Feliz cumpleaños a mi, me voy a belize

Tomorrow is October. What? I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. There are a lot of days and weeks here that I just can’t wait to end and seem like they are taking forever, but in general, time is flying. It’s almost pumpkin carving time in the States! Que rico! It’s hard to remember what seasons are like here. Everything pretty much stays the seem. Eat some pumpkin pie and go visit the apple farms for me!

It’s hard to write on my blog now because a lot of people from Antigua read it too and I don’t want to talk about particular things and expose anybody for anything nor insult anyone, but I can say that I am so glad I am taking this trip. I can’t begin to explain how many times people here have hurt my feelings or surprised me in the wrong kind of way. I don’t mean to sound negative; I’ve had some amazing experiences and met some great people here as well, but this is just what is currently on my mind. But I am still glad I am on this trip because the negative experiences I’ve had here are making me appreciate so many things that I have at home. And part of my reason to come was to find myself and build myself into a more positive person. A lot of the things that have happened here have made that a huge challenge, but I now feel like it should be easier to be more positive when I come back to the States because to have to be positive in a place like this is a hell of a lot harder than it will be at home where I am blessed with abundant blessings.

For example, I’ve always slightly despised our country for different reasons, but I am learning to be so appreciative here because I am really more blessed than I can imagine in my life at home.

There are so many things I have taken for granted in my lifetime that I have learned aren’t available in all parts of the world. I’ve seen how hard it is to just make a living here in Antigua, and although there are parts of the US where it is hard, I don’t think it is like anything here.

I’ve also always taken for granted my friends. Okay, I haven’t taken them for granted really because I’ve always been so grateful to have such beautiful people in my life but I’ve taken for granted the fact that I have such great friends. I didn’t realize how hard it is in some parts of the world to really have truly amazing friends. Growing up with such people has always made me love everybody in the world because I believe everyone is inherently good and that I should trust everyone and if I’m a friend to them, they’ll be a friend to me. Well, I’ve quickly learned that not everyone shares the same mindset as me. I still believe it’s better to love people and be a friend, even though they might not return the favor, but I have come to realize that there are quite a lot of people in the world that don’t understand the real meaning of friendship or love. Cheating on people here is rampant. Lying is rampant. Drama is rampant. I can’t get over how many stories I’ve heard or people I’ve know that have been cheated on or cheated on someone. It breaks my heart. And how many people don’t HONESTLY care for the feelings or opinions of others. And how many people lie. Or hate instead of forgive and love.

I’m not meaning to insult Antigua in any way; I am just analyzing what I’ve witnessed and am experiencing a huge culture shock. There’s so many things I would do for my friends in a heart beat and so many things I KNOW (not think) my friends in the states would do for me in a heart beat that is such a big pain for some people you would ask here. It makes me sad because I’m not even given an opportunity to be a good friend to someone because there’s such a lack of trust here. I can see why there’s such a lack of trust now that I’ve been here 3 months, but it breaks my heart to see such insincerity and insecurity.

On a good note, there are good people everywhere you go as well. My dear friend and Doctor, Mario, has been trying to demonstrate this to me as he has read some of my blog posts where I have mentioned some not-so-nice people. Monday, I had to go see him again because my headache and fever came back all kinds of fierce Sunday night.

I shouldn’t have gone back to A Lo Chapin that afternoon because I was tired, but I figured I’d go back and just sleep early that night. But I went home around dinner time to see if there was any food because I hadn’t heard from Isolina if she had returned home yet or not. But I was so tired and my head was hurting badly again so I decided to lay down when I got there. Then I couldn’t get back up. I ached and was cold again so I took my temperature again and my fever had come back. So I told Mario and he told me take some pills and come visit him the next day.

