A Travellerspoint blog

Another Day

Learning to live

rain 59 °F

While it feels like I have been here for weeks, it has only been 3 full days at Hogar de Vida. The days pass slowly, but I know they will speed up soon. I spend my mornings cooking meals, sweeping, wiping off tables and cleaning piles of dishes, but don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing all of this. Afternoons I take a nap and then play with the kids, cook supper for myself and two others, and then either go back with the kids or clean my "home" area and then get ready to sleep (One can never get enough sleep it seems).
The views are unbelievable, and attached is a picture of a stop we made while coming up the mountain on Saturday. Village

Village

Looking at some of the stunning landscapes here makes it seem like a place as stunning as these mountains couldn't be real, but it is. Crazy to think about really.

I am realizing that this experience is much different from what I pictured in my mind, and so it has been hard for me to live apart each day. I am learning to live in the moments of joy, frustration, physical pain, pleasure, laughs and tears. Yes, I knew it would be difficult, but I didn't expect this. When I visited Hogar de Vida in July of 2012, the moment I got here I felt a strong connection with the people, way of life, nature and experience. Now, as I am learning to live here for an extended period of time, I am feeling less connected and more frustrated. Let me get one thing clear, I am not frustrated with where I am at, but that I'm not feeling connected. When I got off the plane and was driven around Guatemala City all afternoon, it felt natural to me. Living here feels natural to me...almost too natural. I think thats what's getting to me. I don't feel challenged in the way I think I should. Granted, I am struggling with the language immensely, suffering at making tortillas, and physically being pushed by all the standing and bending over I'm doing. But all that aside, I feel so disconnected. I play with the kids and enjoy it, laugh with the workers and find pleasure in that, but when it comes down to it, I feel down. Being in another country is really going to teach me a lot about myself, I can just feel it.

So, here I am in San Andrés, Sajcabajá Guatemala on the journey of a lifetime, learning to live in the now, and accept how I feel. Why worry about the little things, right? Besides, no one ever said this was going to be a walk on the breezy side of life.

Posted by WorldRun 20:38 Archived in Guatemala Comments (1)

Here

Why I'm Here

66 °F

I made it to my final destination, Hogar de Vida. After a long first day yesterday, it was nice to sleep in a bed last night and not have to hurry to get up. Yesterday was spent, after arriving 30 minutes early in Guatemala City at 10:50 a.m., shopping for odds and ends needed, eating, and readjusting to the hurried life in Guatemala City. The cars are unbelievable. You go where you need to and drive every which way not really minding the lanes, while ignoring stop signs, usually, and having small motorcycles drive in-between cars to get ahead. I am told there is a method to this madness, untold rules to the road as it was said, but I just can't see it.
Surprisingly, however, it feels so normal to me. I saw people just like you and me; kids trying to be cool, business men and women out for lunch, students going to school and people laughing with each other. One scene, however, helped remind me of the pain these people live every day; we drove past a woman sitting on the sidewalk with a child asleep in her lap. The woman looked to be the girls mother, but her face showed wrinkles and lines as if she had lived a hundred years. She was looking at all the cars passing and crying as she stroked the girls hair. This woman was in pain, maybe not physically but emotionally and mentally. I longed to jump out into the busy street and cradle her in my arms, saying I would do whatever I could to make things right. I probably will never see that woman again, but her face will always be with me. She reminded me of the reason I am here. Yes, it is to teach children English and to love on the workers, but it is also to be a light to those around me, not just those in the home.
This is a journey I am on, one that will bring a mix of emotions, but that just seems to be life for me anyways. I'm ready, willing and excited for it all. Excited that I have made it and it is finally here.

Posted by WorldRun 18:35 Archived in Guatemala Comments (0)

2 Days

sunny 75 °F

I leave in two day, but if you want to be technical, I leave in 1 Day, 16 hours and 8 minutes. But who's really counting.

So many people have been encouraging, supporting, and reminding me to enjoy the experience, which I believe I am doing. I am blessed with some pretty amazing people in my life. I know I wouldn't be able to make it through all of this with out them, especially my parents.

I packed my suitcase, well, one of them, today and it was exactly 50 pounds, right where it needs to be. I'll move some stuff around, but as of right now that is set to go. I'm excited that it all fit. I feel as if there is still so much to do, so many people to email, so much cleaning to do, organizing, breathing, packing, buying that my head has been hurting nonstop for the last several days. I think once I get there, I'll feel better, it's just getting off the ground...literally...then I will remember to actually breath.

