Hola family, friends, and fellow trotamundos!
Today is the day I embark on this crazy, beautiful, 7-month adventure! As I write this, I am sitting in the JFK airport waiting for my connecting flight to Guatemala City. Before I head to Misión Vida Nueva in Cobán, I will be in Antigua taking Spanish classes for two weeks through a wonderful company called Maximo Nivel. These classes will help me refresh and improve my Spanish speaking skills so that I am well equipped to communicate effectively during my time in Guatemala. I am so excited to get to Antigua and start the program that I can barely sit still enough to write this blog! Especially after the events of the past 12 hours…
This past summer I worked at a camp in northern Michigan and did not return home to Nashville until about two weeks ago. In my mind, two weeks was plenty of time to prepare to leave the country for seven months, but looking back, an extra week or two would have been nice. The past two weeks were a whirlwind to say the least! I spent the majority of my time catching up with friends and family, a portion of my time cramming in any necessary appointments, and an embarrassing amount of time meandering around REI. But yesterday, after hours of deliberating, packing, re-packing, and re-packing again, I finally managed to get all of my things organized in my suitcases. I’m traveling to Guatemala during the rainy season, so I basically packed every raincoat and piece of moisture-wicking clothing that I own. Thanks to my love for backpacking, I was not in short supply of these items. My flight in the morning was scheduled to leave at 5:00am, so I went to bed super early, hoping I would be able to get at least a few hours of sleep!
I’m sure I was quite a sight walking into the airport early this morning. I wore all of my heaviest clothing to travel in (bulky hiking pants, heavy sweatshirt, biggest raincoat), so that I could fit more into my suitcases. Plus, I was carrying my backpack chock-full with books and snacks, and, of course, my guitar. By the time I made it from my car to an American Airlines check-in kiosk, I was already sweating. It didn’t matter though, because I was ecstatic about beginning my journey to Guatemala! Unfortunately, that excitement did not last very long because, due to some issues with getting my luggage checked, I ended up missing my flight. As you might imagine, I was pretty stressed. I had already made arrangements with Maximo Nivel to be picked up at the airport in Guatemala City this afternoon, not to mention I was worried about the expense of changing flights so last minute! The wonderful American Airlines employees, however, wasted no time in finding me another flight at little cost. I am incredibly grateful that I am still able to arrive in Guatemala today, despite the setback of me missing my original flight! Honestly, the worst part about this is that I am sitting in New York for 7 hours and can’t go explore the city. If I had to miss my flight, I cannot think of a better, smoother way for this day to go.
As my first two weeks in Guatemala quickly approach, I am looking forward to exploring historic Antigua, trying new foods, and learning more about Guatemalan culture from my host family. I know I am going to experience and discover so much and I can’t wait to tell you about it soon 🙂 Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers – they are greatly appreciated!
Much love y hasta la próxima vez,