Guess I’m not leaving

We raised 2000Q!!!!!!!!!

That’s like raising $2000 in the States. But not only that, we had a ton of people that were interested in the Asociación afterwards. Las Vibras wants to have another fundraiser and says that we will raise double next time. A lot of guys wanted more of the recycled chairs that we brought and I would say a handful of people wanted to come visit the project and see what else they could get involved in.

Success? I’d say so.

I was so glad that party was over with though and was so ready to take a break, but the work was not over unfortunately. Because we had so many prizes, we were unable to announce all of them in the raffle, so Friday I spent my day in Vibras texting people to let them know that they won and waiting on them to come pick up their prizes and any artwork we sold.

Later that day, I went off to Dueñas to be there for the money counting. I thought this was the end of work and that I could enjoy my last few days here with Galleta, but we were informed there would be a break dancing party in the Asociación that night. So we had to get up Saturday morning and make a few trophies and take aways for them and then had to head to Antigua to fix one of the lamps that sold (someone knocked it over).

By the time we finished everything in Antigua, we had to go to a Christmas party in Kafka to meet a few people that were interested in the project and give out thank you cards. Daniel joined us since he is one of the founders of the project. Fortunately, it did not take too long because Galleta and I were exhausted, so afterwards we headed back to Dueñas and slept.

Sunday we finally got to rest a little and hang around and watch some movies all day. I feel like we did some kind of work that day, but I can’t remember, so maybe we did actually have a day of rest. I think I slept good that night, finally.

Monday, we had more work to do. Daniel brought the thank you letters and while Galleta cleaned up the workshop, I made sure they were properly enveloped before we both headed to Antigua. Actually, I didn’t end up working that day. I sent Galleta to do the thank-you notes while I got a little packing done. I thought I would be helping him out, but by the time I got finished, he had pretty much finished all but 6 or so places and it started to drizzle and I only had an hour before I had to go see Willy for the last time.

So we decided to save the remaining letters for another day and I went to buy a Christmas present for Geovanny and Geovanna and then headed to meet Willy. I quickly came to find out that Willy has already begun his job as a field-manager and is no longer a teacher so now he works until 7 pm instead of 6. So Galleta and I waited around an hour for him to get off, only for him to remind me that he has English classes at 7 so we wouldn’t be able to meet after all. I took a picture with him and gave him a hug and tried to think positive, but I felt that this was goodbye and left with tears in my eyes.

ay willy! :(

ay willy! :(

I distracted myself from crying over dinner by showing Galleta a bunch of photos on my phone. Then, it was back to Dueñas again for the night. I thought we would get a good night’s sleep that night because the kids were supposed to be gone, but apparently monday was not their last day there like we had been told. Tuesday was just wierd. I think I was in zombie mode about leaving the next day. The kids didn’t want me to leave, even though I’ve barely done anything with them aside from greet them when they get there (as I am usually working in the recycles) and I just wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone. I just wanted to sit in the back and be sad.

Then, to my great surprise, Galleta yelled for me and said someone was looking for me and I walked out and THERE WAS WILLY!! I freaked out with excitement so glad I would get to see him again before I left and found out that he is the new field manager for THIS PROJECT! He was taking over Colin’s position and tuesday was his first day to check out the project. How perfect is that? Willy was wanting to be involved in helping at the fiesta, but had too much to do in order to help, but he wanted to come visit the project at some point to see what it was all about. And now he’s the field manager there, which means he’ll be checking in on them and helping them out!! My favorite people have been united here! How exciting of news this was for me.

At some point, I did get the chance to sit down in the back with Galleta and cry about leaving. But it lasted all of two minutes when all of the sudden, I looked up and saw a snake crawling around on the ceiling. Faustina had escaped!!! (She is their pet snake) So that turned into an adventure of getting her down and back in the box that she was in.

someone isn't happy!

someone isn’t happy!

right before pooping on me

right before pooping on me

I ended up with a nice streak of snake poop on my clothes. That’s one way to end my final day in the Asociación, I thought. Oliver couldn’t stop laughing and telling me how lucky I am because how many volunteers can go home and say they got pooped on by a snake? I didn’t find it too funny, but I was at least glad I had a change of clothes!

Then, we all enjoyed our last coffee together, took a picture, and said our goodbyes and Galleta and I headed off to the bus for Antigua. I dropped him off at my friend’s house where we would be staying that night because he wanted to come with me to the airport to say goodbye, but I had to go home to Isolina’s first to enjoy my goodbye dinner and give the kids their Christmas presents and finish packing.

love these kids! but julio and danny were missing for the group photo!

love these kids! but julio and danny were missing for the group photo!

never thought i'd see the day that it would be my goodbye party...

never thought i’d see the day that it would be my goodbye party…

family picture!

family picture!

After dinner and packing, my friend Xavier called me and came in town to wish me goodbye! He even brought me a really cute purse/backpack to take home!

Then, it was off to Mihail’s house for the night.

Wednesday, I thought I’d be updating my blog from the airport, reflecting on everything that I’d learned in Guatemala and finishing out this blog series with my final goodbye Guatemala post.

Well, that changed rather quickly when I woke up to explosive-nearly-made-me-pass-out diarrhea (sorry for the too much information) at 4:00 in the morning. Followed later by nearly throwing up, but I was able to stop it by laying on the cold bathroom floor, where Galleta found me (how uncomfortable it is to be sick in a room with a bathroom that doesn’t have a freaking door!) and freaked out wondering if I was okay. By the time I woke up around 8 am, I didn’t find myself making it to the airport that day with the way I was feeling so I made some frantic phone calls and got everything settled as Galleta ran off to the store and the pharmacy for me.

I still have no idea what happened, but at noon, I was most certainly glad I cancelled my flight. I would have been in the airport at this point (as my flight was scheduled for 1:30), but instead I was in a frenzy of things coming out at both ends?? WHAT THE HELL? I wanted to stay in Guatemala, but not for this reason! So that’s basically where I’m at at this point. Instead of being a reflecting beautiful goodbye post, I am still in Guatemala, 2 days after I was supposed to be home. Not much has happened since Wednesday since I’ve been stuck in bed, but I do have to shout out to Galleta again, although he can’t read English, that I am so thankful that he came with me to Antigua because I don’t know what I would have done if I had been at Isolina’s because the bathroom is so far from my room and there’s no space to lay on the floor in the bathroom there. So I was in a good place when it happened.

On top of that, he’s stayed with me since Wednesday, running errands all day long whenever I need something and washed my clothes Wednesday and cleaned up the bathroom (well, I cleaned up the mess because obviously I couldn’t deal with myself if he had to see any of that, but he spring cleaned it), and helped me move to a hotel (we couldn’t stay at Mihail’s any longer because someone was moving in to that room) where I could have a private bathroom. He has only left my side to go get things that I’ve needed. And not only that, but yesterday was his birthday and he spent the whole day taking care of me still. I can’t express my gratitude for him. I’m too sick to think properly to make this an interesting blog post, but I am thankful thankful thankful that I have someone to take care of me! What a mess I’d be without him.

my lovely little caretaker, from a photoshoot I did of him the other day

my lovely little caretaker, from a photoshoot I did of him the other day

Even though there’s darkness, there is always light! What a blessing to have this guy in my life! Marcos from the Asociación ran into him the other day running errands and came by to check on me too. I love those guys too much. The best friends that I’ve made here yet. Thank God for them all!

So here I am, unexpectedly continuing the blog and stuck in Guatemala. I guess we’ll see what happens next! Everything always changes rapidly here, even up to my flight home (and I hadn’t been sick since the beginning of October either! QUE RARO!)

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