Today was one of the most beautiful and peaceful days I've had in a long time. I didn't go up to the village today to work, so I decided instead of sleeping in and wasting such a beautiful day I would walk to the lake. It is about a 2 mile walk from my apartment to the lake. I walked through town and stopped along the way at a bakery to grab breakfast and coffee. Even though I know I have a very LONG way to come on my Spanish I've realized that after only 4 lessons I've learned enough to at least get by when buying things and asking simple questions. To them it probably sounds like a 5 year old is speaking, but at least they can understand what I'm trying to say.
On a side note I went up to the school yesterday and met the rest of the staff at the school and clinic. It was the first day the teachers were back and that the clinic was open since Christmas. It was amazing being introduced to everyone and getting hugs and kisses for just being there. It seams like such a close family community and I'm grateful to be a part of it. I was going to post some pictures, but thought I would wait until everything was set up and ready for the school year. That way you can see how cute all the classrooms are. I was also going to blog about it last night, but didn't feel well. I think I got sick from the change in altitude. Pana is around 3,000 and Salud y Paz is around 7,000. It takes 45 minutes to drive the very windy and bumpy road up the the village. I'll be better prepared next time I go with lots of water and advil, but I'm hoping I'll get used to it. I wanted to wait to blog about how it's set up there until I get some descent pictures to show.
Anyways, when I left the lake I walked back to the part of town that I knew and grabbed lunch at a little cafe where I could sit outside and watch the people passing by. There was a girl sitting at the table right next to me who was waiting for a shuttle to go to Antigua. We started talking about Antigua and why we were both in Guatemala. I love how many missionaries/volunteers/random people just there to hang out there are around town.
After lunch I stopped at the coffee shop to study for a little over an hour before I went to Spanish school. The coffee shop is owned by Mike and his wife (can't remember her name) who have been living and raising their kids in Pana for 15 years. I was invited last Saturday to a knitting (no I don't know how to knitt) club in their apartment upstairs. They seam like a great couple to know and I think like my spot at the lake I'll be going to this coffee shop a lot on my days off.
I am loving my time in Guatemala so far. Right now I feel like I am just a tourist playing around town and going to Spanish school everyday. I am really looking forward to the school year starting in a couple of weeks and the start of me going up to the clinic/school 4 (usually) days a week. I can't wait to be with the kids everyday and hopefully be of help at the school. Janet wants me to have a couple of weeks of Spanish lessons before I start going up a lot, so I'll be more helpful once I'm there (you know it may be good to be able to talk to the kids/teachers/anyone). However, until that starts I guess I'll just have to settle for spending my days exploring this new town of mine.
And as if today wasn't perfect enough I got a Facetime (think skype for IPhones and IPods) from everyone I love and miss at The Refuge. I had been thinking all day about missing Fat Tuesday tonight and it made me cry (shocker) that they called to say they missed me being there also. If any of you read this know how much I love you.
Today was a beautiful day. I pray tomorrow will be just as amazing.