Greetings from Guatemala! I’d like to share with you a bit of a day in the life of a Guatemalan woman-at least the way a number of the students and I have been able to view it firsthand. I often hear the soft voices of the ladies who work or volunteer here as I am still in bed at 5:00 am or so, but they are walking outside my window on the way to the kitchen to begin cooking for the day. These ladies simultaneously work on preparations for breakfast and lunch for over 200 children and staff each day, in addition to teams such as our own. A pot of water is set to boiling outside over an open fire. Corn will cook for several hours and be used to make corn tortillas–200 a day! Mrs. Peterson tried her hand at it today and found it was not so easy. Two to three students have joined either Mrs. Peterson or I to assist them at 6:00am. Mr. Smith is a handy guy in the kitchen as well. We have discovered no part of their meal preparation includes the word “easy.” Buckets of oranges are squeezed to make orange juice.Every kind of produce imaginable is chopped by hand–no food processors in this kitchen! Our students have chopped and sorted produce–some familiar and some we’ve not seen the likes of before-until hands are stiff and stained. When asked to come to wash dishes (of which there is a steady stream!) in cold water- or dry them-usually with a damp or soppy towel, they are ready and willing. Today Bailey Wells and Share’ce Morton accepted an invitation to hand wash the overused dish rags and towels. Think, rolling a cylinder shaped bar of soap across each towel and then scrubbing it A LOT across a textured cement outdoor sink (used for all home washing by the average family here). After rinsing and ringing, towels were hung to dry. Imagine having to do this for every item needing washing in one’s home. It was explained that during the rainy season sometimes the choice has to be made to either wear a wet uniform to school or wear a dirty one. I for one have come to appreciate paper towels, hot water, and options for quicker fixes when it comes to food prep. And can I just say I have been SO proud of these students. I have yet to hear a whine or complaint. I see them volunteer to sweep, wipe tables, serve food when they are dog-tired. Parents, every one of you would be so proud of your child! I only knew two of them as their teacher before this trip, but I have come to love each of them. They have been a blessing to me and more importantly to the people here at Hope for Guatemala. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving here with them.
9th grade Bible teacher