The Unknown

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Have you ever wanted to do something so much and then when it came time to actually do it, you felt incredibly nervous. So nervous that you almost regretted doing it? Well, that’s how I felt on the way to the school in Santa Catarina, Guatemala. As we were going there, my mind began to wrap itself around all the things that could possibly go wrong. What if the kids made fun of me because I didn’t speak good Spanish? What if I couldn’t say anything to them in Spanish? What if…what if…the list went on and on.
As the boat came to a stop I was hoping that we were just stopping to maybe get some gas at the dock, or maybe stopping to say hello to someone special. I crossed my fingers and prayed that we weren’t near the school yet. I really didn’t feel like I was ready, I really didn’t want to go. Jose started to get off the boat with the boxes filled with all the books, crayons and pencils. Jose let me know that this was where the school was and the director was waiting for us.
As we walked up the only path in the village we walked by women who were weaving using back strap looms. They all sat on the ground surrounded by beautiful colors of blues, purples and turquoise. It was magnificent. They all sat on the dusty path in their beautiful hand woven huiples, adorned in the colors and patterns of that particular village. They sat among all there chest with the stories of the past. The village was small, so it didn’t take long before we approached the entrance to the school. Jose and I walked through the gate of the pale green cement building. As soon as we walked into the courtyard, kids all dressed in their native clothes looked out of their classroom doors to see who was there. A friend had a camera and was taking lots of pictures as the kids came and posed for us. Having a digital camera we were able to show the kids their picture immediately which made them so happy!
We sat in a small office filled with books, a desk, a few chairs and some plants. The director said he was very appreciative of the materials we were giving to the children. We had enough materials for 210 children. Jose and I walked to the primary classrooms and gave each student a bag filled with notebooks, crayons, pencils, erase and a pencil sharpener. I introduced myself, speaking in Spanish and then Jose explained more I detail what we were doing and why we had come into their school. The kids looked so excited and happy for our gifts. They were ecstatic when they each got a bag filled with school supplies. One class sang us a song in Spanish and then another song in their native Mayan language. It was beautiful. I can’t explain how watching them and listening to their songs made me feel.
As soon as the boxes were empty and all the school supplies had been given away it was time for recess. All the kids came out with their books and supplies in their hands. Some sat down right away and started to color. As we started to walk away I felt a tug at the bottom of my skirt. When I turned around a little girl in her vibrant colored huiple stood their holding her book and crayons, “Gracias, senorita. Muchos gracias. Me le gustan los libros. Gracias!” She then turned around and ran back into the school.
We got back into the boat and headed back home. I looked around at the wide open lake and at the reflection of three magnificent volcanoes looming close by. I began to think about all those little boys and girls and how just a little book and colored pencils made their day, made them so happy. How grateful they were. To think that those books might be the only books they own….. I was so glad that I challenged myself, didn’t give up even when I was so nervous. I am so glad I went, finished what I wanted to do. I made a lot of children happy and that was worth all those nervous thoughts. If we focus on others and how we can make a positive difference in the world, we can maybe get over all our fears.





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Seelix said...
Aug. 8, 2010 at 9:35 pm
Very inspireing! This peice is very vivid and easy to picture too. Keep writing and helping others aswell!
 
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