guatemala: a photo retrospective

It’s still hard to put into writing what took place in Guatemala. I’ll just stop teasing and announce right here and now that I probably never will (at least not all of it). #sorrynotsorry

Our group shared today at church and thankfully, I had thumbed through all of my photos in time to share at least a visual summary of our travels throughout the amazing country. But even after a week to process all that we experienced, it was evident that the week (and a couple days) we spent in Guatemala was deeply personal and may only manifest itself (for some) in how we approach our daily walk going forward. And you know what? That’s totally okay. And … kind of awesome. If God worked as hard as we’re all pretty aware that He did, He’s got some amazing stuff in store for the people back here at home. Ooh, it gives me goosebumps just considering it. Did God invent goosebumps for that very reason? Ooh, goosebumps again. I digress.

I really debated on whether to take my baby camera with me. I’d heard numerous times of security concerns and uncertainty around how our belongings would be watched after while we were in Guatemala, but not long before I finished packing I decided that baby girl was going to join me. I rarely leave home without her anyway. And given I had to leave my real baby behind, I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving another. At least Connor had other human beings to interact with; my camera, well, she would have just had the cat. And no one wants that.

Not long after we arrived at our home base for the week, one of the AIM staff people made a comment about ‘self-proclaimed photographers’ as she was talking about photographing what we see with a sensitivity that wouldn’t exploit the people we were meeting. I was sort of standing next to her so it was sort of awkward when this ‘self-proclaimed photographer’ started to cower and hide. But, I got her point. I didn’t go to Guatemala to come back and share photos that make us seem like a self-righteous bunch. I went because of the fact that I felt called to go, first and foremost. I consider it a bonus that I like to take photos and that I knew the kids going would make for some great subjects in and alongside this beautiful place we were about to discover together.

So, with that, I’d like to share some of our journey through photos. This will likely have to be broken down into a couple of posts so I can both show and caption what we experienced during our stay. I took over 700 pictures and because Caleb photo-bombed 250 of them I like to cull and post-process, I wound up with about 450. I won’t share all of them here. #you’rewelcome

The Journey to Guatemala

So … in short …

  • I got a sweet gift from my good friend, Melanie, foreshadowing the love I would find
  • Our families gathered at church to wish us all well and to pray over us one last time
  • The leaders got goofy on the cushy coach bus, all with soda pop
  • Gus, aka Brian, navigated us through a brief rain storm while kids were told they were going straight to hell because they brought cell phones (yep, a leader said that. i won’t ever tell whom)
  • A beautiful promise hovered over the sky with the reminder that no, really, it would all be just fine
  • We made it to O’Hare in record time to find an empty ticket counter and soon, an overnight stay in the international terminal
  • Caleb began being the ham that he is and others found ways to get some rest on the floor or on seats
  • We found ourselves rushing through the Mexico City airport and grateful to God we all got on the same plane leaving at the scheduled time
  • We saw some of the most beautiful clouds that ever did grace the sky on our short journey into Guatemala City
  • Slap-happy teenagers posed for a photo upon arrival
  • We gathered 40 people from Hopkins plus two from our AIM team and a bus driver as well as our 47 bags (minus one because why on Earth would Doug get his luggage) onto a school bus for what would be the first of many bus trips
  • Alyssa B. and Alyssa M. sat with each other but one of them did most of the sight-seeing
  • We arrived at our amazing home base after 21 long hours of travel and were pleased to find it in a gated community, i.e. safe and with a real kitchen with a very real coffee pot, bunk beds (love my room full of 18 girls), running water (which does get warm if you keep the water pressure low) and real toilets (but please, don’t flush the paper)
  • And then I said, ‘yeah, I’ve always wanted to live on a street with a giant volcano at the end of it’

Did I say a couple of posts? Maybe it will be several.

1 thought on “guatemala: a photo retrospective

  1. Very cool!! My grampa used to go to Guatemala with his church before he passed. He had these videos of showing the kids a movie on a projector and they were all so excited! Amazing work you all do!

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