Ever wonder why my blog has such an odd name?
In 2005 and 2006 I spent the majority of my summers in Guatemala, working in a boys’ home there. It was a wonderful time, full of memories I will never forget.
The first summer I went with a project team. We poured a concrete slab for a basketball court. It was hard work, but we didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the kids. I love working with kids, and wanted to be more a part of their lives.
The next summer I worked with the house parents and set up a trip to go by myself. I lived in the home for 6 weeks, helping the house parents care for the boys. In the morning I got up early and made their breakfast before school. Some of the boys had school in the morning, some in the afternoon. I helped the ones at home with their homework, one group in the morning and the other in the afternoon. After school we had laundry (hand washed in the pila) and chores. Weekends we deep cleaned the floors and windows. It was a lot of hard work, and it was amazingly wonderful at the same time. It was extremely difficult to come back to the States after my summer there. Those kiddos still hold a special place in my heart.
One of my favorite memories is trying to teach them how to say my name. The “dler” on the end of “Chandler” was almost impossible. There is no sound like that in Spanish, and the Guatemalans couldn’t get their tongues to twist the right way to say it. So I began to go by my middle name, “Ruth.” The name Ruth in Spanish is “Rut.” It sounds like “root.” Playing out in the yard with the boys I would hear my name “Rut” yelled from all directions. Something I will never forget.
When I took off to Africa and then Peru a few years ago, I realized that whenever I travel, a part of me will expect others to call me “Rut,” thanks to my Guatemalan name. Thus came the blog name Rut Around the World.