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Hi Everyone!

Thank you for checking in. Primarily, my heart, thoughts, and deepest prayers for the victims and those suffering from the recent Fuego eruption. The response from Guatemalans has been extraordinary; the pure love and empathy pouring out for those affected by Fuego from Guatemalans is palpable. These acts of kindness, service, dedication, and complete selfless love have been incredibly moving. There are a couple organizations to work with here, like Cruz Rosa Guatemalteca, that are accepting donations. I’m working on gathering some more information from people here on other organizations to support.

The past few days I have been teaching my classes and preparing for our presentation that is in two weeks! The classes will be dancing for their fellow students and showing their moves to the school. All 250 kids will be dancing ? During the lunch hours, I have been spending time with the niñas pequeñas and reading, singing, and assisting with general things the girls need. Human connection is made always: in class, walking in the school, in the comedor, everywhere. We are always connecting with one another and sharing smiles, and that’s whats so beautiful.

Things have been going really well! I am trying new things in classes and figuring out which lesson plans work the best for some kids and which kids want to do what kinds of dance moves. Some of these kids really LOVE TO DANCE, so they will pull me aside at any given moment and ask to learn a dance move or practice. There are, of course, incredible challenges. I have been challenged to think outside the box for some of my classes, and today I realized we get so caught up in planning and trying to make things great when…the kids will tell you what they want to do. It’s quite simple!

I’ve also been reflecting on the following:

  1. A positive mindset is between 80-90% of your battle. This doesn’t mean you have to deny the things that are difficult in life, because, yes, these things can suck. Negative things are still negative. But, in practicing positive thinking every single day, it becomes more of a habit. There is a way in which shifting the mind and getting a fresh perspective moves us leaps and bounds.
  2. Human connection is real, and everyone everyone everyone needs this. Dance is one of the most powerful ways to experience connection, open the mind, and perhaps tap into something that cannot be expressed verbally. Again, we rely on one another.
  3. Empathy multiplies. Goodness multiplies. Take, for instance, the proven trend that holding the door open for someone causes a chain reaction of everyone holding the door. This is a small but important example: kindness multiplies. We should always be seeking to radiate this kind of love, even from the tips of our fingernails. The more goodness we have, it is exponentially increased.

I’m here at Casa because I want to be apart of this organization and be with the people here through using dance as a medium. I’m really looking forward to the rest of my stay and to what these next two weeks will hold ?