Image: A lone fisherman who showed up everyday in his boat on the edge of Lake Atitlan.

once dia (lunes, el seis de febrero)

I slept through all the alarms and missed my last chance to mention roosters because I woke up at 6:34 am and the only pressing commitment was a 7:30 am breakfast with Alejandra. My mornings in Guatemala would be in more modern hotel settings for the next 12 days.

I missed making my chai, and my yoga before breakfast. Laurel and I had enough time to pack up after breakfast and poke our heads in at the Spanish school during the morning break. Laurel wanted to give some notebooks to Penny to pass on to her host family while I wanted to get Marielle’s contact information and to give the rest of my Rishi Turmeric Ginger tea to my teacher and lighten my baggage in the process. I notice Laurel is a bit emotional when we step out of the school. It has been a heart warming experience for both of us.

I was whimpering the previous night about not wanting to leave San Pedro and to go on a tour of all things. Laurel admonished me with me, “Give the tour a chance.” So I chose to sulk the last few hours at Shanti Shanti to upload my last blog from the quaint little town by the lake savouring probably my last chai latte in Guatemala! I resist change especially I am enjoying the present and unsure of what the future holds! Another lesson I am working on – Surrender to what life holds for me!

I was recollecting how challenging it has been with learning a new language and trying to do just the basics like order meals, ask about bus timings or shop. My thoughts wander to the temporary foreign workers, refugees and new immigrants who come into Canada without a good grasp of English and have to not only do the basics but also navigate the various systems – schools, work, SIN, health card, health care, drivers license and lots more. Although it wasn’t easy for me in Guatemala, at least it was my choice. Many of these new Canadian residents are fleeing difficult social or political conditions in their native countries in hope of creating better futures for themselves and their families.

We have lunch with Alejandra and Pedro and two new Australian students in their late 60s. They have our teachers and are smartly signed up for two weeks of Spanish lessons. I get contact information from my host keen to come back sooner than later. We pay 10 quetzales for the best (and shortest) tuk tuk ride to move our bags to the oficina del agencia viajir (travel agent’s office) and wait to get on to the shuttle to get to Guatemala City. It was a bus ride through winding roads, but we covered the challenging terrain during daytime and spent almost an hour to get from the outskirts of the city to our hotel. Our ride was five hours and much shorter compared to the 9 more hours that at least 5 people in our shuttle were going to suffer to get to Las Flores. We were taking an early morning one hour flight to cover the same distance and were so relieved. The luxury and coldness (or rather lack of warmth) of a city hotel was a stark contrast to my previous 10 days. I used poco espanol to order food and I was in bed before 9 pm as we had to take a shuttle to the airport by 5 am.