Two years ago in the middle of January, I felt the calling to go to Guatemala for a mission’s trip. It was the most life-changing journey that I have ever been on. I had never been out of the United States or even on an airplane before. So, I had no idea what this trip was going to be like or what I should expect. I was kind of nervous when I was on the plane, but the pastor of our team talked to me until we went up into the air. My nerves did die down, but I was just too excited to go to sleep. We arrived at the Miami airport around noon and were trying to hurry in able to catch our next flight. We had our first meal at Pollo Campero, which is an amazing place. Then we went to relax for a little while at our hotel that was called___. After hanging out and playing a card game, we went to eat in Antigua. I was not very hungry so I decided to just get a salad, but it was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. The next day we went to the orphanage, Amor del Niño, which means Love the Child. There were around forty children in the orphanage, and about ten of them were babies. They are the happiest and cutest children you will ever meet. There are about five or six nannies that take care of the children, as well as the two directors of the orphanage. The women of the team spent most of the week at the orphanage helping out, while the men were helping construct a second floor to the church. At the orphanage we hung clothes on the line and sorted socks. Now sorting socks that was insane; there were so many white socks and unfortunately we were not able to find matches for all of them. One day six of us went to a nursing home near Guatemala City. We helped the people there by sweeping, cleaning the bathroom and such. I helped the cook by washing and drying the dishes. Then to show her gratitude the cook made us banana milk and cookies. Now I personally do not care for bananas or milk, but this was really not that bad. On Saturday we all decided to go with Jonathan (he worked at the orphanage) to the cemetery where they had a service for the kids who lived in “the dump.” We made peanut butter sandwiches and passed them out to them for lunch. Then we went to see “the dump.” “The dump” is basically a place where trucks dump trash and odds and ends of stuff. It was one of the most extraordinary things I have ever seen. It was unbelievable to see the houses by the dump and how people just lived on the trash that was dumped daily. In that moment life changed for me, well at least the way I looked at the world. We got ready to head home, but when we arrived to the Miami airport our flight got delayed for about thirty minutes. Despite that small trouble, we made it safely to St. Louis where our families were awaiting our arrival. I will never forget this experience and can not wait to return to Guatemala for the third time in June. We Americans take advantage of the things we have in our country and most of us are still not as happy as half the people in Guatemala. We need to be happy with the life that God has blessed us with.
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