About every six weeks or so, Dick and I make a regular visit to San Andres Iztapa, just outside of Chimaltenango, to visit Edgar and his family. We have been working for over two years now to get his frequent seizures under control. Thanks to generous sponsors, he has seen a great neurologist in Guatemala City and his current medication has reduced his seizures from more than 60 a day to around 10. While not perfect, this has greatly improved the quality of his life. More than that, though, it let's him and his family know that there are people, both here and in the US, who care about him. That, I think, has been the best medicine for them all.
This time, we arrived two days before the Guatemalan celebration of Mother's Day. We found the courtyard outside his house filled with ladies who were peeling what seemed to be a small mountain of carrots. Edgar's mom told us she frequently does catering for people in the village, and they were preparing a large Mother's Day dinner for one of the local churches. She would be spending her Mother's Day serving other mothers.
She told me they were cooking one of my favorite Guatemalan foods, estufado (stew). This particular dish uses four different types of meat, and must cook more than 24 hours over an open fire. She asked if I would like to see where they were cooking it.
|Looks like quite a bit of stew, doesn't it?|
If you think this is hard, her kitchen is located on the third floor of their home. I can't imagine carrying all the food, and water, up six flights of stairs to get it to the kitchen. Then again, I don't know how they get all the hot stew down without killing themselves.
|This is the view from the doorway of their kitchen|
Few of them complain. Most, like Edgar's momma, are grateful if they have food to cook for their families, and a roof over their heads. They are more than grateful for our friendship and whatever little we can do to help them. Their secret? They know all they (and we) have, comes from God. They believe that, if they are not grateful for what He has provided, they don't deserve to receive more. I think we could learn from our Guatemalan sisters. . . .