On Sun Oct.17...my birthday...I headed out to Guatemala City to pick up Donna and Amanda. We returned to Panajachel in time to dress and go to the best birthday party ever. It was my 64th and I was entertained with 2 men singing and playing guitars. My favorite chef, Mathilda, did the cooking. There were beautiful gifts including a traditional Guatemalan apron and a beautiful pearl bracelet made by a designer in Guatemala. A good time was had by all.
Another day another village. Mayanfamilies was heading to San Jorge with the nurses so I decided to go since one of my sponsored students is there. While the nurses went to the preschool the rest of us went to visit a few people in need of assistance. Some very sad stories out there. And very sad conditions. We then went to see Sulmi, my sponsored student. I had a nice visit with her and her mother who is a very sweet.
For the last I week I have stayed very busy with shopping...bringing lots of wonderful bits of beaded jewelry,Christmas ornaments, scarves and purses back with me. You are going to love them....at least I really hope so since the profits will come back to Guatemala!!! But besides shopping I have visited Tierra Linda which is one of the first villages I saw when I came to check out Mayan Families. It still touches my heart. There are two of the nicest nurses visiting, Carrie and Kelly, who are measuring and weighing the preschool kids and inspecting them for any problems them for any problems. We handed out food to the preschool kids and to a few of the elderly women. One of those caught my eye so I suggested that they have her stay and let the nurses check her out. She looked as if she might not be able to take her next step. It turns out she has congestive heart failure and a serious lung issue but was out of her medicine and out of food. So glad they were handing out food and Mayan Families sent her medicine. As I am writing this we just had an EARTHQUAKE...a bit of a shaking of the house. Oh well I'm still here. After the preschool we visited Kellie's sponsored student then off to a woman who gave birth 3 mo. ago and hasn't been able to get out of bed. The nurses checked her and the baby out.She had no milk for the baby. So I volunteered to buy a months worth of formula. This is why the infant feeding program is so important. By the end of the day I was exhausted but we went out dancing anyway.
Today I return to the land I have come to love...Guatemala. It tugs at my heart when I am not there. But I have to say so does Oregon and that is why I hope to divide my time between my two favorite places when I retire. There will be three dynamic women joining me next week to experience a taste of Guatemala. It will be my niece Kara's second trip with me. She feels very called to return. My friend, Donna from Oregon, had traveled through Guatemala a few years ago so that leaves Amanda as the first time visitor. I was in Guatemala last month for two weeks and I couldn't believe how bad the rains have damaged the infrastructure. Mud slides are doing so much damage to the roads and villages. Many lives have been lost as a result. Children are traumatized by it all too. As a result of this www.mayanfamilies.org has opened up it's fourth preschool in San Antonio Palopo where twenty some people were buried in a mud slide in May. These preschools give the children a safe haven and a time to just play and learn. We hope to visit this village next week and play with the preschoolers. They love it when visitors come. I hope to be able to keep you up to date on our activities next week through this blog.