So Long. Farewell. Aufwiedersehn – Goodnight.

18 Jun

“I hate to go and leave this pretty sight.”

Sadly, my time in Guatemala is quickly coming to an end. My goal was to be here for total of 6 months but due to life and money issues I am forced to make the decision that I have to go home early. Es la vida, as they say here in Guatemala.

My last full day in Guatemala will be June 28th, 2012. Thank you all so much for your love and support during this time. It has been full of ups and downs, but I have ultimately enjoyed every single minute I have experienced here. Being able to just be here for the children, showing a positive, loving example for them made my day, each day I was here.

I am starting to say goodbye to dear friends I have made here who are truly going to miss my presents here in Guatemala and at Nuestros Ahijados. I hope someday I will be able to return and bring my sunshine to them again. I’m going to list some of them here so they feel special: Joanne, Jose, Meike, Liseth, Lucy, and Ofelia.

I cannot forget to list my lovely second grade class. We’ve been through a lot together and I am going to miss those kids most of all. It tears me up even thinking about leaving those children. I hope that I have done what God wanted me to do for these kids.

As for business, I did mention that I was having money issues. No one likes to talk about money or even ask for money, but if you would like to donate more money to help fund my current trip, I would really appreciate it. Due to having to fly home early for my mom’s surgery, I incurred more debt that I previously anticipated. I have to pay $2,300 that is sitting on my credit card right now all due to air tickets. Any extra money I will have left over will go towards my next trip to Guatemala. For more information on donating money, you make visit the “How Can I Help” tab above and follow the donating instructions there. (You may donate online or with a check sent through Bem Church. Or if you know me personally, you can give me a check as well.)

Thank you all so much for keeping up with my blog. I hope to make at least a couple more posts to this blog before I leave and a couple after I have returned home.

Muchas Gracias

Lindsey

P.S. For those of you wanting to know, my mom is now home from the hospital and doing really great. I thank you all for your prayers while she received her liver transplant and the aftercare.

Advertisements

Sharing is Fun!

14 Jun

I saw this on Facebook very recently and wanted to share this with all of you.

“I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about; I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people—Americans and Europeans—come back and go, ohhhhh. And the light bulb goes on.” -Henry Rollins

Please let me know your thoughts on this topic. Do you have a passport? Do you have the desire to travel? Do you want to find yourself, no matter how old you? Well, do you?

Have a great weekend!

Here I am…updating my blog…

11 Jun

I’ve been back in Guatemala for a week now. Wow. What a week. I went to work and immediately the kids and staff were excited to see me return. They all missed me and I missed them just as much! They are so thankful that my mother is now cured from her sickness…as am I.

Work was a little slow last week due to exams. Think of it as when our schools back in Missouri have their state tests. It’s just like that. They only have half days when they do have exams. What does that leave me to do in class? Well, I currently helping out the teacher with preparations for future lessons for a couple hours in the morning and I am usually home by around noon. In the afternoons, I’ve been working on my book, talking to my family, visiting friends and/or exploring the town.

Last night my friend Mustafa and I went to an Italian restaurant for dinner. We both had pizza. Of course, being from the St. Louis area, I had to be a critic of this pizza. First off, it was homemade thin crust (yummy!), fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh pepperoni meat. I gave it a 8.5/10. Why? Because even though it was pretty good, it needed a little more tomato sauce and could have used some provolone. That would have made it a 10 in my book!

Today I am going back to Casa Santo Domingo. I JUST CAN’T WAIT!!!! I just love it there. I’m taking my friend with me because I want to share this place with everyone I know.

Just found out a friend of mine who I met in Guatemala (she is back in the states now for a short visit and plans to return) has contracted the West Nile Virus from a tick here in Guatemala. Wow. Please pray for her recovery.

That is all for now! Thanks for reading my blog and please comment if you can!!! I love reading comments and I haven’t received any lately.

Update on Mom & ME!

