Sunday, June 30, 2013

Guatemala- Day 7 and 8

We headed for our last day of VBS while a couple of guys from our team finished up the concrete house.  This morning was one of my favorite mornings there.  We brought nail polish with us for the intention of coloring the locks and keys to the community center there to help them figure out which key goes with which lock.  Well, the nail polish ended up being a little gift from God.  We started painting the girls' nails.  Then a lady walked over and wanted her nails painted too.  I looked down and noticed she had on open toed shoes but of course, her toenails were not painted. In fact, they were covered in dirt.  I immediately started painted her toenails and she became giddy with excitement.  I honestly don't think she even knew people painted their toenails.  It brought me so much joy to see her so happy over something we take for granted!

Ava helped paint nails too.

And I found another baby.

We had more VBS and shared the story of Jesus.

Then it was time for the Tienda.  I called it "Guatemala Black Friday".

At first, the moms got to come through the line to get bags we had made up with shoes, shirts, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss.

Then kids got to come through the line to get shoes, shorts, or soccer jerseys.  Bartlett rec soccer donated tons of soccer items and it was greatly appreciated!

Then came that dreaded time of the week when we had to say good-bye to the people we had grown to love in just a few short days.  Paulina was the hardest to say good-bye to.  You can see my puffy eyes where I had sobbed as I hugged her neck and the neck of all the kids.  I told her that my heart is in Guatemala and she told me that she was sending part of her heart back home with us.

Once we got back to the camp, some of the guys climbed the lava fields.

The rest of us went outside the gates to play with kids.  I didn't have my camera with me because Kevin had taken it with him to the lava fields.  However, the sight we saw outside the gates was more that I could stand.  We saw a group of little girls about Elia and Ava's age.  They were playing house.  The sad thing is they had dug through our trash and were playing with the paper plates we had eaten on the night before.  They were also playing with the empty milk carton we had thrown away as well as the empty ketchup bottle we had thrown away.  You could still see the broccoli on the plates from our dinner.  It truly broke my heart and is a sight I will never forget!  We have so much to be thankful for but so do the people of Guatemala.  They don't have all the materialistic things we have to get in the way of their happiness or their love for each other.  We have a lot to learn from them!!

We had to wake up at 3am this day to head home.  We nearly missed our flight from Guatemala to Atlanta.  Then we had a 4 hour layover in Atlanta. It didn't take long for our kids to fall back into their American way of life.

I am so glad God keeps laying it on our hearts to make this trip year after year.  It is truly a life changing experience!!!

Guatemala- Day 5 and 6

This day started out very emotional for me.  We were about to leave for VBS and the village, when this young mother with her one year old baby came to our gate.  She said she did not like to ask for help but she was desperate.  Her baby had a bad fever, was very pale, and was struggling to breath.  She didn't know what else to do.  You see, when one of my kids get sick, I put them in the car and take them to the doctor.  Not only did this mother have the same sick feeling of worry as I do when one of my children are sick but she also was very helpless to help him.  Even if she did have money to take him to the doctor, she had no way of getting him there.  We gave her some money and one of the translators drove her to a local clinic.  They diagnosed him with pneomonia and sent her home.  Once she got home, her baby got worse so the translator drove her to the hospital where the baby is currently in ICU.  Two years ago, Camp Calvary was a corn field.  Two years ago, this lady's baby would have more than likely died if she was not able to come to the camp for help.  I am still not sure of the outcome, but I pray for her and her baby daily!!

Once we sent this young mother and baby on their way, we went to the village for more VBS.

Ava loved playing with this little boy.  At first, he was very shy but she quickly made him feel comfortable enough to play with her.

We brought sidewalk chalk for the kids to play with this day.  They LOVED it and they covered the basketball court with their pretty drawings.  One kid drew this.  It says I Love Jesus in Spanish. 

I saw the funniest thing at the village during VBS this day.  I kept hearing a cowbell ringing and finally realized it was coming from this man.  He was the village popsicle man.  He had his cowbell and cooler full of homemade popsicles.  Too funny!

We started this day building more stoves.

And having more VBS!

I love these two pics of Ava trying to be like the kids in the village.  These kids could climb up anything including the basketball goal.  

I love this picture because Ava was lined up with all the girls waiting for a turn at kicking the soccer ball.  I could hardly find her because she blended in so well.

After VBS, we installed 5 vertical gardens.  These are the coolest things ever, and Kevin is working on building a similar one in our backyard.  They save space and there are 80 holes where you put the seeds.

While working on the gardens, I noticed this strange looking thing growing on the plants.  I asked them what it was and they drink it for vitamins.  They also put it in their hair to make it shiny, and they use it on cuts and scrapes.  Pretty cool!

Ava took a rest on the hammock while we finished the garden.

 These people had all kinds of things growing around their house including banana trees.

Once we finished this garden, we moved on to the next 4.

 Chad let the kids try out the electric drill.  They were so funny when they got to push the button to make it go.  Their little faces just lit up!

The local kids helped carry the very large and very heavy PVC pipe from house to house.

Once all the gardens were done, we went back to the camp where a game of soccer was played by the Gringos and the locals.  Talk about hilarious!  I am pretty sure half our team could not walk the next day.

Ava played with Beep Beep and his brother and sister.

That night Ava had her second gig with Peter.