My Guatemalan Adventure: Day 1

I landed in Guatemala City on an excessively windy day on Sunday, March 4th.  After a fitful night’s sleep at a mediocre airport hotel I was ready to leave Houston and finally continue my way south to Guatemala.  I had the usual feelings of excitement and anticipation which I always get before I land in a new country and enter into the mayhem it brings.  The whole bag of usual mixed thoughts raced across my mind.

What would it be like? Would I enjoy my stay there? Would I understand and be able to communicate in my broken Spanish? Would I be safe?  Would I get sick?  Would my ride be there as expected, waiting for me outside the baggage claim?  Would the bus ride suck?

You would think that a seasoned traveler would get over these worry wart antics but it never seems to fail.  I’m always a worrier and I also go through this kind of strange mixed up, emotional nonsense.  At least now I am fully aware of it and try my best to take things as they come.  That is the best advice I’d ever received about traveling in different countries:  Just let go, and go with the flow!  Yet words can mean more than actions for a type A person who is normally as organized and orderly as drill sergeant.

I exited the plane and felt the warm air flow through my Minnesota veins.  It felt great to finally be there and to be somewhere warm!  I grabbed my mighty red suitcase, stuffed to the rim, and quickly passed through immigration and headed out the door.  I was ready for the flood of people waiting frantically outside of the airport doors, with signs and smiles and searching looks across their faces.  Of course I was an instant attraction as it isn’t every day a tall, blond-haired woman walks out of the doors, completely alone and searching the crowd as well.  My eyes scanned the horizon and sorted through the mass of chaos until thankfully I quickly located my name on a white placard.  My ride was there.

Guatemala TRAVEL BY REGION Volunteering Abroad

Llegar: To arrive


Photo above taken this afternoon on bus ride from Guatemala City to Xela

I made it. I’m here in one piece. Barely. I forgot how exhausting travel can be especially when you barely speak the language. I chose this picture for my first post on Guatemala because it illustrates how I feel. Completely disoriented.

I will write more later about the trip. I am extremely tired. Just wanted to send you a little postcard from my day. Of course I took tons of photos from my front seat in the bus. There will be an entire post on my first day no worries. It was that interesting.

Yet now it is time to try to get some sleep before I start my spanish classes tomorrow morning. I obviously need it. I could not understand a thing being said tonight at the dinner table. It was a lonely feeling. Thankfully my host family is wonderful and I don’t think they thought I was an idiot for my poor mastery of the language. Oh well.

Stay tuned….it is a lovely city surrounded by haunting volcanoes! I may just have to take a side trip….