My Travels Begin…

So, I have been in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala for 4 days now. I arrived on Sunday. Between then and now, there are many stories, and I’m afraid that many of them have already slipped through the cracks…but before it’s too late, I really want to kick-start this blog with a review of my travels so far:

Saturday, July 2…I am rushing around Briana and I´s apartment, cleaning, packing, emailing and calling people to say goodbye…and then at 5:50pm, I’m in the air heading toward Houston, TX

I arrive in Houston at midnight, at the George Bush airport (can you believe that? Not even dead yet, and the dude’s got an airport…and it’s a huge one at that!), and my flight to Guatemala City doesn’t leave until 9am the next morning…so I decide to sleep in the airport…but first, this young security guard starts chattin’ me up, for like an hour…we talk about working in schools, about Texas, about rollercoasters…she asks me whether school districts do drug tests because she wants a job in a school but she smokes a wee bit of pot…she was super friendly, and the time just flew by…but it was bedtime, so I got a tip from another security guard that the chapel was a great place to sleep…so I stretched out in the chapel, set up a little camp of books, my jackets, and my alarm clock, and I went to sleep…along with two other people in the chapel (I felt like we had a special bond with each other…a special chapel kind of bond). In the morning, I was awoken by a flight attendant praying right next to my dirty feet!

Breakfast in the airport: the greasiest muffins the world has ever seen (seriously, how can a muffin be greasy anyway???), courtesy of Starbucks (it was either that or Texas barbecue for breakfast)…I shaved in the bathroom, put my money belt on, got my passport checked…and I was off to Guatemala.

Hours of flying over a beautiful sea, and then over beautiful green land, trees and small little plots of farmland, and small little villages connected by sparse dirt roads…and then over Guatemala City itself…which was just endless buildings with rusty tin roofs…and then, on the hills, these massive homogenous gated communities and another massive hotel complex thing…

On the runaway, taxiing in, I spotted a Burger King and a Wendy´s sign in the distance…and that’s when the I started really feeling weird…feeling like I was entering a different world in many ways…funny how it was the familiar corporate stuff that made me feel that way…but the context is so different…and it’s so strange when the corporate chains are by far the nicest buildings around…there’s something inherently wrong with that….

And that is all for now…we’re going to make this a little series, okay? In our next installment, we will witness Jeremy as he botches his first interaction in Español, we will read about a beautiful and interesting bus ride, and we will discover the dogs of Quetzaltenango (Xela)…stay tuned!!!

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi