Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Guatemala.


March 9th: Busy already.

Posted in Guatemala on March 9, 2010

More thoughts from yesterday:
We worked on desks and prepped them to replace the old wood for new wood and then paint them. At 4 PM the kids could play because school and homework time was over. We read them stories (in Spanish) and asked them basic questions like how old are you, how many brothers and sisters do you have? etc etc. Some of the eleven and twelve year olds could not read.. :( We coloured with them. Ah, they were so cute. I met three kids I liked in particular -- Delmay, Franklin and Daniel. Daniel was so good at art! The girls really liked my nose ring, but did not like my rook piercing at all! They openly laugh at our bad pronunciation too. Some of us played soccer in the Open Windows Foundation courtyard and I played games with the girls. I had to do the KitKat bar hand shake/game with so many girls! We played games that were kind of like Ring Around the Rosie and other elementary school games, but in Spanish. It was so, so much fun. At 5 PM, all the kids go home for dinner.

We walked down to another house where two girls and their mother and their father lived. Their dad was an alcoholic and didn't support them. The mother's father died suddenly and he had not written a will yet. So the government took hold of the property. The family can still live there, but the house needs to be able to be taken down if or when the government says so. This means it is made out of bamboo with a tarp as a roof. It gets really windy and rains, and their "backyard" (a dirt path with chickens and laundry hanging up to dry) will get wiped out. I think the saddest part that got to me was that the older daughter is handicapped. They don't even know what mental illness she has and her family cannot afford a wheelchair so she sits in the room that is their house in the dark everyday. That was hard for me because last year I was a Teacher's Assistant in the Resource Room at school. Here, the government does not provide funding for her to go to school in a special classroom with an aid. When our group gets home we are going to start a fund-raiser to build her a house and provide her with a wheelchair. We also went out for dinner in San Miguel's ONLY restaurant. It was Mexican/Guatemalan food. After that we went back to Open Windows and participated in a youth group that happens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It was International Women's Day so we learnt about famous women around the world (Hillary Clinton, Rosa Parks, Helen Keller etc..) We played some "ice breaker" games as well. We left at 9 PM and we went on the roof. It was clouded over tonight. We haven't been able to see the moon yet.

Today we got to San Miguel Duenas at 9:30 AM. We immediately started working on the desks. Some of us drilled the pieces together, some of us sanded the pieces and some of us sanded the old paint of the chair frames. We just ate lunch and now we are going to go to the library portion of OW (Open Windows) and play with the kids.

Adios amigos! ;)
Torry Harris
Developing World Connections Participant

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