But now that the sore muscles have healed, the sunburn has stopped peeling, and the bugbites have all disappeared I am better able to compartmentalize all (erm... some*) of my thoughts.
Ready to hear (uh...read*) them?
here is #1:Guatemala is 100% my favorite place in the whooooole world and I will always love it and I always want to go back and I never want to leave when I am there and the people are amazing and the work is so rewarding and I never feel as alive as when I am there so can I go back now please?
thought #2. returning.
At first, part of the heartbreak of leaving, as is sometimes the case with short-term missions, was not knowing when/if I would be able to return.
Now, upon reflection, I realized that I was being dramatic. I've made it back 4 times. It is home. I will return.
# 3. impact
This was the first trip where I was able to see the impact our work will have.
Like, really see it.
I knew we were forming concrete structures and laying pipe that would be there a long time. But, I had to embellish a picture of a fully-functioning, self-sustaining water system and what that would actually mean for the people. Even seeing the change start to take effect, like more local involvement, more spigot availability and people washing clothes in a pila with ease.But it wasn't until this trip that I was able to see the transformation. Seeing how much Julio and Roberto have learned and how far the Water Committee has come, seeing how the valley has forever impacted the lives of my dear friends, the Hatchells... it was amazing! Now there are more homes where they have spigots in their front yard! Most homes have at least one cell phone and access to a solar panel charging station! And, though we'll continue to take data and track the effect of the project, all of these impacts will lead to more possibilities for girls, previously forced to walk to get water twice a day, miles at a time, to be able to receive higher education!
All they have to do is call up the water committee if the water goes out.