So a couple of weeks ago I got an email saying that a teacher from the school in Guatemala was coming to Houston for Christmas to visit her dad. I jumped at the chance to meet her and worked it out for her to come to my church yesterday and do a presentation for the church staff about Guatemala. It was amazing to get to actually talk face to face with someone who I will be working with while I'm down there.
Yesterday morning I went to pick Mary and her father up to bring them to the church. After talking to Mary on the phone for about 20 minutes and driving around in circles I finally spotted her standing on the corner. I really believe that if she wasn't wearing her traditional Mayan clothing I wouldn't have found her. Me not knowing the part of Houston she was in combined with her never having been here before and therefor having no idea where she was wasn't a great combination. Luckily I was finally about to find her.
When Mary and her father, Tomas, got into my car she told me how this was her first time to visit the United States. Her father had moved to Houston from Guatemala 9 years ago and she hadn't seen him since. I loved listening to her talk about her life in Guatemala and how the getting a job at the school really changed her life.
When we got to the church we walked around and I gave them a tour. It made me laugh when they both took out their cameras to take pictures of the sanctuary. Mary kept telling me how beautiful it was and said that it was her first time to be in a church in the States. I told her that to me it was funny that people would take pictures at my church and around Houston because I don't think about it as a touristy place. She then said that she always laughs when people from the States take pictures of things in Guatemala. When I was there in August I took pictures of everything. Even their grocery stores. It would probably make me laugh a lot if I saw someone taking pictures in HEB. :)
After the tour it was time for Mary to do her presentation. She talked for about 10 minutes about the school and Salud y Paz. She said how at 21 she was proud to have worked at the school for the past 3 years as the first grade teacher. Mary also talked about how opening the school in her village was changing the lives of the children there. She expressed how they are always in need of scholarships for the students.
On a side note to sponsor a child at the school it cost $550. If you are sitting at home right now in anguish because you can't decide what to get me for Christmas what I really want is for you to sign up to sponsor a child. I promise if you do I'll send you lots of adorable pictures of your student. What could be better than that?? Let me know if you are interested or contact the director of the school at Janet@saludypaz.org
Ok... Back to Mary. She did an AMAZING job talking about Guatemala. She talked about how getting a scholarship herself to learn English is why she is now able to teach at the school and give a presentation like this. She was most proud of having her father be able to be there to see her talk about the school. She got emotional at the end while talking about how special it was to be here to spend Christmas with him.
It was a blessing to have met Mary and to have her speak to the staff here. I am always thankful to them for allowing me to take the Spring off and go to Guatemala. It is great to know that they now have a better idea of where I will be working while I'm down there. It is also a blessing to know that when I get to Guatemala I will see at least one familiar face.