hey lovely friends and family!
thanks for the birthday wishes all!! i miss you all a whole lot and i apologize for it being a while since i've posted! it's been preeettty busy round here! last weekend i went to a wedding on saturday for my friend robyn's sister! it was the first time that i heard wedding music for real! so that was really cool! then the next day i went to the baptism with my whole san mateo family! seriously left the house at 800 in the morning with over 20 people, piled in the back of the bus a juntos. it was a graand day! we waited outside of this beauuutiful catholic church right in front of the park in antigua for about an hour before the baptism. my brothers, sisters, cousins and i walked around the park, took pictures, ate icecream, watched the people walking around. it was very relaxing and nice for so many people to be together for such a special occasion. i took pictures of bryan with the water and everything, so i'm totally gonna make a photo album for them soon before i leave.
so i found out where i'm living for the next two years on my birthday!!!! my birthday was absolutely marvellous. i woke up really early and my homestay mom gave me a hug and wished me a feliz cumpleanos!!! then i went upstairs and my homestay brother presented me with a beautiful red rose that smelled sooo wonderful! i helped him with his homework for about an hour. then my homestay sister presented me with a beautiful card that wished me health, happiness and long life! and then i ate pancakes with honey.. mmm!! and coffee!! and then my little cousin helen gave me a little paper box with feliz cumpleanos and she decorated it! it was so cute!! and then i went downstairs to get changed and my other homestay sister norah, the one with the litttle cutie baby boy, bryan, gave me a beautiful bracelet made out of volcanic stone that has pictures of jesus and mary on it! oh! and my friend tiara gave me a sweet friendship bracelet of pink, red, yellow and orange, the colors of passion and fire!! i love all my gifts, it was just such a special day from beginning to end in all possible ways!!! it was marvelous, i am so grateful for my friends here, and my family who truly showed me how much they care about me on that day. it was wonderful, i was almost in tears when i kept recieving such cute gifts and the thought behind them is so pure and sweet!
then we went to san miguel and we found out our sites!!! i'm going to santa cruz el chol in baja vera paz!! at first, i don't think i said a word for about an hour because i was just so surprised and taken aback!! but then i talked to my boss about it more and how beautiful it is and how much the volunteer there loves it and how great my counterpart is (the person who i'm working with on the projects, whose gonna help me get to know the community and all), and all that jazz! so then i got suuuuuuper excited! i'm gonna be near a couple of other volunteers, and i'm about 2 hours away from the jungle where there's monkeys and beautiful flowers and its really greeen! there's lots of places to go hiking, swimming, caving and all that outdoors stuff! my site has a central park, cobblestone streets, and apparently a beautiful old church!! so it sounds phenomenal! i'm going to visit it tomorrow, ahhh!!!
then we all piled in the van to go to antigua! we all went to burger king!! yaaay!! and i got a birthday crown, yaaay!! and free icecream!!! yaaaay!! and then we went to the restaurant and hung out a bit, i showed all my pictures of all you guys!! and then we went to another restaurant and hung out and talked a whole bunch, which was splendid!! we ate some pizza and then i read a spoken word poem that i had been writing for a few weeks, which was really meaningful and special to me, especially on my birthday. i had never read aloud anything that i've written at all, nor have i ever really completed anything to read before. i recited it again, along with my friend sidney on the drums, at the 4th of july party! i will type it up for you all to read, it all rhymes and has rhythm. it was really liberating to write and definitely more to actually say.
today we went with our counterparts, mine is really nice and seems extremely dedicated to the program, which is awesome! tomorrow me, rebecca and ryan are piling in a car to our sites to stay there for four nights. wooohooo! ah! i can't believe tomorrow i am actually going to see where i'm living for the next 2 years, this is so crazy to me! sometimes it just hits me how incredible and unique this whole experience is. sometimes its overwhelming, a little sad and confusing, and sometimes its like i'm on an awesome spinning ride at a carnival, i would say rollercoaster, but i was never a fan, i like the spinny rides instead. and then you get off the spinny ride and the world is topsy turvy, your feet trying to find their grounding, your head trying to make sense of the surroundings, your eyes not really believing their sights or how to make sense of what they see, which is so much a different sight than before the ride, before the spins, before the adventure. and since i've gotten off the plane, the ride has begun. and now as i'm moving into my new sites, in a new home with a new family and community and job.. the ride is increasing in acceleration, in speed, spinning more and more. i will let you know along the way how it is all going! ahhhh! quite a riiiide!
thanks for listening, thanks for your thoughts, thanks for your love, thanks for your support, thanks for being a part of my life here. i hope you all are having a wonderful week and day! and i hope your 4th of july was fuuuun!! i'll be gone until next saturday, about 4 hours away in my new home, SANTA CRUZ EL CHOL!!! yaaaaaaaay!!! i'll let you all know how it goes!!! adios!!!! : ) i love you alllllllllllllllllll!!!! me amo todos!!!!!!!!!!!! : )