Practicing with the Senahu District Choir
GUATEMALA TRIP DAY #7
We said goodbye to our wonderful Hotel Chelsea Maria with the birds, the soccer games across the street and the sweet owner who fed us in her own home. We sang to them in the courtyard before we left and the mother cried.
We drove up to Senahu in the mountains. It’s SO nice to be in a cooler area! :) It just keeps raining and raining. There was some confusion with hotels, so our room for tonight is right on the town square. The square is a market so there are lots of people and Christmas music and decorations.
The church is right up the street for our second floor hotel room. We had lunch with the district president’s family (President Caal and Gimena) who also live near the town center and chapel. They had SUCH a sweet feel to their home - their walls were covered in pictures of missionaries, including Mike. It was awesome to be there. At lunch, Paul was doing Mexican radio announcer impressions and had us rolling. This is such a great group - I’m SO grateful to have young people my age on this trip!
We went up a bit further into the mountains to Seamay. Like before, we visited many homes with the branch president. It was hilly and muddy which made it a fun adventure. It was technically a larger town, but because of the lush green you only see the roofs here and there. The views were incredible - mists over the mountains and the soft misty rain. The homes are made of cinder blocks and corragated tin for the roof - it’s cooler up here so maybe they need more than just bamboo walls and thatched roof.
One of the homes we visited, the daughter and son cried during the music. Their father had recently passed away (3 months ago). The mother was strong but the poor daughter was having a hard time keeping it together. The spirit was so strong though. We sang on their porch - Mom sitting right up close to the family. They sang along with us quite a bit.
Mom is just on fire at these home visits. She is so good at connecting with the people and they immediately feel her love. :)
When we got back to the hotels, we had dinner with Corina. Corina is amazing. Her mother died and shortly afterwards her father ditched her to care for her three or siblings. She’s a cook in Guatemala City and supported her brother on his mission. Even though she lives so far away, she wanted to travel the 8+ hours, with her siblings, to cook for our group. She is so young but a quiet person so she seems much older. We all ate at a huge, long table outside in the loading dock of the stake center.
After dinner, we met with the 60+ members of the Senahu District Choir - it was so much fun to practice together! I sat by Nanci, Dolores, and Olivia. We sang “Angels We Have Heard on High” together (they joined for the chorus: Lo-o-o-o-qa’lil). Mike pulled out a new song that he had translated for this group - “Hasp, hasp, hasp” (Still, still, still). It was SUCH a great idea to bring in a new song because they taught us the words / pronunciations, while we taught them the notes. It made for a great memory and brought the group together - all on the same page. The group had this ‘raw’ sound to it and I LOVED IT!
Mom and I were able to take a photo of one of the babies. Mothers carry their babies in a sling and hold the cloth in their hands or tied to their heads behind their backs. In all of my travels, I have NEVER seen any culture carry their babies this way before!