This is the first official blog post that I will write from Central America! After a full night of packing (and determining what I should and should not bring, as well as which suitcase to use), a 2:30 a.m. alarm, and a 6:20 a.m. flight, not to mention the half hour delay my first flight out of Albany had because of a mechanical problem, and the fact that I ran almost the entire length of the Atlanta airport to make my connection when I could have just hopped on a tram, I have made it to Central America.
It still hasn’t hit me yet that I’ll be in this area of the world for nearly four months. I have enjoyed meeting the fellow students who have arrived thus far, and we are all getting even more stoked for the semester. Tonight, we are staying in guest rooms at a Mennonite seminary here in Guatemala City. Tomorrow, we will rise early (a.k.a 7 a.m.) and begin our orientation. We will have a brief tour of Guatemala City, and then head to Antigua where we will stay the night before finally heading to Quetzaltenango, which is the home base for the Guatemala portion of the semester.
In the interest of trying to fight the urge to sleep so that we can sleep soundly tonight, my new friend Drew and I chose to go for a short walk to a market that our program coordinator told us was not far away. In doing so, we’ve determined that we are very happy to not be studying in Guatemala City… from the overwhelming exhaust fumes, and the noise of traffic and neighboring children, you could say that Guatemala City life is not for us. In the short ten minute walk to the market and back, we could feel the poor air quality in our lungs–cue with images of coal miners and black lung emerging in our minds.
For now, the group of us students whom have arrived thus far are simply resting until dinner is served. There are a couple other East Coasters here, and we are feeling the effect that the time change (2 hours behind) on our stomachs’ desire for food. Having been able to have lunch here at the seminary just after we arrived (a meat stew served with potatoes, tortillas, and cucumbers and carrots), I have no doubt that dinner will be just as delicious.
Until next time!