What Would You Do For A Photograph?

I just wanted to share with you the exciting news about my summer. I will be living in Guatemala for part of the summer! From a daily count down, to the ever-growing pile in my room of things I want to take with me, my anticipation is growing by the minute. This past summer in Guatemala marked an extremely influential time of my life that I will be forever changed by. My heart became so much more passionate for the people of Guatemala, especially the working women there. I know Guatemala will be a part of my story for years to come, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me there this coming summer. Below is an essay for college I recently wrote that sums up one of my favorite experiences of summer 2013 in Guatemala. Much love, Olivia

I made my way down the dusty, steep road, while my Mom, brother and the local coffee farmers walked ahead of me. I had fallen behind the group, enamored with the absolute beauty of the Guatemalan mountains that surrounded me. Nearing the bottom of the hill, I heard the joyful screams mixed with chatter from the village children who had just finished school for the day. Running down the hill, I coughed as dust from the road clouded over my face. I couldn’t wait to talk to the children and put my Spanish skills to good use.

Once I had reached the bottom of the hill, i unzipped my backpack and pulled out my Poloroid camera. Suddenly, it seemed like thousands of little bodies swarmed me at the sight of a camera. I kneeled down and prepared to take a picture of a little boy on the school’s front steps. The boy’s eyes squinted as the sun glared into his eyes. When he flashed a huge smile, I snapped a picture. When the picture popped out of the top of the camera, I waved it in the wind. Gingerly taking the photo out of my hands after the it had developed, the boy gasped. All the school children cheered and looked at the photo in awe. The little boy proceeded to run through the village waving the photo in has hand and announced that someone had a camera. Then, the families came. A young mother holding a three year old boy’s hand came to me with tears in her eyes and told me that no one in the village had photographs of themselves or their families. I knew then and there that I wanted to change this fact. A long line formed as I photographed the Guatemalan children, one by one. After I finished the four rolls of film that I brought for the entire three-week long trip, I said a sad goodbye to the children. 

Although I expected sadness or frustration from the families who didn’t get pictures, I was met with tears of joy and countless hugs from the beautiful Guatemalan people. Some told me that this was the best day of their lives, while others offered to repay me in any way they could. The beautiful “Gracias” that came from each family was more than enough. 

Through this experience, I realized that all of the little things in this life matter, and shouldn’t be taken for granted. On a daily basis, my friends and I take countless “selfies” together on our iPhones. Never in a million years did I think that this fact alone could bring people to tears across the world. The simple things in life do matter, even as minuscule as they may seem at times. In my daily life, it can seem so hectic and crazy that it hardly seems like I have the time to take a step back and look at what I have been given. But when I think back to that place in Alotenango, Guatemala, images of dirt roads, whirlwinds of bright Guatemalan colors, and voices chattering in Spanish fill my brain so fast I can hardly stand it. From this event, I have not only learned to be content with what I have been given, but to appreciate every little thing that comes along in this life. 





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2,157 Comments

  1. July 29, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    What an utterly drseesping report! It seems nothing has changed for the better in the past 4 years. Kudos to the Senator and working group for making this trip and trying to inject some common sense and some sense of urgency into the terrible situation of international adoptions from Guatemala. Shame on UNICEF for continuing to doggedly place ideology over the welfare of children without families. UNICEF has trapped hundreds of children in underfunded, impersonal institutions and is pleased with itself for doing so. They opened their pocket book to get the laws changed but refuse to help clean up the resultant, and completely predictable, mess. The children they have sentenced to live without parental care or loving families will be psychologically damaged for life. Older children are indeed harder to place for adoption. The damage done to their psychological development by an early childhood spent in an institution is so severe that most families do not have the resources or strength to adequately parent them.UNICEF has ensured that the institutionalized children of Guatemala will crippled for life by being denied proper parental care. Worst of all, they are happily pursuing these same destructive goals all over the world and using the pennies of children who do have loving homes for funding!

  2. August 4, 2015 / 11:42 am

    Stellar work there everyone. I’ll keep on reading.

  3. August 14, 2015 / 1:37 pm

    Ah, i see. Well that’s not too tricky at all!”

  4. August 14, 2015 / 3:07 pm

    That’s really thinking of the highest order