Here's the missing video of AJ Fry at IXIMCHE. AJ turned out to be one of those quiet leaders of the group. His height was also a blessing when painting the ceiling at the Rec. Center in the clinic.
Here is a team photo near the shore of Lago de Atitlan. As a group, we didn't venture across the lake this trip although Wes, Ed and a couple of others made the trip to another clinic on the other side some 20 miles by boat.
I want to close with a note on the children of Patanatic. The work of Heart to Heart, Rotary and the gallant students from MNU really comes down to what will not only our future hold but the future of the nations who share God's green earth.
Kids in Patanatic are very much like children anywhere. During the festivities celebrating the opening of the clinic, the village elders set up a Pinata for the kiddos. (See below.)
They do Pinata's a little differently here. The paper/cardboard caricature is sturdily built. They hang it on a cross-wire and allow the kids to have at it in full view. Adults supervise and wiggle, push and jump the Pinata making it a challenge for anyone to hit. Of course, when they finally make contact, it's a free-for-all as you can see.
In the following photo, Cindy is playing with a couple of young girls showing them how to work her camera. While nearly all of us had cameras, and I suspect most foreign visitors do too, the kids everywhere were interested in taking pictures and being part of the picture taking.
Which brings me to this young fellow. (See below.) I'll just call him my amigo because I was not able to get his name.
As I was taking pictures of the Pinata bash-a-thon he came up to me and literally began pulling on my pant leg. He didn't speak any English and didn't seem to understand my Spanish which was no fault of his, but it became evident that he wanted his picture taken.
I was happy to oblige and responded to his insistence to see the photo I took of him. He just looked at me seemingly satisfied that I had captured his moment then disappeared into the crowd of the day.
I've wondered what struggles this young fellow will face in his future and am so proud of the efforts of HHI, Rotary and MNU in this corner of the world. They'll mean a lot to this young man and all of the children of Patanatic.
At the formal ceremony dedicating the clinic, a local family group offered the community a serenade. This is a short excerpt of their performance. It offers a highlight into the richness of Guatemala's culture that I thought you might enjoy.
This was my second trip to Guatemala. It was as rewarding and as disturbing this time as it was before. If you have never visited a third world country, I would strongly recommend you do so. It can be a shock to American sensitivities, but it can also be a reinvigoration of the beauty of the American Dream.
The people of Guatemala are so much like us. They want to live safe in their person, free of hunger and dispair. They want to know that the water they drink will sustain life and that their children will flourish with a better tomorrow.
Thank you HHI, thank you Rotary, thank you MNU for helping make that dream more of a reality for this corner of the world.