Report 1 – 24/07/2013
Buenos días! Greetings from Guatemala!
It is only day two of our time here in the town of Zaragoza but already our trip has been full of adventure! As we landed in Atlanta airport after a 9 hour flight, we found ourselves with 6 hours to spare before our connecting plane. You may be wondering how we decided to pass the time, sleeping, reading, eating? No, Misha and Hannah D quickly discovered a grand piano located next to McDonalds and before we knew it they were serenading the entire food hall with their beautiful voices! Whilst this was a slightly surreal experience, what was incredible was the amount of people who came up and asked us about our trip, where we were travelling from and what we were planning to do in Guatemala. This was such a great opportunity for us to tell them about Latin Link and God´s work in Guatemala. We made our way to our gate reminded of God´s faithfulness and sense of humour!
However, morale took a bit of a knock as a wild storm inconveniently decided to sweep its way over Atlanta, delaying our flight by 6 hours. Considering how tired we all were by this point, sleeping on the floor of Atlanta airport was far from ideal! But eventually, 27 hours after leaving Heathrow we found ourselves touching down in Guatemala City, where we were greeted by fellow team member Christine and our step co coordinator, Suzanne.
After catching up on some sleep at Suzanne´s lovely house, we jumped into a taxi and with our bags strapped rather precariously to the top of the roof, we began our journey to Zaragoza. We were grateful of the chance to travel in daylight and take in the beautiful, green landscape. About an hour out of Guatemala City we arrived at our home for the next three weeks, the agricultural town of Zaragoza. Our hosts greeted us with warm smiles and introduced us to the project where we will be working. The project is called Educando Para La Vida and the team work with children who are at a very high risk of dropping out of education and aim to support them in their studies through English lessons, homework help and teaching them key life skills and characteristics, such as honesty, obedience and service. Rudolfo, the project leader, is a truly inspirational man, his vision is to see these children in Zaragoza lifted up out of poverty and equipped to become powerful professional people, rather than young mothers, workers or gang members. We are all so excited to be a part of this vision!
Today we met with the children for the first time! We were all slightly nervous about the prospect of meeting 60 plus kids at once, especially with language barrier and jetlag still preventing us from feeling 100%. But the children were incredible. They welcomed us with prayers, songs and smiles and we all felt so appreciated and loved from the outset! The sense of hospitality was like nothing I have experienced. In return we performed a Spanish song we had rehearsed at our orientation weekend, which went down very well! We spent the afternoon with children hanging from every limb possible and we all felt a real sense of compassion and love for them! We are so excited to get to know them better and give our time to improve the quality of their education and teach them more about God.
We are so happy to have arrived safely and to be feeling so at home already and we are so grateful for all the prayers that we know have been spoken over us. We would really appreciate prayers as we start our first kids club tomorrow, we are still feeling jetlagged and out of our comfort zone and so we pray for energy, ease of communication and that we would be able to touch each child and be able to share with them the love of God.
That´s all for now!