Day One Guatemala!!
We're finally here!
It was a pretty uneventful flight except for one small portion when we hit some turbulence. Of course that was the time one of our group was in the bathroom. He came out looking a little shaken and explained he hit his head on the mirror and made such a racket the flight attendants were waiting to ask if he was ok! He was quite proud to let us know that through it all he kept his aim!!!
After we gathered our luggage and all of the donations upon landing we exited out of the airport. It has changed a lot since we made our last trip to bring Lola home! It looks and feels more like an airport and less like a cement block building.
When we walked out I was hit with a wave of such emotion I had to choke back the tears. I can't really explain why being back in Guatemala would overwhelm me but I have a suspicion it has something to do with all this country has given me- the memories of pure and complete love and adoration I have had each time I came here - the excitement of meeting my daughter for the first time - and the excitement of finally bringing her home. It hit me all in a rush as I looked around the busy street. I hugged Jackson tightly, took a deep breath, and headed toward our bus.
Our bus ride was a looong adventure. The traffic was very very heavy. We creeped along at some points which allowed us to make friends with people in buses next to us! There was a lot of waving, smiling, and gestures of "call me" focused our way! All of the laughter made the ride go by faster. Jackson had his eyes glued to the passing buildings in the city and the mountainous terrain as we got closer to our destination. He pointed out the men standing guard with machine guns, people were Duck Dynasty shirts, the fast food chains like Chuck E Cheese that we were surprised to see, the mounds of garbage thrown down hillsides, the steep rocks where the roads had been cut out, and the women in their beautiful traditional dresses carrying baskets, food, and laundry on their heads!
We arrived at the malnutrition center late afternoon and received a tour. There are 87 children here. They range in age from infants to 13. They have all been dropped off by their parents who have heard about the center through word of mouth. The children are separated according to age and then also according to needs. They are all in need of proper nutrition and lots of love and attention! Most of the rooms have 25 children in them with one nanny. The babies and older kids have two nannies.
Can you imagine getting 25 children ready for bed all at the same time?!? And I sometimes have a difficult time getting just three to bed!!
Our time with the children was very brief today, but I can already see so many needs! The majority of the kids are not shy! One of our team members has a big beard and is very tall, but that didn't deter the kids from wrapping themselves around his leg! I can't wait to have more contact with the little ones!!
And let me just add that I am so proud of my boy! He was patient, polite, and just rolled with it all! He also got down and talked a bit to the kids without being prompted on our tour. It warms my heart! He was also anxious to sign up to write the blog for our team for two nights and meal clean up duty!!
I will have to post pictures at a later date so keep checking back! :)