ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

the return

Coming back to the US after being in Guatemala is both wonderful and depressing. On the one hand, I get to see many of my friends and loves after time away, and I get all the luxuries of being in a more developed country. On the other hand, I've had to say goodbye to all my friends in Guatemala, and I stop getting to speak Spanish 2/3 of the time.

Life here in the US is just so soft in comparison to life in Guatemala. We get to flush our toilet paper, and magically heated water comes gushing out of any faucet in the house, without even going through a scary electric appliance that you dare not touch lest it zap you. We wash our produce to get rid of chemicals that'll kill us in a few decades rather than bugs that'll try to kill us in a few days.

But, on the other hand, life here in the US is also far more bland than in Guatemala. You can't go a mile without seeing a chain store or restaurant that will hand you a prepackaged experience that will be the same no matter where you are, and, if you're in the city, you can't even go half a mile, and you'll see several. There ARE major multi-national chains in Guatemala, but they're mostly hidden away in the mall. To buy produce, you go to the huge street market and choose to buy from whoever has the best looking items that day, or you form a relationship with a couple of vendors who will give you price breaks once you've been there a few times. You'll never get that in Star/Shaws.

I miss the variety, the smells, the challenges, the language. I miss the awesome (if crowded) buses. I'm loving the magical hot water, the sushi, seeing my friends.

I'm half-expecting a job offer at the Proyecto next winter. I have no idea what I'll do if I get it.

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