not just another monday…

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monday.  june 29.  2015

every day, we know the kids are just happy playing.  we have done art projects with them, which they seemed to enjoy, but we don’t have a ton of supplies to do more, and i think they are pretty bored of them.  so in planning for today, we knew cupcakes(magdalenas in spanish) had to be involved.  and i had brought some belgian chocolate with me from the states, and knew there was going to have to be a ganache topping.  luciano had come up this morning, and he helped make the last of the cupcakes with nadia and i.  he even helped wash dishes-nice of him to help out!  we considered teaching the village kids manners…don’t hit and kick each other, don’t be mean, don’t make each other cry, don’t grab and take things from the girls…but we decided to have everyone go and pick up trash in the village again.  it was quite warm today too-so everyone was sweating.  we get to the casa in the village, and there are three boys…which isn’t usual, we usually have 20-30 kids.  after waiting about 15 minutes, i decided we should just go and get started.  kids in the street would see us and wanted to help, they would ask for a glove and bag, and pretty soon, we had 25 kids helping out.  we worked for probably 30 minutes, the kids dumping bags and bags of garbage into the cans along the street-it was awesome!

we headed back to the casa, had everyone wash their hands, and we gave them their cupcake.  this time, they didn’t throw their garbage on the ground, they put it in the basket.  yay!  small steps!  alex started london bridges with them, and they absolutely loved that!  everyone was just playing and having fun.  camden and i and nadia made flower headbands with the girls-they were all wearing them-it was so cute.  we started doing helium booth videos with the kids, and they just couldn’t stop laughing.  it’s hilarious! we were there for a few hours today-such a fun and fulfilling day.  we headed to hans for dinner, and home.

lds church in panajachel…

sunday.  june 28.  2015

we have to leave almost an hour early to get to church-with the hike, boat, and hike and all.  we got there a couple minutes late, but we didn’t miss the sacrament-so we were happy!  even though i don’t speak fluent spanish, i can pick up a few words here and there.  going to a country where you aren’t fluent, but you get a sense of people and feeling the spirit is actually quite pretty cool.  you have to listen with your heart, and the spirit.

the first sunday we were here, a baby kept fussing, and they were handing him around.  i asked during sacrament meeting using my translator if i could hold him.  what a cutey!  she has let us and jess when she was here, hold her baby for the other two hours of church.  so, he’s become my little church buddy.

the kelly’s who we have gotten to hang out with a couple times and have become instant friends with, are heading to the states today for a 5 month travel tour of the u.s.  we are sad to see them go, but so grateful our time here overlapped and we were able to meet them and hang out with them.  we said our good-bye’s, and we normally don’t shop on sunday, but since this trip is different than our normal life, and we don’t ever seem to have enough food, we found a restaurant to eat dinner at.  oh, for yummy meals.  we headed home, and enjoyed the beauty and relaxation of the rest of the sabbath day.

pic’s below…a simple home in jaibalito.  a film crew in pana, church, saying good-bye to friends, and our dusk view.

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our day of nothing…

saturday.  june 27.  2015

oh, we are tired.  we usually don’t like just hanging out at the house, we like being out doing something.  but today, we laid around, read books, played games, slept, and just enjoyed the marvelous views.  it was a nice day-we don’t get many of these days here or in the states of just being together being un-plugged, too many distractions.  nothing but nature and yourself here-absolutely wonderous!

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new friends, and their friends…

friday.  june 26.  2015

the kelly’s and their friends the von niederhausern’s and their friend stockton came out to jaibalito today.  what an awesome group of people!  the kids got in a few games before we headed down to the village to play with the village kids.  there were 20 of us, and about 20-30 village kids, so we headed to the school yard.  it was so dang warm, and we managed to get in a little tag, and luciano was begging to swim.  so we agreed, and headed to the docks.  it was so awesome!  the older kids and the dads decided to just go jump in-and hang with the ninos swimming and sitting on the dock.  the girls can’t swim-i guess because of their skirts.  and the boys just strip down to their undies-which girls can’t do.  so the moms sat with all the village girls cheering on those who were swimming.  then luciano comes around paddling a boat, and started bring people from one place to the other.

the private boat had showed up, so we all jumped on, landed in pana, and all 20 of us piled into the kelly’s truck and headed to the eagle’s nest orphanage.  we were there for a bit, and came back to pana.  the von’s introduced us to empanadas…uhhhh, holy cow, how delicious could fried bread with shredded chicken and sauce be?  amazing.  the girls and i caught a boat home so we wouldn’t get stuck in pana-and headed up to the house.  it was a great, adventurous, spontaneous, fun day.  it’s always so fun to run into people with the same desire to live abroad, and travel the world.  kindred spirits for sure.

the internet has been pretty sketchy, mostly down lately.  which means, we have been playing lots of games, and chatting, and spending great time together.  our shower needed batteries to get warm water, and we finally figured that out too.  i really enjoy this life here.

