Plans Change

Based on my original plans, I should be somewhere around Peru right now.  I’m not.

In June, I started off my trip in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala.  In my five weeks in San Pedro:

  • I studied Spanish.  A lot.  30 hours per week of one-on-one lessons at Cooperativa Spanish School for my first two weeks, then 20 hours per week for the final three.
  • I lived with an awesome Guatemalan family.
  • I climbed a volcano, went ziplining, and fed bananas to monkeys.
  • Soccer:  I watched a lot, did a halftime interview on live radio, and got signed by a local team.
  • I went to the rodeo, ended up in the ring, and made friends with a lot of cowboys.

San Pedro and el Lago de Atitlán

After leaving San Pedro, I made a quick stop at the Mayan ruins in Copán, Honduras, then headed to Utila to do a scuba course.  Diving gives you a lot of time to be alone with your thoughts.  On my last couple dives, the thought going through my head was,”This is pretty cool, but I really wish I were back in San Pedro right now.”

Shortly after arriving in Spain, I decided to skip South America and Easter Island, and instead return to San Pedro.  After a few more stops, I made it back to San Pedro about six weeks ago.

My youngest students at Escuela Bella Vista

Since I’ve been back, I’ve been teaching English at a local school.  I’ve also been doing a
language exchange with Antonio, the current director of Cooperativa.  I go to the school a few afternoons per week, and we do about an hour of studying English (mostly working on grammar exercises) and an hour of Spanish (mostly talking about what life is like here).

Antonio recently asked me why I decided to come back to San Pedro.  I started talking about San Pedro is a beautiful, peaceful place.  About how friendly the local people are.  But I think it’s actually a bit simpler.  I’ve traveled to some places (Egypt being the #1 example) where I didn’t really like the way I had to act. I really like the person I am in San Pedro.

I have slightly more than five weeks left in San Pedro.  Summer vacation starts next week, so I’m not going to be teaching in the school anymore.  I do have a few other plans:

  • I’m going to continue teaching English to about 12 of my older students, in small groups.  I’m also planning to write my own materials.
  • I’m going to start learning Tz’utujil.  Carolina, who is the director and a teacher at Escuela Bella Vista, has offered to give me lessons.
  • I’m also still coaching (remotely but actively) the men’s Ultimate Frisbee team at the University of Puget Sound.
So now it’s back to June 9 and my getting on a plane for Guatemala City.  Lots of photos and videos to come over the next couple weeks.

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