Alright, I'm pretty much done recapping because 1) I'm lazy 2) my life's pretty much a blur 3) There's just too much. I can't believe this is coming to an end, I really can't. I apologize in advance for being so sentimental and gross in this post.
Let me just start by thanking Guatemala and all the AMAZING people I've met. You have all truly changed my life in absolutely indescribable ways. I've learned how uptight New Englanders really are (guilty), and how nice it is to hug instead of shake hands. I'm still not used to so much physical contact (we are a cold people), but I appreciate the change. For example, just this morning I met some super nice Guatemalan students, and ended up hugging most of them. It doesn't completely weird me out anymore. Guatemalans know how to say nice to meet you, and truly mean it.
I feel like I've learned so much in such a short span of time. Not only have I been immersed in the Spanish language, but also the colorful Guatemalan culture. I mean sure, I won't miss the middle aged men whistling at the gringas, but there are so many positive aspects of this country and culture that I will for sure miss. I'll miss the mujeres ancianas telling me I'm beautiful (LOL), their smiles, embraces, and infectious enthusiasm for life. I'll miss coming home to such a wonderful group of young women every afternoon, and swapping stories over tortillas and Lily's amazing cooking. I'll miss weekend adventures, despite having more than a few near death experiences. I will this whole experience.
Though I'll miss it all, I know I've gained so much in the last three weeks that I'll keep with me always. I learned that once I get passed the fear of something, it can be so so awesome. Semuc Champey, anyone? Getting out of my comfort zone was for sure terrifying. Just ask Kat, she witnessed and took part in some major panic attacks June 1st. But here I am three weeks later, not quite ready to bid farewell to this place and return to my normal life. I've learned that you can never have too much compassion for someone, and that just smiling or holding a hand can make all the difference in the world. I've learned that I need to appreciate all that I have, as difficult as it may be in the moment. I'm not sure I could list or put into words everything I've learned here. It's just too much.
Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to see all ya, breathe fresh air, and wear a seatbelt, but these three weeks have felt more like three days.
Not only have I loved getting to know the amazing women I work with, but also many of the volunteers. Traveling con una amiga buena has been great, helped avoid homesickness, and kept the laughs and awkward momes coming. I guess this is a decent sign (other than our general awkwardness) since ya know, we'll be heading to Denmark real soon. Lo siento no estoy lo siento. I feel as if I've known many of the volunteers forever and hope I get the chance to see and talk with them in the future.
Okay, I need to tone down the mush. On a lighter note, San Martin bakert, I'm coming for you big time. Have the pastries ready.
It's been real Guatemala. I'll for sure be back. No question. Thank you for being so amazingly wonderful and making me a better person...and more open to hugs. te amo.