Hola friends and family!
Christmas is in full swing in our little aldea. Presents are all wrapped and more fireworks are set off every day. In Guatemala, Christmas is celebrated on the 24th and gifts are opened at midnight, so as I’m writing this, the kids are all excitedly anticipating opening their presents together! Most people do not listen to Christmas music here, so I have missed that aspect of the holidays in the States. That being said, last Sunday we all took pictures together in the mall by the big Christmas tree (pictures #1) and that definitely helped me feel a little more in the Christmas spirit!
In other Christmas news, Casa Gloria has been working on making a Christmas video for the Corbitt family. The Corbitt’s have been supporters of Casa Gloria from the beginning, have visited and volunteered here on numerous occasions, and are also the reason why I decided to intern at Casa Gloria in the first place! The video offers an inside look at the kids’ daily lives at Casa Gloria, interviews with two sisters, and information on Casa Gloria’s latest project, Colonia Casa Gloria (more on that later!). I had the opportunity to narrate the video we made for them, which was a nice, full-circle moment for me! The end of the video features all of the kids and nannies holding a “Merry Christmas” sign, so I had to hop in there and get a picture with everyone, too (picture #2)!
Casa Colonia Gloria (CCG) is a set of apartments being built for the kids that have graduated out of Casa Gloria (picture #3-4). When a child turns 18, they are legally no longer allowed to live at Casa Gloria. CCG will give these kids a place to live and continue their education, while also teaching them how to work and manage their money responsibly. Currently, there are two sisters who have already turned 18 and two more girls who will turn 18 next year that are waiting for CCG’s completion. We are all very excited about giving these girls a place to live and an opportunity to continue to flourish within the Casa Gloria community!
This past week, there were quite a few dogs who needed vet visits. We learned that Soldier is in liver failure, Cariñoso has a tumor, and Arisa had fluid in her lungs. Fortunately, there is treatment for Cariñoso’s tumor and he will be just fine. There is not much that we can do for Soldier, however, other than keep him as comfortable as possible. Similarly with Arisa, we tried to help her feel as loved and cared for as we could in her last days, but she ended up passing away last Monday. Although this was a challenging week, it was a good reminder that all things come to an end that we should cherish every moment we have together. Especially as we enter the holiday season!
Lastly, an update on Ria! Three weeks of love and nourishment later and Ria is a completely new puppy! She pretty much walks around the children’s home all day with her tail wagging, but she especially loves to be curled up on a pillow in Jenna’s office. She also enjoys spending time in the sun (when we actually have some, that is) and being held. It has been such a beautiful experience to watch her heal and turn into a happy, curious, and charming puppy (pictures #5-7)!
As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Much love y hasta la próxima,