gone, trenches were dug for the new one, the space for the water tank’s new location is cleared, and the new bathroom was painted, plumbing work is mainly done, and the new tile floor is mostly down (the only reason it’s not all done is some of the floor still needs some new concrete). As we have obviously worked so hard, Kenneth decided to take us out to McDonald’s for lunch today. While this doesn’t sound like a major treat, after days of PB&J sandwiches (which were actually really good), this was like a buffet. Then, with our bellies full, we went to go play with the kids for the final time. After showing them what their tie-dye shirts looked like, we blew up some balloons and played balloon bounce for a really long time. Afterwards, the kids heard the story of Moses again with a paper act-out and Lauren told the story of Ruth and Naomi with a puppet, a finger poem, and some picture coloring. Also, along with the story, we played friendship tag, which is normal tag except that you can’t be It if you’re holding hands with someone, and then we drew pictures for a friend. Before we left, the kids handed out cards (though Shaida was very reluctant to give me one as she wanted it for herself) and then we said our goodbyes.
This trip has been an extremely life-changing event. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t judge people as you don’t know where they come from, and that sometimes fairness isn’t the best, and just being appreciative of what you have is. I saw my first volcano in person (it was so tall that I at first missed it when looking in the clouds), and I’ve seen what it’s really like to be the poorest of the poor. On a more light note, I’ve been introduced to amazing foods that I’m going to try to find on my return to the States (I HIGHLY recommend Chiky cookies, and I’ve heard they’re great in s’mores). I sincerely hope that everyone gets to have an experience like this during their lifetime, and I hope the diocese continues to have this trip available to youth so that more and more people can learn to appreciate what they have.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and I hope that you too can experience a Guatemalan mission trip at some point in your life.