September 12, 2012

One year down, one more to go.

"Reflecting on this past year is going to be difficult", I told myself on the bus ride last weekend. I tried to think about all the highlights of my year and all the strange stories I could share. It didn't help that there was a man sitting next to me who held a sack in his lap from which a crying cat continuously attempted his escape. Eh, typical bus ride, I thought.
On my anticipated arrival to Guatemala I can honestly say I had no expectation what-so-ever but I knew I was finally beginning the challenging 2 years of service I had always dreampt of accomplishing.
The first step of actually getting on that plane was the biggest step of my life. Thank goodness I have reliable and awesome friends who took such good care of me with all my pre-peace corps jitters.
After 3 months of training I was finally ready to begin actual work in my assigned location. I was placed in a legendary site in the northern part of the country to work on an organic tea cooperative. Not only was the location amazing but the fact that it was the only organic black tea produced in Guatemala made it just that more special.
A lovely friend of mine recently pointed out that no matter where you live there are going to be daily difficulties and hardships. In one of my last blog posts I realized that I portrayed quite a negative outlook on daily Guatemalan life and I want to clarify my, all but thankful, tone of that post.
I like to write about all my experiences while living down south and one of the most important things I have learned from these experiences is how wonderful my life is and how much gratitude I should have for it. Although, I am ungrateful for the lack of hot water, the uncomfortable transport and various other things, I am all that much more grateful for those things that have made me stronger and made me appreciate what home has to offer. I share with you, sometimes through a regretfully complaining tone, in hopes that my hardship will remind you of that basic beauty in everyday life.
I do not wish to only show you the bad parts of my days but to be honest there are a lot more bads than goods.
When the goods come along they are quite simple and ever so heart lifting. Without those kind gestures, great conversations and spectacular successes, I wouldn't be here right now. Besides the fact that I have become ridiculously emotional and have a strong desire to cry for the most absurd reasons (whats that about?) everything is honestly good.
I have seen such beauty that it takes my breathe away, and witnessed such horrible things that I shall never talk about. I don't know just quite yet how this experience has changed me but I do feel it inside. I could not be happier with where my heart has lead me. I could not be more thankful for my family who are so supportive and giving. I could not have done this without my friends and their endless support and motivation.
(care package shout outs: Kira :-), Jenna Pizzo! Ryan, Mrs. M, Daniel, Victoria, Kendhal, Suzanne, Mom & Pops and the lovely Meredith)
They say this is the hardest job you'll ever love. Right now I just think its hard, but the love is coming, I can feel it.

Here are a couple pictures from one of the first projects I took part in- solar panel installation for a community without electricity. This was back near the tea coop, a beautiful, beautiful part of the country.
A local carrying solar panels for the community

rain in the cloud forest 


  1. Hey no seas pendeja I sent you a care package too, yo! -Jenna

  2. Me too! But just one, so maybe its not enough to make the list... :)

  3. Thanks for keeping me on my toes ladies. I'm so fortunate to have such great pals to send me packages of love! <3