Antigua at Sunset
Hard to believe that it's already  my last dat at Familias! I think I may have avoided writing this week to ignore this reality. Just like most endings, I feel bittersweet about it. For most of the week, I've been telling myself that I was sad, and for a whileI was, but then I felt like I was ready to go home. Now, I'm getting sad again, the sort of nostalgic feeling I get anytime something good is coming to an end, so I guess that's a sign that I really enjoyed my time here. Sometimes I wasn't sure if I did or not, but this sentiment is reassuring. Although I will miss Familias de Esperanza and my job, I think I will miss the other aspects of Guatemala much more. My job itself was never the highlight, but rather the people I interacted with while doing my job. And so, in no particular order,  some of the things I will miss about Guatemala:

  1. The language: I'm going to miss speaking Spanish or trying to speak it. Being able to interact with a whole new wealth of people is exciting. I feel successful when I do it well. I feel like an idiot when I don't. I just really like knowing that a "foreign" world is more accessible to me because of Spanish. I guess I sort of feel like I'm a part of something when I speak Spanish. Less of an outsider--which is always a good thing.
  2. Not only that, but so many of their specific phrases are so unique to the culture and really reflect their values more than other things could. For example, "Que le vaya bien", the common despedida in the streets, is so unique! May you go well.  It's a general thoughtfulness and concern that we don't have. It's hard for me to articulate why I like it so much. I guess I just like the thought that "Que le vaya bien" refers more to a journey or a trip since I feel like our days can be much better understood as a journey, big or small, instead of just a day.
  3. "Buen provecho". I can't even translate this one. Maybe it's just the food lover in me that makes me find it especially awesome but I like that it is said with every meal, no matter where or when. By saying it, it gives the meal a special status that distunguishes it from casually eating. I guess it makes mealtime in general more of a ritual and it's something that I take for granted less than I would when sitting down to eat at home in the States.
  4. The chicken buses

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    This blog contains excerpts from my journal that I kept while in Guatemala. It details some of my memorable experiences from the summer and tries to illustrate some of the culture shock that I experienced, along with detailing the Guatemalan culture from an outsider's perspective.


    December 2009
    July 2009
    June 2009


    Culture Shock
    Structural Violence

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