Saturday, August 18, 2007

Time is a Tick-tick-ticking

O to be the final post in Guatemala. We leave on Thursday morning. Things are wrapping up around here.

Hmmm, a recap of the last two weeks. Well, we had our weekend away at the beautiful Semuc Champey, all natural translucent pools, home to little fishies that nibble at your skin, fresh clean air, fresh clean nature, a few hammocks here and there….my goal of the weekend was to pay the bills and than forget everything expected of a leader, and enjoy my free weekend. O sweet mercies. Kat the recluse, read her weekend away, catching up on the latest adventures of ‘arry Potter. ‘twas lovely. Thoroughly enjoyable. Top of the line.

Ah, the cute Kinder's. This is Gloria. Keep reading to discover how you personally can be involved in Gloria's future...

Other than that it’s been two weeks of our normal schedule, ESL, Fairtrade bizzle and whatnot. Things are wrapping up in the Fairtrade department. I’m currently sitting in a room up at the Casa de la Luz, a room that is both home to my laptop and the ever-growing accumulation of fairtrade goods. I’m staring at a mound of 90 wooden carved bowls, beside me here are bags filled with 300 coffee sacs, and 150 bean sacs. In the cupboard there are belts, and jewelry, sandals and textiles. It’s coming together! This is Clara, one of the textile ladies, sewing away some purses. Consider this your sneak preview.

Oh yes, a new development in that area has been taking 75 sponsorship photos of the three classes in our school. Yes, we have this school that we’ve started. Currently, there are three classes, and Global Shore intends to add a grade every year until we’re a full-fledged school. Property has been purchased up the mountain and sometime in the new year, there’ll be ground-breaking for the new school building. All very exciting!!!! So, we’re following in the line of all good developing country initiatives, and providing sponsorships for the better-off’s of the world…or Canada…or Abbotsford…to support the students going to this school, to help pay for their education, to help cover some of the huge overhead it takes to run a school. Care to help? Well, just attend one of the six fairtrade parties going down in November in a Abbotsford, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Port Burwell, Kitchener near you, and you can sign up and receive the expected smiling photo of the student whose future you are helping to shape. Meet Freddy, him and his wife Romilia are making the leather bracelets for the parties. I don’t take pictures much of anything at the moment except students and the odd artisan shot. So, that will have to be your eye-candy for this last post.

That's it, that's all, must go have some comida before we head off for the tragedy of the Guatemala City Dump. It's sure to be a tearful, impactful afternoon for some.

Much Love, Kat

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Hilarity of Language.

“She’s brushing her teets.” Well….not quite. Let us spend some time practicing the pronunciation of “th”, so as to say “teeth” and not "teets". Good. That made for some comic relief in Andrew and my ESL class the other night. It’s sorta like how I said “What a terrible child” when little Cindy came in crying the other day. I thought, “que mala onda?” meant, “what’s wrong?”, but apparently not. The parents laughed. I thought I’d better have a conversation with my Spanish teacher about what she was teaching me.

Here’s my family. There’s the dad Agustin, Franky on the left, Enma, little Cindy and Osman on the right. I am enjoying my stay with them. I am also enjoying Miss Julianna. She is our Guatemalan director, and the daughter of Robert and Carolyn. A year and a half ago she married Jacobo, a Guatemalan pastor down here. And that’s their very cute hybrid, Rebekah Samantha. Said with the Spanish rolled “r”. Rrrrrrebekah Samantha. I have found a friend in her. Julianna that is, not the baby. It’s been good, because somedays when team stuff is just weighty, it’s nice to have Julianna around, someone who can relate to all this leadership business. And she's just a great gal. Hard not to like.

Today we had a kids carnival in the street. Complete with face painting, the hacky-sac toss and all the usual stuff plus….”Paint the Baby”, where Kris and Dale came out in giant diapers, the kids painted them, and then everyone was bombarded by waterballoons. Only Kris would think up something that ridiculous. It was a hit.

Fairtrade stuff is coming along nicely. It looks like those paper journals will be an item, as I’ve successfully made several sheets now. Steph and I had a good time this morning experimenting with different colors and flowers. I think Monday I’ll pass on the knowledge to one of the moms here. My first attempt was a failure…just a bunch of mush, that’s what the paper was. Kind of like our worms. They all up and died one weekend. Dale-y and I had the “What Went Wrong” discussion, and we think we know, so hopefully by next week we’ll have some more wormies for take 2. It’s all very good. It’s good to fail, you know? Just try again. I'm all about second attempts lately.

Less than three weeks now, pretty crazy. Lots to do still!

Love Kat