Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Places.

I promised a post on the different places we went in Guatemala.

And then I realized the lack of pictures. . .

But here we go anyway!

First, the Phoenix airport! DUH.
Next. . . The plane!
What am I looking at? . .
Next. . . Customs in Guatemalan airport!
Helping each other figure out the customs sheets
On to the van we go! For a five hour drive! After 7 hours on a plane! KILL ME.
Made it to the hotel!
Good lookin team!
Obnoxious dog at the hotel. . . Trapped in an enclosure on the roof
And man could he bark loud
Off to eat!
Albamar Restaurant
And the city of Quetzaltenango
AKA the city we stayed in
The village we worked in
Village kids playing soccer (futbol)
Great shot.
We were so high up, we were in the clouds! Literally.
The temporary shack church
Dr. Gomez speaking at church on Sunday
What the new church looked like when we arrived
The clouds are among us!
We spent lots of time in the van
Three amigos
It rained. A LOT. And some days the van couldn't make it up the crazy mountain to the village we were working in. . . So we had to ride up in the beds of trucks. I actually enjoyed it :) At least until the temperature dropped significantly and it began to rain. Of course.
Feelin good!
A little chilly
Now a little warm
Just right. Happy camper.
And the boots. Can't get enough of the boots.
Oh boy.
Morgan :)
Arabian Knight? Or Ninja? Hmm. . . Definitely never saw him
Shopping! For food! In a Wal-Mart owned store!
And now. . . Introducing my favorite place on this planet. . . ANTIGUA!!!!!!!!
Central Park
I adore horse-drawn carriages!
Beatifully artistic architecture
Ancient. WOW.
Hmm. . .
Main Street. El Guapo in the back.
"The Handsome One" volcano
So dang pretty
I love it here
Best coffee shop ever.
Bible scenes!
Coolest church ever.
Seriously. It doesn't get any better. I could call this place home!
One more shot of Main Street
We ate here one night. So good.
POPS. Ice cream! Best mint chocolate chip ice cream in the world.
Love it.
The cross.
So those are the places I went on my trip! Antigua was seriously amazing. Everyone should go. Starbucks has a coffee plantation there! It's where they get their Antigua blend! MMM.


Friday, August 17, 2012

The Food. The Generosity. The Christ-Followers.

Well, it's taken me far too long to wrap up these posts on Guatemala. . . I guess life has a funny way of getting us off track. But I'm back aboard the blog posting train! And we're gonna wrap up these last few posts on the greatest trip of my life.

The food.


It's like a fiesta in your mouth. (<--That was weird. . .) But really. I've never tasted such incredibly delicious and tasty food! EVER! Their cows and chickens didn't have whatever crap our cows and chickens have injected in them.

As I walked through the village each day, I saw chickens. I saw cows. The cows definitely didn't look like ours. . . They were skinny; and I mean SKINNY. You could see their hip bones (is that the correct term for a cow?). They looked unhealthy, buut they tasted great! They just grazed on the grass and whatever plants and such cows eat :)
Ready for our FIRST Guatemalan meal!!
The green stuff is hot sauce. . . Boys will be boys I guess
This here is Seth - the model - with his steak
Always ready for a photo-op
A Guatemalan friend of mine, Hugo, told me that some crazy Americans he met once called Guatemalan cows fashion cows. Why? Because they're so dang skinny!
This is HUGO. Not a great pic. What can I say?
I'm no photographer
The chicken was also amaaaazing! SO.SO.SO.GOOD.
Chicken Caesar Salad. A classic.
Best soup in the whole world.
Not an exaggeration!
My lovely Morgan with her chicken salad!
This right here was tasty too!
 Pretty much a chicken enchiladain a bowl. SO GOOD.
The coffee = soo tasty!!
SO.DELISH. Cappuccino
Silly boys with their coffee.
But seriously, it's to die for!
Annd Seth is a barista. .  .
So he insisted on this shot.
The fruit. . . Like nothing I've tasted before. SO delicious! Juicy! Flavorful! Everything fruit SHOULD be. I don't think I can ever eat a pineapple here (at home) again. It just won't be the same.
Pineapple. Cantaloupe. Watermelon. Papaya. Jell-O.
Yeah the Jell-O is random. . .
I don't even know. . . Chiles maybe?
The orange juice is unbelievably good!
The avocados were unreal. SO fresh and SO good.

