Tuesday, April 27, 2010

House Blessing - 1

We piled in the truck and drove the mile or so to the house site, for the event we'd been working for all week - the blessing of the house we'd built. We sang "May Nothing Evil Cross This Door" for the family (and Krista read a Spanish translation of the words), then clapped and sang "Enter, Rejoice and Come In!" as we followed the family into the house (which had had its roof installed just a few hours earlier). We presented the blanket we'd made from shirts off our backs, and enjoyed a yummy carrot cake.

House Blessing - 2

Our Kerry and the family's middle daughter Carolina both want to be teachers; Kerry's favorite subject is Spanish and Carolina's is English. Turns out musical tastes transcend borders too -- lots of fun connections.

It was a lovely celebration!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Meeting Carlos

Anne and Jim decided to sponsor a child, after being here and being so impressed with both the need, and with the competent organization, Common Hope. Happily, the social worker was able to arrange for a visit with our child before we left -- Jim had to leave Guatemala early, but Anne visited Carlos and his brother, two sisters and mother. Carlos is a very sweet boy, with a smile that reminded her of Jim's. Anne and Carlos' mother talked a lot about cooking - always a good point of connection! (Yes, red beans are more traditional but her kids like black beans...)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Meeting Sergio and going to his school

My nephew Glen and I are sponsoring Sergio. This was our first meeting with him at his home. Sergio ran about the yard showing us his pet turtle, puppy, and the family baby pig. We played catch with the nerf football Glen brought from his childhood toy supplies. We also visited the village school where Sergio attends First Grade. He will be 7 years old May 10 and has 5 siblings.

At the local school in rural San Rafael, 45 min from Antigua, we had spontaneous clay animal making, with shouts of each child´s favorite animal. This evolved to writing names with sidewalk chalk, the children directing us how to spell their names. They were mesmerized at Glen´s height!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Meeting Allan

Linda and I met the family of the 7 year old boy that our son and daughter in laws family sponsors.
Allan seems a very bright child and is doing well in school. He loved the etch a sketch that we brought him from our sons family. He immediately started writing on the board and did so the entire time we were there.
His mother is very pleasant and outgoing, even animated. She seems very dedicated to keeping her kids in school and has a son, Alejandro, who has passed the 6th grade level which is a significant achievement in Guate and one that common Hope is focussing on.
The social worker with whom we traveled and who is the social worker assigned to this family is the same one I traveled with when we were here three years ago. He personifies the people of Common Hope in general and the band of social workers in particular who provide support to families while makng sure the families are taking the agreed steps to a better life.
We left with hug and kisses from a smiling Allan and his mother, promising a fire truck book from our grandson. ( Alex -hope you can spare one.)

Construction Continues, even more photos

We etched "FPB" (First Parish Brookline) in the almost-hard cement, in the back right corner. No one will see it, but we'll know it's there!

Construction Continues, more photos

More photos from today's construction - read blog below.