Guatemala Again!

I pack my stuff for Guatemala: work pants, work shirts, work shoes. I say ”Good bye” to Dad at airport. I fly in the airplane. I sleep on airplane. I woke up in Guatemala. I show passport.  And then I wait.  I go to the coffee shop from last year. Mom buys some coffee.  I wait for the bathroom.  I remember no toilet paper in the toilet.  I see old friends at the coffee shop.  I give pictures from last year.  I listen to Oula music at the coffee shop. I make new friends at the coffee shop.  I make and share pot holders again. I wait for Aunt Laura, Uncle Jonathan Schyler, Olivia and Bremen.  It is fun and I am tired.  I take a nap.



I ride the bus.  We drive through Guatemala City. I take a nap. I look out the window.  I see Guatemala again!  It is fun.  Bus gets to San Raymundo.  The bus takes us to Bomenera. I remember Bomenera from two years ago.  It is the same.  It is different. It is bigger and improved. I see Old friends. I see swimming pool. I see my friends, the cooks again!  I find my room. I unpack my stuff and get ready for Monday, cement day.  Aunt Laura has a meeting.  She tells all the rules for Guatemala:  NO toilet paper in the toilets. Hah! I know this rule!  Cooks make us delicious dinner. It is fun to be in Guatemala again. Uncle Jonathan has a meeting:  I am excited about cement day; I am scared that I will get sick.  I go to the bed.  I am tired—not much sleep on airplane.



Monday morning I get up early–6:00.  Breakfast is at 6:30 and on the bus by 7:00.  Well, a little bit late. They had to wait for me but I tried to be quick! We ride on bus. We go to a new family. We unload Brandon’s truck. I help carry tools. I am excited. I am looking for Heather and Brandon. We have circle-up with Heather and meet our family. We have a plan for the day: prepare foundation and then pour cement.  Uncle Jonathan wants to pour before lunch!  Wow! We have to work fast! I help with organize supplies and get ready for cement.


Day at the Bazaar

January 3 we took a quiet rest day at our cottage in the morning. I work on feelings notebook. I find laundry to take to Oma’s house.


Before lunch we go to the Bazaar. It is lots of fun. I listen to Oula music. I take lots of photos. Morielle is silly. And then matthan is silly.

And then Mathalia is silly. Morielle found shoes to try on. Then she found a funny wig. Matthan tried the wig too. I found crazy glasses and I took a selfie.



We find a place to eat lunch. Matthan talks his new language. It is funny. He talked funny. I did not understand. But lunch was delicious.

He must have said it correctly.

It was rainy windy winter day in The Netherlands. My mom wanted a photo with a fake cow and a real canal in The Netherlands. Silly Mom.



Mathalia’s Dutch Photo



We go to the shopping. I stay in the car with Morielle. Morielle is tired. I am silly. Matthan buys food for supper.


Mathalia is silly


We surprised Oma: we came for supper and Matthan is cooking!  It was funny. Oma thought it was a good idea. She made healthy french fries. Matthan made chicken. It was fun! It was a very nice day at the Bazaar for lunch and at Oma’s house for dinner.


New Year’s Day Dive

New Year’s Day 2015. Matthan was there! I was so excited. I took pictures of Matthan sleeping and eating. We were having so much fun that we were late for the big New Year’s Day Dive into the North Sea!


Morielle, Matthan and Dad wanted to do it. Mom said ‘no way!’ And stuck with Mom and my camera. Lots of cars and lots people driving to the beach. And then 2:00 p.m. everyone running into the North Sea.


Oh! It looked so cold. Well, it was cold. I was cold and I had all my clothes on and my hat and coat on.  I took lots of photos of shivering people.  And the lucky people in the hot tub.

Then it was all done. Dad, Morielle and Matthan wanted to go home to take a shower.  But we could not find the car. Dad lost the car. He was so excited to get into the ocean that he forgot where he parked. Silly Dad. We were looking and looking for the car and getting colder and colder.


Finally when the parking lot was almost empty, we found our car! Well, it is Oma’s car but we were using it.  Back at our cottage everyone took a warm shower. Than we sang Christmas songs together. We went to Tante Ellie’s house for talking, cooking and more photos.


