Oh. my. goodness! I can’t believe it’s already August! You may or may not have noticed I was MIA during the month of July, but if you’ve got a few minutes, instead of just jumping right in to what I’ve been wearing, I’d love to fill you in on a couple of exciting things I’ve been up to:)
On July 19, I left for my 4th mission trip to Guatemala. Since 2010, a group from my church, alongside a group from Chicago, have been building a school in a village there called Canton Barrios. The school will provide continued education to many students who quit after 6th grade because the government no longer pays for schooling past that.
When we first arrived in 2010, the land purchased for our project was completely covered in jungle growth, and we cleared the majority of it with machetes and axes… For real.
A neighbor did eventually lend us a chainsaw and some rope to help with a couple of huge palm trees that needed to be cut down.
And towards the end of the week, we were able to get some heavy duty equipment, but it didn’t go very well.
Finally, by the time we left, we had a clear patch of land that was ready for construction.
Fast forward 4 years through lots of sweat and sore muscles to a two-story, 6-room schoolhouse that is so close to being ready for students.
The three bottom classrooms are structurally complete, and the flooring, doors, and windows were ordered while we were there in July.
Our job this time was to continue getting the walls up on the second level classrooms.
Completion of the walls requires lots of cement, so 2 1/2 days of this trip was spent moving gravel, sand, and water from the ground to the 2nd floor to be mixed with cement later. This meant filling bucket after bucket and pulling them up with a rope and pulley.
Once the school is complete, we will begin work on a church and, eventually, a clinic. Many years of hard work ahead, but it is totally worth it!
If you are interested in helping in any way with this project, we are currently asking for donations of laptops. If you have one you would like to donate or know of any businesses that would be willing to donate old but working laptops, I would love to hear from you! I believe plans are in motion to take them down in November.
After a day’s work, we hold a nightly bible school at another local school. Kids walk from far and wide to participate. We were told that the week before we arrived, kids were showing up every day asking when we were going to be there! The awesome thing about this project is that since we have been working there for 5 years, we have seen these kids grow up and return year after year.
We also make new friends every year, both with the locals and with new faces from Chicago.
At the end of the workweek, we get to spend a day being tourists. This year, we traveled to the beautiful and historic city of Antigua where we did some sightseeing and shopping.
Tyson and I also got to enjoy our first couples Swedish massage. $35 total for an hour! Who could resist? I didn’t take any pictures of that though;)
I do have some other exciting news to share with you, but I’m afraid it will have to wait until next time because I said more than I planned! Thanks for reading about this project that is so near and dear to my heart. If you have any questions about it or have ever contemplated going on a mission trip and have additional questions, leave me a comment or send a private message to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to give you more information!
To see more pictures from my trip in July, check out this short YouTube video.