I made it back! I’m home I’m home!
Guatemala was a life-changing event. UNBELIEVABLE.
But now I’ve got 6 chances to share it with you (maybe more!) as I fulfill my response to the six ways Seth Barnes says that a short-term mission trip can change your life. (Read my 6 previous blog posts if you are new to my blog.)
The first way a short-term mission trip can change your life is by changing your world view.
We ‘green’ Americans think we are so contemporary and earth friendly with all the ways we recycle! Well, in Guatemala they reuse EVERYTHING! Just look at the buckets, paint cans, 1 and 2 liter bottles, and just about any other old container that can be put to use as a planter. Sarcasm aside, it really was beautiful.
We Americans are spoiled by washing machines and dryers. In Guatemala the wash was pretty much done by hand then hung to dry. Despite the poverty, I must say that the people are clean and will dress the best and cleanest they can – with hair and faces clean and smiling! (Unfortunately, trash that cannot be recycled into anything – just stays on the ground as – trash.)
There was not one flat, straight stretch of road. The houses are built on the sides of slopes and streets either slope up or down … if you don’t like it … you can take the steps! Trenton streets are looking mighty straight, flat, and boring right now.
Got an insect problem? These little guys come out at night and love to dine on insects!
Yes – they actually DO have internet in the small town of La Union, Guatemala. Here, the dentist from Guatemala City that joined us for the week is using his ‘hot spot’ to hook us up. There were also occasional small shops that had internet, too.
Yes, the food is different. We all ate too much 🙂
Dentistry is done a little differently. You just make do with what you have! The main generator was broken so we hooked up to the portable generator outside the window to give us the power we needed. There were no screens or glass panes in the window – it is SO annoying to have to brush flying insects away while we were trying to fill teeth!
Dr. Julio (and most all of the locals in La Union) enjoys a cold bottle of Coke and some crunchy Frito-Lay snacks whenever possible!
There was only one local medical clinic for the town of La Union. Doesn’t every town need their own hospital?
Shingles are not the roofing material of choice.
Who needs a subway system? You can always hitch a ride to the top of the hill!
People in Guatemala have yards to hang out in and live close to their neighbors.
Please forgive any sarcasm with the above photos – my intent was not at all to poke fun. Guatemala was different. I wanted you to see that. The houses are crude – but they work. The way of life is so different from what we think is normal or expected. But this is the normal way of life for the people of Guatemala. Despite the poverty, the challenging hot and humid weather, the steep slope of the land, the limited resources, and the secluded location of La Union, the people are warm and wonderful. When there was work to be done they were hard workers. Mothers and fathers took care of their children as best as they could, and loved them dearly. Each day, people took on the day with figuring out what food was available for the next meal, visiting with friends, and making the most of the day.
Around the world, we may do similar tasks each day, but in a different way. It’s not so strange. It’s just different.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.