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May 13, 2010


Settling in Guatemala

by carrollministry

Hola! Como se llama?

What a crazy last few days this has been!  I feel like being here is finally starting to feel real.  Monday morning our adventure began.  For me it began bright and early in the morning with getting up to finish moving out of my dorm room and move to my summer house.  Then there were a few errands to run, mass, and then we headed to the airport.  When we all gathered in the Trinity parking lot to get into cars for the trip to the airport things started feeling a little more real.  After a short little plane ride to Salt Lake City and then another little one to L.A. we were on our way to Guatemala.  When we landed in Guatemala around 6 am my body was so confused as to what time of day it was since we’d been traveling for nearly 12 hours.

Amy Dever

At the Guatemala airport we went through customs, got our bags, and we went out to get on our bus.  Our first stop in Guatemala was for breakfast at a little place about an hour from the airport.  Then we headed to the mission.  When we got here we were given our room assignments and then given some free time to explore the city.  Everywhere we walked, people gladly responded “hola” or “buenas tardes” to our greetings.  As we were heading back to the mission from the city I saw a dad carrying his little girl to the pharmacy.  The little girl was limp in his arms.  This sight broke my heart and reminded me of where I am and what I am doing here.  I realized how easy it would be to get caught up in being a tourist here rather than immersing myself in this culture.

Today we visited the clinic at the mission and the botanical gardens.  I most enjoyed the clinic.  We were given a tour and then had time to interact with people there.  My favorite was a group of three little children, two girls and a boy.   Sheila helped us translate what they were saying and we learned that they had come from a village about twenty minutes away from the mission.  The two older girls were the only ones out of the three to talk to us.  I asked one of the girls “ como te llamas?”  She told me her name and then I responded “me llamo Amy.”  Although my Spanish is very weak, I loved the fact that I could communicate with them enough to ask their name and tell them mine.   A name is unique to each individual.  It is an identity that people all around the world have.  To be able to share my name with someone was to share a piece of myself and I also was able to learn something very unique about someone else.  After that experience, I realize how incredible a name is and also how incredible it is to share your name.  Next time you ask “what is your name” or “como te llamas” remember that you’re asking someone to share an identity unique to them and you have the opportunity to share something unique about yourself.  Adios!  Vaya con Dios!

Read more from Guatemala
1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Karen Grove
    May 13 2010

    🙂 I think you hit the nail on the head!
    — “Tourists” — often miss the point! Good job to you and your group learning the “heart” of another culture!
    God Bless


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