Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 17--Paula

The sun beamed down as we made our way (via Hogar van) through the congested streets of Guatemala City. At times, feeling as if we were playing dodge with the Guatemalan drivers in their cars. Our team arrived to the picturesque view of the Santa Trinidad Monasterio sitting on the hill overlooking Lake Amatitlan. The mountains served as a beautiful back drop to the spectacular and serene view of the surrounding area. This was truly a magnificent sight to behold. There, high on a hill, isolated and yet so exquisite, a strong yet humble Orthodox presence overlooking the city.

We were met by Madre Ines and Father John. Our team then began our guided tour through the monastery grounds. Madre walked our team through the new orphanage/boarding school being constructed for the children of the Hogar. We all were amazed at the design, precision and details that Madre Ines was discussing about this beautiful place that will someday be home to these wonderful children of God. As we all stood and listened in amazement, we could envision the children in their new home and prayed that sooner, rather than later, according to God’s will, these children would immerse themselves into this blessed area and continue on their individual and collective Orthodox way of life.

Once the tour of the construction site came to a close we made our way to the Monasterio. The green windows of the Monasterio quickly caught our attention. We entered and were drawn into this peaceful place of worship. The walls were filled with depictions of our Orthodox faith. An inviting feeling overcame us as we stood in the presence of the iconostasis and various icons. What a great blessing to be there to witness such beauty. We completed our visit at the Monasterio with singing of hymns. We were all looking forward to our next destination: The Cacao restaurant.

The restaurant looked like an upscale Hawaiian hut. Our servers were attentive and our meals were delicious. Most of all, it was the company. Our team, made up of many different personalities, who have come together for a like minded cause and mission. We laugh and talk and get along so very well. Not too long ago we were all just a list of names on the OCMC website and today we shared a meal and created more fond memories.

We are blessed to have Father John as our team leader and attribute, along with all of our individual contributions, the success of our team to his direction and ability to foster an environment of bonding and mutual respect. We came back to the Hogar where we participated in the vigil service. We were anticipating the surprise of the 27 foot banana split sundae that we would be preparing and presenting to the children following dinner. The time came and with great excitement we cleared the comedor and began our preparations.

A 27 foot orange pipe (opened) to ‘house’ the enormous tasty treat we were about to assemble. So with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts, we pulled out the four gallons of Neopolitan ice cream, two pounds of Hershey’s chocolate sauce, 1/3 of a jar of the maraschino cherries, 2 cans of whipped cream, pink and purple sprinkles, and of course the bananas. The massive sweet treat was completed and ready for consumption. We turned off the lights and brought the children in. We turned on the lights and began to sing ‘Happy Banana Split To You.’ The children looked confused, yet eager to begin the adventure of eating. The sundae disappeared in no time and then the dancing began. So, once again, the encore presentation of Shakira’s music began the dance- a -thon for the children and the entire team. We danced our way into exhaustion and called it an evening. This was truly a day filled with highs and for this we are grateful to God!

No comments:

Post a Comment