Hello, my name is Haley Kesler.
My grandma and I were at the airport in Tampa getting our bags checked in and getting ready for my first out-of-the-country mission trip. I was excited, nervous, and anxious all at the same time. A few months before, we went to a Mission Conference at church where I got a fake passport and filled it out with stamps from booths telling about different countries. At first I said no to going so we never thought that I would ever be standing there with my real passport getting ready to go to a completely different country.
The next day, I woke up in a hotel in Antiqua, Guatemala. We could see three volcanoes from certain points in our hotel.
Today was the day to go zip lining in the mountains over a very forested canyon. We were driving up the mountain with no guardrails, no fences, and no signs in a truck. Talk about a bumpy ride.
I was getting helped into my gear. It was really heavy.
Zip lining was fun. The next day, we went to the mal-nutrition center but on the way we saw many cool things like this beautiful, old church.
I pointed out writing on my grandma's water bottle that they gave us on the coaster or bus. Somebody knew that we were going to the mal-nutrition center so the person who wrote on the water bottle must have been the someone on a previous trip.
This was a picture of Grandma and I in front of a volcano before we left for the center for the first day in our Orphan's Heart shirts.
This was a picture from the street on the way to the center. Guatemalans are so sweet and friendly. Everywhere you looked on the street there were people yelling "hola" or "buenos dias". Everybody was so happy.
As soon as I stepped into the door, a little girl named Tamara ran up to me and hugged me as tight as she could and wouldn't let go. She was one of my ''non- favorites''. We weren't allowed to have favorites so we had non-favorites.
This was a picture of me sitting down with the kids at snack time next to Angelica who was twelve years old and is most likely going to stay at the center until she can take care of herself. Her parents never came back to get her so she and her sister Elvira are probably going to stay at the center until they are adults.
At lunch, the babies came and ate with us and they were so good about eating. They ate with big spoons and big cups. One little girl was out during lunch.
I played soccer with one of the little boys and he was much better at it than me.
On the way home, we stopped at a stone cross high up on a mountain. It was very big. You can see a volcano behind it too.
Here's me balancing on the fence that is on the edge of the mountain.
The next day, we got to do the girl's hair. That was fun.
Once a month, the families with kids that have left the mal-nutrition center come to get a check-up. The families all wait outside and one by one they will call families in to get their kid measured and weighed.
If the child is sponsored when they go home, the families will get their child's check-up and a forty-five to fifty pound bag filled with food and other supplies for the month and a carton of eggs. Trey, Leah and David were trying to balance the bags on their heads........and cheating.
Bible story time! We had the kids dress up like the people in the story and act it out.
The little boy was acting like he was praying. It was part of the story.
There's one of the girls making a goofy face. We sponsored her.
Tamara was very helpful. She put all of the tooth brushes out with toothpaste on them for the other girls.
Gabby and Sonya are rinsing their tooth brushes off under the faucet after brushing their teeth.
We handed out sparkly Jesus stickers and somehow Gabby ended up with two stickers.
These were the Guatemalan taxis. They were called tuktuks.
Playing Yahtzee at the hotel. Game night!
Jake and I playing Hopscotch with a metal bar we found and a rock after lunch.
Picture perfect! The men cleaning the brand new babies and special needs kids room.
Tamara getting her hair cut.
Me, Jake, Ben, and Allison playing Yahtzee at night. Kid game night!
One of the active volcanoes was puffing smoke in the morning.
Angelica and I became friends. Even though we didn't speak each other's language, I felt like we understood each other.
Anna Maria and Daniel holding hands walking out front to the playground. So cute!
Me and one of the little boys hanging out on the swing set.
The center had a bus for all of the kids to ride on outside to the playground on.
The view from the plane of Antiqua, Guatemala.
Sponsor a child at www.orphansheart.org
You can sponsor a child for $35 a month so that when they go home their family will get a bag of supplies every month to help with feeding the family and hopefully prevent any more of their children ending up at the Malnutrition Center.