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The experience of a lifetime

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It has already been two months since we returned from Guatemala. Before we left, none of us really knew what to expect or even much about everything we would be doing, but we all decided to trust that it would be fun no matter what if we all went together. But we were wrong, it was more than fun. It was the experience of a lifetime that I wouldn’t trade for the world. While we were there we had the pleasure to build smokeless stoves and latrines for a few of the families in a community. However, I feel as if everyone there had given me far more than I could have even imagined giving them, and if I was ever asked to return it would be the fastest yes I have ever given in my whole life. What had made the biggest impact on me was the people and families I met. Seeing their faith and positive attitude about everything they have and don’t have has been something I had been able to bring back home with me. I had always thought I was going to eventually travel the world, but this trip has …

¿Cómo se dice?

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Everything we did in Guatemala was memorable. Whether we were building stoves and latrines, buying food at the market, or trying to pet the stray dogs without Mrs. Miley seeing, we always found a way to entertain ourselves. My personal favorite pastime was talking and interacting with the people that lived in San Lucas Toliman, the village we were staying in. There was a group of kids that lived next to our hotel and they took interest in us right when we arrived there. At first, they saw us as gringos that are easy to pickpocket, but after a couple days they decided we were their amigos. We played soccer with them, walked by the lake with them, and communicated with each other as best we could. After 5 days of us trying to learn Spanish from them one of the oldest boys there asked, “Como se dice en ingles?; How do you say it in english?” The kids that were unintentionally teaching us more Spanish than we ever thought we would learn in a weeks time, wanted to learn english …

The people we met

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When I first heard about this Guatemala trip, I had no idea what to expect. I heard from people on similar experiences talking about how amazing and life changing their trip was. I thought to myself that seems cool, but how life changing can a trip really be? Now after actually experiencing going to Guatemala my outlook on life is different. Guatemala was such a life changing trip in many different ways. What stood out to me the most on the trip was the people we met. The people in Guatemala are so incredible, especially the families that we worked with. It is so crazy how happy these families were even though they had hardly anything. They are so incredibly generous people and were more than willing to help us as we were working. We got the privilege of meeting many new people and were able to build relationships with them. I especially liked being able to see the kids everyday, and being able to spend time with them as they would help us work. Now that I am back in Minnesota as I th…

In Retrospect

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This summer, I had the pleasure of being in the Cathedral crew that traveled to Guatemala.  There, we helped to build latrines and stoves in a community in need. This trip was so unique to me because I could connect with and directly change the lives of so many people.  I feel like we really made an impact on the lives of all the families we helped. I know that they all touched us and we will always keep them in our hearts. I also feel like I improved on my Spanish comprehension and speaking abilities.  Mrs. Miley prepared all of us so well and it felt so gratifying to actually be able to speak with either the people we were working with, friends we met, or vendors on the street.
The country of Guatemala is one of the, if not the, most beautiful things I have ever seen.  Whether it be the mountains that we could drive through and overlook colorful valleys below, or the plants at the homes of those we worked with, or just the people who were more kind than anybody I’ve met before, ev…

Memories

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Guatemala was such an amazing trip, and one of the best weeks of my life!
I think about it all the time, and if I had the opportunity to go back, I would leave right now.
I met the most amazing people, and got to know the people I went with so much better.
We went as a mission trip, but I think they gave us so much more than we gave them.
All of the people there are so generous with the little that they have.
They have incredible faith and trust in God with everything.
These are just a few things I learned while I was there, along with many others.
We also built relationships with the families we were working with, especially the children.
I loved getting to know them, working, playing, and talking to them even though we couldn’t
always understand each other. Everyday that we worked was so much fun.
We were always working hard, but it didn’t even feel like work because
we were having fun and joking around. While we were working the kids
would come up to us and always wanted to help. S…

Life at home

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I had no expectations for this trip prior to leaving. Now that I am home, I am constantly thinking about how incredible the entire experience was. The night before we flew home was hard. I don't think anyone really wanted to leave the beautiful views, amazing food, or the friendly people we had met. But now that I am home I am able to apply everything I experienced in 8 days to everything I do. The differences between Guatemala and Minnesota really make me think about what I have. It makes me realize how much I take for granted such as having my garbage picked up once a week, having clean, drinkable water from my faucet, or being able to flush my toilet paper. Each moment of the trip was unbelievable but I will never forget the last work day. All the families we had helped build stoves and latrines for came together for one final celebration. It was incredible to see so many people that will benefit from what we helped do. It helped me visualize what we had done, we really left an…

Back in the USA

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We had a warm reception from a couple of parents at the airport.  Thank you!
Stay tuned for a few posts in the next week about re-entry to our lives back home.