Saturday, October 12, 2013

Friday in Guatemala

Our morning routine has not changed – laundry, walks, computer time, a great breakfast.  All teams had a quick get away for their projects because of Guatemala time.

On our way to the Teacher Workshop we packed 18 people in the van, which didn’t beat our record of 22 people in the van, on the way to the Training Centre to begin our day.
Twenty-five teachers and principals experienced a TRIBES overview workshop lead by Brian and Peggy.  The participants learned interactive teaching strategies that can be duplicated in their classroom.  The Guatemalan teachers represented the following villages: Paraxaj, Chitaburuy, Parrojas, and Parramos.  
All the teachers and principals appreciated the strategies and activities that moved the group through inclusion, influence, and community. Thanks to the CentreSource TRIBES for donating the Spanish TRIBES books, and the DDSB Leadership Department (Gayle Anniss) for preparing the workshop material.  These teachers are highly valued and are making a difference in the lives of the Guatemalan children. The educators were excited to learn new strategies that build community inclusion and improve student achievement. We couldn’t have been successful without our Spanish translators.
The build a home team of Tim, Doug, Suzanne, Angela and Garry went to Corrales to paint the house.  The owner wanted bright blue for the bottom half of the walls, door and window.  The top half of the walls were turquoise green.
Angel, our mason/carpenter stretched 1 gallon of paint to three gallons by adding gasoline to the paint.  Tim, Suzanne and Angela had new brushes and did the fine work while Garry had a stucco ceiling roller and Doug had a regular roller.
The stucco roller could suck up enough gasoline/paint to do half a panel if Garry rolled quickly and Doug followed to catch the running paint.  By the time one wall was done Garry looked like a green speckled gnome.  Fortunately, no smokers walked by.  The second half of the house went the same except the children were now helping to paint.  Part way around the house a little girl noticed that Garry had missed some spots and proceeded to smudge blue on his cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin – it went well with the green.  At the end there was no paint left and no gasoline for clean-up.  While waiting for our pick-up an impromptu game of soccer began.
Two girls and one boy with torn pants and bare feet and one green/blue-faced goalie took on one clean painter, the homeowner and his two sons.  We left a grateful family, uncle and grandfather with many of their blessings and a warm feeling (which wasn’t from the paint fumes).

During the afternoon Suzanne and Peggy worked with 4 ladies from Paraxaj refining their sewing techniques and learning some short cuts to complete projects which they plan to sell at markets.  They went home with some finished projects and some new tools and were so grateful for all the assistance.

The property project made great progress by the end of the day.  The morning started with Dianne and Kelly completing the drywall with the electrical boxes now installed and some more framing in prep for the afternoon.  In the afternoon Brain and Garry joined the team and worked steady.  Kelly and Gary completed the framing of the last wall, which took a lot of engineering and planning.  Brian and Dianne completed the drywall which also had the electrical boxes installed.
Suzanne gave a fifteen min lesson to Angel (the carpenter/mason) on drywall mudding and he did a fantastic job moving the project forward in the background.

Brian has just confessed the funniest thing to the group as I am typing this blog.  There was quite a period of time that we were looking for the second exacto knife.  Brian, as time passed, had convinced himself that he had drywalled the knife into the wall.  Unknown to Dianne he was looking in the wall and often asking “have you found it yet” with the answer always no.  In the end the knife was found on a table that had been tucked away in the newly created hallway.  All was well and not until now did we know anything about it.  At the end of the day everyone was extremely pleased with a job well done at the property.

The last group in the afternoon visited an elders center.  The average age of the attendees was around 65.  We received a big welcome with hugs and prayers from the men and ladies.  We played BINGO with these people and had a blast.  Tim called out the numbers in Spanish while Doug wrote it down on a white board.  Angela and Juli were at the tables helping the people.  After about 10 numbers one gentlemen called BINGO and was rewarded with a couple candies.  The distribution of these candies heightened the competitiveness of the game.  This is also when we realized that 2 people were blind and needed help to place their numbers.  Soon after another lady got a BINGO but instead of yelling BINGO she yelled GRINGO for us Canadians.  Everybody had a great laugh at this.  Tim had trouble pronouncing “G” in Spanish so he continued to pull non G numbers.  After a while there were no BINGO’s therefore G’s needed to be called.  Angela and Juli started feeding Tim numbers that were required to get some BINGO’s and although fixed it was great fun for all.  After BINGO, the team handed out sweaters as well as hygiene packs to everybody.
This again had hugs and prayers being delivered to the team.  This was a great experience and very rewarding for all.

After this we had another great dinner which was comprised of spaghetti and a salad.

Earlier in the day the team learnt that it was Angela’s 40th birthday and in Guatemala when you want to celebrate you set off firecrackers on the street.  This is usually done at 5am or 6am however we did it at 7pm in the dark.  The team bought the firecrackers to enable this moment.  The first set was 3ft long and the second set was 15ft.  Tim was responsible for lighting the firecrackers and we were warned that as soon as you light the firecrackers you have to run.  Tim didn’t know which end to light so he asked the 5yr neighbor.  Unfortunately the neighbor mentioned the wrong end which resulted in a huge explosion as Tim lit it which was suppose to be the finale.  Shrapnel went flying everywhere however everybody was safe.  Next we unraveled the 15ft of firecrackers and placed it on the street.  Tim tried to light the correct end however it didn’t work therefore he tried to light the incorrect end.  When he attempted our house mom ran back into the kitchen in fear of her life.  Tim then reached out to a local with the lighter and had him set it off.  What a blast full of risk and laughs.  Happy Birthday Angela at the risk of the others.  We plan to do this again at the picnic that will take place on Sunday.  All in all a great day was had by all and an abundance of prayers were delivered and received.

Tim Myers, Peggy Hunter, Garry Hunter, Brian Jones, Dianne Pelletier

1 comment:

  1. Tribes in Guatemala.....way to go Brian and team! Tribes is something they will have forever! Glad Tim did not go up in flame......carry on your great work and bless you all! Xoxo