I will miss this country

24 February 2017

I will miss this country…

I will miss my host family. Who took in a foreigner and accepted me so graciously into their home. Demonstrating so much love in their hearts, caring for me and feeding me, and sharing their culture so willingly.

I will miss the food. The simplicity of rice, beans, eggs, and tortillas, seasoned to perfection, given to us daily, but yet still never seeming to get old.

I will miss the incredible scenery that surrounds the city. The mountains and the ambiguous crevices of the earth, and watching the volcanoes, spewing out steam if you’re lucky to catch it.

I will miss the greetings. Being able to walk into a house, hugging and kissing everyone without feeling discomfort, expressing how happy and excited I am to see them, even if I have never met them.

I won’t miss the crazy hustle and bustle of the city. Of pushing and shoving my way off the bus each day, to waking up to the constant beeping and honking of horns at 6:00 a.m.

I won’t miss the poverty I witness each day. Watching young kids selling things on the streets for a little extra cash, or beggars with lost limbs walking up to the windows of cars or sitting on street corners, and families working in the basurero.

I won’t miss the catcalling, the whistles and the constant stares. The uneasy feeling that arises in my stomach when I walk somewhere alone, always being alert and aware of my surroundings in any scenario.

I won’t miss seeing men with shotguns on the streets. Which make me feel even more unsafe but are apparently there to make people feel safer.

But through all these things, both good and bad, I have felt such a genuine love from these people I have learned so much, and yet there is still so much to learn. But my eyes have been opened wider, and Guatemala will always be a place close to my heart.

-Kayla Sauder