Today we went to visit Lake Atitlán. We took a boat from Panajachel to Santiago. This was a more rural area of Guatemala, and Samantha was more focused on what she observed in the towns vs the most amazing lake in the world (seriously, not just me saying so).
It started with our drive to the lake. We saw so many structures that would not pass for houses in the United States, children walking on the side of the road without any adults with them, and dogs roaming the streets so obviously pregnant.
In Santiago it was not uncommon to see small children asking you to buy things from them. She kept asking why they were not in school. Then we went to the local Catholic church. That was when it clicked with me that something was not right. She would not talk about it then, only said that she was tired, but I could tell that it was more than that. At bedtime, after telling her she could talk to me about anything b/c I am her mom, she teared up and asked why the children had to live that way…it made her sad.
After tearing up myself, I said that it made me sad too but as just two people we could not fix all of it, and that she should think about one way she wanted to help and we would give back in some way to help.
I am so proud that Samantha is my daughter. I tried to hug her even tighter as folks gave our family strange looks. Selfishly, I am grateful that she is not one of those children we saw today. I have a higher power to thank for that.
We will find a way to make a difference. I know we will, not because of me, but because of Samantha. She is probably the most compassionate and caring person I know.
Now, sniff sniff. Off to bed for me. A fun day, but a LONG day with too many hours in a car with me pressing the brakes from the backseat as we zoomed through traffic with seemingly no rules 🙂