Oh man oh man get excited because today I have Jury Duty which means I have ALL day to write as long of an entry as I want! I have been sitting on the same wooden bench since 9:00 this morning and now at 2:38 there is still no end in sight. Supposedly the second trial is going to start around 3:00, so if I get chosen to serve on the very important stop sign violation case please accept my apology now for most likely ending this entry mid sentence.
I thought while I am just sitting here bored out of my mind I would explain what organization I am going to Guatemala with. When I was there in August on the last day of the mission trip we stopped by a clinic and school called Salud y Paz (Health and Peace). In the past the mission trip has gone there to do dental treatment and also construction work. Even though we didn’t work at Salud y Paz this year we still stopped by on our way to Antigua to drop off some supplies that we had left over. We only stopped for about 20 minutes, but while we were there we took a tour and watched one classroom of children practice a dance they were learning. I also took a picture with the Salud y Paz sign right before we were on our way out. Who would have thought that a mere 5 months later I would be moving to Guatemala to work at this school.
When I got home from the mission trip I started exploring my options and worked hard to figure out what exactly I should do. My dad helped me out and actually found on a Methodist website that Salud y Paz had an opening in the school and was looking for a new volunteer. After sending some emails back and forth to Janet (who is the director of the school and actually the one who gave us the tour while we were there) I realized that Salud y Paz was sponsored through the United Methodist Church.
Knowing that Salud y Paz was associated with the United Methodist Church made it that much more exciting and appealing to me. To work at Salud y Paz I needed to attend a training through VIM (Volunteers in Mission). The only training I could attend before I leave for Guatemala was in October in Boston. It was an amazing weekend filled with laughter and great conversations that affirmed to me that I had made the right decision. I am a firm believer that laughter is the best and quickest way to bond with anyone and I am glad that I experienced it with several people I met at the training. I learned that weekend all the things I need to do before I leave (which is still intimidating to me) and all about GBGM and VIM. Here is the quick version (I hope this is right). GBGM (General Board of Global Ministries), which is the biggest of the 13 agencies of the United Methodist Church, is broken up into 3 parts: United Methodist Women, UMCOR, and VIM. Then VIM is split into 2 different groups: Individual Volunteers and Mission Trips. All (or maybe most) of the mission trips that go out of the Methodist church are VIM trips and if you want to be a missionary or volunteer overseas through the United Methodist Church then you are commissioned as a VIM Individual Volunteer. (Note that if for some reason you are about to take a very important test on all this or if you are about to bet your life on this information being 100% accurate you should probably look it up on your own seeing as I am recalling all this from memory.)
Just in case you can’t concentrate on what you’re reading because you’re still wondering if I’m going to be picked for the second trial I wasn’t. Me and 8 other annoyed as well folks are still sitting here. On the other side of the room 2 guys are talking about how the room smells like a mix of bananas and beef jerky… gross. The last trial starts around 5:00. Hopefully we will be sent home before that.
Anyways back to Guatemala… Finding out that Salud y Paz was associated with the United Methodist Church was just the first of many signs to reaffirm to me that this is the perfect place for me to be. Another amazing sign was being told that a girl around my age who works at the clinic was actually looking for a roommate. It is very comforting to me to know that I am going to be living with someone who has already gone through everything that I am going to be experiencing once I am in Guatemala. Also when I was at the training the VIM staff could not have spoken any higher of Salud y Paz or the volunteers already down there. When they heard that I was going to Salud y Paz each one of them expressed how it was a perfect fit knowing my personality and how much I was going to love it. I have been emailing back and forth with Janet (director of the school) and Heather (my roommate) and have always been comforted by their words. When I think of what I am worried about it always has to do with being away from my friends and family (my comfort zone) and never to do with Guatemala (you know unless I am freaking out about having to learn Spanish).
Ok… we have a 30 minute break coming up and I think I am going to run to Starbucks. I don’t think it will be very helpful if I fall asleep during a trial if I ever do get picked, so I better get some coffee in me.
Whoever is reading this I appreciate you.