Guatemala, Antigua, and the beautiful people who live and work here have been teaching me wonderful things in the past couple of days. I am so content to be in another culture and to be able to really put my Spanish to work. I feel as if the many bits and pieces of the Spanish that I know, the vocabulary, the random ideas of grammar, and the sounds of the letters, are all weaving themselves together and are finally being gathered into one place in my brain. just after a few days, I am comfortable holding conversations and kick starting my brain into processing this amazing language.
I suppose I should share a bit about my situation: with the 12 other Seattle Pacific University students, we arrived in Antigua in a very shaky van on the cobblestone streets, we shown where we would start our language courses in two weeks, and then delivered to our various home-stays. My friend Kjersti and I are rooming together at a home which is run by an amazing 85 year old woman affectionately called “Doña Christi” who is super sweet, has a great sense of humor, and has been hosting international language students for 50 years…wonderful lady. I love waking up in the morning and drinking local Guatemalan coffee, chatting in Spanish, and seeing the sun stream in through the open courtyard.
The weather here is phenomenal — bright and clear in the mornings, hot around lunchtime, and then the clouds roll in for the afternoon rains. Right now I am listening to the evening downpour on the tin roof and thanking God for how blessed I am. This is truly going to be an amazing quarter. We started classes today, beginning with the class I am mentoring (Intro to Global Development) in the morning, and the Earth Sciences class in the afternoons. Lots of learning going on.
Today I was able to walk around the city and explore as part of my morning class, and my favorite part for sure was the crowded, bustling, loud market. So many fruits and vegetables, lots of colorful craftworks and fabrics, women with chickens on their heads, and me trying to squeeze through the short Mayan people. I wish I had a picture to show, but I have not been good at taking pictures so far…or at all yet. I am hoping to soak in a bit more, and feel my way around the city. This is definitely a tourist center, and I guess that thing in me that tells me to blend in and be a part of the culture is stopping me from taking pictures “like a tourist.” But really–there is too much color and life and nature here not to want to capture as much as I can. So tomorrow (amid the piles of homework I already must accomplish) I am going on a photo journey, reading at a cafe, and soaking in as much as I can of Guatemala.
I couldn’t be happier — this is what I thrive on: living in other cultures, meeting new people, and of course speaking other languages. Thanks to all who read my blog! I hope to keep up with all the amazing adventures that are going on down here. including the nation-wide elections that are going on tomorrow. I have had the great opportunity to learn more about this process and how Guatemala is dealing with the transition. Many blessings and joy on all of you,