March 19, 2012

March Madness

This month has been wonderful, exciting, and filled with a little madness...more than just from the basketball tournament. (Collin is still in mourning. Pour Dukies.)

Spiritual Emphasis Week
A previous teacher, his father, and another couple traveled from Colorado to lead the event. The week consisted of daily chapels, VBS-like stations for kids, and an hour of games in the afternoon. It was a tiring, but very blessed week.

More Visitors!
Kayla (Collin's sister) and Jana (dear friend from Dordt volleyball) traveled together to visit us this past week! After a wretched trip with plane cancellations and many delays, they finally made it to Guatemala, and they even still looked a little excited to see us. We took advantage of Jana's Spanish skills by giving them a map and sending them to explore Xela on their own during the day. Then after school we would get to spend many fun hours eating around town and playing card games. We especially enjoyed having them meet our Spanish teacher over brownies and chocobananos and an small earthquake.

During their visit we got to go to Antigua for a night. It was the first time we had ever been there. We spent most of our time looking at the churches and ruins in Antigua. There are many ruins there from a huge earthquake that happened in the 1700s. We also spent some time shopping in the local market. We loved the warmth, and we enjoyed every bite of delicious food, slurp of ice cream, or beautiful view of the mountains and volcanoe outside of Antigua. (Thank you, Rod DeBoer.)

Church History
A family from school took us on a tour of the historical churches around Xela. It was so interesting! We got to see the first church built by the Spaniards in Central America. We also got to see the first convent in Central America. 80 percent of Guatemala is Catholic, and most of the churches we saw were Catholic. We also some Mayan chapels, where Mayan rituals are performed. Apparently, a Mayan cleansing ritual is to smoke, drink liquor, and then spit it on each other. So interesting.

Weekend in Mexico
We went to Tapachula, Mexico to renew our 90-day visas this past weekend. That may be the last time we get to go, as we have applied for 2-year missionary visas. Those will cover us for the next two school years.

It's the Fourth Quarter already?!
This week is the beginning of the end! Today was the first day of the 4th quarter. It is crazy how time flies! We have parent-teacher conferences again this week. In Spanish. Thank goodness for translators and forgiving parents.

Homeward Bound
We plan on coming home on June 3. We will be home for two months, staying with Potgeter parents in Michigan (right, mom and dad??) We plan to fly back to Guatemala on August 1. Kendra will be working at Scrap Scribble 'n' Stick and Collin will be landscaping cemeteries (Thank you, VanEngens!!!). Collin will also be golfing. And Kendra will also be spending free time with sisters and nieces and aunties at the pool.

First Grade Funnies
It has been awhile. There are so many to choose from...

Me: What did we learn from the story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel?
Student: That you have to be hot in order for God to love you?

After discussing our dinosaur story in reading, one student randomly blurts, "I imagine that a long time ago dinosaurs elected a president."

Teacher: What are some good habits?
Girl: Taking a shower every day.
Boy: I think there's a jacuzzi in the girl's bathroom.

Story Title: The Colors
Page 1: I sleep in a red bed.
Page 2: I eat orange porrige.
Page 3: And I eat yellow jello.
Page 4: I use a green machine.
Page 5: I play with blue glue.
Page 6: I play with a purple circle.
Page 7: I have a black crack.

Me: First graders, this week's spelling test might be kind of hard, but I know you can do great!
Student: Mrs. Broekhuis, I think it will be easy, peezy, lemon-squeezy.

Grace and Peace,

ps. A few pictures...

 The famous arch in Antigua.
 The "Mono Loco" restaurant.

 Family and friends. Forever.

Church Tour around Xela:
 The first church built in Central America by the Spaniards.
 The first convent in Central America. The displays inside are covered in gold.
 The church we see in pictures every time we go to Pollo Campero. Therefore, we named it the "Pollo Campero" church.