Hi. I arrived in Guatemala City, January 18th, yay! My flight was about 1 1/2 hours late. Evidently in Atlanta they needed to find another pilot. The plane arrived about 3:00 or so in Guatemala City. Hank Miller picked me up, an confidently drove through the horrendous traffic to where we went grocery shopping to have meals for Tuesday, then had dinner w/Hank, Marcia and family. I met Hank and Marcia on Mercy Ships in 2002. We have been keeping in touch via facebook.

Marcia made this great dish, I’ll have to ask her to write the names down for me, but basically it was re-fried black beans mixed with corn meal, pieces of chicken, light spices, like salt and whatever else, (not hot spicy), wrapped in a banana leaf, and steamed (like tamales), sounds like a lot of work. It was very tasty. Then she had some cookies made of a grain, not sure if it was wheat, not very sweet, which I like it not being too sweet. After much talking, catching up and remembering the days on Mercy Ships, Hank drove me to the Mission House. I sent some pictures on facebook.

Darin and Heidi are in charge of this Mission House facility. It can hold up to 15 bunks, so perhaps a team of 30 people or so.  They have me a bigger bedroom with a bathroom and shower in it.  It’s very nice, and spacious.  Right now they have one set of bunks, and my bed. They could probably fit about 3 sets of bunks in there.  The house has a big kitchen, living room, office and dinning room. They have teams from churches coming in every week just about.  I think they have about 5 teams this month, going to different areas.The teams are bunked at different locations right now.   Evidently, they work with various Christian schools established through the Assemblies of God. They have building projects, plus a feeding program for children that attend these schools. Today I am helping Darin with a few administrative things.

Guatemala is in Central America.  There are mountains surrounding Guatemala City, which is a very large city, lots of cars and traffic! There are a few volcanoes around the city, some are a little active, some are not. The mountain range is quite a distance, so it doesn’t seem to affect the city. It is quite lovely here, brisk weather in the morning and evening, probably in the 60s. It is about 5500-5700 feet elevation. It is sweater weather.  Of course the houses have no heat or air conditioner. If it’s cold outside it is chilly inside as well. I’m glad I brought some long pants, and a few long sleeves and sweater.  I may have to invest in a sweatshirt.

Guatemalan money is called quetzal. The currency was named after the national bird of Guatemala, the Quetzal. The Quetzal bird is on their flag as well.  It is colorful and has an extremely long tail.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I went to the Christian Academy of Guatemala.  I helped a bit with the Human Resource director, and attended the High School and Elementary School’s chapel time. The short name is CAG.  All the teachers, principal, director, are all volunteers. They themselves are missionaries.  This school was established to educate missionaries kids.  I was told that 2/3 of the children are missionary children, the rest are whomever want to attend.  While the kids are  in school, the parents can do whatever they need to do. Some of the parents may also be the teachers, teacher’s aids, etc.  The school may recruit teachers from the States that want to be a missionary teacher.  They all have their own support.  I wish we would have had something like this for my kids when they were growing up.  Please look them up on line http://www.christacadguate.org. I sent a video on Facebook about the school as well.

It’s only Thursday, and a lot has happened in a short time. I will continue to update. Please continue to follow me an keep me in your prayers.  The prayers are greatly appreciated.  There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.  Hang with me.  Thanks.

Love, Hugs and Blessings. Norene