Guatemala through pictures  

Posted by Rachel in

I wanted to give you all a little taste of my trip to Guatemala though pictures. Above is Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, touted to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, surrounded by three volcanoes. I would tend to agree with the claims.

This little boy was one of the cutest I've ever seen. He attends the Light and Life school (AKA Luz y Vida Escuela) in Salquil, just outside of Nebaj.

This girl threw spitballs at me for about a half an hour during a Faith Comes by Hearing presentation we were attending at her school. Somehow, that was a bonding experience for us.

Isn't is beautiful to see children reading the Bible in their language (Ixil) for the first time??

Ahhh... this little boy was too cute for words.

In case you couldn't tell, I REALLY like kids.

Here Bruce and I are eating one of the weirdest things I have ever tasted. Bruce would probably tell you it was also one of the nastiest things he had ever eaten, but I guess similar to "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", taste is in the mouth of the...eater? This is one of their best dishes in Guatemala apparently. And, surprise, surprise, it was made of corn.

These are some more of the children at the Light and Life school that we visited.

Smiles know no language  

Posted by Rachel

(Pretend I wrote this on Tuesday - we were having internet issues)

For those who don´t know this, I am in Guatemala right now. I am here with a team from work. I´ve been here since Saturday, though some of our group got detained in Miami and didn´t arrive until Sunday. We finally made it together in Antigua on Sunday and have been going non-stop since. Yesterday we visited the Light and Life school and today is the Scripture Dedication of the Ixil New Testatment. Various people within Wycliffe Bible Translators have been working on this translation since the 50´s. We´ll be heading to the celebration shortly.

Sunday consisted mostly of a drive from Antigua to Nebaj. Roads here are not exactly like we are used to but if you can imagine bad roads on the worst curves you´ve driven, you might have a picture. We are lucky when the roads are paved. At any rate, a 6-7 hour drive on these roads in a crowded mini-bus was clearly a highlight. (sense the sarcasm?)

We made a stop in Chichicastenango where we walked around a little market for a while. It was there that I saw this sweet little girl. Now, there are lots of cute little kids and beautiful people here, but this one 6 or 7 year old really captivated me. Hair back in a ponytail, black sweatshirt on, wide-eyes, and a ready smile and she was staring unabashedly, at me (Ok, I know my hair and skin might make me stand out a little bit). We shared multiple smiles and in some odd way, those smiles spoke words that she and I would not have been able to. And yet, a smile wasn´t enough with her. I couldn´t stand expressing myself to her simply through a smile. Physically, I needed to touch her – to communicate with her through touch. And so, as I was leaving, I gently touched her head, and I smiled. Because smiles know no language.

I have found that I may not always understand what is being said or how I should respond. Maybe you are trying to tell me you like my shirt, or sell me a necklace. Perhaps you are trying to tell me to look up because a cement block is about to fall on my head. I don´t understand you, but I can smile and you will smile back (unless it really was a cement block). That we can understand.

As I was thinking back on my encounter with this young girl, I began to tear up, thinking of the reason that we are here – to facilitate these people having the Bible. Most of the people I have seen, including this girl, are lost and without Jesus. It´s so easy to walk through life with blinders on. I observe the people around me, especially in foreign places, and somehow I am able to separate that observation from that of their souls. Often, I don´t feel for their loss and for what they are missing. My smile doesn´t really do too much in the grand scheme of things, but it is sometimes the best I can do. I want to do so much more for these people. I want them to know about what I have that they don´t. I want them to smile as I do – to smile because they know and love Jesus Cristo.

Trip to the Windy City  

Posted by Rachel

I love big cities. Everytime I visit one, I want to move. My recent trip to Chicago was no different. Granted, I'd hate the weather in the winter, but the city is amazing. It was a combined business and pleasure trip. I went with work friends for a conference, but since we went in early, it felt like we had just as much fun time as work time.

Here are some pictures from our time:
On the architecture boat tour with Dustin, Scott, Mariah, Virginia and Andrew.

With Mariah and Virginia at the Bean. If you look closely, you can see Andrew, Scott and Dustin in the reflection!

Our celebrity sighting of the weekend: Samantha Brown of the Travel Channel. We ran into her and her team filming at the Bean in Millenium Park.

After going to Ravinia Festival to see the Chicago Symphony orchestra, we made our way to Navy Pier to see the fireworks.

Rona, Virginia and I outside of Gino's East after eating yummy pizza!

V and I at the Signature Room on top of the Hancock Tower. What great views of the city, espeicially from the women's restroom - thanks Nadine for the suggestion!

All in all, a great weekend. Can't wait to go back Labor Day weekend with my best friend!