Thursday, January 8, 2015

November (Yes, I mean November) in Guatemala

It's been a busy two months. I know the holidays are a busy time for everyone, so I thought I'd summarize our November through pictures. It included a lot of travel, plus activities at home.

Here's a glimpse of November in the Chapman household:
Decorating for Christmas
7 months or so pregnant.
Making our own Christmas wreaths.
Making our own Christmas ornaments. 
The girls are starting a new school this month. In November they had a chance to attend for a month of vacation courses, and they both absolutely loved it. These are cupcakes they made with their new classmates.  
Hazel showing off her cupcakes.
We had a team retreat in Antigua during this month. Our staff threw me and one of our other pregnant staff members a baby shower. She is due any day, 5 days before me. 

I don't know how to explain this picture except to say they lost a game.
Because every baby shower should include a melted candy bar inside a diaper.
On our retreat we visited a local coffee cooperative.
It's always fun for the girls to spend time with our team.
Learning about coffee.
Picking red coffee beans.
I'm pretty sure she spit this right out.  
Hiking up to the farmer's coffee section. 
Ellie and one of our team members, Beraldo.
After hiking up a ways to visit one of the farmer's lots, we hiked down and spent time roasting the beans over a wood stove. Then of course, we got to enjoy the fruits of our labor with a hot cup of coffee.
For the second year in a row, we shared a Thanksgiving dinner together as a team during this retreat.
During another part of the month we took a quick trip up north to Alta Verapaz, where we have a couple of projects. We went especially to attend the graduation of the Spanish literacy program that MCC helps support. The majority of these students were very proud to be graduating from 6th grade, and we had the honor of handing out some of the diplomas.
The girls enjoyed taking swim classes during November and December. They are both little fish in the water and we saw a huge improvement of both their skills in a short time.  
Hazel LOVED to go down to the floor of the pool and retrieve toys. She also learned to float by herself with no one touching her. She has no fear in the water.

Our big news for this month? After being in Guatemala for more than 18 months, after dealing with several lawyers from the States and Guatemala, several meetings in different offices, multiple rounds of paperwork and more lawyer visits, we FINALLY are considered the legal representatives of MCC in Guatemala. This makes simple things like signing documents and going to the bank MUCH more simple. It was a pretty big deal, and of course we had to celebrate in our office.

And thus went our November!


Jennifer Jo said...

Congrats to J---I didn't know she was pregnant!

And one thing: did you really mean "November"? Because it seems more like December, what with all the Christmas stuff...

Melissa Chapman said...

Yes, this was November! My mom just asked me the same thing. :) I will do a December post next.

Krista said...

Woo hoo on the legal stuff! That's awesome!

My girls also have no fear in the pool which kind of freaks me out. We have these swimmer vest things, but still, they really don't know how to swim at all yet!

Happy November! ;)

Sally J-B said...

Hi Melissa! Our youngest was born in Alta Verapaz. I didn't realize that MCC supported any projects there- where are they located? Thanks! Sally (former MCC Brasil and New Orleans)

Melissa Chapman said...

Sally, MCC supports a Global Family literacy project (the one I referenced in this post). This covers a lot of areas as many of the students walk for a couple hours to get to the class' location, but all over the department. We also have supported Bezaleel, a Mennonite boarding school for the K'ekchii Mennonites in the area. We've also supported the women's groups of the K'ekchi Mennonite church to plan their yearly gatherings. Here's a link to the GF project in San Pedro Carcha: