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Stove Number Four

February 6, 2015

Day 22 Thursday, February 5, 2015
Three weeks today I began my journey here into Central America and what an adventure it has been. I am so glad I have another 4 weeks to see and do a lot more. Every day brings new surprises which enrich my life. A new mason, crew and family up high into the hills. No dad but a lovely Mom and her 2 sweet children, both of which were at school for 1/2 the day each. The little boy was a great helper. This mom has had quite a life with unbelievable struggles but you would never guess that when meeting her. The part that brought me to tears was learning how she had left an abusive husband, had gone to Guatemala City to try to find work after leaving her son with her mom back home here in Xela, been pregnant ,and was wandering the street about to give birth. What happened next is unbelievable. A woman approached her to help her get to the hospital and she was so grateful. The next thing she knew she woke up in the hospital, asked to see her baby girl and the baby was gone! The women who had helped her stole her baby! Something about a lawyer and that the baby was gone to the States. That was 12 years ago and she had never seen her since. She had a picture of the beautiful baby just after it was born and I sobbed as I hugged her..I just could not imagine that happening to me as a mom and my heart ached for, so, so sad. Now she is living with her mom in their typical home of those impoverished but other family members also have homes attached, so once agin they are all one big happy family. The matriarch, also without husband, is an incredible woman, 67, I believe and what a worker and loving mom, grandma etc! They were cooking in the creosote plagued room with the open fire and again I tried to mingle with them but the smoke in my eyes was so overpowering and I could barely breathe and they do this all day every day! Mom was making tortillas and I liked to watch and found if I sat on the dirt floor I could breathe a bit and chat. How wonderful this new stove will be for them as it is more efficient and the stove pipe goes outside so no more working in the horribly unhealthy conditions. Once again I brought out my dollar store glasses and offered them to both moms. Grandma was thrilled and blessed me I don’t know how many times and never took them off. Mom was okay without them. Grandma and I chatted and felt a connection, as we had some things in common; our age andimageimageimageimageimageimageimage we both have 6 children and she expressed how God made us all the same; head, legs , arms etc and how he loved us all but that our circumstances are different… and how we both loved our children so much and wished to care for was very beautiful.


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  1. Lynn permalink

    I could hardly finish reading this sad story. I am sure you have heard many of them. Great pictures, especially the one of you mixing cement. The others of the family are wonderful too!! Love Lynn

  2. Gary permalink

    Hello! Yes, very very sad story! I can only imagine after a trip like this it must really make someone realize how lucky and spoiled even the poorest of canadians are… And the funny thing is, if these familys came to canada, they would probably give anything to go back to where life is simpler….not easier….but simpler……not about money and material things…but love and family. Love you! Have a great weekend!

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