Sunday, May 30, 2010

Part 2

An update. I went out and did the planting. The plants (and seeds) look kind of puny and pathetic at the moment but hopefully they will quickly grow into lush plants full of peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peas and zucchini! I then mopped the floors and dumped the dirty water along the rows to help with the wilting. A friend has suggested that I spread grass clippings on the garden to help prevent evaporation so that will be a job for this evening after dinner at Mom's. The weeds I can not fit into my overflowing compost bins would probably be good for between the rows. They will be composted and likely throw in there later on so this would be just skipping a step by not putting them in the bins.

May 30/10

My needle is not getting much of a workout these days sadly. In between the trip to Guatemala, the exchange student from Mexico who is living with me, my new vegetable garden and the fact that my brother is living for Afghanistan on June 13/10 just does not seem to leave much time for stitching! I am working on some Christmas card kits that a friend gave me so that I can have them done (part of my ongoing cleaning out stuff campaign), but that really is it for the moment. Anyone who follows or reads my blog must think that either I no longer blog or stitch!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19/10

Wow! It has been a while since I last posted! I just arrived home yesterday from a 12 day trip to Guatemala where I toured some of the country and spent 4.5 days volunteering at orphanages. There were 23 of us on the team and we had a fabulous time together. Most of us were from the Maritimes with a couple from Quebec, 4 from Ontario and 1 from Michigan.

The orphanages were an experience to say the least! We spent most of our time at Rosa De Amor, cleaning, painting, doing the laundry (imagine doing laundry for 30 children with one regular family sized washer that the home just acquired 6 months ago!), and loving the children. Some of those kids came from most desperate circumstances. One young mother was raped by her grandfather and was threatened with death by her grandmother. Rosita rescued her from the streets just before the police could grab her. Another young mother who was only 12 years old had mental health and development issues. The home has not been able to figure out her story because she is unable to tell them. Another young mother was so withdrawn and depressed that I cried when she kissed me on the cheek when we said good bye.

There were beautiful moments, too. Seeing a withdrawn disabled boy smile when he was cuddled or a young baby learn how to grab at things and put them in her mouth or having a baby trust me enough to fall asleep on my shoulder or seeing a dog patiently enjoy the love of an autistic boy...... As one orphanage director put it, "Orphans in Guatemala are the bottom of the barrel and disabled orphans do not even get the barrel."

I am still recovering from the long trip home which included the red eye flight from Mexico City to Toronto and the discovery in Toronto that my luggage was still in Mexico City. Perhaps in a few days I will be able to better put the experience into words, but for now here are a few photos to help sum it all up.

The team:
Bryan enjoying the love that Charlotte was lavishing on him:
Charlie the tuk tuk driver who offered me his phone number!:
Gen and I staining boards for the enclosed fence:
Two of the young moms, Elsa with Luis on the left and Ana with Rosita on the right. I am going to sponsor Elsa and Luis as Elsa was the one who kissed me and Luis was my laundry buddy one afternoon. He was quite content to sit on my hip as I sorted and loaded laundry into the machine. Plus, he is so adorable in that little Tigger outfit!: