Visit to Guatemala

Visit to Guatemala

James reached a big milestone in early October when we spent 6 days in Guatemala. It was a milestone because it was the first time he was totally out of his element for an extended time period.  His dad and I have a dear friend who is a Catholic priest serving in a parish of about 30,000 people just outside Guatemala City.  He has been asking us to visit for several years and now that James is communicating with RPM and expressing his desire to be more independent and to have more opportunities we decided to take him.  We also took his homeschool teacher Shannon with us so he could always have someone to assist him with the letterboard.  I get very distracted by other people and am often not the best communication assistant!

For the first part of the trip we stayed in very simple, basic living quarters.  The area we stayed in was poor. It was really different from our life in Arlington. Despite dealing with a whole new sensory experience, very different food, a new time zone and everyone speaking Spanish James did extraordinarily well. He told us the first night that he was “very proud of himself”.  I am so glad he had the chance to meet the challenge successfully.  The next few days we visited various families in the parish, went to the market and visited the “infirmary” or clinic that has no doctor but is supposed to provide health care to 30,000 people. We wrapped up the trip in Antigua which was the old capital of the colonial government. There we toured a coffee farm and visited lots of old churches and monasteries.

This week we have been getting back to the work of regular school and all of  us are really tired. I did ask James to write about his experience for the blog and he managed to do it this afternoon despite being pretty wiped out!  So here are James’ thoughts on his visit to Guatemala.

GUATEMALA CITY REMAINS FRESH IN MY MIND. THE POVERTY, POLLUTION AND CORRUPTION HANG HEAVY IN MY HEART. I WAS OVERWHELMED BY SADNESS FOR THE PEOPLE. I GAINED A NEW PERSPECTIVE ABOUT HOW LIFE COULD REALLY BE. I TAKE MANY THINGS FOR GRANTED. HOWEVER, THE HAPPINESS THAT PEOPLE SHOWED US HUMBLED ME. MONEY DOES NOT EQUATE TO HAPPINESS, COMPANY AND PERSONALITY DO. PEOPLE WELCOMED US AND I FELT LOVED BY STRANGERS. I WANT TO RETURN TO GUATEMALA CITY AND I HOPE TO BRING THEM HAPPINESS LIKE THEY GAVE ME.

 

 

 

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Thoughts on being the President

We’ve been away from our blog for over two weeks and there is so much to catch up on!  We just got back from a life changing trip to Guatemala, one which would never have been possible prior to RPM. Before we post about our trip to Guatemala I thought I would share some of the lessons James did with Elizabeth earlier in the month. They were discussing the constitution, the presidency, and innovations by inspiring Americans. Here is a sampling of James’ responses.

*Given all the risks and complications that come with being president, why would anyone want to do this job?   (James’ responses are in regular font, no longer in caps)

Being president is a hard job. It is the highest leader in the world. With this job comes huge risks.The rewards far outweigh the risks. The President is the leader the world looks to as a model for democracy.

The world may not agree with the president but he is a leader nonetheless. Because the president has to take a firm stand on the issues he is subject to public criticism and scrutiny. This is not something that most people would want to face. I don’t think I could handle this amount of judgment.   The president also has to face the possibility he might make some people so mad they try to kill him. Assassination is a very real possibility the president faces with each public appearance. Again, not something I would want to risk.   Finally, there are many rewards to being president. These include the chance to make a meaningful difference in the world and be the voice of democracy. This is the part of the presidency that does appeal to me. In conclusion, I am grateful there are people willing to accept the risks and rewards associated with being president. I am not that person but I can participate by voting!

 Thoughts on Innovators like the Wright Brothers 

Creative writing: can you think of another example of an innovative person that tried, failed, try again.. But regardless, they had no control over the outcome?

There have been many innovators who have faced failure after failure. The commonality is that they never gave up. I believe if you really want something you have to be willing to fail. I am going through this now in homeschool group. I am not going to give up even when it is hard. The end result is worth the failures!