Sunday, October 18, 2009

Guatemala Mission Trip, Oct. 18

I left the States on Saturday for Guatemala as part of a week-long mission trip through my church to help install a well in a coastal village. Our plane landed very late, so we spent the first night in Guatemala City at a Mennonite Seminary. For some reason I still got up at 5:45, and this was the view from the fourth floor.

You aren't supposed to flush toilet paper in Guatemala City, and here's the sign from the back of the bathroom door to prove it.

The seminary courtyard had some beautiful vines that were just starting to flower.

Guatemala has a number of active volcanoes, and here are two of them.

A four-hour van ride got us to Retalhuleu and the Hotel La Colonia, where we watched a soccer game while we waited for the drill rig to arrive. Thank you, TripAdvisor for tipping me off in advance that the place has wireless internet. :)

We headed to the village of Azatlan just to scout the location a bit and attend church service. When our leader, Kirk, asked someone to go up and see how much water was in their existing tower, after a couple of days of planes and vans I was more than happy to make the climb.

Since we were there, we figured we might as well at least start getting things set up for Monday.

The village ladies graciously cleared the area (aided by Gloria, our leader's wife) and burned the resulting pile of trash.

Since we were there and had things all set up, we figured we might as well start getting the holes dug for the hydraulic filtration system needed to do the actual drilling. The villagers eagerly pitched in.

Kids everywhere love to have their picture taken. And they all know to come look at the back of the digital camera afterward to see it. :)

Zak will be thrilled to learn that bunny ears are even considered funny in Guatemala.

Gloria found a "kid" of her own to cuddle. Kirk immediately had flea concerns.

Since we were there, had things all set up and had the holes dug, we figured we might as well fit the first bit. We ended up getting a head start of a couple of hours on Monday's work. I asked Gloria to take some pictures of me actually working tomorrow, so it doesn't seem like all I did was take photos and play with the kids.

A light shower didn't deter the local goats and sheep from grazing on their preferred pasture, the fútbol field.

After service in a good-sized cinder block chapel with a beautiful tile floor and two Casio keyboards, the setting sun signaled our time to head back to the hotel for a good night's rest.

A bit amazing to me that a place with TV and wireless internet doesn't have clean water. We were told the current water tower is empty by each May. But so it is, and it's already been a blessing to have the chance to help these wonderful people.

I'll try to update this as often as I can, but word is tomorrow is going to be a VERY tiring day. And a messy one.

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1 comment:

Orontes said...

I'm just glad you changed your profile to admit that you're 40.