What this is all about

Being a December graduate, I have decided to keep an open schedule and mind.  I have no definite plans for at least 5 months, and even then, nothing is certain.  This is all very new for me--I've always had a set plan of what I'm doing next.  Now, although I know the general direction I am heading, I am allowing opportunities to come to me that might have otherwise been lost if I had already made plans.
Join me for the ride as I begin to Learn By Living!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

“well some one is ready to do some backpacking”

“well some one is ready to do some backpacking” said one of the 7 English speaking passengers as I moved down the back of the plane looking for a spot to stash my bag as I was literally the last one on the plane… they (the airline) never called my section, I guess I was the only one in boarding section 6. Once I found where to put my bag, I had to walk back to the front of the plane where my seat was, everyone was watching.
Once having landed in the Guatemalan airport there was a huge line to get out and they were checking everyone’s bag by hand. Although I knew that food like granola bars usually allowed because they are sealed, I worried that they could possibly make a huge deal about the ones I had. I pretended not to notice the line and smiled at the officer and said that I only had carry-on luggage. He spit out a airline name and a flight number, I nodded, and he let me thorough. It wasn’t the flight I came on.
The director of the school held up my name on a piece of paper amongst all of the other anxiously awaiting pick-up parties. I always wanted to be the person who walks up to someone holding up a name. The only other time this has happened was when I went to Brazil with my mom, but that time it was her name.
We drove along side the airport where the only thing separating the airstrip and planes from the road is a mesh-chicken wire wall where people line up to watch their loved ones arrive and depart. About 20 minutes after we left the airport the car began to make a strange noise. The driver was ever apologetic as we finally found a Pinchazo (mechanic shop sort of) that was open on a Sunday afternoon. Having not slept for 48 hours, not having eaten properly, and wanting to not extend the already 4 hour drive to the city where the school is, I was surprisingly calm. I stood outside happy to stretch my legs after sitting on the airplane for 6 hours but couldn’t refuse the chair dusted and brought to me by the owner of the shop. I sat and watched as the father and young son attended other customers that drove up onto the sidewalk. I’m not a big car person, so correct me if I’m wrong, but if a tire busts most people just buy another one? Either way. I watched a boy, no older than 13, take the rubber of the tire off and then a patched up one back on…using a crowbar and his weight. He swung, hanging off it, and even jumped in the area that is underneath the hubcap (sorry.. don’t know the name). What was making the noise were the brakes on one side. We couldn’t find any place that had a spare part...including a junk yard. The mechanic sanded it a certain way and assured us that it would get us to Xela fine, and then to change the part on Monday. I fell in and out of sleep on the way to Xela. Woke up and it was all dark around, and there was heavy fog. It was only thanks to the new road they built about 3 years ago that we were able to manage the turns as we went up the side of the mountain. Lets just say I’m glad I didn’t make this trip before this road was in place. With all new things, sometimes one wonders how anyone survived without it…but somehow they have, and so have we.
Got the school safely where my host family was supposed to be waiting for me. Yes, key word “supposed to be.” after calling to inquire and being told they weren’t in town, we got what in Guatemala we call the “fijense”--which essentially is the beginning to any excuse. It turns out the family wasn’t even in the same state at the time. The director called another family, although usually they are given at least a week notice, and thankfully they were willing to take me. There are some local university students living in the extra rooms as well, I think it will be really nice to have other people my age around for the next two weeks.

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