I have a little extra time in a coffee shop this morning. My volunteer placement doesn’t begin until the afternoon, but I still enjoy waking up early to take in the town. This morning after breakfast (banana crepes covered in chocolate and fresh watermelon – yum!) I headed down to the artisan market by the bus station. They have honestly every single thing you could possibly want. I had to fight myself not to spend all the Quetzales I had in my pocket on fresh fruit and handmade knick knacks, but I ended up buying a messenger bag to carry around my laptop and other necessities. The best part about the market is how easy it is to haggle the prices. I got the bag for 55Q (about $7.25 USD) instead of the original 115Q.
So now I have some downtime before I need to grab some food and head back to catch a “chicken bus” (as they are called in Guatemala – more on those some other time) to go to Dueñas for my placement. I figured I would use the time to write down some more thoughts running through my head.
I can honestly say I have never been happier than I am here right now. Yesterday, while I was sitting on the roof terrace at our homestay with two new volunteers looking out on the town, one girl said, “That’s what I love about traveling – it’s nearly impossible to wake up in a bad mood. Everything is new and different, and you aren’t around anyone long enough to be annoyed or upset. It’s wonderful.” She’s right. No matter how little sleep I get or how loud the streets are in the morning, it is so hard to be upset about anything here.
As I was walking down the street this morning, I was just taking in the beautiful view. There was a gigantic volcano with little white clouds floating at the very top in front of me. There were buildings of all shades of yellow, pink, orange, blue and green on each side of me, cobblestone streets under my feet and the warm Guatemalan sun shining on my face. There is so much life and joy here. I can’t help but smile and say ¡Hola, Buenos dias! to people on the street or in shops.
It’s only day three and I am already absolutely dreading leaving this place. The real world seems a lot less exciting. I saw a photo of Ann Arbor covered in snow this morning and my friend and I laughed about how we had forgotten that the real world existed. Leaving is going to be hard, and I’m going to miss this place a lot, but I am so excited for my next few days here.
I will also be posting my posts and other photos at my Tumblr page here: http://sydneystraveljournal.tumblr.com/