People think going takes a lot of guts and strength. Try living with knowing you will be gone and planning for your trip for over a year, having everyone tell you what you "should" and "should not do" and packing, then repacking, and buying, then forgetting something and going out and buying some more. That is strength, being able to do all of that (And believe me, take it from someone who doesn't like to shop, you have got to have strength to make it through so many stores in such short amount of time). That takes guts, being able to stand up to people you love and tell them, "No, this is what I am being called to do, and I can't let your fear or my own keep me from this." Sure, going to live in another country for a few months used to sound exotic to me too , but now that I'm the one actually going, it seems relatively normal. I mean, who wouldn't want to risk it all to gain more then earthy possessions.

That's just my thoughts on it anyway. Who knows, maybe I will come back longing to stay away and never come back to this culture of materialism, busy lives and over priced "stuff." Or then again I could come back refreshed, and ready to live where I am at, challenges and all. No matter what happens, I know people will always have opinions for me. They will think I should do this or not do that, live in "x" part of the world but defiantly not "z," go directly to college to get a degree to make something out of myself, settle down and find a nice guy, or anything else under the sun. I just can't say what will happen, or what people will think. I am slowly starting to realize people are just trying to look out for me, their best intentions in mind. While I so dearly appreciate this, I am also coming to the realization that I can't always turn to humans, but God to give me the direction He has planned for my life. Whether it is living abroad or here in the states, I am ready to learn and face each day.

Bring on the challenges and shopping ahead!

1 Day, 15 hours, 44 minutes, 20 seconds.

Posted by WorldRun 11:49 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Leaving

The Road Ahead is Never as Long as it Seems

semi-overcast 82 °F

My dad practicing some songs on the piano, hearing his fingers hit each key.
My mom downstairs helping quiz my sister for a test tomorrow.

I think these are the things I will miss the most, among other things of course. This is what will hurt the worst; Not being able to sit and watch my dads fingers move effortlessly across the keys and hear him play his music, or see my mom in her bed with her reading glasses on, or see my sister busy studying then going into her room to unwind with a good book. It will all be missed, but leaving and missing are two parts of life. When we leave and miss something or someone, it helps us appreciate the time we do have with them. I am seeing that, while I am only going to be gone for a short time (2 months one week and 4 months), it will still be a stretch. I have grown out of my elementary days of never wanting to be away from home, and now enjoying time away and solitude from people I love. While this may be the case, I know I will miss everyone terribly.

As I am now 1 week and 1 day away from leaving, I have been thinking less and less about leaving. As I talked to a mentor today, I explained it somewhat like this:
I have this eerie calmness about leaving. It seems so natural to be heading out of the country, that I am starting to not feel anything towards the matter. While I am excited, it is a deep seeded inner peace and joy that has now taken over rather than an outward "happy dance" as it started out to be.

It has been over a year in the process of planning, and I am so ready to just be there. Talking about it has been the only thing I have been able to do for so long, that actually being there will be a great relief to me. I am thankful that I am being given this opportunity to go and serve others, and wait with anticipation at what will happen as a result of taking this step and broadening my horizons.

Posted by WorldRun 18:41 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Worries

overcast

Three weeks and two days until I leave, and I am becoming worried. Over this summer my stomach has not been behaving, yet was doing somewhat better until recently. My pains hurt me and remain a mystery to the doctors and my family. Another pain that has decided to return is hurting in breathing. Sometimes above one of my ribs, pain will arise every time I breath, which is not good. Doctors do not know what this is either. Together with these two challenges, my parents are worried for my travels. I will be honest, I am too, but I know I am supposed to be going away and serving in Guatemala and Zambia, so why should I fear? I won't let pain keep me from doing what I know I am called to do, and I know I will be cared and provided for no matter where I am at. With this being said, it is also wise to monitor my symptoms now so they do not keep me from the work in front of me. I pray I remain strong, faithful to what I am presented with, mindful of if I am doing too much and able to be healed so I am not a worry to my parents or others.

Prayers for this would be greatly appreciated.

Three weeks and two days until I leave. I am ready.

Posted by WorldRun 18:46 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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