This beautiful Guatemalan morning I am preparing to leave the beautiful family I have staying with to stay at the hostel, and I want to write about them, as well as they are wonderful people who have brought me here as a way to reflect and give thanks to friends family God and the Universe for all the beautiful gifts I have been given.
I have been staying for the last week at my friend Tita Everetsz home. She is the founder of Plantio do Johova, the group I often also refer to as La Esquilita (this is the name of he first school she opened in the ghetto of La Limonada. Tita is AWESOME! But I already wrote about her in my other post.
Along with Tita her two sons, she houses people that come to work in the ghetto as part of her team called Plantio de Jehova, or part of Lemonade International (the foundation that is helping bring sponsorship to the children at her school and be of help in many other ways as well) In total right now with me at the house there are 12 people here. It is so much fun! We laugh a lot and I have never heard anyone fight. All of the beauty and kindness which they share with each other is fueled through their passion for helping others and their faith in Jesus. They are all open minded, kind, generous and fun people that I feel blessed to have met and now know. They live really simply, and like one big family. They eat together go to La Limonada together, make plans together and look out for eachother.
My dear friend Monika, who I have known for 3 years (a local Guatemalan whose family once lived in La Limonada, but whoes family moved out 5 years ago) now lives in Tita's house and takes care of a 2 yr old from La Limonada there at the house. She is helping to raise this little girl and she is an awesome mom. Monika never ceases to amaze me with her compassion to make time for others!
My new friend Kate (native to the US) has been living in Tita's home off and on for about a year total, or more...I think. She seems to really be Tita's right hand lady, is FLUENT in Spanish, will be director for the art camp and is also taking on a parenting role with a little boy who is from La Limonada. I aspire to be able to have as much patience, determination and consistency in child raising as she has!!! When the kids see me from afar in either of the schools in La imonada, they are always calling her name or Leah's from the window. They are truly loved and making a huge impact!
Leah is the photographer for Lemonade International. I had heard of her for over 3 years since I began coming to Guatemala, and she has an unforgettable smile that is contagiousness. It was a gift to finally be able to meet her and get to know her this year. Leah is relentless in her commitment to child sponsorship for the kids. Her talent brings to the children and families of La Limonada a way for their stories to bee seen by millions all over the world and feel compelled to helped. She is able to capture a story through with dignity, grace and beauty.
Donnie has created an AMAZING website for Lemonade Internaitonal. He is an awesome person and the kids love him a lot. He is very genuine and although he is still in the beginnings of his journey with the Spanish language, it is easy for the kids to feel his compassion and a blessing for the boys to have a role model who they can see as a committed, caring and a strong man.
Lucia is an amazing example to me of how a language barrier is not enough of a reason for people to be disconnected. My Spanish is OK, not great but I get by. Lucia is still just learning the very basics of English but we had a great time learning to understand each other. A native of Guatemala and of Mayan descent, this beautfully sprited young woman always makes me feel at home. I feel apart of the culture and love how its cool to go arm and arm here in Guatemala and be close to your friends. In the US its rarely common, or even for many.... comfortable. I will never forget being near Lucia when we prayed. Her strength and energy are suportive gifts that are felt by everyone around her.
So this is not good be to these beautiful peole yet..just a change of venue! Tomorrow I go to the hostel to meet up with the Buildabridge team and start working on all the good stuff we will be doing at the CAMP!!!