Thursday, July 17, 2008

more pictures!!!

So on the left is Joe from cali here with his wife Katie....Then me...Then Emily from Georgia, then Jaime from all over also here with his wife....We all live in the same community...Then The next picture I am dancing with Hugo...the son to my host parents...haha This is at a baptism where there was a bottle of rum on each table and I was strictly told I was not to have any....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Sorry for the somewhat crazy blog I last posted...But it really is a taste of life here. some days are the best in uour life and some are the worst. Its a whirl wind of emotions!!! But lately I have been having amazing days and I want to show you all some pictures to prove it!!! I am also going to my site on Sunday and it will be my home away from home for the next 2 years!!! I am very terrified to say the least. But Let the adventure begin!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008


I’m falling backwards. -Down a cliff- I see images of everything normal flashing by my sides as I quickly fall. I focus solely on my hands in front of my face frantically grabbing for something to hold onto. Something normal to soften the fall.

This week I became a new person and It’s terrifying.

A glimpse:
This week was our “site visit”. We were going to see where we’d be working and living for the next two years. A week of complete Spanish and Quiche. A week in the mountains with corn fields hovering over me. Cows mooing, Goats in the front yard, sheep roaming the hills and baby piglets wandering in the grass. Rain and 6 blankets to sleep at night. A room with two entries and no doors. No shower. Lots of coffee and lots of smiling faces. A feeling of confidence, independence, complete lack of control, and a will to let the wind take me where I’m supposed to be.
On the last day I decide to go back to the main city by myself and spend the night. I had been planning on this for quite some time and I decided I would be ok. I could do it. I say goodbye to my new family and I get on a microbus, roll through the mountains and arrive in the city. I begin asking people how to get to the central park. A kind man tells me I have to cross the road. I ask another man and he tells me to the left. I am now in the market. It’s market day in the second biggest city of Guatemala. I ask a woman and her three kids how to get to the park and she completely ignores me. It’s at this point I begin to breathe a bit heavier. I turn around and am surrounded by taxi drivers whistling at me and asking if I need a ride. I remind myself this would not be a good or appropriate time to start crying.
I had to pee sooo bad, I was scared, I was lonely, I was tired, I was shocked. I remembered the Peace Corps telling me to take things one thing at a time. Take a second and look at a situation then brainstorm on tangible things you can do to make your situation a bit better. I see a bathroom and even though I have to pay, she didn’t give me toilet paper and it was disgusting it took care of one necessary problem.
As I begin walking again I pull out a chocolate cookie that I was saving just for this kind of occasion. I then begin talking out loud to myself for two reasons. One, to hear English and two, because I need to talk myself through tough situations. I count on my right hand all the shitty things about the situation. One, Im alone. Two, I have no clue where to go. Three, I have no clue how to get to where I want to go. Four, I am terrified to spend the night alone. Five, I have no plan…….Then on my left hand I count out loud on each finger the good things about the situation. One, I have always wanted to travel alone. Two, I am very independent. Three, This is the Peace Corps life I always wanted. Four, I’m always going to remember this day. Five, Im proud of myself. And I couldn’t have it equal the number of the bad so I added six, Just breathe and everything will work out.
I’m finally on the main road and I’ve decided I might as well walk the hour to the park instead of take a bus since I have all day to spare. My confidence is up and I have a plan! To walk somewhere!!! Yay….then a truck full of men drive by with their heads sticking out the window…whistling at me. I don’t know what took over me but I flip them off and yell “F You!!!”
OH MY GOD! They are going to turn around and kill me! I run across the street and disguise myself in the crowd. They don’t turn around and I’m embarrassed. I’m that Peace Corps volunteer they talk about. The one who lets things build up and then freaks out!
I cup my hand around my box necklace. Inside it contain an encouraging note I wrote to myself for times like this. I hold onto it as if it’s my life and my sanity. And in many ways it was both, inside the little box around my neck.
I walk and walk and walk and find the first hotel! And it’s only a block away from the park!!!! Also my friends called from Huehuetenango and said they were coming to stay with me!!!!! I get a room with 4 beds….and things are looking up. I take a hot shower and I chat with the hotel lady who wont leave me alone. Now, for some food. I walk about another 40 minutes until I find a tacos al pastor place!!! Yay things are really looking up. But I wish everyone would stop starring at me. I’ve never eaten alone at a restaurant before and I’m reminded of many romantic comedies where everyone feels bad for the girl alone at the table. I ate 3 fantastic tacos and was pleasantly reminded of Mexico.
Then I buy a powered vanilla cookie and search for an internet café. I open my mail and have received a very mean and un-welcomed letter from someone I care deeply about. In a hasty response I say some mean things and I leave the café. My feeling of “it will be ok” has vanished. I am no longer who I was and I am no longer in a world I know. I think of my parents and how they are a world away from me. Im walking on the streets of Guatemala crying. People are starring. I have to go use the bathroom in my hotel two times because I have made myself sick to my stomach. I go to the park to eat my cookie but a band is playing beautiful music and I’m swept away and feel as though I should be in a love story movie. But I’m not. I call my mom and tell her to call me right back. She doesn’t. They don’t know how to call me from Ireland. I don’t have enough minutes to talk to her on my phone. I think of her across the world in Ireland trying to dial my number and wondering if I’m ok. I think of me sitting in a park crying, not okay, and wishing she was there with me.
My friends call me excited and say they are almost there! I wipe my tears and go to meet them right when my mom gets through. I start crying on the phone and tell her everything is ok but I don’t want to cry so I cant talk. Then an amazing friend calls me and I cant talk to him either of Ill start crying. I hastily hang up, hug my friends that have arrived and take them to our hotel.
We find an amazing Italian restaurant and I order pesto pasta. We share a bottle of sweet red wine and we toast to a new life and to new friends. Things are looking up again.