Day two found us feeling well with a solid night’s sleep behind us and the excitement of a day of work in the neighborhoods before us. We started out the morning at the soccer stadium in Jalapa where the mayor, the chief of police, and a few other local officials greeted us warmly and encouraged us in the work that was ahead. It was really neat to experience the hospitality and open arms with which our team was received by so many in the city.
Toward the end of the mayor’s remarks a gentle rain began to fall. By the time we loaded back up into the bus and arrived at the first neighborhood we were to walk through to invite to the neighborhood VBS that gentle rain had become steady. We thought about waiting it out to do what needed to be done, but the enthusiasm of the students won out against the temporary deterrent of the weather and we were off to walk the streets. The team did great at getting our flyers out even as we dodged the rain drops, a few free ranging cattle, some goats, and a pig that apparently Jake Boodt tried to take a brief ride on…
After lunch we made our way to our afternoon VBS site and jumped in with day one. At the start of our time there were about 4 or 5 frightened young girls that braved the unknown to participate in a few of our ice breaker games. By the end of our time together we were laughing and carrying on with more than 25 kids who had wondered into our street throughout the course of the afternoon. The students on our team did so well. It was neat to see the interaction and excitement build. Language barriers melted away through games of hot hands and intent work on beading a bracelets together. We’ve got some work to do yet on our singing and leading kids songs in Spanish… Even though our pitch may be lacking we make up for it with our enthusiasm.
So far today Nick W. and Jake are dominating in the evening euchre tournament. Alyssa fell mostly in the pool while washing her feet off after a friendly soccer game in the courtyard with everybody. Taryn (Tarly) enhanced her already beaming smile with some rosy sunburn on both cheeks. Patsy, Doug and Kelly filled up about 150 water balloons, and everyone enjoyed an authentic Guatemalan spaghetti dinner. It’s been a good end to a beautiful day.