Friday, November 18, 2016

Familias de Esperanza, el 18 de noviembre, 2016

As time is winding down for me in Antigua, I thought it was time to get a picture of Saria, Odolpho and Odillia, my host family-

This morning, rather than go to school, Sheny and I went to San Cristobal de Alto.  Before we left, el Arco de Santa Catalina and Agua were looking pretty good-

Fuego is on the left and Acatenango on the right-

The view of the valley and Antigua is superb and we were lucky to have such a cloud free morning-

In the pueblo-

And a tribute to  San Simon.  Notice the orbs!

Here he is up close-

He has cash in his jacket pocket and there were quite a few liquor bottles around him.

I thought this was a memorial for a biker-

But no-

After el gimnasio, I had a meeting at Familia de Esperanza with Axel and his father Julio-

Axel was born March 4, 2006 and is in grade 4.  His favorite subject is matematicas.  He lives in San Juan del Obispo with his parents, 5 year old sister Dulce and 16 year old brother Marlon.  The family owns the land they live on, which is 10 m by 10 m.  The walls of their home are made of concrete, as is the floor and roof.  Water comes from a tap on the property and they have a flush toilet, electricity and they cook on a gas stove.  They own 7 stools, 2 beds, 1 table, 1 shelf, 2 lockers and 2 chairs.  They also have a blender, an iron and a tv.  Their monthly income is $247 US.  Mom had her cervix removed yesterday because of fibroids and they won't have test  results for a couple of weeks.   The way the medical system works:  doctors are available for surgeries, however hospitals are empty, so patients are given a list of supplies required for surgery and they must go to the pharmacy and buy them before any operation occurs.

Axel and I played a game called mancala.   It's a bit like parcheesi-

Axel was already a frequent visitor to Familia de Esperanza.  He comes there to read in the library and his mother has taken parenting classes.  Axel wants to study palaeontology when he grows up.  

As we were saying our goodbyes, I pointed to the walkway-

and told him next time I come to Guatemala, I want to see his name on a brick.  (Students who graduate from Grade 12 get a brick).  He  gave me a big smile.

I hope my small contribution to Axel and his family will give them opportunities to have an easier and better life.  They were both absolutely thrilled to become sponsored so I hope things work out. 

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