Monday, July 16, 2012

It's amazing how universal a smile or laugh can be...

Below is a blog post from Upper Midwest volunteer, Katie! She shares about her trip to visit NPH Guatemala and how it inspired her to do some of her own fundraising back home! 

Last June, I was privileged enough to travel down to Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos in Guatemala with my church sponsored youth group. The nine days that I spent at the orphanage were ones that I will never forget. When we first arrived onto the orphanage grounds, we were greeted by the hundreds of kids cheering and clapping complete with a full marching band. I had never in my life been more overwhelmed than I was at that moment. The kids were patting the bus as it rode in, and as soon as my feet hit the ground I was bombarded with hugs. 

The next few days I met young boys and girls with such vibrant personalities and good-natured humor that I was never without a smile on my face. I met María, who was a strong young girl that could hold her own in a fútbol match with the boys. I also met Pablo, who had a fascination with photography and loved to take silly pictures of himself. Then there was Alejandro, or Ale Flo as he called himself, who dreamed of becoming a DJ when he was older. I also was able to spend time with some of the special needs kids of the orphanage. We went horse back riding with them on a trail in the local village of Parramos. I was surprised at how easy it was communicating with all of the kids, with my little Spanish and their little English--it's amazing how universal a smile or laugh can be. 

When I was given the option to participate in another mission trip to various other locations in Central America, there was no hesitation in my choice to return to NPH Guatemala. I will be returning this summer, and every day I look forward to it. This year when I go down I will be able to meet Wilson, a child that my family began to sponsor after I returned from my first trip. 

I also was motivated to do some fundraising for NPH, and this winter I raised over $650 for the orphanage and also helped my youth group in furthering our coffee sales to fund the upcoming trip. Traveling to Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos truly changed my outlook on life, and it is a mission I see myself supporting for many years to come!

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