Thursday, November 22, 2007

Team from Visalia, CA

After a quick trip to Visalia, California, we returned to Guatemala in time to receive a team from First Presbyterian Church in Visalia. We had a great time reconnecting with old friends and meeting some new ones! Here's just a little taste of what went on and what got accomplished last week!

Some of the ladies ministered to me particularly by working in my yard. They cut grass and weeded my garden until it looked pristine! They even found a few "strange" insects and spiders!

Meanwhile, in the garage, the guys started on the filter system. Thankfully, Johnny was involved because it all looks complicated to me!

A tricky part!

It's measure twice and cut once...or is it measure once and cut twice?

And then there are always power tools!

Break time!!!!

Xiba loved all of the attention. She sat next to the gate and watched all of the activity...and hoped someone would drop some food!

Everyone helped.

Does it go this way?

Some jobs took the tall folks!

After three days of work, here's our new filtration system, shown by the lovely Vanna (Mark).

And the playground crew!

On Thursday, we had a dedication service for both projects and a demonstration of the filter system. Many of our area pastors and elders attended. Here, they meet the team.

Always go to the bathroom before you leave the house! If you don't, you are in danger of using the same bush someone else used!
Hope you enjoyed the overview of our week! This was the last team of the year and, as we look back, we realize how blessed we are with all of our friends from all over the U. S. We hope to see some of you back down here next year!
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Busy Fall

Blogging has been sporadic this fall, our internet access has been hit or miss. But just because we haven't blogged doesn't mean that we haven't been busy! We have been working with the youth of some of our area churches, showing movies, doing skits and singing songs. We continue to visit different churches each Sunday and Johnny attended the large yearly consejo meeting in September, a two day affair.

Good friends had two of their children "graduate" from their grades to higher levels - Patti (above) from kindergarten to first grade and Erendia from sixth grade to seventh. During these ceremonies, we were confronted by something we hadn't had to deal with before - do you join everyone else when they salute the Guatemalan flag or just stand there in respect? We just stood and showed respect since we weren't Guatemalan citizens, but it was something to think about!
All during the month of October, each of the local CAM churches were assigned a day to work at the Camp. We were moving a large area of dirt and didn't have the money to hire a backhoe. Unfortunately, we had more rain than usual in October and they ended up moving mud more than dirt! But we had great fun, even if it was a little wet!
We even had help from the ladies!
While Johnny and the workers moved mud during the last week we were there, I was inside teaching Carmen, a woman who comes to help, how to bake. The Mayan women don't bake because most of them don't have ovens. They cook over an open fire with a piece of metal placed over it. So Carmen was intrigued to learn how to use a mixer and the oven! She helped me as I prepared for the team that arrives next Saturday. It was odd to see her cooking at my stove with her baby wrapped on her back taking a nap! She will return on Thursday to help finish my preparations for the upcoming team - and learn to bake cookies!!
We spent the last week and a half in Dallas, TX, in training. In the evenings, Johnny and I learned to play bocce ball! We did great at first, but I think it was beginner's luck. But we did have a great time. From Dallas, we traveled to Visalia, CA, to visit First Presbyterian Church, who has sent two teams a year for the last 3 years to work at Centennial Camp. Even though we had never visited there before, we knew so many folks, it was easy to feel very welcome and comfortable! They are the ones we are expecting next Saturday, for a week of work at the Camp!
As I said, it has been a busy fall, but we have had a great time. I am sitting in the Dallas airport as I write this, hoping that the rain will be gone when we get back! We are anxious to see what all was completed while we were gone and just get back to normal. I will write later next week with news of our new filter system and playground equipment!