Greetings from Guate,
Bienvenidos a nuestro blog. Prepárate, it’s been quite the day. Somos Katia y Kaylee (aka the post blog dream team). Please check out our posts from the previous three years if you don’t believe us.
Now on to today… It was a typical start to the morning: a firm bang on our door at 6:30 (we slept through the roosters crowing at 4 am), huevos con chorizo, and the best freaking café we’ve ever had.
After a quick devo, we boarded our trusty Toyotas and began our trek up the mountains. Morell’s truck started their day with Bailey’s rendition of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”. It was the perfect indication of how our day would go because girls and women were at the heart of our experiences today.
In El Pajal, we were welcomed by a group of women ready with their canastas (baskets). These women are responsible for growing the coffee that sustains the community. The team, along with our favorite seven year old tag along Orbi (not to be confused with Orbeez), followed them up a narrow dirt path until we reached the coffee fields embedded on the mountain sides. Each student stood alongside a woman and began to pick the “cherries” off the trees. We learned to only pick the red beans, some of us had a harder time distinguishing between the orange and red ones (Katia). Not only were we able to share in their labor, in our broken Spanish we were also able to learn more about each others’ lives while picking the fruit. We reminded them that they were strong, and that God was using their hard work to uplift the community of El Pajal. Our coffee picking experience ended in a group photo that was captured as we held our full baskets and yelled “Café”!
Next, it was time for lunch. Guess what was on today’s menu? If you guessed PB&J’s, you were right. Our wonderful guide Carlos assured us he had the perfect spot for lunch. We embarked on yet another hike uphill (Orbi still tagging along) and made our way through the barbed wire…possibly into Mexico. In case the hiking and altitude hadn’t already taken our breath away, we were met by an incredible view of a vast mountainous landscape. We’ve all decided that Miami, you can keep your beaches…we are staying in las montañas. We spent more than an hour captivated by the view on the mountainside and seemed to have forgotten our proximity to the sun. Needless to say, we came out crispier than the sun-baked coffee beans and we couldn’t look more gringo if we tried.
As if two hikes wasn’t enough, we began our third climb (insert sound clip of “It’s the Climb” by the legendary Miley Cyrus here) to the middle school in El Pajal. What began with simple icebreakers, turned into deep conversations about desires for the future and the things that make us beautiful. We witnessed the strength of the young girls in the community who not only beat the boys in fútbol, but who are chasing after big dreams: teachers, doctors, mechanics, and singers. We left the school with a new group of sisters and a new set of dance moves and Orbi (wonder what his thoughts were on our eventful day).
We headed straight to dinner and ordered the usual: hamburgesas y tacos. And yes, I may have had the chicken tacos three nights in a row but I have no regrets (Kaylee). Although we were drained from our adventurous day, God wasn’t finished with us yet.
We headed to the rooftop for a devo time under las estrellas. Worship led to an experience like no other. God moved through our team in unfathomable ways tonight. His love was tangible and the members of our team are forever changed. We ask that you keep our team and the people of El Pajal in your prayers as we enter our last day in the community. God is not done working in our hearts and in Guatemala.
Kaylee y Katia