So that’s what I did. He ended up giving me an injection to boost my immune system and guess where injections go here? In your bum! So yay for first experiences getting a shot in the butt instead of in the arm. hahaha. Either way, he again didn’t make me pay for my appointment and I am incredibly grateful for how nice he is, especially when he lives in a place where in three months I’ve already grown tired of the lies and don’t really have much ganas de help anybody anymore. Good for him that he maintains a positive outlook and still loves to help people. What a blessing it’s been to have someone take care of me when I’m sick. That’s when I need it most.

For the beginning of the week, I followed my usual routine. My headache went away and hasn’t come back all week. I actually had a lot of energy Monday and wanted to stay out, but Mondays are quiet in Antigua so I had to go home early and watch a movie (in Spanish, of course).

Tuesday, I went to the market with Isolina and finally got some heels for my Salsa classes. I also bought a duffle bag for my upcoming trip to Belize and I feel that I should mention I paid $30 for the two of them and they look like they’d cost about $70-$80 in the states. Just sayin.

Wednesday, I happened to run into José on the street. We had been missing each other’s texts off on and since Sunday or Saturday night trying to hang out so I decided to hang out with him in Rainbow for a bit. I later went to A Lo Chapin and came back with Kevin because José wanted to hang out longer. I found out his girlfriend is not coming now until December, which is nice that I won’t have to see them together, but in all honesty, I’m quite over everything that’s happened here as I had to witness him kissing another girl that is not me NOR his girlfriend that night. Either way, Kevin proved to be a good friend to me when that happened, so that’s good to know at least.

Thursday was a pretty normal day, except I went to the Market with Isolina to start buying food for my birthday. I had decided that I wanted to cook for all my friends for my birthday because Lord knows I love nothing more than having all my friends in one place with me. So that’s what I began.

Friday was quite a frustrating day for me. I did more cooking (the guys at A Lo Chapin let me use their restaurant for my party and so I was cooking there) and I kept forgetting to bring an ingredient or I had bought the wrong thing and I had to leave twice that morning and come back, I believe. And two more times that night. I was stressed out with all the things that I needed to cook before the party and for no good reason because I finished it all in good time and no one really ended up coming on Saturday either.

I also was frustrated that night because a lot of drama happened and I wasn’t being treated very nicely by some of my friends. I finished cooking late and was hungry and the restaurant had run out of food and not a single person would walk me (since we’re not supposed to walk alone after 8:00 pm) to the store to buy a snack when the store is literally 2 minutes away. When I knew I had to wake up at 7 am the next day to go to the Market with Isolina to finish buying the food for my party, I wanted to go home rather early too and even though I live close to the restaurant, nobody wanted to take me home either and so there I had to stay until 2:00 in the morning. Five hours of sleep was not the way I wanted to start out my birthday.

But Saturday, I sucked it up. Saturday was my birthday and I was not about to let myself be a grump all day on my birthday. At that point, I no longer really wanted a party. I was rather tired of the way women are treated here and rather sick of being hurt by the insincerity of a lot of people here. I wanted to sleep, but I had already promised to cook for all these people and had already cooked quite a bit of it. So that I did. I made a huge salad that morning and then in the afternoon went to A Lo Chapin to heat everything up and make the garlic bread and guacamole for the snack.

In the end of all things, I had cooked for an army of people. Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, and 2 desserts. But a crap ton of everything. Aunt Mary would be proud of me. I am pretty sure I cooked enough for about 40 people.

FEAST!

FEAST!

Anddddd 8 people came. My family. My tandem partner. And 2 of the A Lo Chapin guys. And pretty much barely any of my food got touched. So that was a bummer and I ended up going home by 10:00 which was rather unexpected at a birthday party, but it actually didn’t bother me much aside from my hate of wasting food because I was just so tired of everything that I was glad to go home and sleep.

