We have had our painting jeans and t-shirts packed for a week.
Even though the snow piled higher and higher with every storm, the time to embark on our next journey to Guatemala couldn't come fast enough. The past months, weeks, and days had been spent waiting in anticipation for our trip over our February school vacation. But when we heard the news report of a 'blizzard warning' for the day we were supposed to depart, the freak-out set in. We couldn't bare the thought of the weather stopping us from getting to Guatemala.
Somehow, a plan had been made to get us out of Boston before the storm. Our morning started at 6:45 AM today, one day earlier than planned, when we hopped on a bus headed to Newark, New Jersey. We made the four hour bus ride south with no problem, and are now sitting in gate C123 of Newark Liberty International Airport waiting for our connecting flight to Houston, TX, where we will spend the night and hop on our scheduled flight to Guatemala tomorrow.
Airports are hubs of adventure and excitement for us (pun intended!). There are so many different people on their way to a thousand different places: each with a unique story and destination. The slowly accumulating snow outside the large windows that surround us is nothing to be excited about, but, soon enough, we will be in the warm sun- painting, making cement, laying blocks and experiencing an adventure filled with amazing people in a place filled with culture.
Though this is our third year participating in STW student trips to Guatemala, this is the most excited we've been so far- because every trip adds something new to our lives. This year, the challenge of completing a new school awaits us. We look forward to seeing the smiling faces of the children in our village, Trinidad, the highly anticipated soccer games, and the opportunity to shadow a member of our Mayan village for a day. One of the most rewarding aspects of this trip is being given the opportunity to visit the school we donated and built last year with other Winchester, High School classmates, in the community of Choyomche. We get to see how the community has thrived after the completion of the school and how the children are more excited to learn and grow.
We know these next nine days will come and go so quickly, but we know what lies ahead are moments that need to be taken in and cherished; encounters that might change a perspective, and work that will impact so many people.
Tune in this week for our on-the-ground reports from Guatemala!
See you later, USA!
Annie and Claudia