Destination: Teleman, Guatemala Day Two
Date: June 2013
(Journal excerpt from June 18, 2013)
Today we had some sweet experiences with the members of the church here in Teleman. Trent is trying really hard to help set up some opportunities to “teach the people to fish instead of just giving them a fish”. So he is working closely with the Branch President here, President Barias, to help both members of our church and others set up chicken farms at their homes. So today we met with those people at the church and divided up chicks to give to them. First the kids had to give the chicks immunizations and then divide up the feed.
Once the people left with their chicks and feed we were rewarded with lunch by President Barias and his family. It was a very good meal of “caldo pollo”, chicken soup. They gave us each a bowl of broth and then a bowl of rice was put in the middle of the table for us to scoop in as much rice as we desired. Then there was a big bowl of chicken brought in and we had to pull apart the chicken to put it in our soup. It didn’t seem to matter that it was about 95 degrees outside. Soup is for any kind of weather in Guatemala!
The kids were all good sports and hungry enough to eat most anything put in front of them. I think this has been the best thing about this trip. They have stopped most of their picky eating disorders they have in the states. Lexi has always prided herself for not eating chicken but since being here she has eaten lots of chicken and many fried eggs. I was shocked when I saw her eat the chicken right off the bone today at lunch. She still wouldn’t touch the broth but I think that had more to do with it being soup and it was so hot.
Once our lunch was cleaned up we started out to take inventory of who needs our help building chicken coops. We walked about two miles up, and then down, and up, and then down, the mountains near the city to meet with the people and see if they needed a chicken coop. Then we’d decided where it would be built, and if there were other needs we may be able to help with during our stay in Teleman.
I was grateful we had a guide because finding these homes would have been next to impossible. Many of the paths we went on were tiny and could have been easily missed. Forget addresses or map quest, that is virtually impossible here. Most people live with tin roof homes that have fire pits inside for cooking and hammocks or wooden slats for sleeping.
We visited with an elderly couple who are well into their seventies and have nine small grandchildren that they take care of. Their chicken coop was the most impressive but they have a terrible ant infestation and all of us were jumping up and down swatting at ants during most of our visit. It was a miserable existence, however they were so grateful for our visit and the kids gave each one of the grandchildren Pez dispensers with candy to brighten their day.
Our last activity today was a special church meeting in our honor. President Barias asked both Trent and I to speak to the people and bare our testimonies. The spirit was very strong since Trent has a special place in his heart for the Guatemalan people after having served here over twenty years ago as a missionary. His love is still so simple. He bore his testimony that we are all the same in the eyes of the Lord. The Lord loves the people of Guatemala as much as He does of those who live in China, Russia or the US. It was interesting that even though Trent spoke in Spanish we still had to have it translated into the Indian dialect Kekchi.
Once the meeting was over the kids all ran outside to play soccer in the pouring rain. President Barias also played with them. It was a fun activity for them. Even with lighting in the background it didn’t stop them from their game of futbol!
Our night wrapped up with dinner at the local gas station with the Elders who are serving here in Teleman. One is from Honduras and the other is from Alpine Utah. They were great missionaries that gave us some great stories as we ate with the locals. It was another great day but very hard. I’d really enjoy a warm shower right now but a bucket bath is all I get!
Safe and Happy Travels!!