One of my dear friends (yes, a Jen!!) picked us up at 3:15 on Tuesday morning. We loaded her car and headed to the airport. Traffic was non-existent (normal people are sleeping at that time!); we made it to TIA around 4:00am. The first thing we did was weigh our suitcases to find that 2 out of the 3 were over the 50lb. limit. Luckily, Jake only had 1 carry on and I packed a backpack just in case we ran into this exact scenario! So, once some rearranging was made, we were good to go!
We flew American Airlines via Miami. Both flights were on time and there were no major events besides a little turbulence on the leg to Guatemala. Customs was also a breeze! My friend, Debora, and her mom were waiting right outside of the airport doors once we walked out! Can’t express the joy it was to see her!!
We had a long drive (2.5 hours) back to our summer home, so we stopped at a quaint little Guatemalan restaurant. You may have heard of it, McDonald’s. LOL! Once we finished up, it was back on the road. It was so surreal (kind of still is) being here. I wanted Jake to see all of the beautiful scenery and I wanted to share things with him, but he was pretty exhausted, so he slept most of the way. He looked so peaceful…I soon joined him!
I woke up when we got into Zacapa and so glad I did because we passed by the hotel we had stayed at my first 2 trips here, Hotel Santa Cruz, and the park where we did our medical mission in January of 2011. We did not have a chance to stop at either spots, but just seeing them again brought back so many great memories!
When we reached the Medina residence, it was such a relief to be off the bumpy road. Praise the Lord Jake slept most of the way because he tends to get carsick. The Medina home is quite nice and comfortable. Jake and I are sharing a room, but have or own beds. There is no A/C, but we each have our own fan! (Praise the Lord again because it is SUPER HOT!)
Jake and I did some unpacking and relaxed a bit. I could tell Jake was pretty upset, but it was confirmed when I walked into our room to find him crying. He tried to hide it, but he couldn’t. I did my best to console him, but it was a bit difficult since I was feeling the same homesick emotions. We both laid in our beds just taking it all in; we are really here and for 8 weeks! Wow! Praise You, Lord!!!
Debora’s dad is a pastor so last night we went to church with the family. It is a small, humble church filled with folks who really love the Lord and were so welcoming to us both. I was so proud of Jake. He smiled, shook hands and even hugged those who hugged him. That is a true miracle all on its own…those who know Jake are praising the Lord with me!
Guatemala is 2 hours behind Florida, so by the time we got home, it was 10pm here, midnight in Florida. We had been awake since 3:00am FL time/1:00am Guate time, so we both were pretty exhausted. We soon went to sleep. Unfortunately, my internal alarm which wakes me up at 6:00am did not make the time change, so I woke up at 4:15am. Not to mention, there is a Catholic church next door that is a celebrating a saint’s day by lighting fireworks all day and all night for the next few days.
Today was a low-key day. We intended to head out to a town about an hour and a half away, however, an hour into the drive, the truck Debora was driving starting pulling to the right and shaking pretty hard. After a 2-hour visit to the mechanics, we were on our way back home. No, we never got to the town we were heading to, but Jake did get a churro! 🙂
Now, we are home, relaxing for the rest of the day. Tomorrow, we both will be in school. I will be teaching English to mostly all grades and Jake will be attending classes with the 6th grade class. They will be a little younger than him, but being in a smaller class with a single teacher all day, will help him learn the language a little faster. Once he is comfortable, he will be able to move up to kids who are closer to his own age.
I know this post was a little longer than normal, but I had to cover 2 days! I hope to be living up to my blog name and post daily, so they may be shorter, but I can’t make any promises! 😉
1. Homesickness: Jake and I are still pretty homesick, so please pray we start focusing and enjoying where we are and not where we would prefer to be at the moment.
2. Soft hearts: As we struggle to adjust, we need to be able to give God the glory in all and every circumstance which means we both have to have soft hearts in order to see His hand at work.
3. The Medina Family: Debora and her parents have been so amazing to allow us to stay with them. May their Blessings be a 100-time fold.
4. Jake: I knew this would be difficult for him, but he is having a harder time than I anticipated. However, his heart isn’t fully turned away as he has been cordial and extremely polite to everyone. Although, he is a teenager so I still pray his attitude would improve. Also, that tomorrow would be a good day for him and he doesn’t feel completely out-of-place.
5. Me: Direction, Guidance and Peace. May I not allow fear or anything that is not from God interfere with His plan for us. May I be the spiritually leader Jake needs and I may be an encouragement to him and others during these 8 weeks.
Thank you all so much!! Love you!!