Part 1: An Introduction
You need to know that I love to travel. Everything about it amazes me – the array of people to watch in the airport, the magnificence of an airplane, the overpriced m&ms. I could happily snuggle in to an airport for several hours, watching passers-by as I do logic puzzles and catch up on reading. Whether it’s an eight-hour flight to Europe or a one-point-five-hour flight to Wisconsin, I love the feeling of stepping onto that plane after some quality airport-&-me time. I love the culture change that always comes with stepping off that very same plane: my parents’ accents, baguettes in Paris, the movement of Guatemala City. There is very little I do not like about traveling.
Another crucial fact to the story I am about to tell is the inherent nature of mission trips. Whether traveling as a group of sixty middle-schoolers, or a group of ten college alumni, a few simple truths exist surrounding all mission trips:
- Many, many ridiculous inside jokes will be born;
- Tears will be shed;
- You will struggle with the irreconcilable differences between your life, and the lives of the people you spend your time working with.
The word Guatemalican itself is one such inside joke. It began when DR referenced “Guatemalican Idol,” an imaginary program that would most certainly fail in Guatemala, based on the low singing quality we often stumbled upon. After this reference, everything we stumbled upon became Guatemalican: Guatemalican weather, Guatemalican dinners, Guatemalican people…you get the idea. So it is only appropriate that the story of our mission trip to Guatemala be named “The Guatemalican Chronicles.” I realize that due to this first truth of mission trips, most of my readers will not be very interested in reading the whole tale. Writing it out is just something I want to do for myself, and for the nine people on the trip with me who may be interested in reading it. So, here we go!