Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday in Guatemala

Today was our final full day in Parramos Guatemala.  Before breakfast we headed to the market square to spend our last Qs. Suzanne bought and wore an authentic Guatemala woven shirt and belt, which certainly turned local heads.  Juli learned to balance bags of sugar and strawberries on her head. We were delighted to witness a parade sponsored by a local high school and health department that promoted vaccines for children.

It was an extremely emotional day for us as we moved the furniture into the “Build a Home” and “Adopt a Home”.  Loading a wardrobe, hutch, bedsprings, mattresses, benches and table into a flat board truck.  Tim and Brian rode in the back of the truck ensuring that the furniture didn’t topple over. The family, consisting of Mom (Maria), Dad (Fillip), sons (Hector 11, Esvin 10, Miqueas 2), and daughter (Alba 6), was overjoyed by the Greenbank team’s generosity. Special thanks to all our back home sponsors.
The family also received bedding, pots and pans, and dishes. We gave each family member a bag of new clothes. You should have seen their eyes bulge out of their heads.  As we left we lit firecrackers to  honour and celebrate their new home and belongings. Angela and Suzanne took mom to the local clinic, which was the back of an ambulance, and discovered together that mom was three months pregnant.

From the “Build a Home” project, we boarded the “Loving Arms” van and headed to Chitaburuy for a picnic prepared by a local family, which was a traditional Guatemala meal. I wish we could spell and pronounce the foods we ate. It was delicious. Some of the team poured a little too much hot sauce into the soup, which cause the locals to chuckle. Chickens and dogs wandered the area. 
We led the kids and their parents in crafts, games, paintings, colouring, Canadian tattoos, and the popular piñata full of hard candy.  The kids taught us how to operate a spinning top.  It is a lot harder to operate than it looked. We ended our picnic with firecrackers to celebrate the event. What an experience for the family. Laughing and smiling are universal regardless if you speak Spanish or English. Thank you to all the beautiful women in Chitaburuy who hosted and made us such a great authentic meal.
Once back to our guest house we met more families that will have special places in our hearts.
The evening dinner was in Antigua at a Canadian owed “Sunshine Grill” restaurant to celebrate and bring closure to our ten days with Loving Arm’s director, Linda, and local coordinator, Alicia and family. After pizza and wings we ended up back at the guest house to debrief the day.

Our work here wouldn’t be possible with out the direction of Linda and Loving Arms and the local support Alicia and her team provides to the Mission Teams that come to work here in this part of Guatemala.  We have been so fortunate to have met and had the pleasure to work with passionate people who inspire servant leadership in others.  The work of this organization and the dedication of the members is truly a blessing to this world.

Tomorrow we head to the Guatemala City airport at 9:30 am, catch our flight at 1:00 to El Salvador, then leave for Toronto at 2:50p.m.  We are expected to arrive in Toronto at 9:55 pm.  We are looking forward to getting back to our own beds. We are signing off for now after such a life changing experience.

Brian Jones, Juli Conard

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