Life update!!

October 4, 2010

Hey All!

It just occured to me when I was sitting on my sofa in my new home that I haven’t written a blog since I was home in England… so here it is!!

I wanted to update you all on what’s new since being home.

I came home from Guatemala in march, and a few weeks later went back to work for Waitrose in Saltash and started to decide what was going to happen with my life from then on.

After a lot of prayer and considering things I decided I was going to apply for Oasis College in London to study Youth work and Ministry! I applied, two days later got offered an interview, and got accepted!!

Around June/July we started to sort out placements for me to live/work whilst I am studying, a major part of Oasis College is the placement work you do! I got offered a place in Suffolk, however I felt like this was just too far away, and declined the placement. I then got offered a placement in Bracknell, my feelings were just telling me this was the one where God wanted me to be. So I contacted the church here in Bracknell, came up for an interview, and I’m glad to say they loved me as much as I loved them!!

I continued to work at waitrose and spend my time doing youth work in Saltash until the 11th Sep when I moved to Bracknell!! I am now studying at Oasis and am the Student Youth Worker for Easthampstead Baptist Church!!

Moving back to England was never easy, and I suffered a lot from reverse culture shock, but I am now happy where I am, and am hoping to return to Guatemala in the future! I still miss it a lot, and I miss the friends I have out in Guatemala and at home in saltash. But I really feel that God has brought me to Bracknell for a reason!

Thanks All

Lots of Love

Amy xxxxx

A Festive Season with a difference!

January 16, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!

So it has now been over 2 months since I last sat down and informed you all on my life.. so this blog may be a long one!!

I really want to start with a bit about what I learnt in 2009!

  1. The most important thing I´ve learnt this year is that I need to give my whole life to God and really take the time to listen and have patience.
  2. That true friends will always be with you even when you´re miles away.
  3. How to cook Guatemalan food and speak spanish!!

Jireh

“Lord sees and provides for the necessities”

Not all of you will know what I am actually currently in Guatemala doing, so this bit of my blog is all about my volunteering and the amazing people and kids which I work with. I am currently living in a home called Jireh, here I live with 2 house parents; Sara and Russell, their 2 children and 10 other little boys aged between 6 and 12.

I spend from monday morning until friday afternoon with these kids, living and working in the home. God has given me such a heart for these children which is what I really asked him to do. We have happiness, tears, laughter and tantrums.

At the minute the children are off school from October until January for their long break of the year, unlike English schooling they get a 3 month break and one week break in July. The rest of the year they are working and studying solidly without breaks. So whilst they are on holidays they are home all the time, as you can imagine tiring but amazingly beautiful work.

We clean the house together, the kids have a lot of jobs and responisibilty around the house, but it´s their house too. I do a lot of the cooking and supervising of the kids. We play lots of games, do devotionals, laugh, watch some movies and eat! I never knew how much little boys could eat!

The other days with the boys we went to Agua Magic, which is a water park with the beach just next door. The kids had an amazing time, and it was lovely to see them all out and playing together with other children and enjoying themselves so much. These things the children appreciate a lot because they wouldn´t get to do them without the help of El Castillo, who are an christian organisation who I work for here in Guatemala.

All of the boys in my home have families but these families have a lot of difficulties, including being in prision, prostitutian, and a lot revolves around alcohol and drug problems, and all of these childrens have at some point lived on the street. However the aim is to help the families get through these issues and eventually intergrate the families back together, however sometimes, no matter how hard we try this just isn´t possible. The children have a lot of different personalities and difficulties, but every single one of them is an amazing little boy with such a big heart, and a love for Jesus.

Christmas in Jireh

So Christmas this year was different to any I´ve ever had in England, but amazing all the same! Christmas Eve in the evening is really when Guatemalans celebrate Christmas, though even a lot of evangelical churches and families don´t celebrate here. Which we found really different and strange, however thankfully my family and El Castillo celebrate Christmas.

I spent the evening with my family in Jireh, we had a great evening. We started off the day Christmas eve by preparing a Cena de Navidad, which is a christmas dinner. We had rice, meat with honey and mustard dressing, salad, apples, grapes, crisps, lots of snacky things. This was prepared for us to eat late into the evening on the 24th. During this time we also decorated the house a bit more, and put even more lights on the Christmas tree!

Once everything was ready and prepared we played with some firecrakers, let of some fireworks, had a devotional time all together, played games with the kids, watched a few christmas movies and then it hit 10.30, with a lot of tired children we ate dinner, and the youngest boy then headed off to bed at 11. All the others by this time began to get excited counted down to midnight, during this time we opened our presents and listened to christmas carols, once midnight hit, we headed outside to watch the fireworks, let off firecrakers, and play with sparklers. After an hour or so we all headed off to bed, tired but content!!

