After Dad's Funeral
Gradually she began to change and grow and be open to new adventures again, so that 6 years after his death, when she called and asked me if I would meet her and my brother Lance in Guatemala with my two boys, if she bought the tickets, I wasn't too surprised. Greg couldn't go because of work, but it would just mean pulling the boys from the last week of their 2nd and 3rd grade school years.
As a teacher, I am supposed to believe that missing school is horrible - but the last week of school is a lot of running outside with assistants and parent volunteers doing field days while the grades are done and the classrooms readied for summer. This seemed like an experience that would give them a lot more than just staying in school an extra week.
There were some safety issues, the previous year the group had had their bus blocked by piles of burning tires and groups of protesters. less than 10 years ago the Town we were visiting had a massacre of the very Mayan tribe we were going to be helping rebuild cement homes with. Now they were officially an independent zone where the Spanish Guatemalan Army would give them autonomy, but still . . . It was my "babies" I was taking there. We were warned to never talk to the children because parents were very fearful that we might kidnap them.
We went, by plane to Houstan and then Guatemala City, and by painted old school bus to Panajachel, and by motorboat across the lake and through the bullrushes to Santiago, Atitlan. Then they told us the building we were to help build had just been completed and asked if we would mind volunteering at a Mayan school for the week. It was perfect for us. We shared pictures and songs and games that needed no words with children who spoke Mayan at home but Spanish at school. Every day we feasted on wonderful fruits and by the time we were ready to go home my Mom was wearing the hand woven Mayan Skirt and my sons had friends and an adopted "grandma"