Poverty Exposure TripMs. Bridson blogged about this year's poverty exposure trip while she and our students were experiencing the journey! Check it out below:
Images from Guatemala 2013:
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday March 11, 12 & 13
Our first three days at NPH have been: amazing, wonderful, exhausting, emotional and incredibly fulfilling.
Monday, our first official day at NPH, started with a presentation by several employees and volunteers of NPH. Each person had the opportunity to explain their personal history and connection to NPH and their reasons for dedicating their time and energy to this fantastic place. This inspirational presentation was followed by an informative tour of the orphanage. This afforded us the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with our home for the next week.
Monday afternoon offered a very busy schedule; we started with our first work assignments. Our jobs ranged from working in the gardens, the kitchen and a construction project. This busy afternoon then included an hour play time at the "Casa de Bebes", where we got to play with the youngest children at NPH. Immediately afterwards we had a Spanish lesson. Monday concluded with dinner and a visit to the girls' sections of the orphanage.
Tuesday and Wednesday offered much of the same. Wednesday was a little different, however, as we split into two groups. Group one went into the local village of Parramos where we got to visit a local bakery, the park, a restaurant and, finally, dinner at Nathan's house. (Nathan is Cathy and Peter Ingram's son. He works at NPH and lives in Parramos.) We were served a traditional Guatemalan welcome meal, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Group two will experience the same thing Thursday night. One highlight to ask your kids about: the local volcano releasing some smoke! Truly a one-in-a-lifetime experience!
We're now sitting here on Wednesday night wondering how the time is going by so quickly!
We are all safe and happy and healthy and thoroughly enjoying our time in Guatemala. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue our wonderful work here at NPH.
Hope all is well back home!
Saturday March 9th and Sunday March 10th
For many of us, our journey began yesterday at 6:30am in Kemptville as we loaded the bus to go to the Montreal airport. Leg 1 of our trip had officially begun! After a stop in Casselman to pick up more travellers, we were on our way! We met up with the St. Mary's crew and made our way through check-in, security and customs.
Our first flight brought us to Miami and after a short lay-over, we boarded our flight to Guatemala City.
We were greeted in Guatemala by Peter and Cathy Ingram, volunteers with "Friends of the Orphans" and boarded 2 buses to head to NPH Guatemala, about 1 hour from the city.
Since it was close to midnight here (and almost 1:00am at home!), we all quickly headed to bed. We soon learned that the nights here are quite cool (about 10 degrees Celsius) and we've learned to bundle up!
This morning we gathered at 8:00am for Mass in Spanish with all of the children and adults here at the orphanage, followed by a delicious breakfast.
Our day began as we boarded 2 buses to go to the Ancient Market Village of Chichicastenago, about a 2.5 hour drive from the orphanage. The drive and our time in the market were wonderful opportunities to immerse ourselves in the culture of Guatemala! We saw, smelt and felt so many new things today. Among some highlights were visiting a Mayan Cathedral, ordering lunch in Spanish and bartering in the market for items such as blankets, bracelets and other souvenirs.
We returned home from our day with some time to clean up and get ready for dinner. We had a great dinner together and we're now all enjoying a (rare) evening of free time.
Tomorrow we will get started getting to know the orphanage with a tour and our first work project.
A couple of notes: the Internet connection is somewhat iffy, so please understand that we may not be able to post everyday Also, with the time change back home, we are now 2 hours behind you!
Thank you for all of your prayers and support; we sure can feel the love. Keep praying for us!