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FEBRUARY 2017 – NEW GRACE TEAM – UPDATE # 4
By: Gaby Cotto
Feb 8, 2017

Here I sit on the roof of the hotel writing this blog.  The smell of wood smoke lingers in the air taking me back to past campouts with good friends.  A light breeze feels nice and refreshing on my tired muscles and sun burned skin.  The night is clear and I can see all around the lake.  The moon, although not full, still shines bright directly above.  What a nice way to end a wonderful day….

Today was the first day at the school with the kids present.  What a treat.  We spent time with the kids in the morning.  They sang beautifully and were very excited to see us.  I found out I had been introducing myself wrong and the correct translation for James is Santiago.  Of course that created more of a problem for me as it doesn’t sound anything like what I’m used to hearing nor would or should anyone consider me a saint except Bruce who suggested Saint Bernard as in the dog.  That’s alright though because he was introduced as Brucey.

We tackled many tasks today, of which I seemed to bounce around a bit.  Dick and Dave continued on the electrical work.  Karen joined them for a time as well.  Jenna, Franny, and Jorge continued to organize, sort, and store the unused furniture.  Heather spent much of the day in clinic.  Bruce and Daniel worked on the rebar for the concrete columns to replace the patio roof we had worked to tear down on Saturday.  Tom was working on painting while Alex, Gabe, Elizabeth and Cloe worked in the kitchen to prepare snacks for the kids.  In the afternoon I worked on a new screen door for the kitchen.  It’s not done yet and seems to be missing a couple parts, but I’m confident we’ll have it in place tomorrow.

The work isn’t hard though.  Balancing the work and the people is.  We are here for such a short time and we want to make the most of if it.  On one hand, I feel like we are on this mission and I want to accomplish all the work we can.  On the flip side, it feels like I am the one being served.  Never in my life have I felt that I have reaped 10 times what I have sown in less than a day.

In the evening we spent some time with Pastor Emilio  He spoke to us about the Mayan culture and the different tribes of the area, of which he is one.  I know the name, but don’t ask me to spell it.  I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the different Native Alaskans and their tribes.  On our way to dinner after, Jorge and I spoke about the comparisons and the issues both face.

I know I’m overusing this word, but dinner was excellent again.  Tonight was homemade Fajitas.  We were joined by the child that New Grace sponsors, Sabastian and his father, Alfredo.  He seems a bright young man with great dreams and aspirations.  Wants to be a marine biologist and work with alligators.

We wrapped our evening up with a song and cake for Jenna’s 25th Birthday.  Her face was a little red.  Pretty sure that wasn’t the sun burn.

Happy Birthday Jenna and good night San Pedro.

Jim Donner

to see more pictures from this team,  CLICK HERE!

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