My sweet family- Geovana was crying because I didn't leave the party with them haha

My sweet family- Geovana was crying because I didn’t leave the party with them haha

My tandem partner, Lily, and I

My tandem partner, Lily, and I

Byron, Orlando, and I

Byron, Orlando, and I

My new friend from Costa Rica

My new friend from Costa Rica

Yesterday, I just packed everything up into individual containers to give away to some of my friends that couldn’t make it. I’m going to give a big batch of it to Willy today because I know he wanted to come but he’s just too busy and I saved a bunch for my family so they don’t have to cook one day and I gave some to a few other friends. I assumed I wouldn’t see everyone that didn’t make it so I unfortunately didn’t get to give my food to everyone, but at least to a lot of my sweet friends that have treated me right. Mario came and got some leftovers and brought me a present! Lily brought me a present Friday night too. How sweet of them! All I wanted was to see my friends, but I even got a few presents too! :) Happy Birthday to meeeee.

And a quick shout out to my Grammie because it was her birthday too (I will forever love sharing a birthday with her). I love you so much Grammie! May you live all the years of your life and be blessed with all the blessings God can give. You are the best grandmother a girl could ask for and I’m so lucky to get to share a birthday with you!

Anyways, yesterday afternoon, I finally got to talk to my family over skype which was so nice to hear from them. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate a lot is my family and friends in the States. It’s amazing how many people have been rude to me here or hurt me in some way and made me feel like it was my fault and it’s amazing how many people I’ve fought with that still act like we’re friends when I see them on the street or in some lugar. It feels so fake. Are we friends? I dont know. Not to say that I don’t fight with anyone at home, but for goodness sakes… I swear I’ve encountered more drama here in 3 months than in 10 years of my life at home. I shouldn’t need a vacation from somewhere after 3 months, but I am so looking forward to recollecting myself in Belize and starting afresh here when I return.

I’m anxious to return now because I got to see my friends from the city yesterday- Xavier, Pablo, and Ale (with whom I went to Monterrico a few weeks ago) and that was a treat. Xavier wants me to come live with him in the city for a week sometime after I get back so I get to have a taste of Guatemala outside of Antigua. That was nice of him to invite me. I am always bummed that they don’t live here because I would certainly enjoy spending more time with them. They have always treated me nicely any time I’ve encountered them. I got to give them some of my food from my party as well and am looking forward to hanging out again. Xavier has a really interesting background and outlook on life and I enjoy hearing more about that every time I see him. Like how money is stupid and we shouldn’t need to use it. I’m in 100% agreement with that one! If we could all just be selfless and help other people, we wouldn’t need money!

Oh, and Ale is the opening act for Justin Beiber when Justin Beiber comes to Guatemala in October. Sorry, I just thought it’d be nice to remind everyone that I’m friends with a famous person. :) And a famous person with a good heart too. That’s the best part.

left to right- Ale, Me, Xavier, and Pablo :) Love these kids!

left to right- Ale, Me, Xavier, and Pablo :) Love these kids!

When we went to pick up the food for them from the refrigerator at A Lo Chapin, I noticed Kenny was singing in Rainbow. I thought he had left his job there, but perhaps only Open Mic Night. So that was nice because I got to bring him his leftover food (he couldn’t make it because his grandpa had surgery. Pobresito :( I think that’s definitely a good enough excuse to miss my party!) and say bye to him before my trip. He says we’ll starting practicing singing when I get back. I’m counting on it because I think my life here is going to change it’s habits once again after I return (things change so quickly here), seeing as Kevin quit working at A Lo Chapin and he was the main reason I’d go visit there so often. The other guys aren’t there 100% of the time. So that tradition will probably be changing now too! How quickly I have to adapt to new things here. I can’t believe how much has happened in only 3 months. It’s borderline ridiculous.

Anyways, Ale sang part of a song, so that was a lot of fun to get to hear him sing since he’s famous and has a fabulous voice. I’m so lucky to be included in that group of friends! I hope to hang out with them more when I get back. I think I will definitely be trying out Guatemala city for a week with Xavier!

Tomorrow in the night, I leave for my visa run to go visit another country to renew my 90-day visit in Guatemala. And now have a break from the drama and a moment to see some beautiful places and catch up on studies andddddd have my good friends to look forward to when I get back with new memories to make! Belize, here I come!!!!!!

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