So I'm opening a new door....

So I decided to go to Guatemala.

OK not really.

What happened was, I was kicking around the idea of going to Guatemala on a "mission" and then I tripped and fell and by the grace of God and my friends and family ....

I'm going to Guatemala.

Some history.

You know how Facebook kind of connects you with people that you may not have ever REALLY known from your past but then suddenly through the wonder of the world wide web you become BETTER friends with them?  Yeah that's how it went down with me and Bethany Widby.  She was an acquaintance  in high school but not a lot more.  We started chatting a lot on facebook and we're both bloggers.  Hers is and she talks about raising her son while traveling the world.  And oh yeah, she happens to run this organization called A Heart for Guatemala.   I think we connected because we both have passion for the things we are ... yanno, passionate about... and we both DO something about it and we both BLOG about it although Bethany is WAY better than I am at it but I digress.  Anyway I became both intrigued and inspired by what her and her husband and son are doing in Guatemala.  Did I mention her son is 6?  But he's right there every step of the way working with his mom and dad making things HAPPEN in Guatemala?  Gosh I love that.

That's what excited me about this trip.  See, generally speaking, I'm "anti-mission" trip.  Yes I've found my way back into church and yes I believe in God and Jesus but what I don't believe is that I should fly to another country and try to make you believe what I think.  I just don't like that idea.  If you want to, you can yell at me privately about that.  What I like about the "mission" of  A Heart for Guatemala is that it is education based and geared toward TEACHING people.  Not just straight up education like reading and writing but also it's about teaching the children and the elders a better way of life.  About farming, and gardening, and finding clean sources of water and life skills all of that, teaching confidence and hope.  Bethany fell in love with the Mayan culture and people and developed a passion and a heart for Guatemala (yes, pun intended) and she did something about it.  She didn't just talk the talk, she is walking the walk and she's growing her organization and the help she brings to that country more and more each year.

I've been through a lot in the last two years and Bethany has watched it unfold on Facebook.  Not that my status was ever, "Hey I got a divorce today!" but she was able to read between the lines and several times would message me privately and give me words of support and encouragement   Throughout this process she asked me to consider joining her in Guatemala ~ for me.

Me, in a third world country?  Clearly Bethany forgot too much about me from high school.  I enjoy flushing toilets wayyyyyyyyyy too much to consider this.  But here's the biggest thing I've learned in my journey through divorce.  You. Only. Live. Once.  I realize it's a big craze and catchphrase right now, "YOLO!" but for me it has become a mantra.  I feel like my life has started for me just in the last year, at age 40.  And I don't want another MOMENT to go by and another opportunity to escape me where I say, "Why didn't I?" No more.  So the question was never truly "Why would I go to Guatemala," but rather, "Why wouldn't I?"  I'm healthy, I'm able, I have something to give, and I WANT to give it.  The only thing I lacked was the resources.  You know, the financial ones?

So Bethany insisted I could raise the money.  I thought she was nuts but again, YOLO!  Why not?  I started an indiegogo campaign and aptly titled it "Opening a new door."  I posted it on facebook with the goal of raising $1800 in 55 days.  My friends, I have over 30 days left in my campaign and I have only $100 to go to reach my goal.  $1800 covers my flight and my room.  Anything above and beyond $1800 will be used to purchase beds and clean water and books and food and chickens and good things that the beautiful people of Guatemala need.  In fact,  THE DAY I launched my campaign I was able to purchase my flight.  And within 48 hours of launching the campaign I had nearly reached my goal.  Every time someone made a donation, I posted it on facebook.  I started saying "blessed, humbled, grateful" so much and so frequently that I jokingly said, "I'm having a tshirt made that says that."

This is my first post about my trip.  I'm going the first week in July.  I'm going to try to be good about continuing to write about WHY I'm going and then of course I will write WHILE I'm there and share my amazing stories.  I can't wait.  I CANNOT open new doors and see new faces and breathe new air and as I've said since this whole thing started, "I'm kicking myself right out of my own box."  It's time.


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