Service, this is one thing I wanted to do a lot of when we started homeschooling. I wanted it to be an important aspect of our lifestyle. Yet as with so many other things I wanted to accomplish with homeschooling, I just never seemed able to make time for this. So when we made the decision to move out of the country, I again set the goal to find a way to make service work for us. I thought having Terry home and helping would make it more attainable.
Since getting to Guatemala, I now have a better understanding of why non profits need our money more than they need our time. They employ local citizens who are good at what they do; we don’t want to take work from them. These organizations need money to do the good work they do. Homes and garden boxes can’t be built; goods can’t be distributed; and employees can’t be paid. Just as with anything else, money is what allows these organizations to operate. As a result, you need to contribute substantial amounts of money in order to give your time. And I get it.
But if there is a resource we are lacking right now, it is money. And the resource we have in abundance is time; so it has been mighty frustrating.
Our new friend, Jen Kelly, to the rescue! She mentioned in a conversation with Terry that she has worked with a local orphanage here in Solola. When he told me, I was hopeful and excited. Maybe they would allow us to hold babies and play and give love. Jen contacted the director and scheduled a time for us to visit. We held and fed babies; played on the playground; played and laughed with some toddlers; and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
But even the orphanage needs money and has service groups come regularly to do what we did and more. However, thankfully, the director graciously agreed to allow us to come back on a regular basis. Volunteering at an orphanage and giving love to those children has been a dream of mine since I was aware enough to know my world was bigger than my experience. I am excited to finally serve as a family.
I learned that very few of these children will be adopted. The cost is prohibitive for native Guatemalans, and international adoptions are illegal. It breaks my heart. But the orphanage is nice, the people were kind, and they have generous benefactors from the U.S. I guess they have it pretty good considering the circumstances.