Normal Life in Guatemala

What is normal? According to one place, the definition of normal is ”a setting on the dryer.” The dictionary defines normal as “conforming to a standard; the usual, typical or expected.” For us, normal has been many things. We have lived in four houses, three municipalities, and two departments (state/province) in the two years we have lived in Guatemala.

Normal living in Guatemala City included fighting traffic every time we left the mission. It meant cooking for unexpected guests. It required making many bus and airport runs each week. It was sewing in spare time. It meant studying Spanish.

Then we moved to the Mission house in El Chal. We developed a new normal! Normal was being interrupted during breakfast to fix something at school before school started for the day. It required cooking for crowds. Having 27 consecutive days of entertaining guests at your place (not the same people all 27 days ☺) It happily meant Thursday suppers with the amazing single staff. There were many bus runs late at night or early morning. Making many new friends with the many new faces we saw each new month. Normal included fixing vehicles, sewers, toilets, washers, mopeds and anything that broke in this country of cheap materials. It was having Nahum come live with us.

Then we moved to the little house on the same property. Our new normal here still included being interrupted at meals. Normal was still eating lunch in the big house. It was still cooking, cleaning and doing laundry for the family and the single boys. It was still caring for visitors. But it did begin to include more space for our family to be alone.

Then came our last move - to La Anchura. Kyle loved having his two big brothers, Nahum and Juan to play with and for the most part they spoiled him a lot! It made moving away from the single staff in El Chal easier for him. Now our normal was changed from busy to a new busy. In El Chal we had more guests, but here in La Anchura we could focus more on projects. There were chores to be done - milking cows and goats, feeding chickens… pigs. There were projects to complete including revamping the generator shed, cementing a milking parlor, fixing the driveway and many smaller projects. It meant getting ready for individuals and groups to come visit and help out. It meant learning how to cope with no little corner store within walking distance that has “everything”. It even included dealing with a lot of spiders, cockroaches, ants and frogs! But it also included sadly saying good bye to both Juan and Nahum.

We have really enjoyed our time in Guatemala. We came with lofty ambitions to help souls, but we realize that God taught us more than we taught others- molding and shaping us to better his kingdom.

I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth;

but God that giveth the increase. I Corinthians 3:6&7