TWEETY BIRD, TYPHOID, AND ‘TE ALABARE’
I’m going to Guatemala this summer with my sister Elise and my mom. My mom has been down there already for weeks now, having led a group of nursing students from Edgewood College on a mission trip to Guatemalan clinics and hospitals. Elise went down to the Guat in January with another one of mom’s groups and decided she wanted to go back to volunteer and become fluent in Spanish.
I decided to go because, having been to Guatemala five years ago on a high school mission trip, I knew there was lots of stuff to do in terms of volunteer and missions work. I didn’t know I was going until a few weeks ago. I was planning on working at Lake Waubesa Bible Camp again having worked there for three summers in a row and loving every second of it, but I thought it would be good to change things up a bit.
So today we’re T-minus three days away from arrival in Guatemala. My dad bought me some killer hiking shoes from The Shoe Box and some lightweight, easy-to-dry shirts and pants from REI. We’ll be packing light since my mom, who has been down in Guatemala for weeks now, has stashed lots of mini detergeant bottles so we can wash our clothes once in a while. Of course, “packing light” means something completely different to my sister, who will no doubt have trouble fitting all of her “essentials” into two carry-ons.
I picked up some medications for malaria and diarrhea and got a typhoid booster shot with a Tweety Bird bandage. When I first saw it I thought, What am I, six? Then I realized Tweety Bird is awesome.
My primary role this summer will probably be with kids ministry. Hector, one of my mom’s Guatemalan contacts, goes around to rural villages and performs for the kids and does meal ministry for hungry kids and stuff like that. I’m hoping to be able to go with him and serve the very needy kids there as much as I can, so I’ve got to get some songs and games ready just in case.
I’ve been trying to memorize some Spanish worship songs to play. I remember two from my last trip to the Guat: “Casa de Dios” (which is the Spanish equivalent to “Better is One Day”) and “Te Alabare.” I’ve also learned “Abre Mis Ojos” ( same as “Open the Eyes of My Heart”) and “Vengo a Adorarte” (same as “Here I am to Worship”).
A game I learned in Guatemala five years ago is called “Malaki Tengue” and it’s great because, since the title is just gibberish, it can be played with kids in any language. So: get the kids in a circle and start walking around and say: “Malaki tengue tengue tengue, malaki tengue tengue tengue, malaki tengue tengue, malaki TEN!” And on TEN, stop and point at a kid. They make some sort of funny face or motion and then the whole group mimics that motion or face as they say the words and start walking.
The best is when you get a shy kid. When you point at them they try to hide their face in their shoulder, so you just take the same position and continue. You can play that game forever.
Anyway, it should be good times whatever happens. I’ll most likely be gone until mid-August until I have to come back for RA training at North Central. I have something resembling an itinerary for the trip, but really I have no idea what I will be doing, which is exactly what want — to be able to do whatever is needed and whatever what I want. In the least selfish way, of course.
Next time: packing fun and how to entertain children in foreign languages.