Hello friends and family back home! Welcome to the blog of Site 1 Guatemala, where we take you along our journey across Canada and Guatemala. Although you can’t remind us to keep our rooms in shape or even get a hold of us because of the cell service in the boonies, we’ll make sure you feel as though you are right beside us as we take you along this adventure, one jam packed week of fun at a time.
Crazy to think that it’s already been 10 days since we were meeting each other in the airports or at CMU. Hopping into those two fifteen seater vans wondering who you were going to sit by and what to ask after, “what’s your name?” Or, “where are you from?” Within 10 days we have experienced: laughter, struggle, challenging conversations, bonding and growth as a community of 27.
We left CMU and drove to Manitoba Pioneer Camp, which was only the beginning of an adventure that we had no idea what to expect from. From there we started off on our four-day canoe trip around Shoal Lake. Luckily the wind was at our backs and we were able to sail with a tarp for the first 8 km. But the luck quickly ran out as we spent the rest of our evenings sheltered in our tents from the thunderstorms and rain showers. Thankfully, during the daytime, we were able to accomplish roughly 50 km of canoeing with no rain interfering. The trip consisted of singing at the top of our lungs in the bays, sharing cheesecake from a pot around the campfire, snuggling to stay warm in our tents, and a whole lot of laughter. Although we were all wet with rain, some more than others, it is easy to say that this experience was the foundation of a very closely knit community, lack of showers and all.
Once we were back at the camp, we hopped back in the vans and drove to Camp Assiniboia. Here we furthered our conversations on community and went through the expectations of the program together as a group. We also got to sit around the campfire and listen to our leaders tell their life stories. We each chose our committee (blog, photography, worship, entertainment, or van), which we will be responsible for over the rest of the year, and enjoyed a lot of down time having great conversation and developing our friendships even more. One of the highlights of Camp Assiniboia is the generosity of the camp. They are very open with letting us play with their baby bunnies and chickens which is always fun. While we were here, a bunch of baby bunnies were born and they let us go hold them. While reflecting later that evening, another student named Liam shared how holding the baby bunny in his hands reminded him of God’s protection and guidance over us. How God holds us in His hands just as we hold the bunnies.
The last highlight of the week so far was developing the “community covenant.” This is something we as a group discussed and brainstormed on what we value in community and hope to get out of this experience. It gave a greater purpose to the word “community” and this family that we get to be surrounded by for the next 6 months.
We are planning to hop back in the vans and travel to the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation next week! Thank you all for your prayers and support as we embark on this journey together!