Below is a blog post from Kristi, one of our amazing volunteers who spent her past year at NPH Guatemala. Read more about how she fell in love...
If someone asked me to sum up this entire year, I would describe it as falling in love. In the country where trash is tossed to the ground without a second thought, where stray dogs are as common as tortilla shops, and where "cat calls" aren't intended for felines, I fell in love. You see, those aren't the bits and pieces of my year I'll remember. It is oh so much more.
I fell in love with the lifestyle.. the "Buenas tardes!" I received from complete strangers on my walk to Parramos, the hours upon hours spent around the dinner table, the guarantee that a bar always turns into a dance club at night. I fell in love with the mentality.. the idea of family being the most important, the easygoing approach of doing things mañana. I fell in love with mi Guate.. the sound of rain hitting the tin roof as I fell asleep, waking up to the sight of humbling volcanoes, the luscious greenery that is present year-round. But, most of all, I fell in love with the people.
I fell in love with my Tercero Básico English class.. the way Domingo left class saying "See you never!" with the biggest smile on his face, the way Iris and I came to have a close outside-of-class relationship, the way all my externos loved shouting "Teacher!" from afar.
I fell in love with my fellow librarians.. the way Stephanie would go crazy for Taylor Swift songs, the way Flori and I would laugh over silly jokes before lunch, the way Glenda would walk into the library and kid, "Matame Kristina, matame." during a busy Tuesday morning.
I fell in love with the año girls.. the way Suyapa always greeted me with an enthusiastic "Hey girl! How you doin' girl? What's up girl?", the way Yeimy teased me with Patito, the way Astrid and I pretended to be upper class French women, the way they turned into my younger sisters.
I fell in love with my boys.. the way sweet little Kevin brought me a chair while watching a movie, the way Jhustin pretended to be a mosca simply to annoy me at dinner, the way Jayron hugged me until he couldn't any longer.
I fell in love with the volunteers who became my best friends.. the way Mark cleverly inserted puns into everyday conversation, the way Sam could get you to dance (anywhere!) with her, the way Erika could bring a smile to your face even after the toughest of days, the way Nathan had you laughing until your stomach hurt while boogying to "Rack City."
So Guatemala, our year together has come to an end. Thank you. Thank you for providing me the setting in which to meet such beautiful individuals. Thank you for the opportunity to grow and to come to know myself in so many different ways. Thank you for the laughs, smiles, and even tears. Thank you for all the memories I will carry in my heart para siempre. Although we say goodbye to one another for now, don't think I will be forgetting about you anytime soon.