Monday, July 11, 2011

Welcome Kelsey and Cameron!

One year ago yesterday Ginny, Jared, Hudson, Kat, Karen, and I landed in Guatemala. Wielding about 500 pounds of luggage collectively, we each moved in with our respective homestay families, unsure of what to do next. One year later we're almost ready to hand off our work to a whole new team. One year later we run 11 community development programs, teaching English, health, and environmental awareness. One year later we work with over 400 men, women, and children in Chaquijyá. One year ago Manna did not exist in Guatemala.

This past year our goals were to get our foot in the door--build significant and meaningful relationships, set a foundation based upon trust, and of course implement beneficial programs for community members. Transitioning into year two we will continue forging new and maintaining old relationships while shifting a large emphasis onto evaluating current programs, expanding programmatic offerings, and finally emphasizing sustainability.

Yesterday I watched as two of our new PD arrivals wheeled their suitcases into their homestays and it surprised me how overcome I was with emotion. I don't get much instant gratification in my line of work, but knowing that all our hard work will continue into year two in the hands of an equally motivated, enthusiastic team, means to me that we did something right.

Kat, Hudson, Karen, Ginny, and Jared--you are MPI Guatemala. Thank you for driving this year's success with your passion and enthusiasm. Finally, a HUGE welcome to Kelsey and Cameron (Emily, we saved a spot for you)!

Cheers to year two,

Mama D

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