28 May

Hello fellow blog readers!

I wanted to give you all an update on what has been going on for the past couple of weeks with me. When I flew into the states on the 18th, I have been with my mom about 95% of the time. She has been hospitalize for awhile now and instead of going to Florida, as originally planned, I decided to go to St. Louis and spend time with her while my sisters went to the beach. Well, when they left we found out that a liver became available and that she was going to have surgery and just a few short hours. I was here all alone. Last week was a very rough time for me and I thank all of you for your prayers and support during this time.

Mom is doing better and better everyday and I have faith that the liver is a great match for her. Please continue to pray and she would love to receive cards and letters from everyone in the outside world (not Facebook messages). She has been in the hospital for almost a month now.

As for me, I plan on going back to Guatemala sometime within the next week. So if you want to see me, you better get on it. 🙂 I will be there for another month, mas or menos, and then after a short tour of the U.S.A. with a very, very good friend, I will be back in Missouri trying to find a job. If you could help me with that, I would really appreciate it!

Oh yeah, and my birthday was on Saturday, May 26th. Can you guess how old I am now? Comment below. 🙂

Until next time!

Lindsey

 

Video Blog #1

19 May

A friend of mine asked me if I could do a video blog. I decided that I would interview two of my good friends here in Antigua. In this video you will see Joanne, a friend of mine who I traveled a lot with in Guatemala and helped her teach English at the school, and Mustafa, my best friend in Guatemala.

Currently, I am in the states not only to renew my visa but my mom is very sick and in the hospital. I am with her right now, in fact. Not sure when I will return to Guatemala, but I am hoping it will be very soon. I miss being there already!

I hope you enjoy the video and please comment!

 

 

 

 

Just Excuses?

6 May

I have been talking to various people about coming down to not only visit me but explore Guatemala and, of course, volunteer some time, too. I heard so many excuses, some valid some not so much. Someone had a wedding to go to this summer? Someone had camp? Someone has kids? Someone just couldn’t miss the fairs this summer? And someone just had to see the fireworks for July 4th? What? That last one actually made me laugh. Every weekend, if not everyday I hear or see fireworks in town. It is practically a daily occurrence! 

See for yourself!

I’m not writing this because I am “complaining that people won’t come down.” I’m writing this because I see time and time again people hide from what God really wants them to do. They find every excuse in the book to try to get out of things they don’t want to do or are too scared to do themselves. Believe me. I can see an excuse from a mile away. How? Because I am the queen of excuses, but when it comes to doing things for my Lord, I have to obey. That is why I am here in Guatemala. I’m not asking you to do the same thing I did. I’m not asking you to quit your job, leave your family and everything you know and love behind to do something what God wants you to do. No. I’m just asking you to take a week off of your daily and work life, come down to paradise and do some work for the Lord and explore the beauty of the world? How hard is that really? 

Now I understand that money is a big problem for some. I know a few people who are excluded from this post because they have the desire and gumption to be here, but they just have the lack of funds. I also know that these people will be here or do the work of the Lord somewhere in this world once the time comes. 

I truly think that the others are being like Moses. Moses, you ask? Yes. Moses. When God first asked Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he told God many, many excuses to get out of it. He was scared. He gave God many excuses such as he wasn’t qualified to do the job, not educated enough in religion, didn’t  think it would work, it’s not his gift, and he  didn’t want to do it. What did God tell him after each excuse? “I will be with you always.” What you lack, he will provide. When Moses asked about God because he didn’t know enough about him, God responded, “I am that I am.” The best way to grow in knowledge is to step out in faith.When Moses starts to doubt God saying he didn’t think his plan would work, God said, “It will work!” Then God gave him ways to show the Egyptians that Moses meant business….you should know what those are. When Moses said that he simply couldn’t complete the task, God told him that he would give him the gifts to complete the job. Lastly, Moses begged God to send someone else. This is the one I hear the most. People tell me that it is great that I am here doing this but they could never do anything like this. If I can do it, YOU can do it!

