Buenos dias de Antigua, Guatemala! Today was our second day with the chicos at Escuela Integrada. This morning after a delicious breakfast of banana pancakes, we began our work painting various areas around the school. When the bell rang, we knew our work was over and we got to play with all of the children during their recess. As I gave kids piggy back rides and twirled them around, I watched their big, bright smiles light up with laughter and joy. One girl in particular, Norma, had an extra impact on my life. Yesterday my MIG group visited her family at a small, one bedroom house with one door and no way to keep the rain out during the rainy season. This family had virtually nothing, but were so full of happiness and gratitude towards our group. Today when I saw Norma again, she just looked at me with her sweet, innocent eyes and came running over to me. Although I could not talk to her besides a few basic Spanish words, she was so content with me just holding her and loving her. This was a God moment for me in that I did not need any sort of language to know exactly what she was saying to me. My presence gave her hope, but what I wish I could tell her is that her she gave me hope too. Hope because even though she had very little, she was still full of love and pure joy.
After recess we ate an authentic Guatemalan beef stew (I think). We then made crafts with the ninth graders and I tried to talk to Rudy, Gustavo, and Minor who spoke little English, but somehow we figured out how to communicate without language. After this we headed to the nursing home with the ninth graders and danced and busted open a pinata. The nursing home was my favorite part of the day because they played music the whole time and all of us danced together, even the elderly people. The only song that both St. Johns and the ninth graders knew was Despacito so we all sang along and danced together and it was such a happy moment. We laughed and learned the Spanish lyrics and bonded over music.
Adios con amor, Juliana Anderson
Hola amigos! Today at Escuela Integrada and the nursing home, we got to do many activities with the kids and the elderly. We started the day off painting the school where we separated into small teams to work specific areas. My group was working near the front. Despite the fact that we were separated, we all still worked together which made the painting go by really fast. After we finished painting the bell rang for recess and the kids came out to play with us. I enjoyed giving the kids piggyback rides. After that, we did crafts with older kids that were going to the nursing home with us where we made little gifts filled with candy to give to the elderly. Following that we had an authentic Guatemalan grub for lunch, which was delicious! When we walked into the nursing home after we ate lunch, we helped set up a party to bring some entertainment to the place. We gave our gifts, set up a pinata, and served food and drinks to them. Afterwards, when we headed back some of us went to go play soccer with the kindergartners, which was my favorite part of the day. I had so much fun being able to interact and play with them. They were filled with so much joy.
In my mind, God was working through all of us today. I know that we brought joy to everyone both at the nursing home and the school whether it was just spending time, interacting, and playing with them.
Adios amigos, Charles Langlais
Hola Amigos!! Today was an amazing day. A small group of us started the day off around 7AM to go on the search for local coffee in Antigua. After searching we found a cute shop named “The Bagel Barn”, it was delicious and had a neat atmosphere. My favorite part of the day was actually on our morning walk where I was able to see the city of Antigua. The vibe of the city was refreshing and happy. Which allowed me to have a great start to my day. Continuing throughout the day, the positive mood that was set in the AM flowed into the afternoon. We spent the afternoon painting, making crafts, and playing with the children which were all very humbling experiences in their own way. Lastly, I saw God the most during the home visits that my MIG group encountered together. God was so apparent because even when everything in the families homes are falling apart and things get tough God still has a way of keeping everything “together”. I just think that is so amazing. Can’t wait to do again tomorrow. Buenos noches Guatemala.
-Adios amigos,Haley Sims
Hola de Guatemala! Yesterday was such a great day. After a refreshing breakfast at the hotel, we made our way over to Escuela Integrada. At the school, we interacted with the 9th graders by making a few arts and crafts. Getting to know the 9th grade class was really fun for me. Even though we don’t speak the same language, communicating with them was as easy and fun as talking with your best friend. We then left the school and walked over to the nearby nursing home where we had a little party with the residents there. I truly saw God working through everybody there at the home. It just felt like everybody was working together to make the residents as happy as possible and that kind of teamwork makes everyone happy. I can’t wait for the rest of the week!