Guatemala April 1-2, 2010

Killing time in the Houston Airport (April 1, 2010)

Seldom have I enjoyed a trip as much as I did this trip down to Guatemala with Brianna, Cameron and Laura. The three of them knew each other pretty well before this trip, but they have really embraced this “mature” woman as part of their group. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in an airport as I did in Dallas with them.

We had a long lay over, and went “exploring” the airport. (Never has this happened when I’m with grown-ups.”) We found what has to be the world’s longest escalator, and, of course had to see what was at the top. We discovered the tram which ran around the airport. Well, what do you do when you have hours to kill? Ride in circles around an airport, of course!

We made our time on the tram a learning experience, however. We now know that it is not wise to jump on a moving tram, however, it is possible to run on one. It seems easier, however, to run in the direction opposite the moving of the train. Some of you science types might even understand this, but not me. Anyway, I really wanted to make the experience educational for the kids, and I think we’re off to a good start. Only problem is I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to travel with adults again!

Arrival in Guatemala and Day One (April 1-2, 2010)

Our plane landed in Guatemala City about 15 minutes early, and we made it through immigration and customs in record time. (Yes, Ron, all our bags arrived despite the “curse of the Beauchamps.”) Actually, customs may be a bit of an overstatement for one young lady in a uniform who collects a paper from you, without really looking at it. Each returning Guatemalan citizen had their bags thoroughly checked, while we “foreigners” were casually waved through. A great welcome, if you ask me.

For the rest of this posting, I’m going to copy the email I sent to the kids’ parents after our first day “on the job:

          Hi, parents,
Your kids don't know I'm writing this, but I just wanted to tell you how amazing they were this morning at the orphanage. As I sit here thinking about it, I'm tearing up for about the tenth time today. I can't begin to put into words how proud I am of them. The compassion of Jesus was clear in everything they said and did. I've seen many adults hold back out of fear or awkwardness, but not your kids.

Many of the kids were outside when we arrived at Hermano Pedro, as they were going to watch the procession that went in front of the orphanage. Of course, the challenging kids were left inside. So we went inside. We wanted to take some of them out, but the charge nurse was worried about how the kids would act (the orphanage kids, not yours!) so we stayed and played with them in the garden area. I wish you could have been here to see our crew as they cuddled, carried, fed, played with, pushed and loved on Ervin (who used to have the nickname "Monster"), Delmi, Samuel, and Estuardo. There was nothing that put them off, or made them uncomfortable. I think Cameron gets the "above and beyond" award for today, because when Ervin's pants (all of them) fell to the floor, he scooped him up and carried him to his bed to be changed without flinching. I feel like I got to watch Jesus washing feet today through Brianna, Laura, and Cameron.

Cameron, Brianna and Laura
I want to thank you for sharing your kids with me on this trip. They are blessing my heart more than they'll ever know, and I can't imagine just how much they are blessing the kids with their unconditional and unrestrained love. They humble me.
On a practical note, we arrived in Guatemala City a few minutes ahead of schedule, with all our bags (Ron, never underestimate the power of missions to get things where they need to be!) I think Dick might have wished we'd lost a few, but with a little juggling and some brute force we got them all into the Land Cruiser and headed off for Antigua. There was almost no traffic in Guate City--and this never happens. In about 30 minutes we found out why--everyone was trying to get into Antigua. The road to town was a parking lot as cars were stopped to pay "parking fees" for entering the city, half the roads were closed because of preparations for the processions, and the ones that weren't were jam packed with vehicles going every which way. Using his famous Guatemalan driving techniques, Dick got us into town, but then we were concerned we wouldn't be able to drive directly to the house. Finally we got on a road I recognized, I finally got my bearings (it was dark!) and we made it to the door of the house without problems.
We had a "snack" when we arrived, and visited with the family for a bit. The girls are surviving. Believe it or not, this morning they both tasted refried black beans, and decided they liked them. The fish they had for lunch was a bit more of a challenge. Tonight we went out for pizza.
We'll it's late, and though we're all sitting around visiting, I think I'll call it a night. A great day. Pat

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