It is nice to be a representative of sorts of my church and community but wouldn’t it be a lot better if we could say, “Look at our town! Look at the loving people who live here! Look at what we do and what we accomplish!” Even if Guatemala isn’t for you, look into what you can do in your own community. I’m sure your neighbor could use an extra hand cutting grass, buying groceries, painting the front porch, or just someone to talk to? 

Something to think about: “I wonder how many people are living miserable lives right now because they refuse to do what God has told them to do. Rather then moving forward, they continue to make excuses. Instead of obeying God they try to come up with reasons why they shouldn’t have to obey. Instead of trusting God’s promise they trust their fears. Are you one of those people? “

“If you want to be greatly used of God you must be willing to follow wherever He leads you.  It’s time to stop hiding behind the excuses we are so good at making. It’s time to stop resisting and start following. It’s time to stop saying, “I can’t” and start saying, “He can”. It’s time to stop debating faith and start practicing it.”

I’m sure I will be getting a lot of comments on this one. Would love to see all of your perspectives on this issue. 🙂 

Credits for this post:
Exodus 3:12-4:18 
 http://www.unionchurch.com/archive/060301.html

To the Beach!

2 May

Lots have been going on with me. So let’s not waste anymore time and get down to business!

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to go with two friends (Joanne and Terri) toMonterrico,Guatemala. I had never been there before but always wanted to go, so I told them yes! Actually, to tell you to the truth, I sort of invited myself when I overheard them talking about going the week before. They were happy that I did go and I was happy for the opportunity. Also, Terri brought her “Guatemalan Family” along. It is a mother and 5 children. Terry sponsors one of the girls for school. This was the first anyone in this family, even the mother, have ever been to the ocean. They were ecstatic about going. Happiness all around, I guess.

One thing no one warned me about was how HOT the sand was there. You see, the beach in Monterrico is a black sand beach. I had never been to a black sand beach (that is one reason why I wanted to go) and I assumed that it would be just like any other sand on any other beach, just like inFlorida, for example. When we first got to our destination we put our bags down at a table at the restaurant on the beach we were going to stay at all day, and the people in our group started heading out to the beach. Knowing me, I wanted to grab my camera, so I was one of the last people out on the sand. I took my sandals off and started walking onto the sand. I think I made it 6 steps in and froze. Wow. I couldn’t believe how hot that sand was. Have any of you been to a black sand beach before? Have you encountered this feeling? The bottom of my feet where piping hot. Scorching hot! I turned around quickly to get my sandals but the damage was already done. My feet were not the same for the remainder of the day. Once I did get my sandals on, it did give some relief walking to the water. Take a look at the pictures I took!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, this is the Pacific Ocean. 🙂

 

 

 

 

It’s not a swimming part of the ocean. More for surfing.

 

 

The Guatemalan family that went with us.

 

The restaurant where we stayed all day.

 

Volcan Fuego…up close!

Do you see the face on top of the cliff on the last picture???

In other news….on Sunday, my mom was hospitalized. This has caused major stress on me this week. My mom has an auto-immune liver disease called Primary Billary Cirrhosis, or PBC. They are saying that her liver levels have gone up drastically and she is due for a liver transplant a lot sooner that we originally thought, maybe even this month. This disease isn’t any news to any of us; we have known she has had this disease for at least 12 years. As of right now, I don’t know what to do. I have been stressing out over the situation. Should I go home now? Should I wait it out? What would you all do if you were in this situation? I ask family what I should do, and all I get is “I don’t know.”

 

Today, I received a letter from a wonderful lady from my church. She is someone I really look up to and is a great Christian woman. It made me smile getting a letter from her today. J

 

I’ve worked a lot on my book, but as usual, I’m stuck again. I need to write at least 30 more pages to reach my goal.

 

So, in a nut shell, that is what is going on with me right now. What is going on with you?