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Archive for the ‘grace’ Category

San Mateo

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a school in the village of San Mateo. Getting to San Mateo took about 25 minutes on a very packed chickenbus going completely up hill… further up the mountain than I had ever been. While getting back to Antigua took a mere 10 minutes and a very empty chickenbus going warp speed down the mountain. Needless to say, we held on to our seats for dear life.

Visiting the school was an amazing opportunity to see how other schools in the villages operate. This particular school in San Mateo is run by one family. Judith, at teacher at La Union, and her husband run the small school located off of an alley-way in San Mateo. While Judith teaches at La Union Language School, in Antigua during the mornings, her husband (Juan) teaches the children at the school. Judith returns to San Mateo each afternoon to teach the children, while Juan goes to work in the afternoons and evenings. Judith’s mother assists with the children all day. Judith and Juan’s twins also attend the school. The school is sustained entirely by donations and by this one family. Without Judith and Juan, these kids would have no education in San Mateo.

I was greeted with hugs and laughter from the kids, as well as a greeting (in unison) from the entire class. We had an amazing afternoon full of play and education for the kids. Nick, one of the assistance and a resident of Canada, has assisted at the school for sometime. Yesterday was his last day working at the school. The kids threw him a party. Thanks to Judith, Juan, and Kate for inviting me to the school for the day. I would love to visit again sometime in the future.

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Iglacia de San Francisco

Directly across the street from our apartment is la Iglacia de San Francisco, a massive church built here in Antigua in the 1700’s. At 6 am every morning the church bells ring… and wake me up. My host-mom, Marta Julia, took me on a tour on the first day that I was in Antigua. The church is enclosed by concrete walls. Within the walls, vendors sell traditional Guatemalan crafts to tourists.

When I arrived in Antigua, I was spiritually exhausted. I arrived in Guatemala City on Saturday (01/16/10) and came to Antigua the very next day. (more on this later)

Every morning, after breakfast, I pack my backpack with my laptop and study materials and head to la iglacia to pray. I have decided to dedicate the first 15 minutes of each day to God. As San Francisco is a Catholic church, it’s traditional to use the kneeling benches in front of each pew. Upon arrival, I get on my knees and thank God for the day that I am about to embark on. For those of you who know me well, this is a massive thing for me. I have (literally) never done this before. After a few minutes of thanks, I sit with my eyes closed and palms extended and hand all of my worries from the day before to God. I try to remember the lesson in ‘centering prayer’ that my friend Elaine gave me.

For today, I gave my anxiety of not picking up the langage to God (apparently, I’m not doing badly)… as well as my homesickness, heartburn, and heartbreak for not being able to hug my nieces. I know that I am blessed with this opportunity. I’m so grateful for everyone that made my being here possible.

Directly across the street from our apartment is la Iglacia de San Francisco, a massive church built here in Antigua in the 1700’s. At 6 am every morning the church bells ring… and wake me up. My host-mom, Marta Julia, took me on a tour on the first day that I was in Antigua. The church is enclosed by concrete walls. Within the walls, vendors sell traditional Guatemalan crafts to tourists.

When I arrived in Antigua, I was spiritually exhausted. I arrived in Guatemala City on Saturday (01/16/10) and came to Antigua the very next day. (more on this later)

Every morning, after breakfast, I pack my backpack with my laptop and study materials and head to la iglacia to pray, before heading to La Union. I have decided to dedicate the first 15 minutes of each day to God. As San Francisco is a Catholic church, it’s traditional to use the kneeling benches in front of each pew. Upon arrival, I get on my knees and thank God for the day that I am about to embark on. For those of you who know me well, this is a massive thing for me. I have (literally) never done this before. After a few minutes of thanks, I sit with my eyes closed and palms extended and hand all of my worries from the day before to God. I try to remember the lesson in ‘centering prayer’ that my friend Elaine gave me.

For today, I gave my anxiety of not picking up the langage to God (apparently, I’m not doing badly)… as well as my homesickness, heartburn, and heartbreak for not being able to hug my nieces. I know that I am blessed with this opportunity. I’m so grateful for everyone that made my being here possible.

Iglacia de San Francisco

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The Beauty of Grace

I met so many amazingly beautiful people, and heard some amazing stories of love and survival. One that touched me the most was the story of Grace. She was born in the La Limonada ghetto, and is only about 16 months old. After she was born, Grace’s mother was extremely depressed. Tita and team went to the mother to encourage her to take care of her newborn daughter. The child was pale and thin. One of the teachers of the schools went with Tita, to try to help this mother with her child. After some convincing, and a doctor’s visit, Tita and Monika were able to convince the mother to let them help with the newborn. At this point, the baby had not been named. Monika asked if they could name the child ‘Grace’.

Tita and Monika were able to convince the mother to let them take Grace home with them, to help her get healthy. It’s been about 14 months since Grace went home with Monika and Tita. Grace’s mother sees her everyday, to babysit her while Monika (her surrogate mgrace1other) teaches at the schools in La Limonada.

Monika’s fear is that someday she will go to pick Grace up from her mother, after school… and the mother will not want to give her back. The fear is that if Grace is left with her mother, that she will get swept into the poverty of the ghetto. Girls raised in the ghetto are prone to drop out of school early, and also early pregnancy.

I have had thoughts of this situation everyday, since I met Monika and Grace. Monika has become the mother that Grace was lacking. I know that Grace is in amazing hands, and God has truly given an amazing give to Monika. I truly believe that someday Grace will do amazing things for the schools and the people of La Limonada. I believe that God has given her a gift of an amazing family, with Monika and Tita.

 

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it ok
There’s always one reason
To feel not good enough
And it’s hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction ooh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty and weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight

(Chorus)
In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you feel
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There are vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lie
That you make up for all that you lack
It wont make no difference
Escaping one last time
It’s easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

(Chorus)
You’re in the arms of an angel
May you find some comfort here
Some comfort here
~Sarah McLachlan

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