Sunday, 21 April 2013

Mixing Things Up

This blog post is a little different than most. In it are some things that I’ve learned in Guatemala. If you’re expecting the regular “format” you are going to be disappointed. However, since I’m the author of this blog, I’m allowed to mix things up now and then, and you readers just have to deal with it. In two weeks I’ll be back to the old style, and I’ll tell you all about how much fun I’m having right now with the Countryside Christian School group. Until then…

…Here are some things that being in Guatemala has taught me:

I am very very blessed. All my life I’ve had more than enough food, a huge house, a family that loves me and gets along, lots of wonderful friends, a good education, a free country, and many more things… and yet I still like to complain. Seeing people here that have a lot less than me and yet are happy and unselfish with the few things they do have has been a challenge for me to start being more thankful.

Be flexible. It’s amazing how many times plans change or things don’t go the way that they’re expected to. A good example is this past Tuesday when Stephan, Jeffery, and I came to the city to pick up the Countryside group. The plan was either to rent a school bus from El Chal and drive it to the city, drive two vehicles from El Chal to the city, or take the night bus to the city and rent a school bus from someone in the city. By three o’clock in the afternoon we still didn’t know which option we would be taking. By about four o’clock we decided to drive the Jeep and the Toyota van. We were all packed and about ten minutes from hitting the road when Stephan got a call from a friend in the city saying that a bus was available, so we took the night bus to the city. If you get all uptight when plans change, you’ll be uptight quite a lot.

Spanish. I’ve not even close to mastering the language, but I can understand and speak more Spanish now than I could three months ago. Someone even told me that my accent is improving. I responded, “I have an accent???”

God answers prayer. I knew this before I came to Guatemala, but there have been no shortage of examples since I’ve gotten here. Two that I can think of right now are the time Jason and I crossed the border (see “Excuse Me Boss… You Have a Text Message”) and the quick healing of my infection (see “You Were Blessed”). We serve an amazing God.

Sometimes, dropping people off at the bus stop is more adventurous than other times. Usually, taking someone to catch the bus is pretty routine. You drive to the bus stop (about a one minute drive from the mission), wait for the right bus to come, and then make sure the traveller and their luggage get on the bus. Sounds pretty easy, right? I had heard stories about the bus not stopping, but it had never happened when I was the one driving the pickup. One night, on the Sunday night of Easter weekend, Lucio and I took Judy to the bus stop to catch the ten o’clock “Maya de Oro” bus (the bus leaves Sta Elena at 10:00 and get’s to El Chal around 10:45). We got to the bus stop at about 10:30 and almost immediately a red bus that read “Maya de Oro” written on the side of it drove by us without stopping. Judy told us that we needed to go catch that bus. However, we noticed that two more busses were coming and decided to wait to see if any of them were the right bus. They weren’t. So we took off after the first bus that passed which was now ahead of the pack of three. By the time I passed the two busses and caught up to the third, we were in the next town, about five kilometers from El Chal. Lucio got out and asked to driver if they were the 10:00 “Maya de Oro”. “Sorry sir,” the bus driver replied, “But we’re the nine thirty bus.” (apparently, there were many more busses than usual going through due to the fact that it was Easter weekend). So we headed back, and since we were not going to let Judy miss her bus, Lucio and I flagged down four more busses that passed us on the way back to El Chal. All of them said that the bus we wanted was still coming. Finally, we made it back to where we started. About six more “wrong” busses passed before the right one came. All in all, Judy got to the city. Sometimes, dropping people off at the bus stop is more adventurous than other times. 

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