Monday, January 31, 2011


there's a lot of beautiful doors in Antigua. some are steal, some are tin, but most are wood. rich mahogany I would guess - stained beautifully. most often the door is actually two doors in one. a large one for cars and a smaller one built into it for people. they are beautiful.

more than a few people have mentioned that they see us down here as a hallway or a doorway between two rooms. a corridor between canada and el salvador. a connecting point from calgary with all our monetary wealth to the folks of San Vicente who often go with so little. from back home with so much loneliness and lack of fulfillment to down here where faith and hope and joy shines through the faces of those without much 'stuff'.

we need each other.

we feel honored to be the doorway; the hallway between these worlds. I had the idea of taking pictures of various hallways and including one each time we posted on this blog. in hindsight, i should've asked Maria before I snuck into her house for a photo. anyway, we decided to stick to photos of doors for now.

so even when we're up in the night cuz a kids got the runs, or an upset stomach. even when we feel like Spanish is not as easy to speak as English. even when our kids are homesick. and even when us adults miss our friends and family back home. we walk by another door - and remember why we are here.

they will remind us, if no one else, of one of our main focuses here, to be the doorway between two worlds. two worlds that I believe need each other...



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 chicles for a quetzal!

We made it! Mostly uneventfully to boot!! Other than finding out that an extra bag cost us $225, we had no other complaints. The kids rose to the occasion and behaved themselves quite well. We had a Burger King supper at midnight in the LA airport, which the kids held their eyes open with toothpicks to get themselves through. We got into Guatemala at 7:15 am and were met with an orange sign by Julio and Fernando. We loaded our 24 bags into two vans and drove off to our place in Antigua . When we opened the door, we were met with a sight for sore eyes. Behind a cement wall we found a beautifully lush garden, with a playground for the kids and 2 little jr suites and 2 bedrooms with double beds. We ended up having Stu and I in one suite with Violet, Kerrie and Trent downstairs in the other suite with Ben and Kade on top, and Annah and Winnie sharing a room. Eli and Ellis sharing a single bed with Isaiah in the bed next to them. So far we have put them to bed 2 nights and it has worked out great. Annah even remarked " it's like college, we get our own little room!"

Paradise I call it!!

The lovely woman who owns the place is named Lorena, she lives here with her 90 year old mother and her daughter Anna Louisa and her 2 year old grandson Nicolas, whom Kerrie has learned quite a bit of Spanish from over the last couple of days. Anna is going to be Violet's baby sitter while we at school. Lorena cooks us three meals a day, I repeat 3 meals a day!! Except on the weekends. That means I don't have to cook at all for a month! They also have woman here that cleans our place every day. Paradise!

Today was our "Family Fun Day" as Trent labelled it. We intended on taking the kids swimming, but then found out that it would cost us $75 USD a week to use the swimming pool so we decided not to. Instead we took the kids to the nicest McDonald's in the world. Where there is an outdoor garden and on clear days you get the best view of the volcano in town. Everyone had a little 'helado' (ice cream) and I had a mocha frappachino to satisfy my coffee addiction.

Along with this Ben decided that he would like to raise some money for El Salvador. We had gone to the grocery store the day before and let all the kids get a treat. Ben picked out these candy coated peanut things that turned out to be disgusting, and Winnie and Annah picked out gold gum coins that came in 100 per package. He came up with the plan that he and the other kids would sell them to people walking by at 5 gums for a quetzal. 1 quetzal is equal to about 13 cents. No one wanted to buy the peanuts, but they did make 15 quetzal in 'chicle' sales!!

Tomorrow we start school. Eli and Ellis are going to school at a Spanish Kindergarten down the street from our school. They need to bring a snack, drink, notebook and a pack of crayons, so cute!! We will spend from 8-12 at our school each with a private tutor. Well it took me 2 hours to figure out how to get all the pictures on this blog post, so please enjoy it for at least a few minutes!!