In 2004 I had the opportunity to visit Guatemala on a two week medical mission. I was 17, fresh out of high school, and eager to take on the world and leave my mark on it.
I love the Guatemalan people. They are a beautiful people with a rich heritage, and it's one of the highlights of my life that I was able to go and spend some time in their incredible country. I mostly interacted with children who didn't care that I could barely speak Spanish, they just wanted attention from the very white American who brought them toothbrushes. Guatemalan children have got to be the cutest children on the planet.
In another life, I would have returned to Guatemala after finishing college. I would have volunteered with Camino Seguro, an incredible program dedicated to helping Guatemalan children who literally live in the city dump receive an education, which enables them to help their families leave the dump. Someday I hope to donate bazillions of dollars to Camino Seguro, but that day is not today.
There are two things that I have recently been passionate about getting more involved with. The first is the Spanish language. I love Spanish. It is a beautiful language and I would love to be near fluent someday. My dad is from Mexico and it would be neat to be able to speak with him in his native tongue. I also want Sparrow to grow up being as bilingual as possible. I can't think of any negatives about being bilingual and I wish my parents had taught me Spanish as a child because it would have been nice to be fluent at a young age.
The second thing I have on my heart and mind lately is volunteerism. I miss serving people. I miss feeling like I am actively helping out in my community. I have been thinking of ways to get more involved in service, but with a 20 month old it's a little complicated! Someday I hope to take my family on a volunteering trip to South America or to Africa, but obviously that's several years away. What can I do in the meantime? I currently have plans to knit baby hats and sweaters to donate, but I'd like to do more. Ideally I'd like to be able to do something that involves Sparrow, Spanish, Guatemala and medicine!
So who has suggestions for me? How can I better my Spanish (for free-ish!) and volunteer and teach my 20 month old about service and go back to visit Guatemala next week? Who wants to volunteer to fly me out there? Anyone? ¿Alguien?