The process of packing and re-packing my things, as been sacrificial and refreshing one. After packing all of my things, I realized I miss-read the weight and size limits of Spirit airlines, and needed to reduce my weight by 1/2. In that moment, the obvious need to let go (of everything, of expectations) and re-focus on the purpose of this trip became clearer than ever before. The work I will be doing in Guatemala does not largely depend on the material things I bring with me. In fact, it probably depends the least on that compared to everything else, and I think that’s true in our daily lives as well.
I fit all of my material things for the next 6 months (or more) of my life in 1 piece of luggage, 1 Lowepro backpack, and 1 Domke shoulder bag. I still feel like I over-packed. Everyone else packed 2 pieces of luggage, but since I may not return to the States after my commitment in Guatemala, packing minimally was a priority. Could you pack 6 months or more of your life into 1 piece of luggage or less? Why would or wouldn’t it be a challenge?
After 12 hrs. of traveling across North America with Stephanie and JD, and a surprise visit from the other intern, Matt, we arrived at our apartment in Zona 10 of Guatemala City. By Guatemala’s standards, our 3-story, yellow apartment and neighborhood is very nice. I love it. Lots of beautiful natural light, the comfiest couches I’ve ever sat on, 24/7 security, and I don’t think I could’ve asked for better roommates. I’m excited to call this place home for the next 6 months of my life.
To give you an idea of how safe it is where we live, it’s the safest zone in G City. Stephanie and I can run together, and one of the guys can run by themselves, but Stephanie nor I could not run by ourselves. In other zones, we have to cruise around in rolled up tinted windows, so not to reveal that there are gringos in the vehicle. It’s a rough city. No walking around alone at night, and we only take rides from people that we know, but it’s not scary. We take precautions and let the bigger purpose of lives here trump fear and the “what ifs”. What fear in your life needs to be trumped by the larger purpose of your life?
We are being taken care of by Americans and Guatemalans who have lived here at least 1 year, or their whole lives. I’ll write another post later about the Guatemalans who we spend a lot of time with and the impact they have made in my life.
We have Wi-Fi, electricity and sometimes warm showers. We walk on tiled floors, cook on a gas stove, and stick notes on yellow walls. We hang out in shorts during the day, and sweatpants at night.
If you are the praying kind, please pray for rest for us. Stephanie and I’s bedroom gets a lot of noise from the street and it’s hard to sleep through the night, even with earplugs in. Also pray that we, as roommates, continually develop a healthy community amongst ourselves. It’s so easy to let the little things get in the way, and so far it’s been amazing, but I know living together will come with challenges, and I pray for those to be handled with integrity and boundless love. Also, please pray for guidance for us as we go about our projects and jobs. It’s easy to lose balance and stop asking guidance.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been a reason that I’m here right now. Thank you for all your love, encouragement and support. It means so much.
Feel free to message me with questions, comments, stories, etc.