Wow. We´ve had two (?) very full weeks! Since visiting the basurero, we´ve really bonded as a group, discussed big issues like poverty and being called to serve, and finally made it out of the city for a long weekend, all of which were amazing. Our weekend out was at Chichicastenango. It´s about 4 hours outside the city (my excitement grew with every rotation of the bus tires!) and is about 7000-ish feet above sea level. The mountains here are gorgeous!
Saturday morning we met an alum of this cross'cultural who is currently serving in Guatemala with S.A.L.T. She spent Saturday and Sunday with us and immediately fit in with the group. We loved having her! Saturday evening, she took about 30 minutes to talk to us about the impact her cross'cultural had on her life and her later decision to return to Guatemala to serve. She could´ve been talking about me. One train of thought that this conversation evoked in me involves the concept of home. Erin (the alum) said that she knew she´d return to Latin America almost immediately because, despite being so far outside her comfort zone every moment of every day, something about being here gave her an almost inexplicable peace. That resonates with me because that´s exactly how I´ve been feeling. Leaving the city and experiencing, in my opinion, the true Guatemala only made this feeling stronger. This place and these people have stolen my heart, and even though I´m uncomfortable every day, I have peace, too. I´ve finally acknowledged that, even after these three months, Latin America won´t be done with me. Yes, there are days when I hate how fast the people drive and how slow they walk and how men cat-call us a million times a day blah blah blah, but, the heart of the matter is that I love it, and, though I don´t know what this´ll look like right now, I know that I won´t be able to not come back.
I´ve also been thinking about the concept of worship. Our group has a worship time every Wednesday afternoon, and last Wednesday some members of our group had some...issues that we had to discuss. In a nutshell, we had to talk about how we, as women, should react when men here do and say inappropriate things. Anyway, it was a pretty heavy topic, and we were all feeling angry and scared and really upset. But then, after the conversation ended, we went into our worship time, and the change that came over each one of us was incredible. Where just a few minutes beforehand we´d been upset and talking about these scary things, we were all of a sudden smiling and laughing and singing and worshiping! Anyway, I thought that was profound...the heart of worship, not the words I just wrote, mind you.