I thought I would gain a ton of weight on the trip the way I was eating. Funny things is I actually LOST 6 pounds!! (I didn't realize I had that weight to lose in the first place. . . hmm). Organic really DOES make a difference!
Chicken Alfredo! YUM!
Chinese food. In Guatemala. Yeah.
Ryan LOOOVES his hot sauce
Coca-Cola. A taste of home. And salad, YAY!
Oh I love bread.
Translation: Fried Cheese.
Also known as: Cheetos
Banana-Nutella Crepes.
This makes me gag a little.
*cue gags now*
And milk. . . In bags. . . On a shelf. . . Not chilled. . .
Enough about me rambling on about the food. Now something a little more serious. . . Potatoes.

So the people in the village are poorer than you could even imagine. My heart BROKE for these people. Yet, they were the most generous, giving people I have ever met. So sincere and genuine with their gifts. Most of what they do is grow corn and potatoes. EVERYONE grows corn and potatoes.

The generosity.

So one day when my team was stopping our beautiful masonry work to have lunch, a man ran to his house and came back with a basket of cooked potatoes. Kinda like french fries. But the wedges. (Know what I mean? Kinda look like apple slices). Anyways, he offered the basket to our team. We were all taken aback at his generosity. These people are starving. Not in the way we use the word. . . When it's 20 minutes past our usual lunch time and we say "UGH I'M STARVING!!!" No. They are literally starving. They live each day not knowing if they will eat that day. Or the next. Or the next. Yet they offered this heaping basket of potatoes to us. Rich Americans who eat all day every day. And still aren't content. And then we complain about looking fat. A complaint these people only dream about.

Breaks my heart.
Where they live
But here's the thing. We can't really eat their food. You see, our bodies are used to such clean living conditions. We can't drink their water. They can't wash their hands. . . Catch my drift? But we ate them to show our appreciation. Pretty sure a couple people didn't feel too good after, but what can you do?

So then our team has a little meeting and decides, "HEY! Let's buy them a huge bag of potatoes!" (In retrospect this wasn't a great idea because they grow their own potatoes. . . don't know what we were thinking.) So we did. And we presented it to the people who gave us the potatoes. . . Next day rolls around. They cooked all those potatoes for us!! WHAT?! It's kinda funny to think about because they totally didn't get what we were trying to do. Or did they? They have such servant hearts, it blows my mind. They are the definition of what a cheerful giver is. These people are the woman in the story Jesus tells about how she gives two coins and her offering is the greatest because she gave ALL she had. These people gave us their ALL.
In church on Sunday, they washed our feet.
Like Jesus washed the disciples' feet.
Servant hearts.
Lisa, being the wonderful godly woman that
she is, grabbed a bucket and a towel and washed
their feet. It was such a beautiful thing.
And Mrs. Pellish was right at her side washing with her.
And Frank gave the jacket off his back.
AMAZING people on my team.
The Christ-followers.

It's so humbling. Makes me cry just thinking about it. STILL. And maybe that's because I'm just an emotional girl. Or maybe that's because I get it. I get what Jesus is asking us to do. I understand that these people who have NOTHING are so much stronger in their faith than I am. They TRULY depend on Him. For EVERYTHING. I want to be like that. Jesus tells the rich man to give EVERYTHING and follow Him. The people of the poorest village I have ever seen do this daily. Daily.

These people showed me and taught me so much in the week I shared with them. And it's so easy to just go back to my everyday life like the trip never even happened. It's so easy to go back to the way things were before and let the impact of the trip fade away. But my prayer is that daily I give EVERYTHING and follow Him. He gave everything for me. I owe Him my everything.