So, the last time I wrote you all it was less than a week before my mom was coming to visit. A lot has happened since then and it has all happened fast.
First on November 12 our kiddos had their first Special Olympic tournament. It was really awesome to see NPH supporting them. We took a whole school bus of athletes, volunteers, and NPH employees to the tournament in the capital. Unfortunately because of earthquakes and such, not all the departments of Guatemala could come to participate. Because of that, the tournament was more of a recreational competition without medals, but still very cool.
Our fantastic team :)
A few days after the tournament, my wonderful mother came to visit me for two whole weeks. It was so good to see her after being away for more than 10 months. We did a lot of fun things including Semuc Champey, Tikal, Belize, Livingston, and Rio Dulce - check out pictures on facebook if you'd like :)
The day after my mom returned to the states, I started as a tia for the month of December with the kids with special needs. I was excited to be working with some fun tios and to go on plenty of excursions. One day we went to a Christmas fair in the capital to go ice-skating.. yeah I wondered the same thing - but they had a big machine to keep the ice cold even though we were outside and it was hot. Throughout the month we also decorated for Christmas, went swimming, did art projects, went for runs, did activities with visitors coming to donate gifts, and made cakes!
The Christmas fair in the capital
Christmas day - Leo is excited with his new action figure
A chocolate strawberry cake the kids made Christmas day
Odi playing with her new doll
The tios and volunteers having cake Christmas day after the kids went to bed.
On December 26th all the tios and tias came back from Christmas vacation and the volunteers were officially done being tios. Before starting to work again January 2nd, Charlotte and I took advantage of our last opportunity to see more of Guatemala. We went for a two day hike in Nebaj, which is a really pretty place with a lot of small Mayan Ixil towns. We went with a guide and walked and walked, stopping at peoples' homes for meals and lodging. It was so nice to be outside, experience another culture, and see such a beautiful place.
I have officially been in Guatemala a whole year! I have not set foot in the U.S. of A since 2011! crazy. What is 2013 going to bring? I hope you all have a happy new year!