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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.


Goodbye, for now, Guatemala

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Well, we had great intentions, and there was a lot of enthusiasm about everyone writing a short note in the blog tonight, but adventures got the better of us.  It's just after 11pm, and we are just settling in at our hotel in Antigua, hoping to catch a little nap before we leave for the airport at 3:00 am, and a 6:00 flight.
We've already had a long day of traveling. 
We had breakfast in San Lucas Toliman, and left at 8 this morning for a 3 hour bus ride to Antigua.  In Antigua, we had lunch, then spent the afternoon walking around town, shopping in the market, spending our last Quetzales, visiting the Chocolate Museum, and just soaking it all up until we had our final dinner at 6:30.
Each night of this trip we have gathered at the end of our day for reflection time and journaling.  Tonight's was a little longer, as we shared our personal highlights and said our goodbyes, or rather "hasta luego" with our amazing trip leaders, Fredy and Juan.  They truly helped m…

Seven stoves and seven latrines later

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Day number seven in Guatemala. Another beautiful day and the volcano outside our hotel window was in full view for the first time, no clouds in sight. We've been blessed with seven gorgeous days. The routine started with a devotion/prayer and breakfast at seven. Then off we went to build. our last stove and latrine. At this point, we've become experts at mixing mud, cutting blocks and lumber, digging holes, nailing, etc. We elevated curb appeal with each latrine built, made each kitchen look spiffy and homey. It felt good to know that a family will have a safe kitchen to cook meals and a decent latrine where they can have the privacy to relieve themselves. Such simple rooms but a big game changer for how they live their lives here in Guatemala.

As the afternoon arrived, so did the families that we had been working with.  It was amazing to hear and see the excitement in all of our faces and voices - new friends had become family!  Moms and kids from 7 families gathered with bal…

Gringos Get Emotional

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(The Boy's Perspective) After an eventful night of nearly getting locked into the opposite hotel rooms of ours, walking around in the rain looking for a gate guard, and finally getting help, we found ourselves falling into a heavy sleep in our beds.  Waking up the next morning was as lovely as ever, being about an hour earlier than both of us would have woken up during a regular summer day.  The regular routine followed that of getting dressed, heading to a great breakfast, walking back to our rooms to grab bags, and then hopping on a bus to the work site.

(Andy's Perspective) We jumped on the bus and listened to some more Phil Collins/Tarzan Soundtrack, which Kian sadly wasn't present for.  The 45 minute drive was not sped up by talk of prom dresses with the other girls.  We eventually arrived and started the ritualistic work.  Roughly an hour in, Jacqueline and I started a hammering contest, with only hammers and nails for Andy.  It was quite entertaining giving guff back…