I am beyond excited to finally be able to sit down and blog about this life-changing adventure. I want to always be able to remember every sweet, beautiful, and even heart breaking moment. It feels like a daze at this point, coming back to school and jumping right back into everything. I keep thinking to myself, did I really just do that? Am I really sitting in class right now when a few days ago I was rescuing babies?? It's a hard adjustment. Even though I was only there for a short time, it changes everything. My perspective, my goals, my thoughts. Everything. Ok, here goes!
At the airport in Greensboro. SO excited! I kept saying I felt like a real adult traveling without my Mom to another country, ha. I'd never really gone anywhere without her and hadn't realized it until then! I was so thankful for Veronica who is fluent in Spanish so I didn't have to fear not understanding or getting lost.
Our hotel for the first night in Guatemala City. Incredibly gorgeous! We were spoiled that night. And we finally got to meet the other team members, some from California, Florida, Missouri even.
After a four hour bus ride the next morning, we finally made it to Zacapa where Hope of Life is. We stayed in the mission house, which was clean and comfortable. V & I lucked out getting the little walk through room which had a fan and a mirror. Definitely a luxury! And being high up in the mountains made our view just breathtaking. The air was so fresh and crisp everyday. And the 80 degree weather was SO perfect with the wind.
We loaded the buses after lunch and went out to a village where a group was already distributing food bags to those who had tickets. Pulling up to hundreds of people lined up, kids running up to you, and little tin/mud huts nearby... it's all a lot to take in at first. I was overwhelmed, and compared to a lot of the country these people actually lived well. They had their own school down the road, and a church was recently built which is where a lot of the peoples care and provisions come from.
We spent some time with the people and kids touring their village, then drove back to Hope of Life and cleaned up for "Fiesta Night." They had great food, GREAT coffee [I drank at least two cups for every single meal. It was fantastic stuff that Guatemalan coffee], and some of the children from the orphanage performed a few dances for us. Carlos, the brilliant and passionate founder of Hope of Life welcomed us all and gave an inspiring message about being dream makers. He is an incredible man of God, and so wise.
The best part of the evening though was when some of our team members met the children they sponsor. Such a beautiful moment seeing these people finally getting to see and hug and touch the little one from the pictures they have hanging on their fridge at home. And these children! Meeting the people who give them hope, and a chance for a better life. My heart melted, and I knew then that I want to sponsor a child and one day be able to go back and meet them. What a way to see the face of God.
This is only the tip of the ice burg! The best is still yet to come. Guatemala has a piece of my heart you guys.