Friday, June 20, 2014
Final Reflections from our Volunteers in the Garden
Our Final Reflections...
As this week comes to a close, we finish our time volunteering in Guatemala. It leaves a bittersweet taste to return to our homes in the United States. Each of us has missed our family and friends back home, but it was a sacrifice that we were willing to make to have the opportunity to help Mayan Families as Nourish International interns. We could not have been happier with our experience.
On Thursday, we visited the garden for the last time, and the transformation of the plot of land is very profound. In the beginning, weeds and trash littered the plot; the land was rough and unkempt. However, through the care that we alongside the Mayan mothers have shown it, the plot slowly changed into something of which we could be proud. Each mother and volunteer came together to make a space that could be called our own. We have cleared away the debris of the rain’s runoff; we have leveled the ground. We have carried each stone up to the garden, where we meticulously positioned them in the stone walls and around the beds. Each phase that we completed created a sense of pride. It is with great sorrow that we will not see the fruits of our labor when we leave; however, we bequeath the garden to the mothers. We have no doubt that under their care, the garden can flourish.
This space is not simply a garden; it is a sanctuary for the mothers, who have so many responsibilities. It is a soothing place for them to escape daily life for a short time. On Thursday, after the work was completed early, they decided to stay in the garden to talk to one another. This demonstrates that we have established a sense of community among the mothers. It was nice to see the mothers relax because typically, they would be working, watching their children, or cooking. They have so many duties, and we admire them for their time in the garden. Afterwards, they said goodbye for the last time, and we have to remember that this is not goodbye. We will return next summer to volunteer again; this is only goodbye for now.