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Sunday, September 18, 2011

2 months

I have been in Guatemala for 2 months now.  Here are some of my thoughts, feelings, and observations thus far

The Good:
I love my job.  I love the people on my team and basically everyone that I have met has been awesome.  Everyone is super friendly and helpful.  I cannot say enough positive things about the school and the fabulous people that I have met. I am soooo glad that I came.

ES Administration is amazing as well.  Things are organized and most things make sense.  Tracy and Tete ask for and are open to suggestions from their staff.

My students and their parents, thus far, have been great.  

My new house is finally looking like a home.  I have it 95% of the way that I want it.  There are still a few items that need to be fixed and I have to go pick up some furniture this week that was ordered.

The weather is nice.  It has not been too terribly hot, nor to cold.  I honestly have not missed air conditioning.

There are several vacations spots within less than a 4 hour drive.  This makes weekend get always possible.

The natives are very forgiving when I botch their language and work with me to figure out what all my gesturing means.

Services are very inexpensive.  I can get a manicure and pedicure, with tip, for $13, & a 45 minute massage for about $20.  My maid comes 8 days a month for $100.  Hank can be picked up at home, given a bath, and dropped off back at home for $13. A car wash is about $4.

I have meet some people that I hope I will be friends with for many years to come.

I can stream any game that I want to watch for free on the internet so I am not missing any Braves or Falcon's games.

The not so good:
I miss my family and friends a lot.  Tough when you can't just pick up the phone or walk down the hall to say hi.

The traffic and the fact that traffic signs are more like a suggestion vs a law.

Shipping items from the USA to Guatemala is expensive, due mainly to the duty/custom fees.  I had a text book sent to me for my online class.  The book cost $53 and the duty fee was another $40.

Electronic devices are expensive.  A DVD player to play both US and Guatemala dvd's is about $60.  32" flat screens are about $500.

Some people are really negative about life in general.  It is hard to avoid such people when we are all in this CAG bubble together.

The rain sucks.  Not sure why but Florida daily showers are different than the storms here.

The complex where I moved into has a rule that dogs cannot be walked after 8pm.  This means that Hank is away at 5AM every day.

The rate at which I am learning and using Spanish.

My car will need hundreds of $$$$ in repairs.  

The Future:
We have 2 more 4 day weekends before the Christmas break.  It looks like one will be spent visiting the Mayan Ruins in Tikal.  The other looks like Honduras or El Salvador.  I may also take a few days before flying home to go get my scuba diving certification in Utila, Honduras.  But depends on the finances.

I am going to Jamaica for spring break to go to Emily and Tim's wedding.  I have the hotel booked and paid for.  Now, I'm just looking for a flight that doesn't connect through the US.  If I read the info right, there are about $200 in fees and taxes just to connect through Miami.

I am planning to take the GACE in December so that I can be certified to teach middle school math.

The Unknown:
Since there is a new president taking office in January, rumor has it that the new teachers may not get our work visas in a timely manner.  This can possibly make leaving and returning problematic.

I have no idea if I will stay longer than my 2 year contract.  I do know that I cannot ever imagine returning to the states to be a teacher.  I can see myself being an international teacher for many years to come.

Important lessons I've learned:
We work and socialize in the same circles.  Nothing you say or do will ever stay private.  Everyone knows everyone's business.

Collect money from everyone when its due.  Certain people never seem to pay you back.

Most people decide to become (and remain) international teachers for one of 2 reasons; 1. for travel/adventure/change or 2. to run away or escape.  Keep this in mind when getting to know people.

Eat dinner BEFORE going to the marine house happy hour.

Rum and coke is cheaper than beer.  Shots of tequila are 3xs more than a beer.

1 comment:

  1. I should have mentioned the crime in the "not so good" section. Robbery is big business here.