I have been asked numerous times why Guatemala is important to me and today I would like to briefly share my response.
When I first learned about the trip to Guatemala I knew I had to go and experience this journey. I can still remember the exact moment of sitting in my chair during class while impatiently waiting to sign my name on the sign-up list. A few weeks went by and I had not heard any information about the trip and thought “man, did I really miss this opportunity?” Little did I know an e-mail was being sent my way to register for the trip.
I registered for the trip, had many group meetings, several phone conferences, and finally a packing party. The trip was really about to happen and I had no clue what to expect. From the moment of stepping into the airport here in Dayton, to officially landing in Guatemala City, my nerves finally hit me. I can remember thinking to myself…..
“why am I here?”
“did I make a mistake signing up for this?”
“what if I don’t make it back home?”
“how can I communicate with these people if I can’t speak Spanish?”
When we left the airport we traveled nearly two hours to the hotel we were staying at. During the drive I witnessed several incidents that were out of the ordinary. Some of them I am still unable to explain and some of them I share with others. For instance, I witnessed a man driving a scooter with his two children who looked to be around 3-4 years of age. I knew there would be cultural differences but this really caught my attention and the image is embedded into my mind. I could go on about the culturally differences for hours and maybe even days but it still won’t give you the full effect unless you witness it first-hand.
During the stove building project I was paired with a man named Peen, and he welcomed my partner and I as if were his own family. Although there were language barriers, and we had to play charades more times than I can count, he was understanding and grateful for our help. The children in the village crowded around us every time we entered the village and wished for us to stay everyday to hangout with them. To this day I will still never be able to explain how much the families in the village changed my life.
When I signed up for this trip I had the intentions of going and changing the Guatemalans lives….little did I know the Guatemalans would end up changing my life instead……
To Be Continued……
Please help and Donate to my GoFundMe account so I can experience this opportunity once again.