Greetings! I know it's been a few weeks. Forgive me, I've been transitioning.. though unfortunately I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean anymore. I'm posting a few links to photo albums I've put up on facebook. Please let me know if there is any trouble accessing them.
--- And back to your regularily scheduled blog ----
I swear the toilet paper thing still gets me. Each time I change location, whether restaurant, apartment or my since graduated high school, I find myself looking for a trash can with which to despose of my used toilet paper.
... and then I catch myself and remember I'm not in Guate anymore. It's my daily reminder, that small thorn that digs into my skin.
Or there's the latin individual that I cross paths with in grocery stores, shoe stores, and on the sidewalks of Minneapolis. As I nearly crash into them turning my body around a corner, my first reaction to their dark feature is to say "perdon," or "permisso" (excuse me), but I catch myself again and realize I have no idea whether spanish is a language that they know nor whether they are actually of recent latin decent. Thus I avoid offense and say nothing, regardless of the chance that I might have offered warmth in a gesture.
I feel trivial in explaining myself to my peers, especially when questions like, "How much fun did you have your your... trip?" "What was the best part?" or "What is the biggest difference between Guatemala and the United States?" are my icebreakers to conversation. But I can't blame them for not having a context with which to relate.
I'm going back to it all: work, school etc., and sometimes it feels okay. But then there are moments where I feel as if I'll never be able to connect and function between my two worlds as they are so far estranged and so far have estranged me as a kind of no-mad to the human race. Everything is usually fuzzy, and lately I don't realloy know what I'm doing other than turning circles. And of course these circles will continue because as of yet, I haven't come up with what it is I have to do to feel normal again. Though, normal in the context of my life in the United States before these last five months is something of which I have no interest. Rather, I'm searching for a normal I'd found these last months among the real and devestating and joyful.
I can't begin to explain or say how much I miss the country of Guatemala. It frequently floods back to me and I can't often help but feel a little lost here. I can listen to Maná and I'm suddenly back in the recovery room in Uspantan with Juan or on the road up from Antigua with Alexa's mom in her blue Odessy minivan. Or I'm on the roof in Tejutla, my feet a dangle as my vendor friends discover me and from below and wave their love and greeting.
I recieved photos from a climb up Pacaya (an active Volcano in Guate) and it only took seconds to feel soaking wet and freezing all over again as we climbed it in the pouring rain. I can feel the knives my resulting cold laced into my throat. But we flew down that mountain's side, regardless of the mere plastic my camera was housed in and the slippery terrain. I kept trust in my own feet to keep me from the grounded rock and taunting mud. Yelling, "Caballo!" I screamed my falling fears into the misty distance before me and see my comrades ahead. They have already danced upon the mud slickened streams and I smile. Yet my description is faulty for its failure to convey a reality of pelting of rain on my face and its ability to keep my hair sticking to my neck and eyes.
Though my dampness followed me back to the town of Antigua and musty smells filled the old school bus's windows and blanketed air, I rested. And though I'd melted and ruined my shoes and knives laced my throat for weeks thereafter, I'd seen lava. And I will never live this as a repeated refrain.