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pana and play…

thursday.  june 25.  2015

luciano, the 14 year old boy who takes care of the home we live in-has been a great help.  don’t get me wrong, he’s sometimes quite mischievous and a little mean with teasing the girls, but overall, he has been such a fun friend, and a great blessing.  he helps translate our little spanish into cakchiquel, and helps communicate between all of us.  he takes care of the property in the village we play at also-so he makes sure the kids don’t ruin it or destroy it.  this morning, he came and hung out and played games and did silly apps with the girls.

well, every few days, we need groceries or supplies, so to pana we go!  hike down through the village, catch a boat, 15 minute boat ride to pana, and 15 minute walk to the nearest stores-it’s such great exercise!  we hit the fruit and vegetable market, bought alex an authentic guatemalan skirt and belt, looked in a few other shops, got everyone their hair-threaded, and headed home carrying our groceries and riding the boat home.

all the kiddos in the village started following us up through the streets of the village, so i agreed we could play and they all came to the casa we rented in the village to play at.  we played ball, soccer, jump rope, and i got out the new alphabet puzzle.  they sat for a couple hours working on the puzzle, and then new kids would come over and start it over.  it’s amazing how the little things-they really don’t have.  they love to learn, they are hard workers, and they are very smart kids.  what an awesome experience it is to be able to be here and meet these sweet kids.

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garbage day…

wed.  june 24.  2015

today is the day-that we decided to have the village kids help us pick up trash around the village.  for some reason, guatemalans have the most beautiful landscapes, and they throw their trash on the ground.  we gave them all a latex glove, and a bag to put trash in, and they were off!  kids kept coming back multiple times for more bags, and loved it.  they thought it was a game-i think.  one girl brought back a bag of leaves, so i’m not sure if they understood what we were saying completely.  they were rewarded for their work by receiving a waffle with nutella-which is a huge treat.  then we found napkins thrown on the ground that they had had with their waffle, so once again, maybe not grasping the whole no garbage on the ground thing.  alex taught them red light-green light.

we went to the field to play with the new ball and jump rope we had gotten in pana for them.  they loved them-it’s amazing what one toy does, and they try it once and pass it around.  they wanted to go to the park next and we hung out there for a bit, and then they wanted to go swimming in the lake-so we headed down with them.  it was awesome.  cam jumped in, then alex and madison.  so much fun.

we headed up to dinner, with our group of kids following us wherever we go.  an older woman was coming down the sidewalk, and stopped me.  she introduced herself, and asked us what we were doing.  we told her were staying here for 6 weeks, and we play and do art with the kids.  she turned to me and said, “your halo is blinding.”-and walked away.  brought tears to my eyes.  i don’t feel like we are changing anything, but just playing with kids and building friendships.  it was such a kind compliment.

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new friends…

june 22.  2015

we were so grateful to meet american families down here, and have fun getting to know them.  the kelly kids decided they wanted to come back out and hang with us and the village kids today.  they came early and we had lunch together, and then we headed down to be with all the ninos y ninas.  some days it’s crazy, especially when the boys get a game going.  alex taught everyone how to make origami frogs, and then the games outside.  after being there a couple hours, we told everyone it was time to go, and we headed to the school field to watch the kids play  little more.  they get a little wild sometimes, and we were tired, so we headed up to the house.  we were figuring boat times, and thought we were playing it safe to catch the last boat to pana, and figured we’d have dinner together at hans’.  after ordering dinner, we find out the boats had stopped going to pana at 5:30, not 8:00-i totally had the directions of the boats and their times mixed up.  devon called and got a private boat, and we finished eating and visiting.  even though we messed up the boat times, it turned out being fun having the kids stay longer and visiting with them.  tiffany and timeca and nadia played together so well the entire time.  we had great discussions about what’s important in life, plans for the future, and traveling.  we dropped the kids off at the dock, and it’s pitch dark except for a couple lights in the village.  the girls and i head home and it was a little scary hiking up the mountain in the dark, but we made it.  we really had enjoyed the day.

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