Wednesday, after signing off here, I grabbed a bus over to the Copavic glass blowing cooperative and bought a birthday gift for Claudia, my host-sis, who turned 25 that day, and a couple of glasses that I hope made it intact through my travels. Then I spent some time at the school saying goodbye to people, then home to finish packing.
Around 1, people started showing up for the birthday fun, which was a small, mostly family get-together, plus me and a couple of Claudia's other friends. The food was delicious, and Tuesday, Edna (hostmom) and Claudia had gone to la democracia (big market in zona 3) to buy food for the party, including approximately 80 pounds of oranges for fresh-squeezed OJ, to be mixed with vodka. Yum. I'm not usually a big drinker, but it was an occassion (birthday and going-away) so I got a little tipsy, and in general, really enjoyed myself.
My bus left Xela at 4:15, so around 3, I said my last goodbyes at the school, then at the hostfamily, some of which were tearful. Saying goodbye is always hard, but I so love getting to know new people and friends... it's totally worth it. Edna drove me to the bus station, saving me from dealing with a taxi, and I was off to Guate.
I've never done a bus ride at that time of day -- it was lovely. Due to the recent rains, the hills were blooming green, and there was a light mist all over. With the late afternoon sun slanting through the fog and trees, it looked like a dreamscape.
We arrived in Guate after dark, around 8:30, which is generally not recommended, but Patricia's son was there to pick me up, and deliver me directly to the b&b, where I showered, and was in bed by 9:30. I was tired, after a full day and not much sleep the night before, but since I was also due to travel (and early) the next day, I didn't have the best night sleep ever. But it was great just to be laying down!
Up early Thursday (yesterday!) for breakfast and off to the airport. The flights were pretty much uneventful, although the Atlanta-Boston leg was annoyingly delayed, and customs was annoying on its own. And now I'm back in the Bostonish area.
It's nice to be here, and to see people, but I feel the inevitable alienation from self/experience that comes with air travel (for me). I think I'll be aiming for a very low-key weekend to let myself adjust/recover.