Loving Arms is a Canadian charity working to transform the lives of the people we serve living in Guatemala.
Although we enjoyed our morning breakfasts at the hotel we asked Edgar, the owner of the pub we regularly had dinner if he would be willing to open up early for breakfast on our last day. All week we had awesome meals at Edgar’s restaurant and he was a fantastic person to boot. Without hesitation he agreed (he doesn’t usually serve breakfast). He sourced a coffee maker and went above and beyond by providing a good old Canadian styled breakfast (sausage, scrambled eggs, home fries, and plantains). Howard, why don’t you like plantains?
Some of us got up early for one more visit to the market which opened up at 7 AM but made sure we made it to Edgar’s by 7:45 AM. After breakfast it was a mad dash back to the hotel to pick up our luggage because we didn’t want to get caught in the Sunday processions that were going to take place throughout the City. We all grabbed our stuff, made our way to the van but unfortunately were missing one person (and this time it wasn’t Mark). It was the person who organized our trip, who was with us throughout our adventure, who took care of 12 different people and treated us like family for our entire stay. Where was Linda? I’m not sure, but I do remember her walking double time with a coffee in hand and the Manager of the hotel running with her luggage to the van. Everyone accounted for and now off to the airport.
We left at 9AM and arrived at the airport at 10:30 but made one stop, to connect with Alicia and hubby who followed us in their truck. What can I say about Alicia who also was with us the entire trip, who kept us on schedule, opened her house to us for lunch everyday, knew practically all the people in the villages we visited, could be kind and firm in the same breath, but above all very caring and loving . The trip to the airport was one of the quieter rides in the van. This might have been because we were all exhausted; sad to be leaving the incredible people we met in Guatemala; anxious of the full day of traveling ahead; or just thoughts of getting home to be back with our loved ones.
We flew from Guatemala to Atlanta, had a long wait in Atlanta’s airport. Waiting for the airline to find various pieces of luggage while sitting in the plane we were finally airborne an hour late and arrived in Toronto Pearson at 12:30 AM Monday morning. By the time we got through customs it was after 1 AM. We all stumbled to our cars and made it back home by around 2 AM.
Personally, when I got home, although exhausted I couldn’t get to bed right away. I sat and thought of the experience we just went through. We were all changed, had grown. Changed for the better. It was asked at one point during the trip, how do you tell people what we just went through? You can’t, you have to live it. The camaraderie of the group, the smiles on the kids faces, the terrain, the poverty and need, the love and dedication shown by those who want to help, the stomach cramps, the history, the work we did, the homes, the people we met, cars and roads, animals, traditions, language. It was all overwhelming. It was not just a trip, it was an adventure of a lifetime. Thank you Ken from Speroway for initiating this trip. Thank you Linda for Loving Arms and your tireless work helping the people of Guatemala. Thank you Alicia for your organization skills, strength, and support. Thank you team for your friendship. And thank you Mark for putting this together. Yes we gave of our energy, love and time but I personally felt I came back home receiving much more than I ever imagined.
Copyright Loving Arms Charitable Corporation 2012 • Charity Registration 83310 4359 RR0001