Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 2 ~ El Barranco Pre-School

In Need of New Shoes

I started today, knowing full well that it would be an emotional one. On the agenda was a trip to the village of El Barranco to visit the new pre-school, conduct an eye glasses clinic, distribute donations, and build a couple of Onil stoves. I checked my backpack for tissues and hopped in the van.

El Barranco has special meaning to our family, because Jay and I pledged our support to fund the rental of the compound that is used for the school and for other Mayan Families business. Because of our pledge, and the promise of others to fund the teaching positions, the school opened in March and has been a blessing to this wonderful village.

After distributing toothbrushes and toothpastes to the 30 children in the program, we stepped outside for a gathering with our Team, Mayan Families Staff, and lots and lots of mothers, many with infants and toddlers strapped to their strong frames in slings.

I was touched beyond words when a student presented me with the gift of a woven tablecloth from the mothers of the village. It truly wasn't until that very moment that I realized how much impact our small monthly contribution was making each and every day in a village far away from home. In a matter of seconds, I could feel my heartstrings tightening.

Together with my new Mission Team friends, I then went on to distribute clothing and shoe donations to each student and their older and younger siblings. They were each so very grateful, but none perhaps was more thankful than the little boy in the photo above. Imagine walking around in these sole bare shoes during the storms of this past week. I'm happy to report that he now has new walking shoes.

Our day ended with another great dinner. I've quickly formed friendships with members of our Team and am thrilled to be sharing this experience with them.

Because of the weather and the road access, our plans for the week will be made on a day-by-day basis, which proves for sure that this trip is not like the last. It's always an adventure here in Guatemala.

Until tomorrow,


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