I am elated we spent the morning at the orphanage with the kids because after lunch they said everyone had to pack up and deliver the last sets of beds as they were not coming back to the orphanage. We were able to experience both.
Several months ago Nico auctioned off 6 of his meat birds to raise money for bunk beds. Our beds were actually delivered back in May to boys in the shoeshine homes. However, this time we were able to experience the delivery of bunk beds ourselves even those these weren't from our donations. The Demar family we traveled with raised a tremendous amount of money for this trip. It was an honor to join them and help.
The mattresses are made locally. We donated sheets and comforters as to buy sheets there costs about $10. We brought several of our matching twin bunk bed sets and had donations of others. There is a need for comforters and blankets because these homes are high up in the highland mountains.
They were stacked in pick up trucks and off we went
Our first stop was deliver beds up a very tall hill. The family anxiously waited for us as we arrived. They helped carry the beds up as did Nico, Sam, Mike, and others. I believe us moms were just trying to watch where we were walking. I failed to take pictures of us walking up and down the steep hill so I could watch my step. The trail was dirt and a little slippery from moisture. The families travel up and down with no problem.
There really are no words for this picture but a passing of sharing and caring. Smiles and appreciation a true sense of what our world should be.
Beautiful colors everywhere.
This sweet girl got a stuffed animal. Her brother got a new package of hot wheels. I think the photo is on my other camera (which I left at the hotel, but is on its way to me due to an awesome group member who claimed it for me. Thanks Christina). I don't think his smile could have gotten any bigger. He was ELATED!
Team Inspire (my kiddos) first bunk bed delivery. Luca commented often that no one should be without a bed and he was so glad he could help.
For us Americans it was very hard seeing the dogs in Guatemala. They are everywhere and are so skinny. They don't bother you and run if you try to touch them as they are used to being shooed away. I was told that they do protect the home when the families are away.
Riding Guatemalan style to the next delivery site
Our next 3 beds were all in the same area and a group of kids were excitedly waiting for us.
Sam, Nico and Matthew wasted no time in handing out stuffed animals.
Luca didn't hesitate to step in and help out with the set up. What I didn't snap here is the actual interior of the house. Basically we walked into a small area, approximately 10x6 where there was a dresser and then this walkway opened to a larger area where there is the bunk bed on the left and another old bed on the right. That is all there is to the house....no kitchen table, no couch or lounge chair. Luca did point out that some had TV and dvd players. I am sure these were only operational when they could afford electric. A church service was going on in one of the houses. Music, singing, and community could be seen and heard.
I walked around a little to snap some pictures of the area. This is another home which was located behind the other.
Laundry hung to dry.
Mike was one who was very skeptical about going on this trip. I was thrilled he got so much out of it too. I think his skepticism came from not knowing the group we were going with, how we would be getting around, and no idea what to expect. He truly felt the needs for the families here and helped out. He really enjoyed watching the kids.
Luca helps tuck in the sheets.
The beautiful kids of the village with their stuffed animals.
Two boys that were receiving a new bed.
The parents are happy as their children can now sleep in their own beds. Families are not all sleeping in one bed. Children and parents get a better nights sleep.
Material things are not what makes these children happy, but the love and care from a family unit. Do material things help? Yes, to an extent. Beds are one of those material things. Our family has quickly learned we don't need all the gizmos and gadgets, they just take away from the family being together.
I wish I could have seen the boys snuggled in their new beds that night.
All the homes had some way to catch the rain water run off. This is one of them.
Our last bed and the only time it rained, though it was looking like it for awhile. But it was a good excuse to get the rain ponchos out and leave them for the family to use. The family questioned the rain ponchos we were wearing. When someone asked where we got them I told the group we should leave them. $1 rain ponchos from the dollar store mean so much more when you have nothing. Luca was quite upset to leave his poncho as he would get wet walking back to the bus. I explained to him these kids had to walk miles to and from school without rain gear. This is the last house we went to. As we walked in there is the small room with a stove which was hot as we walked by. There was a short hallway leading back to the bedroom.
This is the bedroom. There are two large 'beds' to the right and the new bunk bed we set up. You can see the one bed is set on cinder blocks with cardboard and pallets.
A police escort up the hills.
Truly a day to remember. Pictures hang in my house as a constant reminder not to complain about the bad night sleep we got or how we couldn't get comfortable. I personally started complaining later in the week about the extremely hard bed in the hotel and I only had one pillow. I quickly stopped myself and said, "Thank goodness I had a bed, a pillow, a clean room, and a fan." There won't be any complaining about beds anymore.
To make your tax deductible donation towards a new bed, sheets, pillows, or to purchase a new bed for $180 US visit The Bunk Bed Project and post your name and donation with Team Inspire.