I will start out by telling you what we did each day and then finish by telling you how the trip affected me in my spiritual walk and my future plans. Well we left on a friday to drive to Dallas and spend the night there so it would be easier to make our flight the next morning at 9. It's kinda crazy how our drive to Dallas was longer than the flight from Dallas to Guatemala City, Guatemala. Saturday when we arrived it was close to 1:30 in the afternoon(incase you weren't aware they are in the same time zone as us) so I was starving!...more
(Guest Post by Catherine Whitworth, MPA)Some time ago, my husband Steve and I served as Peace Corps volunteers in the enchanting Central American country ofGuatemala. It is often said that Peace Corps volunteers gain more than they contribute in the countries where they live and work. Some of the most important lessons I have learned in my life were from the children ofGuatemala. One child, Maria, who visited us frequently, taught me the true meaning of giving.
Maria was 12 years old when we met. She was ...more
I hate to read news like the story that rolled out of Guatemala yesterday and splashed into the adoption world like a boulder into a quiet lake. A judge in Guatemala has ruled that a six-year-old girl should be returned to her biological family. Because she was kidnapped and wrongfully placed for adoption. There are no winners in stories like this one, but the ripples of this ruling and subsequent news coverage will -- or should -- have far-reaching effects.
My second son is a bit of an adventurer. He is not at all content with the “American Dream” and in fact finds it a bit contemptuous. Some of this, I believe, he was born with. His older brother remembers riding in the Suburban along with Stephen while I would quiz the brood on various topics (everything from spelling to the Saint of the Day—this was back when I was still Catholic, thus the 8 kids), and I would ask what they each saw themselves doing as adults. Stephen would inevitably say that he was NOT going to live around HERE and he was sure NOT going to have any kids.
Travel has taught me that some blessings are extremely well disguised, especially in Guatemala.
Tempering any expectations of a smooth trip from the highlands to the islands, before departure we watched a mechanic crawl under our bus with a hammer and some duct tape. So, Cathy and I bought some "emergency" beer for the road.
the shaman who gave us his blessing repeated, again and again, "for health, for wealth, for mind, for heart, for the next generation...". he said, "you must stay together always" and he beat his man-made bird's wing on our bodies, blew resin smoke in our faces, shoved mats of lemongrass under our feet, and in each of our hands placed an offering (to our collective soul, i suppose).
I was just too tired to meet Subcomandante Marcos, masked revolutionary/spokesperson for Mexico's Zapatista movement, (EZLN). Besides, he's notorious for standing people up. My trip was already Jewel of the Nile-meets-Blood Diamond, and I wasn't going to go trekking blindly through the backwoods of Chiapas, after a 24-hour bus ride from Mexico City, to add a documentary to the mix. I needed to catch my flight home and sleep for a very, very long time.
Five years ago, I hadn't heard of Tegucigalpa and it's been at least that long since I've played a game of pool, but still I found myself there in October, teaching a group of Guatemalan Mayan men the ropes. Honestly, I wouldn't have been so confident as to teach them had I thought they'd ever played before, because I am a fraud. Knowing only the basic rules, I'm not qualified to be a teacher, but they were eager to learn and I couldn't refuse an opportunity to bond with them outside of the day's more serious agenda.
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