Sunday, January 29th. I am now into my fifth day of living in Xela, Guatemala. It is a bit had to grasp that just last week I was with my friends enjoying the Seahawks punch their ticket into the Superbowl with a convincing win over Carolina. Such timing to take off! I’ll be missing the Superbowl, Wrestlemania, friends’ and family members’ birthdays, basketball league (go Under the Rim!), snowboarding etc etc.
But this is something I need to do and want to do. After seven straight years of doing the work thing, I just need a break. The travel bug that was planted within me over 12 years ago while trying to find work in Ireland has never let go.
I typically keep a hardbound journal with me during my travels, and I am pretty religious about recording my days’ adventures and thoughts. However, blogging is limited to computer and Internet access. Here in Xela, it is not too difficult, so I should be able to update pretty frequently. I could just tell about what I do every day. New words memorized. New friends made. New street vendor food eaten. But I want this blog to be much more. I want to use this as my hardbound journal, as an extension of my real thoughts and feelings.
To keep things from getting boring or old, I’ve decided to break up my blog into various topics, instead of singular days. There is simply too much to describe during my first 5 days here. Sure, I’ve been homesick. And part of that was because I was physically sick and wanted to just be at home with some comfort food, TV and my dose of the Willamette Week, the Mercury and Oregonian. And yeah, I miss my friends and family. But I know that they’ll be there when I return, and we’ll have many stories to share. Knowing that they are excited for my trip helps a lot, and I also know that many of my former work colleagues would love to just quit and do what I’m doing, but life and family obligations are primary obstacles for doing such a thing. I hope I don’t come across as being big-headed, but I feel very lucky to be doing what I’m doing. And meeting my fellow students and worldly travelers, I know that this is just the right thing for me to do. I am not rich and have a very
limited budget, but I hope to stay down here until May, or at least until my Spanish is good enough that I can use the rest of my money to travel to Mexico, Belize, Honduras and maybe Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Here is a preview glimpse of my blog in the upcoming days and weeks…
– “Wildlife” roving packs of stray dogs, bedbugs, chickens and more, oh my!
– Living with no water service for 4 days
– Daily sounds — barking, car alarms, church bells, cat calls, music from the Carpenters
– The story of my shoes
– (Trying to) Live on my $25 per day
– America comes to Guatemala — Mickie Dīs, Taco Bell, the Gap, Payless Shoes….
– Futbol – Experiencing a real soccer game with fans where everything goes
– Learning Spanish 5 hours a day, 5 days a week (with homework, of course)
– Salsa dancing
– New friends and their stories –USA, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Australia and from all over
– Being SICK
– The scoop on the eating: black beans, corn tortillas, black beans, rice, black beans, eggs, black beans and more black beans
– My host family and my homestay
– And much more
Feel free to post or comments to this blog, or email me directly. Also, if you find my blog even a bit entertaining or a good enough read, feel free to forward it to any of your friends who might also enjoy it. This will be just about my only sense of connection to keeping up with my life back home in Portland. So check back in the next few days for whereever my thought will take me. That’s all for now, folks, and thanks for reading!