We went to Tante Pien’s house for special Dutch New Year’s Dinner: mashed potatoes, meatballs, salad, dressing, dessert. Geluckig Nieuw Jahr is how you say it in Dutch. Which means Lucky New Year. We had lots of fun together. I set up snapchat with my cousins and my Mom tried to take a photo of all the grandchildren and then everyone . . . but we were missing Jilt because he was working.  Too bad.  Uncle Marc said he could `photoshop’ him in.  That’s good because I do not know how to photoshop people in. And I am sure that my Mom does not know how to do it either.  Anyway, lots of fun and photos with our lovely family in the Netherlands.


Matthan Comes!

December 31st, New year’s Eve in The Netherlands. I eat breakfast in our little house. I walk to Oma’s house. I stop by the bakery for bread for 2 days because the bakery will be closed.



On New Year’s Eve we say ”Happy New Year” and in The Netherlands they say ”Fijne Jaar Wisseling.”  Which is ”Happy Year Exchange.” It was very funny! I go to cousin Lotte’s  house for making Olie bollen and appel flappen. I take pictures of cutting apples and the  dough. I take picture of mixing. We are cooking together and eating together. It is outside because the frying is dirty and stinky. But the apple flap pen and Olie bollen  are very yummy. It is tradition in The Netherlands for Year Exchange Night.


We went back to our cottage. Mom, Morielle and I watch Downton Abby. It is cold in the cottage. We snuggle up with a blanket and Morielle kept her coat on. Then Mom and I went to bed. Dad and Morielle went to the airport to get Matthan!


In the morning on New Year’s Day, there was Matthan sleeping on the floor. I took a photo! I was so excited. We at breakfast together and lots of talking. Then we got ready for the New Year’s Day Dive into The North Sea!


Morielle Comes!

I go to the airport in Amsterdam again. I wait for Morielle. I look for her red coat. I hear lots of speaking Turkish. Her airplane is coming from Istanbul. But really she was coming from China! I have not seen her for a year. Last year I visited her in the Taklamaken Desert.


Anyway Mom and I were watching and then . . . she poked us! She was there–we hadn’t seen her red coat!  She wanted lots of hugs.  Just like Matthan, she said, `squeeze Mathalia!’ Lots of selfie’s too.


We took her to the little cottage. She loved it.  We hung out.  She brought Chinese Downton Abbey which was fun for me and Mom.  And she brought Yoga on her computer. And she brought lots of love and joy, of course!


morielle comes07

So happy with Oma!

We hung out at Oma’s house.  We did puzzles and internet.


We went to another North Sea Beach  It was very windy and cold. I take picture of the ocean.  I take picture of the sand. I walked on the beach. I saw lots of sand.  Some sand was dangerous.  Mom said it was `quicksand.’ I walked on the safe sand with Mom, Dad, and Morielle. Morielle danced with me because it was so cold. It was fun.


We hung out at Tante Pien’s house and ate yummy dinner. I took of photos of food, fun, and fancy things. I take picture of cat and cows.  I like Christmas decorations at Tante Pien’s house. I ate meatballs, mashed potatoes, salad, tomatoes, dressing at Tante Pien’s house.  I take picture of good food.



Days of Jet Lag

My trip to The Netherlands was very fun! Today I worked very hard at home. No log-in slips at The Writing Center today so I balanced my checkbook and went to the Bank with Mom.  I saw lots of friends at  the University and I heard Oula Dance Exercise Music in the U-C.  After lunch there was more paperwork to do and then tons of laundry!  I was so quick because I wanted to look at photos and write a blog post.  Yeah!  I got it all done!

I was a little sleepy at Oma’s house after the airplane trip. We ate a nice Dutch lunch which means lots of cheese, meat and chocolate sprinkles on bread. Oma and Tante Ellie wanted to go to the Monastery to look at Nativities.  Oma thought I might want to take a nap.  `No way!  I want to go too!’

My Mom said it is best for jet-lag to skip the nap and just try to push through and then go to bed early.  And that is what we did. We looked at candles, pottery and lots of Marys and Joseph’s and Baby-Jesus-in-the-mangers, angels and donkeys.  It was fun. I took lots of photos.

