Technically Independence Day isn’t until tomorrow but our kids have been celebrating all week with different activities at school. Today was our very favorite day-The Torch Run.  Okay, I’m just assuming it was our favorite day because I had a blast and my kids looked happy the whole time and came home and fell asleep. That’s a win for us all.

I don’t know too much of the history behind it, but what we did today must have a great origin. All of the kids who go to school in the morning (K-6th graders) gathered at a near by spot and we all began a run back to the school carrying the torch. I was most excited to have the chance to get outside with my kids for a run. But seeing the unity and the joy and how the kids were politely competitive during the run, encouraging each other other and sharing the torch was such a beautiful symbol of what this country- this world- needs! At one point, we were all chanting “Guatemala” and yes, I almost started bawling. (Is that what mom life does to a person? Crying at any given moment?)

The other thing that was very important to me about today’s Torch Run was doing some scouting for who might be talented athletes interested in joining a track team. My heart here in serving here is to first and foremost be a mom to these kids who so badly need it. Secondly, I want to share my love for track. (On a joking note, I would probably be a better basketball coach but every time we start playing, it turns into a soccer game and the hoops here aren’t even real height. Who knows, maybe someday lol) I know that sports can play a huge part in changing lives through creating structure and motivation. It is something the ‘bad’ or less academically inclined can excel at. It can make going to school something they are more interested in and that is so important! Being on a team and going to practices can also help cut back on behavior problems and help kids be more attentive during school. I can see huge potential in quite a few of these kids to be amazing athletes and fantastic runners in the future. What excites me is their chance to compete in college on a scholarship because of their talent. And even bigger is my dream to send a few kids to the Olympics to represent this beautiful country!

Carrying the torch and watching my kids do the same put so much hope into my heart. And carrying the Guatemalan flag with such pride through the streets of the tiny villages as we ran, I pictured the day that they may be carrying the same flag in the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics. What a true representation of Independence- the future that is open and ready for these big hearted, hard working, talented Guatemalan kids.

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