On January 14th the site 1 Guatemala family was reunited in the Houston Airport after 5 weeks of being apart. I was so happy to be back together knowing we were heading on our next adventure to Guatemala. It was so great to get to catch up with everyone and to see how their Christmas was. When we arrived in Guatemala our first stop was Granja Los Olivos, a camp compound just outside of Guatemala City. This was where we spent our first few days in our new home, and where we prepared ourselves to dive into our next adventure.
During those first few days we had the opportunity to spend an afternoon in Guatemala City. We got a tour of the city’s National Palace, just located in parque central. The National palace is a beautiful building that was built in the 1940’s for Guatemala’s current President at the time, Jorge Ubico. The palace is filled with ornate decorations, elaborate paintings, and delicate stain glass windows that all added to the sophistication of the historical building. The building made various references to Ubico. Within the entire palace on every door handle is the fingerprint of the late President. For Ubico his favourite number was 5 and throughout the building there is a theme linked to the number. On every wall there were 5 arches, or 5 windows or five panels. This was his favourite number because his first and last name had 5 letters each. We had the chance to stand in the same place where the treaty was signed that ended Guatemala’s over 30 year civil war which ended in 1996. Having the opportunity to stand in that spot where history was made was definitely a privilege
On Sunday we spent some time in Antigua before heading to our home stays for the first time. Exploring Antigua was super exciting for me, seeing such a beautiful city and knowing that it would become so familiar to us over the next few months because we were going to be living only a short bus ride away! When we went up to the Cross on the Hill that looks over Antigua, it finally kicked in for me that we were actually in Guatemala! I was no longer reading the blogs at home getting excited about what it would be like, I was actually living it!
I believe this semester is going to be amazing living in a completely different country and culture, all the while being immersed in a different language. There are going to be points when we will be challenged but there is so much potential for us to learn, explore, grow and see God at work. Also it’s nice to be away from the snow!