Wednesday, September 17

Guatemala's Independence Day

Here are some shots of the festivities in Parque Central. The fireworks mainly consisted of VERY loud booms...they're pretty much like bombs going off. You can see by Shelby's face that she wasn't too crazy about the noise, but the parades were fun, and the ice cream cones were the perfect way to top things off. (We've decided that ice cream is the Otto family way to celebrate any holiday!)

Tuesday, September 9

A Day at the Malnutrition Center

By Shelby

Hi there. I want to tell you I had a day at the Malnutrition Center.
And some of these babies have bad bug bites. I really want to help them. They are so cute and kind, and the boys and girls there too are kind and they are nice.

They are friendly and they also got to play with us on the playground.
And I was having a great time there. I think they need more food and water.

By Nate

I had a great day there. I really wish I could go again. We played dodgeball and soccer. We really had a great time.

Some kids needed medicine and stuff. When I walked in the baby room, I found out that they needed lots of care and they looked sad. I played with them. I held two.

I really want to head back again.

Saturday, September 6

The View from Here

Steve and I spent some time last night watching some of the convention speeches on the internet. It was a surreal experience.

I have never watched a convention from another country.
I have never been so interested in a speech that I would watch it twice.
I have never been so thankful to be an American citizen.

I think the emotions rose up in my heart because our conventions are so uniquely American. The flags, the patriotism, the hope and pride, the fact that we, unlike so many places, get to choose our leader. We are not made to vote. We are not coerced or threatened into voting for a particular candidate. We vote, and it counts.

I remember the excitement I felt when I finally got to vote in my first election. I lost that feeling for awhile, but after these last few days, that thrill is back.

I am thankful for the country I live in, the place God has called our family. But every time I have boarded a plane this last year, I have realized what a gift that blue passport is, how many people dream of the day they can have one, and how I don't want to take it for granted.

God has brought us to a new country, and He has proven that He can tenderly change my heart to feel contentment and even happiness in a new and very different place. He keeps drawing us to relationships, to meeting people that we already have grown to love. But, when I send that absentee ballot in this year, I will not think of it the same again. God bless America, and God bless us all.