We ate supper at Oma’s house and then Downton Abbey came on the television at Oma’s house!  My Mom was so delighted! It was funny because they were talking English and the words at the bottom were in Dutch.  So Mom was listening and Oma was reading.  Interesting.

Then we went to our little cottage. I had a little bed and I was so tired.  In the morning we made our own breakfast and unpacked our stuff. I wrote in my Feelings book; I looked at photos on the computer and took silly pictures of Dad and my socks.

Then Tante Pien and Tante Petra came over with Oma.  They brought a Christmas Tree for our little cottage and then we went for a walk on the beach.  I was hiking in the sand with the dogs.  Tante Ellie was not there. It was cold and windy but there were lots of people on the beach because the sun was shining.

After that we went grocery shopping and had dinner at Oma’s house with cousins Jente, Jilt and Ids.  It was fun and delicious!


Christmas Travels

Christmas Eve morning I did not wrap presents or make candy. I packed my bags and drove to Seattle with my Mom and Dad. I made pot holders in the car. I took pictures of winter. I even ate lunch in the car.


After the hotel, I go to the restaurant. I eat dinner with Mom and Dad: chicken salad. I missed Christmas Eve service at church. I was disappointed. I listen to Christmas Eve Service in the car on the radio with Mom. It was better than nothing.


Christmas morning we went to the airport. I eat breakfast really fast in the hotel. I wait for airplane. I make a new friend. She made me a present right in the airport on Christmas morning: a Frozen Necklace. Thank you! Very pretty. I eat Christmas dinner at the Philadelphia airport.


The new hotel was fun and relaxing: I eat nice breakfast at hotel; I work on blog post about being so sick and going to Symphony with Uncle Jeff; I hang out in lobby taking photos of Christmas decorations. It was fun.


Finally it was time to go to airport. I eat dinner at McDonald’s. I wait for airplane. We got a seat. On this airplane they gave us food!  I love airplane food! They gave us dinner and then I take a nap.  After the nap, they gave us breakfast and then we were there. Tante Petra and Tante Pien picked us up: The Netherlands!

Building the walls!

Tuesday morning up early again and then `rush’ `rush’ `rush’ through rice chex with soy milk breakfast. I wanted to enjoy the fresh pineapple and papaya but my Mom said I had to hurry up!

`We don’t want to make the bus wait for us, Mathalia.’  Yes, but I had to have my camera!

`Where is camera?’

And then it was scramble scramble to find the camera. My friend Ron got on the bus with me.  Bus did not have to wait for me!

My Mom found my camera and then we were ready to drive to our house.

We actually stood on the cement that we had poured the day before. Wow! Brandon said that cement never stops getting stronger—-ten-year-old cement is stronger than five-year-old cement.  And the same can be true of our relationship with our sure foundation, Jesus Christ. He always gives more never less. I was grateful to hear this as I move into my second year of my Adult Life. Jesus was very strongly present and loving last year and I can only trust that He will grow more and more dear to me as I get older.


Back to work! I was helping Mark on the cutting crew: LaLinda and Sarah and I measured all boards, Mark cut them and we delivered them to the nailing crew.

Cement day is all done. `Cement is very strong,’ said Brandon. Jesus is strong: `The LORD is the strength of my life; whom shall I fear? . . . He shall set me high upon a rock.’  Psalm 27!  That’s the Psalm I am memorizing.  Anyway, the day after cement day, I build house with boards. I measure boards. I carry and deliver boards. Mark cuts boards.  I take a break. I make pot holders with kids. I take photo-bathroom – water break. I give teddy bears to friends. I eat gluten-free tortillas for supper. I listen to music and sing songs.

Cement Day!

Monday morning in Guatemala started a bit too early for me.  We had arrived at our residence very late and it took a while to find everything and get to bed. I did not sleep very long but I got right up when my Mom called. I did not want the bus to leave without me!

Brandon said: bus leaves at 6.45; breakfast at 6:00. You can imagine my Mom.  She was `hurry up’ this and `be quick’ that. I like to do everything in order and so we were both a little flustered.

`Comb hair!’

