Friday, May 29, 2015

Parting Thoughts

John and I were recently asked to sum up our thoughts on the last 2 years in Guatemala. Here's what we published in the Embassy Newsletter. We are still in denial that it is time to leave already...

Top 5 Countdown:

What surprised you the most about Guatemala?

1. How real and truly alive the indigenous culture is

2. Seeing palms and pines growing right next to each other

3. Internet service here is better than it was in Oregon

4. How few political parties there are (13+ and counting...)

5. Oh, so Guatemala is in CENTRAL America....

What was your favorite place to visit in Guatemala?

1. Volcán Tajamulco

2. Laguna Magdalena

3. San Juan la Laguna

4. Pasos y Pedales on Avenida La Reforma on a Sunday

5. Copán, Honduras (Yes, we know it is not really in Guatemala, but it might as well be.  Almost as good as Tikal but less crowded, way easier to get to, nice little town with amazing hot springs and a bird park)

Honorable mentions: Lake Aititlan, Tikal, Volcán Pacaya, Todos Santos, Volcán Ipala, Finca El Paraiso, Casa del los Gigantes, Earth Lodge, Pastores aka BootTown, Finca Tatín, Casa del Mundo, L'Osteria on a Friday, La Pista anytime

What will you miss the most about Guatemala?

1. Guatemalans

2. Ceiba trees

3. Being taller than everyone else in a crowd

4. 5Q Lustre + Q5 Mangos = Q10 Man Spa

5. Saying Sacatepequez

Honorable mentions: 1/2 Day Fridays, Easy weekend getaways to Anywheretenango, Speaking Spanish, Cheap avocados, Mango season, Chapín hand in traffic, Using "fíjese que" appropriately and unironically in a sentence, Cocos Fríos, Blackout Tint, Chicharrón con Pelos, Saying "damn, it's a nice day" everyday, Desayuno Típico, Buying produce at the stoplights

What advice do you have for newcomers?

1. Don't wait 6 months, file your travel locators and start traveling NOW!

2. Learn Spanish NOW!

3. Run the IVA card when you can, and don't sweat it when you get the "fíjese que"

4. Get to know a good tailor and visit them often

5. Do your Radio Check

Honorable mentions: Don't skip the 3 big parties (Marine Ball, British Ball, Sabores del Mundo)