Thursday, August 2, 2012

First Post from Guatemala

Guess what, guys? I am finally HERE! I am writing from my new home in Antigua, Guatemala!


Mom, Dad, and other concerned citizens: I made it safely and even got to watch a little bit of the Olympics on the plane ride over. My travel buddy, Becky, and I were picked up by her mom at the airport and made it to Antigua with enough time to (briefly, we were tired after all) go out on the town and reunite with some of Becky's friends. 

 On our first day, we planned out the next month that Becky will be here with me and did some recon to determine which tour companies to use for our adventures and which language school to attend and hunted out the local gym so I can keep the beans and tortillas safely away from my love handles.  I also unpacked my belongings into my new room, we caught a free showing of Kite Runner (which I highly recommend), and then watched Danell Leyva win a medal (we couldn't tell which medal because there was no volume and NBC, frustratingly, did not show any final standings--I later learned he won bronze) in men's gymnastics at the only bar we could find that was showing the Olympics. 
My morning coffee drinking view: be jealous.

And that was Day One for anyone who is interested. But enough of the travelogue and on to my musings. 

By the length of that last paragraph, it seems like I've had an eventful trip thus far. Yet I've been plagued with this sense that I'm not getting enough done. Shouldn't I be fluent in Spanish and have a million Guatemalan friends and be bombarded by job and volunteer opportunities already? 

I have a tendency to get ahead of myself. I still remember my freshman year roommate and I kicking ourselves because we hadn't managed to solicit a committed surfer boyfriend three days into New Student Orientation. (To our defense, one girl on our hall had secured a boyfriend in that time and they are now happily married with a beautiful little girl.)

My new home!
If I've learned anything since then, it's that things take time. I mean, it's been eight years since I unloaded my tropical print, extra long comforter from Target and tacked posters of my favorite Christian boy band and Olympic gymnasts on my dorm room wall with University-sanctioned blue tape. I've outgrown the Christian boy bands, and I still have a weak spot for male gymnasts, especially the medal winners, and it seems I still I have a problem with expecting too much, too soon. 

That boyfriend is still nowhere to be found. And that's okay. My boyfriendless status means I am free to be here, in Guatemala, experiencing a new adventure on my own. Things take time. And that's okay. Things don't always work out as we expect or demand. And that's okay. 

My room is behind the bottom window. 
It will be awhile before I feel at home even though I am very blessed to live with amazing, hospitable friends who already feel like family. It will be awhile before I can conjugate my Spanish verbs fast enough to actually maintain a conversation to the level of my liking. Before I make friends of my own and can walk the streets of Antigua like a pro, where the navigational trials produce less and less errors and unexpected detours. 

For now, in my second day of expatriotism, I am content with the fact that I am here, drinking coffee on the patio overlooking the lush courtyard where plants doggedly climb the stuccoed walls and birds call and caw to each other at Segundo Avenido 6B in Antigua, Guatemala, my new home. I am here, and for now, that is more than enough. 

17 comments:

  1. Yea.. NBC pretty much failed at Olympic reporting.

    Anyways, great to see you arrived safely in Guatemala!

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    1. Thanks, Jimmy! And now I've discovered we can't watch NBC's live streaming outside of the U.S. :( Oh well.

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    2. Try BBC and other "non-US" sources for streaming of the events. Good luck!

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    3. Try BBC and other "non-US" sources for streaming of the events. Good luck!

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    4. Try http://chanfeed.com/bbc-one or http://www.liveonlinetv.biz/livesports.php !

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  2. Thankful you ladies arrived safely and are enjoying your time. Jealous of your new coffee spot though!

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    1. Haha, I had no idea this would be my account name still :) Just in case you were wondering who's posting on your blog- Emily Sk

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    2. Haha. I was wondering who that was. Thanks, Emily! We wish you were here with us.

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  3. And, everyone, I apologize for the typos. They should be corrected now thanks to my brother's keen eye.

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  4. Yayyyy love it! So happy for you!

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    1. Thanks, Eri! Hope you're having fun in Oregon!

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  5. To be sappy but true: every moment is a gift, just as it is; that's what they call it the present. So happy you're safely planted in your new garden. God has given you everything you need to grow--even time:-).

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    1. Thanks, Kay. I love the idea of being safely planted in a new garden. Hope all is well in San Diego!

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  6. Welcome home! Can't wait to hear more of how God works through you. Just know that he already has and is. =)

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    1. Thanks, Adrian! I'm excited for what the year holds. Thanks for reading. Has your crazy schedule calmed down yet?

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  7. Aly, I am so excited for you and that you have now joined the expatriate club! I always knew you were one at heart:) I can't wait to read more about your experiences and adventures there. Let the experience lead you and don't be surprised if life living abroad simply becomes life.

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    1. Thanks, Lauren. We need to catch up! Visiting you and James in DF definitely solidified my desire to live abroad. Let's catch up soon!

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