Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Escape from FSI

We did it! We escaped from FSI and made it to Guatemala!

While we had an excellent time at "Hogwarts", we didn't join the FOREIGN Service to stay in DC forever. The last seven months have been jammed with learning Spanish, gently introducing Hubby to this new world of government bureaucracy, living it up like long-term tourists in DC, and meeting some amazing friends who we hope to serve with again soon in a faraway land...

So here we are, after about 6 hours of airplane travel with a quick stopover in Miami, we landed in Guatemala City under a thick cover of clouds, a few rain drops, and some dramatic heat lightning overhead.

The air feels clean, moist but not muggy and amazingly nice. I won't say cool, and it's definitely not hot. The outside temps are just a little bit below human body temperature so you feel absolutely perfect with pants and a sweater. It's humid according to the numbers but I think the air is thin enough up at this higher elevation that it doesn't FEEL humid. They call it the "Land of Eternal Spring" and it is! I hear it's hot on the coast, but at 5,000 feet in the capital city it is heavenly. Weather right now: 70F degrees with 78% humidity and a chance on thunderstorms throughout the day. Aaaaaaaaand, that's pretty much the weather forecast every day. We've arrived in the rainy season, but in the next couple months it will get cooler and sunnier as we move into the dry season.

Our home for the next 1-2 months is a lovely little hotel in Zona 10, "Zona Viva" the Guatemaltecos call it, with a few other Foreign Service folks and some short-term tourists as guests too, we even met a few ladies from Eugene, OR. The incredibly friendly staff lays out a big buffet breakfast every morning from 6:30-9:30 during the week and 7-10 on the weekends. Always on the buffet: sweet fried plantains, re-fried beans, and crema (runny sour cream) --  this is a meal I could eat every day and probably never get tired of (of course I'll see how I feel after 2 years, but for now my dreams have come true!). Also in the spread are fruit, yogurt, cereal, bread, pancakes or waffles, eggs made to order, fresh thick corn tortillas, queso fresco (a mild acid cheese like a less-salty feta), a red and a green mild salsa, and some daily special like potato casserole, pupusas or tamales. Of course we also get juices, milk, real coffee, and an espresso machine that squirts out hot chocolate and coffee drinks at the push of a button.

Yaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy! I can't even begin to describe how happy we are to be here....

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