Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Time with the fam = wishing I had more time with the fam.

More on this later. It's after midnight and I'm too pooped to blog-party. All you need to know now is that I got to see my family today and that makes it a day worth experiencing every minute of.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guate pic/story dump #4

*****Disclaimer and credit thing: some of the pics here and the other guate days were totally stolen from other peeps on the trip!

***Other disclaimer: In my foggy confusion of timelines and events, I forgot to include Friday night's drama. We came home from running errands after visiting the dump to my inbox having about 12 messages saying "your flight was canceled." but no emails saying "Your new flight is...". Somewhat worrisome. Although, I always have been that person to start something and not finish it.

So, I called Continental and was told by the first person that our flight was still scheduled. Hmmm...when I asked her to check on she said she's not able to go to that website. Hmmm...So, that's when she connected me to a supervisor. We started rescheduling flights and realized that there was only 2 spots for Tuesday, 3 for Wednesday and the majority for Friday. She wanted names of who needed to go home first. Chaos ensued. Girls started tearing up at the thought of staying a whole extra week. They had stuff to get home to, understandably and up until this point, we were all going home on time. All of them, no matter what they had to get home to, quietly told me their plans, and most of them offered for someone else to take the first spots. Good girls, every last one of their cute little selves.

Then my OH SO VERY PATIENT Continental supervisor asked how hard it would be to get to El Salvador from where we were. Russ went to ask the hotel staff and they said it's only 6-7 hour drive and it's fairly normal to make the trip. I asked Supervisor Lady what our options were there and she said we could all fly together Wednesday morning if we went that route. It seemed like the best plan since every time we'd fill a space for an earlier flight, 3 more were gone for the next one, possibly pushing our group into the following week. (Hi, Stress, nice to hang out again, how's your mother?)

So we had a quick meeting, Russ, myself and their team leader and decided that was the best option. I called our transportation company and asked if they go to San Salvador and they said yes, we would leave Tuesday, drive during the day and stay in a hotel. The drivers would stay with us until our flight took off which meant 3 more men would be on hand if anything shady went down. I trust our transportation company and if they said we'd be safe, I believed them. (Shout out Mayra!)

This expression sums up my feelings Saturday morning. Rain rain and more rain. And then, oh a little more rain. I'd never been to San Salvador but wasn't super excited for the new opportunity.

(For those of you who know the greatest McD's on the planet, this was the courtyard the first few hours of the day!)

We all took the day off, sleeping in, watching movies, etc. It was needed and necessary given the fact that IT WAS RAINING. We went out long enough to grab lunch at McD's with Madi so they could run and play at the indoor playground. Which was handy since this is how the morning was spent for E:

That night was one of the girl's birthdays so we all got in real clothes and went out for dinner. It was good for us to get out but there was definitely a heaviness over the group. Part of that was because it WOULD.NOT.STOP.RAINING. and part of that was just being ready to be home already with a side of 'no one wants to go to El Salvador'. But we had a good time, enjoying the world's best brownie and a very scary pinata.

P.S. Here's two pics I forgot to add from Thursday night dinner of E and his Aunt Manda!

Monday, June 28, 2010

More importantly...

I know I'm mid-story with the Guate trip but I had to pause and share.

Hair accessories + technology= delightfully surprised me! It's like they knew our needs before we ever uttered them. Is anyone else Goody-giddy?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bits of my weekend, vol. 14

So...yeah...Thursday we had a suspicion that our AC was on the fritz and came home Friday to this:

no. thank. you.

All of us except Daisy were gone during the day, and it was actually cooler outside in the insane heat. So we took her for a "relaxing" walk. You see how that turned out...

After realizing how busy all the AC guys were this weekend, we deemed ourselves refugees. Thankfully the Seibels took us in, Daisy included.

Margie made us a yummy frozen-ish dessert to help cool us off. (shout-out 20:28 T!)

Eliot was entertained by Daisy's spendy with Buddy. He was also highly entertained by how dogs "get to know each other."

Today, The Flyin' Mayan was back on the scene.

A happy happy surprise to our crazy weekend was a text from one of my girls, Allie! She is rarely in town cuz she's quite the world traveler and away at college and such. We've know this girl since she was in 7th grade and now she's all adult and stuff. Ahhhh, it was so good to see her!!

Also amazing? A big fat storm that we're currently enjoying. We're back at home, not super comfy, but definitely do-able temps. If anyone needs me, I'll be in a sleeping bag in front of the open fridge.

For more Bits from around the country, click here!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guate pic dump #3 -sort of

Wednesday and Thursday we spent at the local children's Hospital. We didn't take pictures and you've already heard a bit of my heart on our time there. We also got the opportunity to spend time with the "Abuelitas" (the grandmas) and the young women in the hospital. It was a stretching time but such a blessing.

