Friday, February 26, 2010

"Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your hearts as long as you live." Deuteronomy 4:9

Do you ever feel a yearning for the past? Do you ever wish you could rewind and place yourself in a previous time or moment?

Looking at my travel journals, I feel a bit of nostalgia and longing for the adventure and pure fun I experienced on my past journeys. I know that my wanderlust is still going strong, and that there are more adventures in store for me. But the very aspect of traveling that makes it addictive also fosters a dip of spirit when the trip is over. I know that not one adventure can be recreated, and that not one experience can be entirely relived.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

All sorrows are less with bread. ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Tortillas...beans...tamales...fruit...
Guatemalan food is sure to fill your stomach and bring a smile to your face. All of the children at Agua Viva were very serious about meal time. I find that food serves a similar purpose in most cultures: it acts as the great equalizer, facilitating friendships and camaraderie.



The cooks at Agua Viva are amazing women. They are hard workers, making hundreds of tortillas for every meal. My sister and I attempted to help them make tortillas, but I failed dismally. I lack the certain Susie Homemaker touch-my tortilla fell on the floor. More than once. My sister had more luck then I-her piece of dough actually turned into a flat, circular disc that could pass as a tortilla.





The kitchen at Agua Viva always smells delicious. The children have never complained, and seem to count their blessings.

I experienced a feast for my eyes when I went to the market in Antigua. The colors of the food, clothes, buildings, and trinkets were like a constantly changing kaleidoscope. That is one aspect of Guatemala that I adore: the colors.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Casa Samuel

A highlight of my trip to Agua Viva was working with Casa Samuel. These children were too young to go to school, and were ready to burn off some energy! I was blessed to work (play) with the kids for three mornings. Alex, Edras, Lili, and the twins-Sonia and Ruth- were my little firecrackers. We kept them pretty busy with bubbles, play-dough, games, and coloring books. My years working in a daycare have paid off! I tried to have the kids run around outside as much as possible. Kids across the globe have one thing in common: energy! The language barrier was no problem in this arena. I knew basic Spanish words, and the children picked up quite quickly on basic English. Certain songs, like Ring Around the Rosy, were a hit, as well as Head-Shoulders-Knees and Toes. Another point of excitement with the kids was making airplanes. My team had brought foam airplanes that were basically comprised of three pieces. You would have thought the kids had died and gone to heaven. By the end of my week at Agua Viva, it was difficult to leave these five at the Home. I'm convinced that I could have fit at least three in my suitcase...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise when we have waited in the darkness.


The blue-black shadows rest on the landscape before me. The mist covering the valley around Agua Viva conveys an almost eerie, tranquil feeling. Every time I go to Agua Viva, I get up at least once for the sunrise. The aura is inexplicable; the world is held in limbo, walking the line between peaceful sleep and energetic alertness. Agua Viva Children's Home is situated on a mountaintop, set apart from the village closest by-Puerto Rico. This vantage point provides the perfect site for contemplation and reflection before another day working at the Home. Every child at the home has and is experiencing heartache. Broken families, abuse, neglect, and abandonment bombard nearly ever child. My prayer is that God uses me to strengthen these children and be part of their support system. Every day I pray that my example points to the Shepherd, the One who can lead them out of the darkness of night and towards the sunrise.

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