I already told you about my plans for the end of the year when I went on gofundme to raise five hundred dollars to take my kids to the beach. This is called a despedida or farewell event. What I might not have mentioned is how widespread and appreciated this practice is.
Of all the volunteers here in NPH only one is leaving this month. For her despedida she arranged transport into the city for everyone and took us to the biggest mall in Guate (I think!) called Miraflores. We walked around the shops and looked at the displays. Another volunteer donated a piano to the church this month so I thought it might be nice to find some music books. I went to a book store and then a musical instrument store and between the two of them they had two piano books. Strange, huh? Neither one was a good value so I guess I'll have to keep looking.
Now that our solo despedida has occurred it is shocking to realize I have been here for SIX months! I'm another year older, can falter around speaking Spanish and I've built relationships with my kids which will provide me with a lifetime of memories. Everyone from last years volunteer group said that after six months the time will fly. Scary and exciting!
I passed my thirty-sixth birthday last week (that's not us celebrating above, it's a local parade of quinceaneras we passed). If I'm being honest I'll admit I feel really old! But not in a depressed, sad kind of way. More like, "How did that happen??" I'm definitely not where I saw myself being at this age but I've also seen and done so many things that I never expected...so I guess it all evens out in the long run.