I woke up Friday morning pretty early. (that time difference will get you every time - even if you are tired) I spent some time out on my balcony taking in the sights and watching Pana wake up.
This picture shows one of the volcanoes that was visible from the apartments.
The van came to the apartment in the morning to pick us (Manuel, Gloria, Alex and I) up and take us to Sharon's place.
I finally got to see what the inside of Sharon's place looked like. I walked through the gate into a beautiful courtyard. To the right is a two story building which houses the Mayan Family offices. In the courtyard is an onil stove set up as well as the parts to other stoves that were waiting to be installed. There were also cages to the left with many of the dogs that are being cared for by Mayan Families.
We then went into Sharon's house. Just outside the house is an area where they store the donations to be handed out. It's not a very big area, but there are lots of shelves and some other storage areas.
Sharon's house is modest but very cute. It was obvious to me immediately that there is no privacy - no non-Mayan Families for this family. They are Mayan Families.
We sat down on the couch and waited for Sharon and the others who were going with us to get ready. Sharon immediately had her kitchen staff prepared a nutritious breakfast for Manuel and Gloria (she offered breakfast to me, but I'm not a big breakfast eater, and had already had my granola bar for the morning). I was glad to see that they were able to eat. I never asked Sharon this question, but I wondered where this food came from - was this Sharon's personal food? Did Mayan Families pay for it? I'm tell you - there is no line between Mayan Families and Sharon's personal life.
We then loaded up a couple bags of food that we were going to be delivering to the school in Tierra Linda. I also had Sharon ask Manuel and Gloria if they had formula for Alex at home as they had gone through all that I had brought (which really wasn't a lot). They didn't, so Sharon gave them some formula from the little bit that Mayan Families had left on the shelf.
We then piled in the van - Sharon, Aleeya, Zoe, (Sharon's daughters), Gloria (Mayan Families staff), Manuel, Gloria, Alex and I. I said that I wanted to buy the family some food, so we made a stop at the market. I went in with Sharon and Aleeya to the market. What a great place with great colors, smells, and sights.
We got them a box full of food and added eggs, baby food and what looked similar to rice cereal. (by the way - it cost me around $60.00 and should feed them for about a week-week and a half)
We were finally on our way up the mountain to Tierra Linda.
These next pictures I took from the van on our way.
This was a common sight. If you look at the picture below - about in the middle - you can kind of see an area that doesn't have as many trees.
This is a close up shot of the same place. In the middle of the side of the mountain was a field of some sort. I'm not exactly sure how they get there - I'm sure it's not easy.
As we were waiting for everyone to hold Alex and get settled, the women went outside. I was able to capture the next two pictures from inside the house. I think they are priceless. They then brought bottled water for all of us.
Soon, the speeches started. Everything had to be translated from Kaqchikel (pronounced CATCH-a-kel) to Spanish and then from Spanish to English. Because of this, I'm not 100% sure that the translation was perfect, but I think I got the idea. :)
Then, Grandma came forward holding a present wrapped in Mickey Mouse paper. Before any translation could happen, Sharon gasped and said, "I think that's for your Alex." I LOST it - totally and completely - not just tears, but crying. I was trying to pull it together, but it was just too much. If I remember correctly (and all I could think of was trying to stop crying) Grandma said something along the lines of this was for our Alex to thank him for treating Baby Alex like his brother, for playing with him, and sharing with him.
The only other things in the room is this table and chest. The chest held Alex's clothes. I'm not sure where Gloria and Manuel put their clothes as there was nowhere in the room for them.
Sharon would like to start an early childhood education center here. The children could come with their mothers, get a nutritious meal, and the mom's can learn how to "play" with their kids and get them ready for school. I think this is going to be my new project. I'm hoping that by the time Alex is old enough to go to something like that we can have it up and running.