May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another. Genesis 31:49 (NKJV)
It is hard to believe that my long anticipated week in Guatemala is already over. Each time I travel, the journey seems like it goes by faster and faster. Because I know the routines at the Center now, there is less anxiety and fear and I can jump right in and work. With a large team like we had, there were plenty of helpers so no one person had to shoulder the entire load. In fact, I cleaned only a few pots instead of all the pots. A couple of my teammates did more work than I did; helping the nanny sweeping and mopping while I spent more time with the children. Some of that transition was dictated because I got sick again. I was confident that it would not happen to me on this trip. I was taking the antibiotics as prescribed, being vigilant about washing my hands and using hand sanitizer. I was careful about what I ate and drank and figured the odds were with me. Although my husband was convinced I would get sick again, I thought, surely it would not happen two trips in a row! But, I started feeling poorly on Monday and took some over the counter medicine, but on Tuesday night, I was really sick and spending a lot of time hanging over the toilet. On Wednesday, I got some prescription nausea medicine and forced myself to go to the Center, but I was feeling faint so spent most of the morning sitting in a rocking chair holding toddlers with my eyes closed! I was so upset and even angry at God that once more, I would come all that way to serve in His Name and yet, I was incapacitated again. Then, I began watching as my other teammates took over the chores that I usually do and I realized that while I do not like being sick, it forces me to step back and let them do their share of the work and have the satisfaction of doing so. In fact, because of her service, my friend, Julie, developed a bond with the new Chick’s nanny, Lupe, which I likely would not have done because I am so attached to Christy. I did get to visit with Christy who came to the Center on Tuesday afternoon. She sought me out which was thrilling and though we did not get to visit long because she needed to meet with the Director of the Center about her sick leave, it was good to see her. And as promised, there is a great Billy story to be told or rather a Bili story as I finally learned how he spells his name. Since coming to the Center two and a half years ago, Bili has been my boy. Each trip has shown me his growth and improvements. I have seen him go from being so malnourished that he could not walk and some thought him mentally handicapped to see him turn into a bright, happy and sweet child. I saw him walk and then, run. I saw him speak and then, sing. I saw him put together toys and puzzles and become fascinated with cell phones and cameras. I was so happy when I discovered in March that he was going to school! Last week, while he was outside playing with sidewalk chalk with another team, one of the Interpreters, Olivia, saw his name written in purple chalk on the sidewalk. She wondered who had written his name because it was spelled the correct Guatemalan way, “Bili” instead of the American way, “Billy.” Then, she found him holding the purple chalk and thought, “Could it be?” So, she asked him if he had written his name and when he nodded, she asked him to do it again. Bili can write his name! So, this week, I also got to see him do it and even captured it on video! He loved watching himself in the moving pictures instead of just still ones. I played it over and over for him, and for me, too, because I was so thrilled about his progress. When it was time to leave on the last afternoon, he knew that all of us were going and something happened that I have never seen before, he was crying. My little boy, who was so emotionless and blank just two and a half years ago, had a little tear running down his cheek. As I hugged him goodbye, in barely a whisper, he told me “Adios.” “Adios” Bili. Hasta la vista. God keep you until I return.
|Josue David is growing bigger|
|You can’t see it here, but Billi lost his two front teeth!