Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mission Together

This is the half way mark of our three year commitment and the time has really gone fast. Like so many times in life, some days seem to last forever but when looking back the weeks seem to pass by without realizing where they have gone.  We are excited for the coming year to continue our work at Hopsitalito, school for the children and strengthening our relationships with the people we've come to know and call friends here in Santiago. 
We also want to take this opportunity to thank our family and friends who support our mission here in so many ways.  Through your prayers, kind words, emails, letters, and financial support, we are able to continue to answer this call to serve.  We realize that this is not the Burket-Thoene Family Mission, but really our mission together.

Thank you.

Friday, November 11, 2011


We came back to Santiago just in time for Christopher, Elizabeth and Julianne to take their final exams for the school year as their school year runs from mid-January to mid-October.  The kids did very well and all will advance to the next grade level in January.
The school had a very nice Kindergarten graduation ceremony for Julianne.  Much to their dismay, they are all homeschooling over the break.

We had thought that maybe the transition back to Guatemala might be difficult for the kids after being in the US, but the kids haven't said anything.  Since we've been back, we've heard them ask a couple of relatives on Skype what they had eaten that day.  They certainly enjoyed the wide variety of food while we were on vacation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


We recently got back from a visit back home.  It was really nice to see family and friends and to catch up on everyone's lives.  Though Skype has been great, being home in the presence of loved ones is truly something special.  It was one of the best vacations we've had because we had more time to just be with people.

We thought that maybe the kids would be struck by things they saw in the US that were different from Guatemala, but we were surprised that they really didn't notice a lot. Christopher commented about a toy that we saw in a store, "Who would pay $300.00 for a toy?" Julianne wondered why there were so many cars.  Jennifer was struck by how good the infrastructure is in the US -- good roads, drains, sidewalks, fire hydrants.... things we take for granted in the US that just aren't present in other places.

It was interesting that when we were in the US and we would talk about Guatemala, we would say, "At home....," meaning "in Santiago" which means that we must now consider Santiago Atitlan home.

While we are very grateful for running water, an indoor toilet, and pretty reliable electricity in Santiago, upon our return we were reminded how much we miss hot running water, water pressure, and just how light everything is in the US.  However, after being back, we realize how good it feels to have the chance to use less resources just by the very fact that we are here.