Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sniffle Sniffle...

Happy Sunday everyone :)
  I apologize for not posting sooner, but sadly I have had nothing to say...Let me explain: I have been stuck in my bed since Wednesday, W E D N E S D A Y.  *sigh* Tuesday evening I started to feel sick and I haven't gotten better since.  I thought I was on the road to recovery yesterday so I went to be with my babies for the first time in 3 days, but alas, I started to feel even worse than before and I retreated to my bed for some blessed sleep.  You can only imagine mine and Rachel's aggravation and dismay as we begin yet another day sequestered in our room.  Neither I nor Rachel are at all happy with our bed-bound state so please pray that we will get better quickly and that we will have patience and not make our sickness worse by trying to to more than we should.  Not that any of the nurses or nannies would allow us to do anything even if we tried.  We are being watched and cared for just as much as the kids down stairs. 
  While I appreciate all the work and care people have given to Rachel and I, I must admit there are some seriously strange home remedy's that the Guatemalan ladies have cooked up for us.  The worse tasting by far was the concoction Odelia gave Rachel and I the first night we were sick. 
  1. Gather alkeslezer tablets, mineral soda, salt, and a healthy amount of lime juice
  2. Mix it all together in a cup
  3. Drink it all as quickly as possible and try not to hurl
Presto! Now you can make your very own torture juice whenever your stomach feels icky.  Trust me, after you over come the need to throw up just from the concoction, your tummy will feel loads better.
  While most of the time, I have been oblivious to to the world resting to get better, during the time of my illness these past days I have not been totally idle.  Check it out

  The dear lady who lives here with her husband 6 months out of the year, Mrs. Ilvie, is helping me with my crochet skills, I will post a picture of my finished creation when I wear it out. 
  Well remember my dear family, don't worry!  I may be sick but it's nothing major and I know both Rachel and I are in God's hands and we'll get better when He sees fit :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013


  So I don't have a ton to talk about tonight, other than the fact that I did my laundry and its drying the old fashion way on rope and clothes pins in the room me and Rachel (the intern I'm serving with) share.  To be honest, I feel pretty cool too :) Silly I know.
  Yesterday, a Catholic girls school came by and brought some special treats for the kids, PINATAS! Check it out

  Needless to say, the kids enjoyed their candy and outside play time immensely.  I have to share one quick story. As you can see in the third picture down, Adres (and his twin Herson) were sharing candy with everybody they could.  Rachel and I were talking about how different, selfless and sweet these kids were compared to the average kid in America.  Lets face it, what kid frantically collects the candy from a busted pinata to give it to anyone they see who is candyless? No kid, that's who.  Anyway, while we were still talking about extraordinary children, a little girl came walking our way to snag one more piece of candy by my feet.  When she bent over, all of her lollipops fell out of her pocket and onto the ground.  Immediately, the three closest girls to the candy spill grabbed up her fallen treasures and began stuffing their loot into bags.  Of course the girl who now had no candy plopped onto the ground devastated and started crying/screaming at her peers.  It was only after several 'no, no no's! and dissaproving head shakes from Rachel and I that the three little thieves sheepishly relinquished their stolen goodies.  So much for selfless little kids...
  One more thing, they have Ramen Noodles here!  GUA style.  But apparently, they are extremely salty as is everything here in the Land of Eternal Spring. 
  Thank you all so much for your prayers, support, messages, comments, etc.  It means the world to me and I'm holding up well.  Not to sound unfeeling, but I am not suffering from homesickness. I am surrounded by wonderful people here who barely know me and can't even speak my language, yet they love and care for me like I am family.   I love it here and I can't wait to get back to loving on those babies tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Buenas Dias famila!
  Even though I am laying in bed still pretty tired, I could not have enjoyed  myself anymore than I did yesterday!  I stayed with my group (Bunnies) almost the entire day and I'm in love.  The bunnies are about the size of 1yr olds, however some of them are much older than their small stature would suggest.  First, Rachel and I helped feed them breakfast. Then we headed off to San Juan, check out the market square!
There was a high balcony in the middle that anyone can climb up and see all the happenings
There were chickens and ducks laying in baskets, fruits, vegetables, and tons of other useful things for sale.  My favorite part was definitely the flower section!  The flowers here are unreal, they don't even look real because the colors are so vibrant.  Now I want to introduce you to a little girl I wish I could bring home with me, Kimberly!
Kimberly decided not to smile for her picture...she wondered what I was doing.
 Kimberly is the most giggly girl I've met here so far.  Plus her laugh is oh so adorable.  I will try to get a video today and post it because I can't describe the joyful giggles that she laughs when you tickle her or just act silly.  She also is a high five queen.  If you make eye contact with her from across the room, her little hand will fly up in the air and she won't rest until you walk over and high five her or show her some kind of attention.  Then she smiles and goes back to whatever she was doing before.  ITS SO CUTE!
  There are so many feelings inside my heart I wish that I could express to you all but as my fingers clack away at the keyboard, I find words an inadequate tool to explain how I feel.  I have only been here two days but I already love these kids like I've known them since birth.  I know all the bunnies by name now, all 16 of them.  Sixteen kids in diapers with one nanny, Dora.  She is the bunnies nanny and I love her to death. 
  Well my dear readers, I must finish my breakfast so I can go meet my chicks today!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Hola amigos!
  Buenas dias :) I apologize for not having a post last night, I left my camera upstairs yesterday so I had no pictures I will remember it today!  Anyway I just wanted to share a quick story before I head over to breakfast. 
  Okay, story time.  The way my room is set up, I have two bunk beds pushed together, my stuff is on one bottom bunk, I sleep on the other bottom bunk, and then I have more stuff including my guitar on the top bunk above where I sleep.  Well, last night I was trying to go to sleep on my surprisingly comfy bunk bed (on the bottom remember) when thought I felt something on my foot through my blanket, but I was half asleep so I ignored it.  THEN 2 or 3 of my guitar strings let out a note like someone plucked the strings!! Petrified of whatever was big enough to poke my foot then play my guitar...I didn't get up, I just rolled onto my good ear so I couldn't hear anything else and made sure my mouth was closed.  The fact that I woke up to write this post shows that the huge bug with a passion for music did not eat me.  Praise the Lord.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Little Ducks! And Other Various Animals

