Monday, August 8, 2011

San Lucas Day 7

We took a trip to Santiago again today but this time in Guatemala´s public transportation!

We eventually were able to tell the taxi driver where we wanted to go...this is a peace park that marks the beginning of the end of Guatemala´s civil war.

Rita found Francisco...the driver who always used to pick her up from the airport...this is his grave he died last October.

This was our taxi driver in Santiago...he was very helpful and patient with us.
Kate Bruce and Jennifer went for a hike up one of the large hills...after we were locked in our hotel...when taking a breather Kate found an old string of Christmas lights.

Catholic church in Santiago where Fr Stan Rother presided, his heart and blood were kept here and buried in the back of the Church.

Statues of Saints are dressed up differently during certain time of the liturgical year. This has some sort of significance as far as food and farming go...that´s what Rita said.

Even the crucfix was dressed.

Bruce and Jennifer on our morning hike...the pictures do not do it justice.  We were able to look down and see all of San Lucas and Lake Atitlan.

San Lucas is the international headquarters for CFCA where 14,000+ children and elderly people are sponsored.  The cost is only $1 a day.  People who chose to sponsor a child while down here had a chance to meet them and their families.  Also we have met many people who have been sponsoring children and come down and see them while they are here.

Lesson for the day:  Take time every day to enjoy...well maybe you won´t enjoy it...but at least look at and embrace the scenery around you.  Here are a few things we have enjoyed...the beautiful scenery...everything is so lush and green, the flowers...we saw marigolds at the cemetary taller than we are, open air rides in the back of pick up trucks, trying/learning/succeeding in communicating with the local people, meeting lots of people both from San Lucas and other people from Minnesota and around the United States, teaching our taxi driver the word church in English, sharing stories/getting to know each other and laughing A LOT along the way.  Here are a few things that maybe we have not enjoyed...the dogs...especially when clearing the streets of dead carcusses, constant smell of smoke whether it be from cooking or burning garbage, eating peanut butter sandwiches with every meal, and a variety of other interesting sights and sounds.  Please do not take this the wrong way...we are very much enjoying our time in and around San Lucas.  All of our experiences have made us thankful to come home to our families and friends and remind us not take the simple things in life for granted.  Tomorrow we will be traveling to Antigua to spend part of the day there before going to Guatemala city for the night then catching a plane bright and early Wednesday morning.  We miss you all, peace and blessings. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

San Lucas Day 5 and 6

We skipped dinner at the mission to have Pizza!  We had to order it Gringo make sure they cooked the crust all the way through.

Rita and Justin...from Oak Grove...sanding spoons that the local people hand carved with machettes.

Electrician´s nightmare!

Today (Sunday) we took a boat ride on Lake Atitlan over to Santiago.

  Church in Santiago...the service was so full people were out on the steps.  This is also where Fr Stan Rother was murdered.

Rita going to catch a ride in the Tuc Tuc (taxi) back to the mission.  This is the noise our families have been hearing on the phone.

We had a chance to travel to fincas with Fr John Goggin where we participated in of the highlights of the trip.

Lesson of the day:  Church is a huge part of the peoples´ lives here in Guatemala.  At all of the churches we have been to...the San Lucas Parish, the finca parish, and Santiago every one shows great reverance during worship.  People come to packed services and are willing to either sit or stand in the aisle, they kneel on the cement floor and sing with no words in front of them.  It has been surprising to us how familiar the mass is even when we can´t understand the words that are being spoken.  Another somos uno moment realizing we are all one .  Conintued peace and blessings to you all.

Friday, August 5, 2011

San Lucas Day 4

Bruce and Jennifer moved rocks from one pile to the next...some of the children helped...they were carrying them on their heads and backs.

We found ice cream!!!

Kate Bruce and Rita outside our hotel...Posada Molina.

Sister Rita carrying rocks from the large pile behind her into the area that will be a park for the children.

We are working along side other groups from Minnesota while we are here.  This is Tara...she is from the Oak Grove group.

Send bail money...we will explain later!