Wednesday night the Baylor team (plus Amanda and Dana) sent us on a date sans Flyin' Mayan. (sidenote: what kind of team sends it's leaders out for the night while they get take-out, watch your kid and play a get-to-know you game? I mean...) We went to a new restaurant (You must eat at Hector's next time you happen upon Antigua, Guatemala)and then sat in the park for a bit and chatted. We had a great talk that I might share with you someday but that's not today. Long story short, I love that guy and I love Jesus, (but not in that order.)

Friday morning I woke up super early to make sure one of the girls caught her shuttle to the airport, heading home early for a family wedding. No one showed up. Calling the transportation company worked until my phone ran out of minutes. Minutes were passing, her flight time coming close. We finally asked the desk guy (whom we had to wake up) if we could use his phone. After the third call to the second number, someone finally picked up. Keep in mind this is not even 5:00 in the morning.

And that's when she said it.

"Katie, the airport is closed. That's why there's no shuttle."

I might have woken up the whole hotel when I said, "WHAT?!"

"The volcano erupted and there's ash everywhere. They might open it back up by this afternoon, so keep checking on her flight."

We kept our plans to head into the city for the day but w/ an extra accessory, masks. You thought Baylor girls were cute before...

We were headed to the dump. Every time we've gone it's been really crowded and busy, this time, there were very few trucks. It was weird. Not only had the airport closed but most of the schools, businesses, etc had also closed including most of the garbage people. Here's a comparison from last year to this year:

We wore rain coats since it's, well you know, Guatemala during rainy season. When we got out of the vans, it sounded like we were getting pelted by sleet. Black sleet that looked like sand. A couple times I took my hood off so I could hear better and ended up picking volcanic ash out of my hair the rest of the day. More pics on this post if you missed it.

Keep in mind, this was the same volcano we've climbed every year we've gone. The same volcano we were scheduled to climb on SATURDAY, THE NEXT DAY! (pics from my Dad and I's climb on Father's Day, 2007)

The time with Joel at the dump was amazing, as usual. I wish I could explain his heart for Guatemala, for the people of the dump and the message he shares. It's truly life-changing and I know at one time, one of my girls will return and do an internship with his amazing ministry. Can't wait to see that unfold someday.

We spent the rest of the day running errands. Flights for Sunday were still a go. The girl who was supposed to leave had her flight change two times while we were gone, once flying out of San Salvador. We laughed at how preposterous that sounded. Then I called and had her flight changed to match everyone else's since she was missing the wedding anyway.

More coming soon...oh so much more...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guate pic dump #2

***here's hoping that post title doesn't bring any unwanted traffic to my blog! Yikes for bathroom humor!

We spent Monday and Tuesday at one of my favorite spots in Guatemala, Los Gozosos. There were a few smaller projects but the majority of our time was spent "resloping" their backyard. Given all the rain, they often get flooding into the house due to the lawn actually sloping toward it. So, we cut squares into the sod, took it up, hauled earth, earth and more earth to another location and then laid the sod back down sloping away from the house. Whatever your assumptions about sorority girls may be, this team worked insanely hard. I couldn't believe it.

I also snuck inside before lunch and asked if they would teach me how to make handmade tortillas (ALWAYS WANTED TO LEARN!) A few of the girls jumped in on that, too. Amanda and I made some serious plans after this, more on that later...

Amanda and Dana w/ Daniel! He's such a pistol!

The girls painted the inside and outside walls. Better them than me...

Eliot never misses an opportunity to play in dirt!

Then back inside to play with the kids once they were out of school for the day!

Amanda and Rachel worked the entire day on making new curtains and it paid off, they looked amazing!

Maureen also had us try a seasonal Guatemalan treat: Sanpopos. Loosely translated? Termites.

Maureen w/ a couple of my girls.

The happy faces of accomplishment!

Maureen got us coconuts to drink! John Locke busted them open for us!

check out his new tat, he's so hardcore.

Remember this post?? They loved them!!

As an exclamation point to our hard work, the skies opened up and welcomed us into rainy season. It was too tempting not to celebrate like 4 year olds! About half of our team ran out and played, played, played in it! The Guatemalans thought we were crazy! Apparently that's not a normal behavior there! We were already jumping around like crazy people but then we realized our "resloping" actually worked! No rain was getting into the house!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bits of my weekend, vol. 12

I officially stunk this weekend at taking my camera anywhere! Friday night I took Russ out for BBQ and then to the Chris Tomlin/Tobymac show for a Father's Day treat. (Great show, BTdubs.) Camera? Nope.

Late Friday night my friend Crystal and her fam came back through town on their way west. We are the gateway to the west, afterall. Camera? nope.

Saturday, there was a lot of this:

Sunday, we ate lots of food, gave dad lots of hugs and even went to the pool with friends. Camera? Yeah, nope.

Once we got home, I forced a little daddy time to record something of this weekend!

For other, probably more exciting, Bits Of My Weekend from around the country, go here!