One year ago today, I got up at 5 in Sumpango, stuffed my cat in a tote bag, and stood in the back of a packed bus for over three hours with my training host parents as they accompanied me over the crazily curving roads to my site in Sololá. I had just recovered from a violent food-borne illness, and was both eager and anxious to start the chapter of Peace Corps Volunteer as I left behind my status as a Peace Corps Trainee.
Since then I have lived in four different housing situations with two additional host families in two departments and have spent over 150 hours studying two different Mayan languages. I have worked in a school, a health post, in homes, kitchens, gardens, and a cooperative. I have been in turns lonely, bored, eager, cynical, frightened, euphoric, determined, content, pessimistic, apathetic, inspired, and a host of other states of being. I have improved my tortilla-making skills, my cockroach killing techniques, and my ability to endure being the center of attention. I have made new friends in my Guatemalan communities, have strengthened Volunteer friendships, and been incredibly supported by friends and family from home through calls, cards, and even some visitors.