Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guatemala: A day in the Life of the Village

So what does a day for 35 Americans look like in the village of Paquip? Well, walk with me and I'll tell you. I rose early to dogs barking, a band of children percussionist practicing or the urge to have a good cup of coffee... of which I did not get. Well, let me reword that. I got coffee but it wasn't like here at home; rich, dark and hot. Their coffee was decent but had a ton of sugar in it. No complaints though, I needed the caffeine. Back to my day...I laid there on the the concrete floors evaluating if I slept well and if I was bit by anything during the night. Slowly moving this 42 year old body off the concrete, I had to decide when to visit the "bathroom". Ya, that word is used loosely. Dirt floors, concrete stoop, plastic table cloth for a door and when it rained, and it rained, the curtain was so dirty you only hoped to walk out without mud on you. After talking myself into visiting the concrete stoop, grabbing my own toilet paper, sliding down the dirt trail, doing my thang, I came back to get ready. That is after washing my hands... twice. I washed my hair in the sink each morning just outside of our room. The rain water was so refreshing and COLD. After washing my hair and face, I'd quickly get dressed, have my quiet time with my Jesus, and off to breakfast. The people of Paquip cooked such wonderful meals for us. Eggs, fresh black beans, goat cheese, juice, corn tortillas, carne asada, the list goes on. We were not hungry, that's for sure. After fellowshiping Guatemala time, we got to work. For some that meant VBS. For others that meant construction for the day. For all that means watch the sky, the rain will come in and change all the "plans". We ended our day either early or late depending on the rain. The 35 Americans gathered after the long day in the small yellow church with dirty floors and played either Mafia or Ninja tag. We had times of worship and debriefing. We had times of journaling and thinking. But we all had times of running like crazy to stay dry. The heavens opened up and were relentless everyday. So come evening, the final run was made to the potty, teeth brushed with only bottled water, sleeping bags unpacked once again, and prayers spoken to the living God. There you go, the short version of my day.

The children whooped up on us in soccer.
When your in the church avoiding the rain and avoiding the concrete potty, the camera comes out and it's self-portrait time!

And when your on construction and your a girl doing the "hurry up and wait" thing, the camera comes out and again.. self-portrait time!

The girls were in charge of back filling the wall by the new room and pounding down the dirt tight... with a stick.

This school was just up the hill from the church. The Littles were so excited to play!

And this fine thing greeted us every meal with all its splendor. We had to remind the tall kids to duck in order to safely enter the eating area. The kind hearted folks of the community realized it scared the bageebers out of many of the Americans so they covered it up with a net. This fine hornet/wasp nest is a decorative feature and they surely hated to take it down. I'd like to see this in Better Homes and Garden.

The people of the town are t.iiii...ny! But so kind and so generous and so inviting! If my memory serves me right, at least one of these women is a widow.

So the dirt that is being back filled is being taken from this hill. Uh, huh... that's what I said too.

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