`Can you skip `comb hair’ today Mathalia? Wear your hat and then messy hair will be okay.’

Okay. Skipping `comb hair’ but NOT skipping my glasses.

`Where is glasses?’

My Mom scrambled around and found them.  They were in my non-work shoes, the ones I had worn on the airplane. At home I put my glasses in their case. Things get a bit mixed up when I travel.

`Where is camera?’

`Your camera is in your backpack.’ Well, that did not work for me. I wanted my camera in my hand. You never know when there might be a good photo-op.

`Where is hat?’  Somehow someway my hat disappeared. I had it on my head and then it was gone!

We rode a long time in the bus: highway then dirt road.

The first team went up the hill and our work site we carried tools down the hill.

Ron was so happy that we had a hill!! Last year he helped me hike up and down the slippery slope. This year our hill was not slippery because it did not rain.  But it was very steep. He loves to help me walk up and down hills and I love to have him do so.

Brandon introduced our family. I remembered the digging part to prepare the dirt for the cement. This time I learned a new job: measuring! LaLinda and Sarah showed me how to measure the boards for Mark to cut them the right size.

After lunch we started to pour the cement. Brandon gave his `work together as a team’ speech:   2 hours or 6 hours.  Somebody said we should try for 7. Hah! We did it in 2.5. The cement team:  Gabby, Renee, Leann, Mom and Billy!  Everything went very fast!

We were finished with the house floor and the porch floor by 3:00. Then we started to make the walls. Wow! Twenty people on a team really makes the house go up quickly.


We took the bus home, took a shower and then ate supper:  chili rice, beans, corn tortillas. It felt good to wash off all the cement from my hair and skin. Supper tasted so good because I had worked very hard.


Uncle Jonathan talked about humility for devotions and we sang songs. I like to sing `My God Reigns’ and then we went to bed.  So tired!





Hanging out at GUA Arrivals

Sunday morning I slept in a little bit but I was excited about breakfast!  We sat at the same table as we had last year with Uncle Jeff. Our breakfast was a little bit different because of my new diet: no eggs or cheese but I enjoyed fried plantains, fruit, beans and sausage. Yum! I also had tea and orange juice to drink.

Back in the room I worked on `Made Fair’ blog post. My Mom and Matthan took naps. Hah! I took some photos!

We packed up our stuff and discovered that our peanut butter was all gone. With some help, Mom ordered a delicious chicken salad, no gluten, no eggs, no cheese!

Now . . . here is where we made a big mistake:  maybe we enjoyed our lunch too much; maybe my Mom and Matthan got too deep into their conversation: sin and judgment!  Can you imagine?! Very very silly!!  We should have been on our way to the airport.

Maybe we got slowed down at Departures and finding our way to Arrivals. Who knows what happened?  Some how, some way we missed Uncle Jonathan, Aunt Laura and Team North Dakota by minutes or even seconds!  They were looking for us and we were looking for them.  They looked again and then they had to leave . . . and we looked all afternoon and evening!!

My Mom and Matthan were a little stressed until Matthan got a message from Brandon:  another bus at 7.30.  Okay, let’s settle down and have some fun and we did!!

We found a place to sit close to the bathrooms. Matthan took my pot holder loom and started doing crazy weaving. Pretty soon, I took over and did it the right way!  The people working at the coffee shops were not very busy so they started watching me. My Mom rummaged around the luggage, pulled out the second loom and invited new friends to try.

She sort of abandoned me so she could take photos. I suppose it was my job to show them how to make pot holders.  But I was more interested in watching new friends make pot holders. But they didn’t know how to do it! I thought everyone knew how to make a pot holder!  We shared snacks that Grandma had sent along. And they helped me practice Spanish.


At about 7:00 my Mom started looking for Casas’ friends. And then we waited together. My friend Ron came and brought a new friend Gabby!!

Gabby and I chatted on the bus all the way to San Raimundo. It was 10:00! Lori explained the rules: no toilet paper in the toilet; breakfast at 6:00; bus leaves at 6.45; the widow-maker showers; a little gluten-free supper and then off to bed.

Thank you Aunt Laura for getting my bed all ready for me!  I was so tired.



Finally Casas’ friends!