Team Time
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Teams. We LOVE hosting teams. They serve, they love, they cry, they get dirty...it's all just a big old huggy, love-festy, bundle of wonderfulness. These photos are from earlier in the year. Yes, I'm very behind. There's a lot of pictures here. Shawn will probably be in a blind panic when he sees how many I've posted, but, in my defence, how can I not post pics of these gorgeous kids? Read on, and consider yourselves invited.
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Some of the boys from the special needs school. Every team starts its time with us by learning a bit about how the Maya people live and work. These handsome fellas are wearing the traditional red and white gear worn by the men when they plant their corn crops. Adorbs, right?
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Look at that...an actual team person managed to squeeze into the photo. Welcome to Guatemala, Karla.
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If you're going to learn about being Maya, you've got to learn to weave. Hours and hours of amazingly intricate work on a back-strap loom and you too could have a new top to wear to the mall.
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Really, how angelic is he? I melt.
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A little bit of Maya ingenuity for winding rope and thread and all kinds of stringy stuff.
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This is Jonathan. He's beautiful. That's all.
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Nancy D says...
"Why yes....yes he is very beautiful!" (6/15/15)
 
If you're really humble, and willing to make total fools of yourselves, the lovely ladies will teach you to make tortillas and tayuyos. You'll be horribly bad at all of it. It's okay. They'll love you anyway.
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Just a little break to enjoy some more Maya beauty.
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This is Celeste. She's the sweetest, smiliest thing ever. We loves her.
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And this is Ximena (Himena) and, although I probably shouldn't have favourites, she is totally mine. Can't even pretend otherwise. Feisty, smart, and sneaky in an organized crime/serial killer kinda way, she's the absolute best.
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Learning to make a tortilla. I know, you think it's easy. You're wrong.
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Look at Luz. She's blind, mute, and probably deaf. She lives with our friend Naomi. We love Luz. We love Naomi. Love fest - it's a real thing.
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Isn't that a great smile? Yes it is.
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So sweet, the kids get all kinds of dolled up in their traditional gear. They look wonderful. I cry. It's pathetic.
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Cuteness. All the decorations, pretty much all the learning aids, all the posters and everything else useful, are paid for and made by the teachers. They rock in ways you can't even begin to imagine.
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Team mama and team kid being all kinds of smoochy. I tried to keep this sweetie boy, but his mama wouldn't let me.
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And look - they're so happy to see you that they'll make you a fancy meal. Saq'ik. It's delish.
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Come and you'll get to hang out in some rural villages with sweeties like these.
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You can play games
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Or you can just hang out
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You can do odd things with latex gloves...if that's your thing
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Or you can wander off alone for a moody shot, like Shawn
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But if you come, you'll work. We're big fans of child labour! Okay, willing child labour...we aren't actually Dickensian maniacs. He wanted to do this, really.
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See? He looks happy about it. Happy on the inside.
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Little girls, little boys...we'll put anyone to work
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Or you can play with kids and beads. That works too.
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Face painting. Are you any good at it? Actually, even if you're horribly bad at it, the kids will still love you. Come and daub paint on a child.
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Rigo. Sweetest boy ever.
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Sigh...look at the concentration. I could eat him.
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Marvin and his ladybug.
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Ximena and her rainbow
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Alexis - sweet, gentle, and always smiling. He's deaf, that's all. Wish we could get better help for him.
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Ximena thinks the slide is her own private property. She likes to park herself at the top just to enjoy the fury of the other kids as they fight, and fail, to get past her.
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Luz in the sunshine...locked in a silent, dark world.
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And here's the path to Pantup, where we have the school and the feeding program.
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Maria
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Food is good
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Aletta says...
"Precious. " (6/11/15)
 
Waiting for lunch.
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Oswaldo!
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Maida
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Children eating - can't even begin to tell you how much I love this feeding program
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Monica
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After lunch you get to play
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Waah...the rotten teeth make me crazy
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Maria licking a chair...just cuz
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This parachute is one of the best gifts we've ever been given. Kids everywhere love it.
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Craft time
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Game time
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Sarah says...
"Contentment personified" (6/11/15)
 
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Victor and his cousins
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Martina says...
"Beautiful faces! And you capture them so well." (6/10/15)
 
Maria and her mama
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This is what teams are all about - loving on the kids
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Cutting, sticking, gluing...it's all good
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Then there was the day they had to wait for a boat...for a very long time
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But on a positive note it gave them a chance to catch up on some rest
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...and snacks
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My husband - a man of action
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James says...
"I feel like I've seen this exact photo of Shawn more than a few times.... Man knows how to take advantage of nap time :)" (6/12/15)
 
Fun and games in a village church
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Duck, duck...
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...goose
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Or if games aren't your thing, how about a bit of drama to entertain the locals?
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Or a story. You could read kids a story, right?
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No tables, no problem.
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It looks like fun, doesn't it? Yeah. You'd love it. You should come. Gather up some friends and bring them with you. It will change you. Anyone can go to a resort. Very few people get the privilege to touch lives in ways that can really make a difference. Be the odd one out. Come to Guatemala!
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Marg Arlt says...
"As always your pictures are awesome. As always your comments make me laugh, or get a lump in my throat. Love the "serial killer" comment. Love your sense of humor. I love it that there are people like you who dedicate themselves to others." (6/11/15)