More than seven weeks in Guatemala, and I am seeing a potential life here unfold. I can comfortably call Antigua my home, where I am quickly making friends, I know my way around, and I feel the sensation of settling into my rhythm, my life – En Español. I have now learned all the verb tenses there are to learn, my vocabulary is growing daily with words and phrases only the Guatemaltecos- or Chapin- say, and I love being able to talk about any subject without being limited by the language barrier. After one week back here in Antigua, I am seeing how I could stay here for months.
Last week I played my ukulele and sang at my first “international gig” at my favorite coffee shop, “Y tu Piña También,” where I felt right at home with friends from both the states and right here in Guate. It was such a blast, that they called the owner over who also owns the Café No Sѐ bar across the street, and he loved what he heard….so much, in fact, that he said I needed to play at his other place on Friday night. And so was born one of the best nights I have had, possibly ever.
Friday night at Café No Sѐ: Amazing mini-set of my favorite songs, the whole audience was captivated, I made 70 Quetzales in tips, and had the most fun with my new group of friends and met people from all over the world. Totally blew my mind with how happy I was that night. I belonged. I could do this for a long while still; this is what life should feel like. I have a few more “concertitos” lined up for this week, and I am excited to play again and say a farewell to the people who have made this all possible. Unfortunately I have just one more week in this great city. But I have the best of plans to return, come next year…
I am hoping to be the On Site Coordinator of this same study abroad program next year, and work for Seattle Pacific University by being the guide, translator, and support for the students who will be on this program next fall. I would absolutely adore being back here and being able to plug in again to the amazing group of people and the wonderful culture I have fell in love with. I am inspired to write more music and love feeding off the creativity of the people I am meeting here. In Antigua, it’s always an amazing story that follows the common questions of, “So what brings you here?” I could dive right in to people’s stories, lives, and passions here…and I want to make it mine as well some day. Who knows, next year or sometime in the future.
I am in love. With the culture, the people, the temptation of a whole other life. It drives me to look for and be more. Learn more. Soak in more. From the Mayan Ruins of Tikal, to the nights of music and good friends in my new home; I feel content. It’s a bittersweet feeling of looking ahead to only two and a half more weeks in the country, this week being my last “huzah” in Antigua. But as a good friend shows me over and over again: always have hope – it never dies. Dios les bendiga, y que la vaya bien.