Christmas at Suzanne´s

So after a long night at Jireh, me and Anna set off at 10am christmas day to Suzanne´s for an “english” christmas. Suzanne is our short term co-ordinator out here.. she´s the one who keeps us all in order and the one we run to when we need a hug or a cuppa!

We started of the day by opening our parcels which had been sent from England, Thanks everyone for the presents and cards, they meant a lot! By the time we arrived the turkey for 12 was in the oven and cooking well! I peeled the sprouts which we managed to find in a supermarket here ( thanks Trish!) and began  eating our chocolate collections we´d all been sent. Once everyone had arrived from various locations across Guatemala we had lunch, and a lazy christmas day; singing, watching movies, playing Bananas and eating!! Boxing Day we headed out for Emma´s ( my mentor) birthday! It was all in all a brilliant Christmas across two different house

Goodbye 2009!

I said goodbye to 2009 with a lot of new friends and families around! We began the evening at 7pm when we headed off to church, there we sang, had a service and talked together about great things that had happened in 2009 and things we wanted to thank God for. Of course I said I really wanted to thank God for bringing me to Guatemala and for the amazing time, and friend which I have here so far!

After Church we headed back to the Ortiz´s, our friends from Church house! There were four of us english who go to Church with them, their parents, and 2 other good friends and their parents! Here we spent a lot of time talking and laughing before we had dinner around 11pm, at midnight we left the house and ran up the hill to watch the fireworks across the whole of the city… it was beautiful, and you could see for miles. Up there on the hill we left of fireworks, played with firecrakers, laughed, jumped and took silly photos, and generally really enjoyed each others presences. After around 2 hours we headed back down to the house; here we sang and worshipped together until 5am! After this the adults headed off to bed and us teens/big kids continued the evening/morning by watching a movie… eventually heading to bed for just 3 hours at 7am! Most of New years day was spent laughing and lying around feeling tired!

 Love and Prayers!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my very overdue blog… just wanted to let you know a few things and update you on Guatemalan life.

Few prayer requests….

1. For El Castillo

2. For my strength to continue on through my last few months

3. For my future when I return to England

4.  Continued relationships within Guatemala

Lots of love and hugs, please let me know any prayer requests!! The photos below are just a few, Guatemalan internet doesn’t like my photos much at the moment, check facebook for more!!!

Guatemala… our trips here, there and everywhere!






Nuestra casa nueva!

October 27, 2009

Hello all once again!

The View

We have moved house and the family are lovely, we aren’t sure how many people actually live in the house, we

counted up to about 9 people, however there are usually many more flying in and out all day! It´s nice though to be surrounded by people and we are now closer to the main town making getting to school only a ten minute walk! Our last family was very nice and we were sad to have left them, but sadly it was just a little far to travel everyday and was tiring us all out a lot.

My New Room

Spanish

My spanish is improving poco y poco (little by little) as my teacher would say! I am now onto learning the past tense and have 3 and 1/2 weeks left. We have a break of 2 days off of language this last due to latin link training days, however the training days were held in spanish, so this gave us a little practise.

Latin Link Prayer Weekend and Training days.

Those few days have been spent living at the lovely Suzannes and her wonderful cakes.. we  had an afternoon of prayer on sunday and lots of fun times learning about history, cross cultural missionary and self dissaplines monday and tuesday.

Volcan Pacaya

Really Hot Lava and Wind!!

The photos are from when we spent the afternoon on Volcan Pacaya, which is a volcano about an hour away from where we are living. I went up on a horse and returned on foot, however falling over on a rock managed to bruise my arm. Luckily nothing worse and once warm, dry and out of the dark I was much happier and that evening slept like a log! In the picture is the Latin Link Crew currently learning spanish in Antigua, our very kind quide and Nawaf and Luke our friends from School. The other picture is me being burnt by the extremely hot wind blowing across the volcano.

The Gang

Monterrico

We spent the weekend which has just passed in Monterrico, a beautiful beach about an 2 and a half hours away from Antigua. We left on Friday afternoon and spent time relaxing in hammocks, on the beach, realising turtles into the sea, reading,studying, eating, swimming and generally enjoying ourselves.It was a well needed break away from the busy city and away from constantly having to think and be aware of what´s going on around you.

We also enjoyed a boat trip at 5.30am! Extra early however I´m sure once I´m into my project it will be a common hour to me!

