So these past few weeks I've felt this guilt on my shoulders about not writing here to let you all know how life is going. Sigh. I feel like I'm always so busy and am beginning to think that it's me, overcommitting as usual. But life is good and I'm happy. I have various projects at work, the main ones being our marketing plan (we've already joined facebook and are about to upload to youtube...I'll post it here soon) and putting together business plan workshops for other community tourism projects. I'm also teaching English and environmental ed in the elementary school each week which has been an interesting challenge. It can definitely be fun and now I have little friends to talk with every time I walk down the street :)
As far as life stuff goes, I had my 25th birthday the end of May (I can't believe I'm already a quarter of a century...) My family here threw me a birthday dinner, complete with magic candles thanks to Molly and a dance. My co-workers at the park also surprised me with a birthday lunch; I felt quite loved :) June flew by, and at the end I had my first visitor from the States. My old college friend Tiff and I did a 5 day whirlwind tour of Antigua, Solola, Panajachel, San Marcos La Laguna, Santa Clara, the ruins at Ixmche and of course El Novillero. And then there was the 4th of July, which means a huge party for volunteers. I have to admit I really enjoyed our barbecue of hamburgers, hot dogs and potato salad. And then the next week my family and I took a road trip to visit my volunteer friend Molly in Toto for her birthday...it was super fun and well worth packing the six of us in their small car!
And on the occasional day off I've gone hiking with Chloee our French volunteer, kayaking on the lake, more birthday parties, cooking with friends, movies with my little brothers, exploring small town fairs and so on.
Last week I went back to the Peace Corps headquarters for a two day Reconnect conference. It was pretty interesting to hear from my fellow volunteers about their experiences (aka crazy stories) and discuss how we are all handling the seemingly endless cultural differences. Every time I travel or spend outside of the US, I seem to learn more about where I come from and what makes up how I see the world; you come to understand that we all have very different "eyes". But oh how I love it!