Hey everyone!
  I had an amazing first day at the center :) I was a little overwhelmed this morning but after meeting the kids, I'm stoked.  Look at their beautiful faces!
Getting ready for lunch

Little Manuel was not thrilled about having to sit down and not be held

Edwin just likes having his photo taken

This is the high-fiving giggle box, Kimberly

Luis is shy but he warmed up real fast when we played football

The ducks (the oldest boys) having a grand ole time down a hallway they are not supposed to be in!
One of many photos I have of the little trouble maker Adres, don't let his innocent eyes fool you, this kid can pitch a fit worthy of an award! But he makes up for it in sweetness later :)

 So there you have a snap shot of my first day with the kids.  These are not my assigned group because I don't officially start until tomorrow morning with my duties.  I will be working with the bunnies and chicks, aka toddlers and potty trainies.  Yes. I will be dealing with LOTS of poop...But it's all good!  The Nannies here are the most amazing women I have ever met and I know I have a lot to live up to assisting them in taking care of these kids.  Please pray that my first day "on staff" goes well and that the language barrier will be minimal :) thank you so much!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Made it!

Hey there everybody! I don't have the energy to tell you how everything went today, but myself and my team made it safely to Guatemala PRAISE THE LORD! The pic above is my view from my bed, I'll be posting LOTS more pics tomorrow evening when I'm not so tired. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.

Friday, September 20, 2013

On My Way OUT

It's go time at the ungodly hour of 4:30, sickening really...check it out!
I'm off to Guatemala, Guatemala Guatemala! Well first Miami, then Guatemala :) Its  currently 4:37am and I have been up for almost an hour... This morning before we drove on out, Mr. Kenny, (my second daddy) stopped by the house to pray with me and give me one last hug goodbye and I didn't cry!! No tears yet, but it is early in the day.
  I'll try to keep y'all posted when My plane arrives this afternoon, but it will depend on what kind of service (wifi) I have.  One more reminder, if you have my number DON'T TEXT ME! Message me on Facebook or look me up on Skype (Lam32223) and message me that way. Don't forget to sign up over there on the right side of your screen for email alerts so you don't miss a beat :) So long America!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

1:12:45:39 and counting...

Holy Cow!
  My countdown timer is freaking me out right now!
Oh.  I need to charge my phone huh?
I cannot believe how close I am to heading out of the country for 6 weeks.  My room is a mess and my nerves are even worse but the packing must go on.  I keep having these random epiphanies as I realize something else I need to take with, "Tennis balls!" or "Oh! Plastic spoons!" or "Hangers!"  or "Razors!" and "Rats, I need lip balm." and the list goes on, and on, and on.  Please don't misunderstand me, I am ecstatic and I cannot wait to leave for my adventure, after all I know that God has called me on this trip therefore everything will be fine.  However, this knowledge does not ensure that I will remember to pack enough underwear hence my stress level is higher than usual.
  There have been no grand developments that I need to inform you all of, but there are a few minor changes to plan that have occurred. Change #1:  I will be arriving home on the 2nd of November instead of the 1st.  No biggie.  Change #2:  I will be receiving my orientation on site in Guatemala instead of in Miami.  Change #3:  I can only take one bag... D: nooooooooooo...  This means I must fit my life into a 22x14x9 suitcase weighing no more than 50lbs.  *sigh*  Thanks American Airlines.  Ah well, I will survive and thanks to my wonderful family, I will be able to take one more "bag" aka my guitar.  Six weeks without strumming a tune would be torturous for me and since I don't have a ukelele...I have to purchase an extra checked bag.
    If you noticed, my phone says it's counting down to 4:30am Saturday morning. No. This is not a typo.  Sadly, 4:30am is the disgusting time I have to be up and at em' to drive (ride) down to the Miami International airport.  PRAY FOR ME!
  Many of you have asked if I will have wifi and the wonderful answer is yes :) I have a skype account all set up and you can message me while I'm on site in Guatemala. (Just search Cierra Jones) If you aren't that savvy when it comes to online communication, you can shoot me an email at
  If you're interested in where and how exactly I will be serving, you can check out this website and get all the stats.  I have received an overwhelming amount of support from all of you in these months and weeks leading up to my departure and I can't begin to tell all of you just how much it means to me.  It's a huge deal to me and a somewhat scary leap to fly off to another country for 6 weeks, but all the love and prayers that I have been lovingly smothered with has calmed my fears and reminded me just how much all of you love me.  Thank you for everything you awesome people!!