(Admittedly, not one of my better titles.)
Here I sit on New Year's Eve posting an update from the frigid north of my parents' house. Due to a various number of factors, it was decided to spend the holidays in the States this year. I head back to Guatemala on January 11th.
Today marks the completion of my first calendar year in Guatemala, and in just a few days, we'll mark the one-year anniversary of my work in the department (their version of "state") of Sacatepequez. I have learned a lot in the past year: how to navigate Antigua, how to speak Spanish fluently, how to ride the bus all by myself (to Antigua, Ciudad Vieja, Santiago Zamora, and San Antonio), the cost of bread, how to make friends, how to drive a motorcycle, how to run my own home, and how to teach English (I think). There's still a lot I have left to learn including cooking Guatemalan cuisine, telling off men, finding a good housemate, taking care of a chicken, and raising more support in the States as--since the debacle with the hogar--I have relied almost completely on my grandfather's church, small as they are.
Not every battle is an uphill one. There are some things I take to more easily than others. I believe that learning to cook Guatemalan food and raising my chicken will be the easier of my list of five things. But I struggle with asking people for money, getting along with people who don't have the same logic-directed mentality that I do, and hurting feelings. So, my prayer wishlist for myself for the next year contains all these things. Thanks for your continued love and support. Happy New Year (and a belated Merry Christmas)!