Emma Murray Volunteers in Guatemala

Emma Murray wrote a blog about her volunteer experience in Guatemala. She spent two weeks helping to build a house in a village outside of the city of Antigua.

Here is an excerpt from her blog:

Day 15 – Last Day

Bittersweet endings seem to cling to me. It’s a pattern of occurrence I cannot seem to shake off.

We cranked out half of the house today in compensation for the time we lost waiting for materials earlier this week. At the end of the day our coordinator brought us cake and drinks to share with the family and to celebrate a long and hard week we endured to bring them this house.

It was sad to say goodbye to the family. To Hugo and Elivia, the little children. To the kittens born a couple days ago in the barn house. To the crazy uncle that would always come up to me and say “Whaaaa tyyme izit!!!!!” no matter how recently he had just asked me. To the kind grandmother that sewed my pants (I brought her a traditional cake bread the next day in thanks, and to my horror as soon as I handed it to her I realized that she had no teeth…. I don’t know how she ate it).

And to the masons especially. They were so patient and understanding. I learned so much. Who knew I could build a house?!

I leave for the airport soon. In the 25+ hours of travel I’m sure more eloquent words will come to mind, but for now I’d like to give everyone that I have met a giant hug.

I realize that they have all shaped this adventure in their own way. However trivial or large, my new experiences would have been nothing without the people that created them.

Emma Murray (USA-Germany)
House Building Volunteer, Guatemala