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In July 2015 my husband, son and I went on a trip of a lifetime. We traveled to Guatemala as members of the Team Ties Guatemala 2015. We had never taken a trip like this, so we were very nervous. From the minute we stepped off the plane we were surrounded by the most wonderful guides and leaders. Between the Team Ties program and the Our Guatemala staff we felt so welcomed and comfortable. They helped up help others in a way that was so loving and warm. We have made connections with people and places that we will never forget. Also, we were able to learn so much more about the country from which we had adopted our son 16 years ago. When we first told our son that we were going on this trip, he was very upset. He afraid and did not want to go. However, half way through the week, he was complaining that we had not already booked out next trip! He loved connecting with the children and families in Guatemala and now feels so much more pride in his birth country! We are now planning our next trip and hoping to bring more family members with us.Thank you for giving us the best trip of our lives!
Our family has been on two Ties trips: a homeland tour to India in 2004 and a service trip to Guatemala in 2015.We love Ties! They provide fantastic family travel experiences and their planning skills are top-notch. I recommend their services to adoptive families frequently.On both of our tours, we appreciated the opportunity to see countries in which we would not have felt comfortable “making our own way”. We experienced the culture, yet still had the comfort and security of excellent travel support. Even though we were traveling with a sizable group, our family's individual needs were thoroughly and carefully addressed.In addition to precious time together as a family, we especially loved meeting other adoptive families with kids from all around the globe. Because of our concentrated time together and the key family dynamics we share, many are lifelong friends.
Well, Hyelee was so eloquent that I think the rest of us probably thought that she said it better than we could! At least that's the way I felt when I read her post! But that trip is still coming back in the forms of the fun memories and stories that Meg and I tell and we often look at the pictures we've taken. So here goes...I have long wanted to go on a trip like this as I collected clothing, toys, shoes and medicines over the years to send to contacts in Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala. Meg has the service/travel bug too. As she went through her years of high school and college, she participated in service trips to Appalachia or local shelters, schools, etc. When we saw the announcement earlier this year, we were sure that this was what we were meant to do! I'm not sure that we even had concrete goals... We just knew that we wanted to be a part of the trip. We were not disappointed. While we were "supposed" to be there to serve others, we were the ones who benefited most from the interactions with the lovely, charming Guatemalan people. If you talk to the 30+ people on the trip, we could tell story after story about the "favorite moments" - playing with the kids in the orphanage, holding babies, delivering the bunk beds to the neighborhoods near Antigua where we were hugged and blessed and thanked with smiles and good wishes, working with the awesome members of OUR Guatemala.. I don't even know if I can pick a favorite one! Bottom line... like Hyelee, we can't wait to go back! Who wants to join us? In 2016 Meg and I are bringing the rest of the family!
I stumbled across a TIES email serendipitously (or providentially) during a time when I felt desperate and trapped by my familiar and comfortable suburban American life. Our family had adopted but not from Guatemala, and the child I took with me wasn't even our adopted child. (She was just the one I thought most needed the trip, in addition to me!) I had never gone on a missions/service trip before, so I didn't know what to expect. It was a very gentle entry point, which I very much appreciated: gorgeous hotel, heated pools, romantic restaurants, and amazing scenic beauty. The actual service projects, like playing with the children at an orphanage, delivering bunk beds to different families in need, hosting a neighborhood BBQ, visiting rural Mayan villages, and more, were all unforgettable. But as for many others, what stood out to me were the people. On all sides. The people of Guatemala, so warm, inviting, and generous, even in poverty. My fellow travelers, so big-hearted and open-armed in their serving. The organizers and leaders of TIES and OUR Guatemala, such devotees of other-centered living, of living bigger and richer lives than the self-absorbed one that so threatens to swallow me up. On a more practical note, the whole trip was well thought out, meticulously planned, and artfully executed. Again, all things I very much appreciated. Like many others, I'm constantly plotting a return. I guess that says it best.
Hyelee, We are so glad you and Arwen joined us. And we are so pleased that the journey touched you in such a profound way. Hugs. Becca