1. summer vacation (let’s be honest…who isn’t excited about 9 weeks off!)
2. i am never bored
3. my students ask me ridiculous questions like “Is your hair fake?” or “how much do you have to pay to rent the classroom?”
4. i get to re-learn all the grammar skills that I missed when I was in school (affect vs. effect and lay vs lie)
5. the bell schedule can bring an odd kind of consistency and routine, who doesn’t like 4-min bathroom breaks and 28-min lunches
6. the rare and meaningful moments when a student comes back to say “thank you”
7. ever changing educational policy to be updated on (read: more paperwork and additional testing)
8. occasional FREE food and random stuff in the staff lounge
9. i am always learning something new
10. did I mention SUMMER VACATION???
Although there are numerous reasons why I love my job, having a built in vacation time is such a welcomed break. For one, it allows me to pursue other areas of my life that I don’t have as much time for during the school year-such as GUATEMALA!
The first 2 weeks I will be living and working at Proximos Pasos, an all girls school near Antigua. Our team of 16 high school students and 4 adults will be learning from the local leaders about the culture and needs of each community, while building, training and serving the people. This trip is as much about sharing and serving the people of Guatemala as it is about learning from them. Even though 75% of Guatemalans live below the poverty level and there continues to be incredible corruption and injustice in a county still recovering from the 30-year war, there is also a rich spirit of generosity that is unknown to most wealthy, over-resourced, North Americans. I was amazed and humbled at the hospitality and joy that I encountered last year, often in stark contrast to my own greed and self-centeredness.
After our groups’ time in Antigua I will be heading up to Queztaltenango, more commonly, referred to as Xela (shay-la), where I lived last year. I am excited to return to a city, with friends and people that I love. I hope to do some volunteering here, travel a bit and hang out with friends, but we’ll see. I have learned (or maybe better said, I am still learning) to travel with loose plans and high hopes…knowing that what comes, will come.
asi es la vida en guatemala.