Hola, Guatemala

Our team of 23 Americans were in Guatemala on a medical mission. Having visited 17 countries and lived in four (not counting the USA), I was prepared for some of the sights and experiences encountered in Guatemala.

I was ready for:

Sewer systems that can’t handle toilet paper. You toss the used TP into a little wastebasket.

Not knowing what was going to happen next, and being OK with that.

Eating a fish that still had all its skin, bones, fins and googly eyes.

Driving that looks suicidal, but there is a system – part telepathy, part calm aggression.

The heartbreak and heartburn of an Edenic setting reeking of diesel fumes, factory pollution, wood fire smoke, and trash fire-pit smog.

New to me were:

Guatemala volcano

The sight of several American men crying openly as they shared with the team how the medical mission experience impacted them.

Eating smashed avocado on a hotdog and bun. Tasty. Will do this at home.

Visiting beautiful Antiqua. I’d feared I was jaded toward touristy places like this. Happy to be wrong!

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Helping in the dental clinic. Giant dentist bellowing in Spanish, “Take it like a man!” Tiny native woman cringing, writhing in the makeshift dentist chair. Me trying not to look, trying not to hear as I assemble syringes with pain killer.

Attending a church service in Spanish and feeling the same emotions and sensations during the songs as I do when the band sings and plays in my church. No matter that I didn’t understand the Spanish lyrics.

Receiving hello and goodbye hugs from Guatemalans I met, whether for the first time or the fourth time. The Guat hug goes like this – Left arm around the back, right cheek touches right cheek, make a little kissing noise in the air or let lips touch cheek gently.  And . . .

The fact that over 5 days our team of 23 didn’t snipe, complain or snap. Well, except for one very minor incident.


About beth

I started this blog in 2011 shortly after I finally opened my heart and mind to Jesus as a last resort. My intent with this blog is to share what I learn and feel along my path with Jesus.
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