Guatemala

Counting down the hours

Dear Mom and Dad,

The calendar above my desk in the office says that the countdown ends today. Today you will arrive in my precious Guatemala. I keep staring at it but I still cannot believe that in a few hours you will smell the same air as I do everyday. I cannot believe that after more than two years of telling stories and showing pictures you will get to see everything with your own eyes today. This might sound really dramatic, but it is such a big deal to me. I will never feel alone anymore when I talk about my second home on the other side of the world and you will might even understand why I see my future here. You will finally meet the people that I admire and love so much here. You will see the places I’ve always talked about and hear the language that I struggle with so much. You will finally see the need here in Guatemala and maybe understand why I feel like God sent me here.

I imagine you woke up this morning feeling nervous, excited and maybe even scared. Maybe you didn’t sleep at all or maybe the alarm clock went off way too soon. You got up, ate a quick breakfast and made a good cup of coffee. Mom, you were probably running around the house, checking everything, and dad, you were probably just eating breakfast at the table. I think you woke up Ron and he would walk downstairs, with sleepy eyes and his curly hair all messed up, with his slippers on his feet. At seven you probably said goodbye to my little brother, picked up your suitcases and drove to the train station where you, mom, would wait for dad to come back. You probably said a little prayer in your head too, because travelling to Guatemala is a long trip and there are a lot of things that can go wrong. I imagine you were wondering on the train what the group would be like and how Guatemala would look like and if you would still recognize me at the airport. And then after an hour you’d arrive at Schiphol and meet the whole group and dad would probably think what am I doing? And mom would probably chat with everyone about their daughter who lives in Guatemala and works for AMG and feel proud to be able to say that. And then you would go through customs and feel the heart rate get a little higher because you don’t like flying. Mom, you would probably have a worried look in your eyes and I just know for sure that dad laughed at you because he’s not scared of anything, except for travelling with a group, but he won’t tell you that. And then the plane left and you could see the trees and buildings and highways get smaller and smaller, until you were up in the clouds trying to relax. I know you both hate movies, so I have no idea what you did during the flight but I wonder you both slept through most of it. And as I am writing this, you just landed at the airport in Houston and I know you guys are both getting more and more nervous because you have no idea what you will see on the other side of Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s a lot prettier than you think.

And now I am the one that is counting down the hours, the minutes, the seconds, until I can jump in the big, yellow schoolbus with Sam and Phil and drive to the airport. And there I probably have to wait for way too long, because when Guatemala says you’ll arrive at 10:50 you won’t be out until midnight. And that’s okay because after 68 days I can finally welcome you into Guatemala, my home.

I’ll be waiting.

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