Nuestras Notas: The Last First Day

As we enter our fourth month of schooling here in Guatemala, some of the Secondary School Scholarship students chose to reflect back on their first day of classes. Join José on his heartfelt retelling of his last first day of classes before his graduation.

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I was very enthusiastic and I felt very happy because, despite economic difficulties, the first day of classes of my final year started. During the vacation, I missed my friends and I missed the courses of mathematics. Finally the awaited day arrived — the first day of classes. I was registered and was already assigned the courses of the fifth semester.

The 16th of January arrived, and in the morning it was very cold and I didn’t want to get up from my bed. But I did what I had to because I knew that I only had one more year to get my degree in Specialized Intermediate Education in Mathematics and Computation. Neither the cold nor anyone else will stop me from receiving my high school diploma this year.

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I arrived at the University of Guatemala Valley. The first thing I did was to thank God for giving me another year of academic formation. The second thing I did was to look for my friends with whom I have shared two long years of friendship and so many experiences. I said hi to all my friends, and I wished them a happy New Year.

We were in our classroom when the teacher of the course Professional Ethics entered. He welcomed us, he greeted us, and he began to motivate and animate each one of us. After he began to talk about the rules and norms of the course. This is how the time passed and the course ended.

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After this, I left to eat breakfast with all of my friends. After came other courses and all of the teachers did the same thing that the first teacher had. This is how the time passed and after the time to leave arrived. I said goodbye to all my friends and I felt happy because the first day of classes ended.

I returned home happily because the truth is that I will never forget the first day of classes of my last year.

Meet Our Donors, Patti and Steve!

Welcome to the music-filled lives of donors Patti and Steve. Natik is proud to be connected with such a loving and talented family, who, since their first meeting with scholarship student Martha Arriago three years ago, have supported her education ambitions. The whole Natik community thanks the Mortiers, and all our donors, for their years of generosity and advocacy. 


Patti, singing Beethoven; Patti, cantando Beethoven

Patti, singing Beethoven; Patti, cantando Beethoven

My name is Patti Mortier and I am a voice teacher and classical singer. My husband Steve is also a voice teacher and classical singer. We have sung professionally for more than 30 years and taught voice for more than 20 years. We live in Spokane, WA currently, but have lived in San Francisco, CA, Manhattan NY, Binghamton NY, Rochester, NY and Portland, OR.

Mi nombre es Patti Mortier y soy una maestra de voz y una cantante clásica. Mi esposo, Steve, también es un maestro de voz y cantante clásico. Nosotros hemos cantado por más de 30 años, y hemos enseñado voz por más de 20 años. Vivimos en Spokane, WA ahora, pero hemos vivimos en San Francisco, CA, Manhattan, NY, Binghamton, NY, Rochester, NY, y Portland, OR.

Morgan Keene, singing Katherine in Newsies

Morgan Keene, singing Katherine in Newsies: Morgan Keene, cantando Katherine en Newsies

Steve teaches voice at a University, Eastern Washington University. I also taught there for 10 years, but now just teach privately (in my home). We absolutely love what we do. There is not another career that could give us such joy. Last week I was the mezzo-soprano soloist with the Spokane Symphony performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Steve was the baritone soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Idaho Bach Festival. One of my students is the lead girl, Katherine, in the Broadway tour of Newsies. I am so proud of her. Her name is Morgan Keene. She is only 19 years old and living her dream. I am trying to give you a picture of what our lives look like and it is heavily filled with singing and music. Our students are extremely active performing musical theater in the Spokane area, so we attend shows almost every weekend to support them.

Steve enseña voz en la universidad, Eastern Washington University. También enseñé allá por 10 años, pero ahora solo enseño en privado (en mi casa). Nos encantamos que hacemos en forma absoluta. No hay otra carrera que podría darnos tanta alegría. La semana pasada fui al concierto de la mezzo-soprano solista con la sinfonía de Spokane, que estaba realizando la 9th Sinfonía por Beethoven, y Steve fue el barítono en Mesías por Handel con el Idaho festival de Bach. Una de mis estudiantes es la primera actriz, Katherine, en la gira de Broadway para Newsies. Estoy muy orgullosa de ella. Su nombre es Morgan Keene. Ella solo tiene 19 años y está viviendo sus sueños. Estoy tratando de darte una imagen de aspectos de nuestras vidas y es muy lleno con el canto y la música. Nuestros estudiantes son muy activa cuando están realizando el teatro musical en el área de Spokane. Entonces vamos a espectáculos casi cada fin de semana.

