We know it’s long, but READ IT ALL.
After our good night’s rest last night, we were all rested up for the eventful day we had planned ahead of us today…
This afternoon, we took the children to a little village called Panajachel to celebrate the children’s birthdays (cumpleaños). They all were able to swim in Lake Atitlán, eat hotdogs & cupcakes, and open little gifts… The kids really enjoyed the time spent in Panajachel this afternoon and it really made me happy to know they were given the opportunity to travel outside of the orphanage for the afternoon and have the time of their lives! The village was quite the experience for us foreigners! We had several women and children come up and beg us to buy their colorful weaved blankets, bracelets, and clothing items. A few women from the village saw a few of us holding the babies and tried to take them away from us. The lake didn’t have much of a beach, it was mostly just sharp rocks on the shore and stairs that led into the water.. But after a few hours of splashing around in the water, the kids were getting tired and ready to go back home!
After celebrating the cumpleaños, the work team went back down to Panjachel to zipline through the natural reservoir’s jungle, which was a blast! The course consisted of 8 different ziplines. We had to hike 500 feet up the mountain to get to the first zipline & on our hike up, we saw a beautiful waterfall. Not only did we see a waterfall, but we were also able to see a few monkeys and some other strange looking animals that are related to the racoon family! It was my first experience doing a zip line course and I absolutley loved it!
After ziplining, we stopped at a coffeé shop in the village which was owned by an American named Mike. We rested for a little while and enjoyed some delicious coffeé. While sitting around in the shop, a very poor old man stopped by begging from some Quetzals.. It was very heartbreaking moment, so we had to help the old man out and gave him a few Quetzals.. Driving through the village, heading back up to the orphanage, we saw several people sleeping on the sides of the roads. We, Americans take much for granted and not often enough, do we think about how blessed we are to have beds to sleep in and roofs over our heads, providing us warmth and protection.
After our adventures in the small village of Panjachel today, we all gathered together to eat a warm delicious meal and discussed with Claire and Larry Boggs (the Founders of Eagle’s Nest orphanage) the history of how Eagle’s Nest came about!
These past few days in Solola, Guatemala have really changed my entire outlook on life. I have grown closer to God and become more and more appreciative of the many things I have been blessed with.. During these few days, strong bonds with the children have been created and we have all fallen in love with every single one of them.. It is going to be extremely hard to say good bye to all of them and leaving behind the amazing individuals here at Eagle’s Nest orphanage.
The only thing I want for Christmas is a plane ticket back to Gautemala. I have fallen in love with everything about this country.
There are so many words going through my head, I don’t know where to begin. Discoveries of the day: Oreos taste better in Guatemala, there are invisible bugs here that leave itchy red bumps on your legs (Savannah woke up with over 40 of these bites,) the teenagers here love flaunting Hollister clothes, and Americans are pretty much… greedy.
The smile can not be wiped from my face. The joy here is contagious. The orphans at Eagle’s Nest know why they’re at the orphanage; know they were abandoned by people that should have loved them the most, and the farmers work all day long, up the mountains, by hand, yet everyone in Guatemala is still so thankful. You can simply tell by their beautiful tan, smiling faces as you drive by them.
As Savannah mentioned up above, after dinner we sat down and talked with Larry and Claire Boggs, the founders of Eagle’s Nest. We started from the very beginning; how Larry and Claire met. We eventually were ready to talk about why and how they decided to move from Wichita, Kansas, to Guatemala. They moved to Guatemala simply because God called them to. And how? Simply by pure faith in the Lord. Their story was so inspiring. We adopted my brother, Jess, when he was almost 2. Now he is in the 7th grade. Larry and Claire have saved so many abused and abandoned babies, that have now grown up to know Jesus. It’s crazy what God can do.
I hope to someday live in Guatemala myself, whether it’s for a few months, or a lifetime. We’ll see what the Lord does. Someone needs to tell these people about Jesus. Why shouldn’t it be me?
Like Savannah, I have also fallen in love with the precious babies in the orphanage; one in particular though. I can not seem to leave her side. She is 4-year-old, Ophelia. She was brought to the orphanage only 5 days ago, after being sexually abused by her uncle. I find myself constantly wondering how someone could do something so awful to such a beautiful little girl. Ophelia is not shy, at all. She seems to fit in just fine, and her laugh is the cutest thing you’ll ever hear. (Check out pictures of her on my facebook.) I will be so sad to leave her, as well as the other 25 children.
DON’T FORGET, election day is tomorrow. We will let you know who wins as soon as we find out. We have been extremely anxious all day. We want these babies to be placed in their own homes more than anything.
We appreciate your thoughts and prayers more than you can imagine.