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Trading Backpacks for Vacation Fun

Trading Backpacks for Vacation Fun

By Kelly Shank –

School is out in Guatemala until January.While children in America are counting down the days till their winter break our kids are savoring their vacation from school. Most of our schools ended by the middle of October and won’t start again until the middle of January. Our home is full of excitement with all of our children out of school.

We’re all enjoying days that start a little later, special activities, and a break from homework. With everyone home, the Special Mothers have extra hands to help out during the day too.

This past school year was tough for some of our kids but we are so proud of how well they finished. (For a few of our children this was their first year in school so they are enjoying a well-deserved break after their hard work.)

Everyone at our home was ready for a little break at the end of the school year. We traded in lunchboxes and backpacks for later mornings and camp. With so many kids in our house over break we want to balance letting them have free time with making sure they have opportunities for fun activities too. We like to try out new activities during the summer before committing to lessons or teams during the school year.

Nayeli Soto is one of the children from Dorie's Promise who is in soccer camp during the school break.Lately our home has been filled with the sound of piano music. One of our mission teams this past summer generously donated an electric keyboard for our children and now 7 of our girls are learning to play the piano with the help of a local musician who visits our home. Music is helping these girls learn a new skill, have fun, and gain a new level of confidence in themselves. For some of our girls who struggled with school and other activities, playing the piano has been an activity where they finally felt successful. Alejandra has especially taken an interest in the piano and is learning quickly. Last summer the missions team played the piano and sang for our children. We’re hoping that our girls can play some songs and sing for the team when they return next summer.

While a few of the girls are discovering a new interest in the piano over break, all of the boys, along with Myra and Nallely Soto, are upping their soccer game by taking part in camp. Everyone who visits our home knows just how serious our children are about the game. If you’ve ever played soccer with them you also know that they don’t hold back either. Soccer is a big deal in Guatemala and it’s no different at Dorie’s Promise. Every summer we enroll our kids in soccer camp to help them improve their skills, have fun, and practice playing on a team. We especially love to watch the smaller boys learn new skills and show off when they get home. Visitors beware, they’re practicing hard to win the upcoming kids versus mission team soccer games.

With about one month left before school starts again we’re trying to have as much fun as possible with our children. Before we know it, we’ll be packing lunches and backpacks for another great school year. Until then, our home will be filled with piano music and soccer balls.

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