Patti and Steve

Patti and Steve; Patti y Steve

Steve and I will have been married 30 years this coming summer. And the biggest joys of our lives have been our children. Andrew is 28 years old and is married to Sara and they have a beautiful baby girl, Mattie, our first and only grand-child. They live in Seattle, WA which is a 5 hour drive. We see them frequently.

Andrew, Sara, and Mattie

Andrew, Sara, and Mattie; Andrew, Sara, y Mattie

El próximo verano, Steve y yo habramos estado casados por 30 anos. Y la alegría más grande de nuestras vidas ha sido nuestros niños. Andrew tiene 28 años y es casado con Sara, y ellos tienen una niña hermosa, Mattie, nuestra primera y sola nieta. Ellos viven en Seattle, WA que es un viaje en coche por 5 horas. Nosotros vemos a ellos frecuentemente.

Michael

Michael

Michael is 23 years old and is not married yet, but has a lovely girlfriend. He is a student, majoring in biology at the same university where Steve teaches. He is also an amazing violinist and performs professionally quite frequently.

Michael tiene 23 años y no está casado todavía, pero tiene una novia preciosa. Él es un estudiante con una especialidad de biología en la misma universidad donde Steve enseña. También, él es un violinista asombroso y el realiza conciertos profesionales con frecuencia.

Adriana

Adriana

Adriana is our only girl and the youngest child. She is 19 years old and is starting college this month. She is working toward a phlebotomy degree. That is a career where you work with needles and take people’s blood for analysis in the healthcare system.

Adriana es nuestra sola hija y es la más joven de los niños. Ella tiene 19 años y está empezando la universidad este mes. Ella está trabajando para su título de flebotomía. Esta es la carrera que se trabaja con agujas y se toma la sangre de personas para análisis en el sistema de salud.

Steve's dad and Mattie

Steve’s dad and Mattie; El papá de Steve y Mattie

We live in a house that has a park in the back of the yard. We see many deer, coyotes, porcupines, raccoons and even occasional moose and elk. We have a cat named OJ and a dog named Delilah. My beloved mother also lives with us. Steve’s dad lives in Portland, OR where we were both raised. We see him as often as possible. Both of my sisters and their families also live in Spokane. We are very close.

Vivimos en una casa que tiene un parque detrás del patio. Vemos muchos venados, coyotes, puercos espines, mapaches, y algunas vemos alces. Tenemos un gato que se llama OJ y una perra que se llama Delilah. Mi querida mamá también vive con nosotros. El papá de Steve vive en Portland, OR donde fuimos criados. Vemos él tan frecuente como sea posible. Ambos de mis hermanas y sus familias también viven en Spokane. Nosotros somos muy íntimos.

My mom and I

My mom and I; Mi mamá y yo

Karen Hedrick, one of my good friends, brought my Mom and I to Santiago Atitlan Guatemala 3 years ago and we volunteered sharing our music. That is where I met the beautiful Martha Angelica Simaj Arriaga whom we are so thrilled to sponsor. She sang harmony with me on a song and I felt her beautiful open heart.

Karen Hedrick, una de mis amigas buenas, les trajo a mi mamá y yo a Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala hace tres años y ofrecieron nuestra ayuda, compartiendo nuestra música. Este lugar es donde conocí querida Martha Angelica Simaj Arriago quien nosotros son muy emocionados a patrocinamos. Ella cantó una canción en armonía conmigo, y sentí su corazón hermoso y abierto.

Martha and I

Martha and I; Martha y yo

We have a very wonderful life, of course many ups and downs as life is like that, but we are so very blessed by God!

Tenemos una vida maravillosa, y también muchos cosas buenas y malos porque la vida es así, pero ¡somos benditos por Dios!