Hello everyone! I have arrived safely in Guatemala and am now adjusting to life down here. It is quite a different pace than when I was living at home, unemployed! There are a lot of things to do before our summer teams start coming down and there are a lot of changes being made as new staff come aboard (me!) and our field director will be on sabbatical this year. We are trying to get a head start on everything so that we can keep things relatively in control throughout the summer.

We had a good meeting on Friday morning about how our new roles will be adjusting and how we will be dividing up responsibilities this summer. I found out that I will be OFFICIALLY in charge of the health care ministry site, working along side Dra. Romero and nurse Francisca. I had the opportunity to meet them and to see the new center that we finished this past year. They are very nice facilities and I am excited to get to work alongside the doctor in a very important ministry in this community. We had been hoping to hire a pediatrician for a long time and she has already been a HUGE blessing to this community. The current full time staff at the clinic, Maurine, was showing me around on Friday and explaining to me how to best lead this site. There are a lot of responsibilities that I need to master, such as buying and distributing medicines, interpreting for the nursing/ pre med students, logistics in getting to the asilo (convalescent home) and the national hospital (I am going to have to learn to drive the van!), etc… I am thankful to have Maurine here to show me how to do things and to step me through it before she takes on her new responsibilities and leaves the site to me.

I will also be assisting with leading the summer staff. This is a blessing to me because I have been summer staff three years in a row and it is one of my passions to help others have a life changing experience like I did. I will specifically be in charge of calculating, taking out, and distributing the financial stipends for the summer staff. (as well as answering questions and helping them transition into their roles)

I have been living in San Felipe with Seth and Leslie and their beautiful two year old daughter, Natalia. It has been such a blessing to be able to spend time with their family and they have been extremely helpful in my transition to Guatemala! I don’t know what I would have done without them! Seth has been helping me so much to get set up with my bank account, cell phone, and in the SI office. Another tiny blessing that just makes my transition to Guatemala a little easier is that Seth’s family has many pets that I can enjoy so that I do not miss home as much! (I had a kitty sleep with me last night!) I believe I will be living with Fernando’s family next until he leaves for sabbatical. Then I will move up to Magdalena and we will begin receiving summer teams.

I was able to attend the banquet for the Bethel semester students that will be leaving in a couple of days. It was so nice to be back at a banquet in Mario’s church and to participate in something familiar that I have missed about Guatemala. I got to sit at a table with Carlos, Marcos, Jose and Aaron and I really enjoyed my time there. I did not know any of the students because I had not been here throughout their semester, but I could still see how impacted they were by their semester and I enjoyed talking with them. (and I got to see BECKY, a girl I interned with my first summer!)

Fun Story #1: My Arrival

I flew out of Miami Tuesday night (10th), expecting to arrive sometime around 10:00pm in Guatemala City. However, for those of you who don’t know, it is currently the rainy season in Guatemala and the city is in the mountains, where the clouds tend to accumulate at night. I have NEVER been in a plane with so much turbulence as we were trying to land! It was quite a ride! The pilot was unable to land the plane, so we continued on to our “back up airport” … in EL SALVADOR! So I spent the night at a really nice hotel in San Salvador, though I didn’t get to my room until 1:30 am. I was a little perturbed at the change in plans, but it was actually very exciting to be able to visit another country I had never been to. The hotel was a 45 minute drive from the airport, so in the morning I actually got to see quite a bit of El Salvador. When we were driving at night in the dark, it reminded me of Nicaragua, but the next morning in the day light it reminded me more of Guatemala. 🙂 I have a friend from El Salvador and I was excited to be able to visit his country! We flew into Guatemala the next day and I arrived in time to go to the weekly staff meeting at 3:00.

Love you guys, sorry I don’t have time for more of an update. There is a lot to tell you, but I’m sure you don’t want to read a whole book either. I’ll send out another update when things slow down maybe… Like that will ever happen!

Dios les bendiga! God bless!

love, Britney


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