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Service Trip 2009

A reflection by Vanessa Nash

FOG service 2009Going to Guatemala was a life changing experience for me. Meeting and getting to know the teachers and students and the teachers at the school was amazing. The dedication and the commitment that the teachers exhibit is such an inspiration. While we were there, we learned that the teacher’s pay was nothing compared to what teachers were and are paid in the US. There are many times where they do not get paid at all but still return day after day. Seeing the quality of education that the children receive in the circumstances they live in is an eye opening and humbling experience. Because of the support of many friends we were able to help fix up the school for the children by painting the classrooms and fixing the roof as well as supply them with much needed materials. The parents of the children that attend the school were so unbelievably supportive and grateful for the improvements made to the school for their children. The education that the children receive in this very poor community, is usually the most education they will get in their entire lives. My heart is saddened that for the majority of these children, they will not have the opportunity to excel and reach their potential. But even knowing this, seeing their smiles and the proud looks on their faces as they gave us their beautiful handmade cards, as well as showing us different work that they accomplished, was so uplifting and encouraging.

I have been blessed to have been able to go on four trips to Guatemala. And on every trip my heart is to give to them and help them in whatever way I can. But the funny thing is, I end up always feeling like I have learned and received more from the children, teachers, and community than what I gave. Being part of this experience has been heart changing, thought provoking, and soul changing. Knowing that our small service to them inspires and encourages them is such a huge reward. I can’t wait until the next time I can be a part of this rewarding experience again.