Lesson for the day:  Sometimes our lesson of the day comes to us as soon as we step onto the Church steps.  Every morning we are fortunate to hear the end of the children´s daily mass.  They are so passionate and ALWAYS let their voices be heard. It gives us energy for the day and is a good reminder of why we are here and the work we are doing.  So let your voice be heard and sing your life song loud and proud you never know who may be listening.  Love and peace to all...a BIG congratulations to Father Fred as he celebrates his 50th anniversary as a priest...we are sorry we aren´t there to celebrate with you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

San Lucas Day 3

 Thank you Bethlehem Lutheran for all of your donations and the beautiful bags!!  They made it to Guatemala!

Rita hard at work making gravel out of rocks.

Kate and Rita digging dirt out of gaps with rebar in preparation for cement pillars.

This is our mode of transportation to work each morning...they pick us up on the church steps.

Jennifer hauling wheelbarrow loads of dirt that was spread on an area up a hill to possibly plant grass...we are not really sure this is our best guess.

Bruce and Rita investigated an early morning noise and found a man grinding corn.  The women of the town use the mash to make tortillas.

Lesson of the day:  We have found that the lastest trend at the mission is dirty clothes...people seem to know exactly which work sites we were at based on how dirty our clothes are.  There are many different groups working with us at the mission and they have been inspirational to group from Oak Grove wears shirts that say Somos Uno which means We Are One...we must never forget this...we are one with the people we are at the work sites with and we are one with the people of Guatemala.  Barb and Rita also saw one of the doctors they worked with yesterday whose shirt said Easy Day was Yesterday, and as we feel our energy draining each day we sit here thinking...please do not let that be true!!  Peace and Blessings to you all, please keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

San Lucas Day 2

Screening dirt to extract rocks...this area will eventually be a park for children to play with including a playground and soccer field.

Kate trying one of the Guatemalan beverages.

Bruce and Rita trying a different beverage while playing Cribbage.

Sr Rita won the first game of Bananagrams...can you get back to us on what some of these words mean?!

Bruce breaking rock to help make cement...the group breaking rock filled about 2.5 five gallon pails.

Jennifer sitting on a rock...breaking rock...deluxe accomodations

Bruce Kate and Jennifer were able to see a garden of medicinal plants including citronella!

View of Lake Attilan

Sr Rita and Barb spent the day at another village with the medical students from Wisconsin...they were pharmacists for the day.  Here Sr Rita is giving the children an English, two, three

Barb enjoyed spending time with the chilren of the village, she also taught them how to floss!!!

Lesson of the day:  Everybody needs somebody all the time...whether you are playing soccer in the street or breaking rocks for cement or caring for the sick or enjyoing the children. We are constantly being reminded that we are all one global family and es muy bueno!!

We are counting on your love and prayers...we will keep you in ours.  Peace

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

San Lucas Day 1

Barb and Kate´s Room at Posada Molina

Volcano at 6am outside our door...thank you Jennifer and Sister Rita...for doing a pajama run on this one!

Breakfast at the Mission

What do you think we had for breakfast?  It was very good!

Jennifer and Bruce on the Mission grounds.

Kate and Jennifer on the truck...our first modeling job in San Lucas...ready to tour the town.

Barb Kate Bruce and Jennifer on the coffee drying patio...a long way up....overlooking San Lucas...Rita...the sensible at the bottom of the hill.

Kate and Barb coming down...the locals carry 100lb bags of beans up the hill to process and dry their beans.

Dish duty...yes Barb, he does do dishes...and seems to be enjoying it!  Lunch was chili for 75 people!

Sr Rita getting in on the action...scrapping plates.

We found out today that we are here during their winter which means rain and 65 degrees.  So...we did manage to escape the heat of Minnesota but not the rain!  Almost everyone we have met is here from somewhere in Minnesota.

Daily Lesson:  We are here as global citizens and working in solidarity with the people of San Lucas.  As Fr Greg Schaffer put it we are not in front of them pulling not behind them pushing but walking along side them.  If they are sprinting we need to sprint with them and if they are crawling we need to crawl with them.

We are proud to say we are from Fergus Falls and Alexandria, it is a constant reminder of who is thinking about us and praying for us as we continue on our mission work.  Hope all is well with all of you, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, August 1, 2011

They Made It!!!

I got a call from Barb & Kate, they arrived at the mission safely. The fights went well. Sounds like the 3 hour ride from the airport to the mission was an adventure. Apparently the rules of driving or lack of rules is a little bit different than what we are accustomed to. Tomorrow morning they will be at the mission to begin their orientation. Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.
Peace Rick