Me Smiling :)

Boat Trip

I believe I have update you for now on all the fun stuff we have been up to but I´m sure I have forgotten something, though I am sure you all have many things to be doing and have little time left after reading my long update! I hope everyone is well and enjoying life in the many different countries you are in!

Just want to use the last note here to say a great thanks to you all for your support, thoughts, emails, understanding of my lack of english skills now I´m learning spanish and most of all your prayers!

For all of you who would like to pray I just ask for prayer on continued knowledge in spanish, continued happiness and most of all that God will keep building my relationships with everyone around me.

Thanks to all

Love and Best Wishes

Amy xxxx

Amy´s Adventure Issue 1!

October 16, 2009

Me and a fellow strider Matt at Heathrow

Hello All!

As most of you by now will be aware I arrived safe and well with

all of my luggage and with no delays at all. Even though I’ve been here now for 4 weeks, it’s still hard to believe I am actually in

Hannah, Anna, Alison and I.

Guatemala at last! I flew out with Anna and Hannah from the picture above and Alison arrived on the same day.

When we first arrived we had a few days orientation with Suzanne in San Lucas. Suzanne is the Short term co-ordinator in Central America for Latin Link. Suzanne is involved in the organisation of placements for individuals and teams visiting Central America. Suzanne showed us around, helped us buses, safety tips and answered many a question we had.

After the first few days we moved to Ciudad Vieja, which is a small town just outside of Antigua where we are studying Spanish. We are currently living in a lovely home with a lovely family who are part of a ‘home stay’ scheme which the school runs.

The photo below is the view from our window:

our house ciudad vieja

Our family consists of Gladys, Victor and their two children, Fernanda (19yrs) and Andres (18yrs) and a cute little dog called Tusiters. They live about 20 minutes from Antigua in a town called Ciudad Vieja. Everyday we eat an evening meal with the family which generally consist of bread, frijoles (which are black beans usually in a paste form), some form of egg and a sweet biscuit.

Ciudad Vieja House

Our House the Day we got locked out!

Every morning we travel into Antigua on the chicken bus. These buses were originally used as children’s school buses in the America, the seats were originally designed to fit two child sized bodies however most days there are 3 adults to a seat, lucky we have no claustrophobic people amongst us!

Chicken Bus

The Chicken Bus

We are studying at “La Union” which is a great school with an amazingly friendly atmosphere and lovely staff and students. We have classes on a one to one basis and my teacher is called Elva. As you can see from the pictures the classes are held outside, and my lessons are held between various fruit trees. We have classes from 8am to 12pm. But don’t be fooled the Spanish continues throughout the day with homework and practicing with locals and our family.

Coban Waterfall

The school also offers trips and activities to do in the afternoons and weekends. So far I have cooked tortillas on a wheelbarrow fire and have been to Coban and Semuc Champey, two very attractive local tourist areas. This offers us a break from study and gives us a chance to get to know fellow students and make links with local people.

Antigua is a beautiful town surrounded by volcanoes, corn and coffee plantations and many smiley faces. Currently we are in the wet season until the end of October so we have sunny and warm mornings with a little rain in the afternoon.

Our Dog

Our Dog

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and e-mails.

I really feel that God has put me where he wants me to be, and has really given me a heart for Guatemala. However times can be hard and frustrating with being away from home, friends ,family and  being put outside of my comfort zone.

I ask if you could specifically pray for:

-Continued learning of Spanish and that God will give me a supernatural gift for the language, also as we move house this weekend.

-That God will keep us all safe and protected whilst travelling and free from illness.

-Alison is a doctor and was supposed to be going to Honduras to work but now she can not go as there has been a military coup and borders are closed, she has now been placed now in Guatemala, but I just pray for support for her that she will always know God is with her as she changes her plans. Also for a fellow strider Joe who has been pulled out of Honduras for safety issues, that God will give him Guidance on what to do next.

-That when I finish language school mid November, that God will give me the strength in my heart and in the language to become such great friends with the young boys  ( 12 boys aged between 5 and 10) who I will be in the home with. That God will give me ways to communicate with them when the language causes a barrier and that they will really see God through my work and love.

Thanks, much Love and prayers Amy x

Robin is always kept up to date with constant texts and e-mails, however you can also contact me direct. Also please feel free to send me any prayer requests to the following email address.

amy_omelia@hotmail.com

English Mobile (texts only) –  07809124176

Guatemalan Mobile (calls) – 0050258196303

Latin Link: 87 London Street, Reading, RG1 4QA. www.latinlink.org

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October 16, 2009

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