I would like to start off by making it clear that I still do not like soccer or futball as they call it here in Guatemala. I’m still a God fearing football loving American. I am upset that the Broncos lost their preseason opener last night, but the starters scored a TD so I can count that as a win. I hope Boss Bailey is alright. I really want a healthy team for this season. Someone has to pick up the slack that the Rockies have been making. I have enjoyed watching the Olympics with my host family.
I think it is amazing how sports transcend cultural boundaries, and in the end leave us united by the love of the game. I don’t know what my host family is saying most of the time, but we can sit down and watch a sport and enjoy ourselves. (This does not include Futbal, while I have watched it with my family I’m not enjoying it.) I do sit there and watch whatever they watch, because I would rather be around people than sit up in my room all by my self. I also figure that the more I hear spanish the easier it will be to learn. I’m going to start taking private lessons here very soon.
I’m waiting to start my spanish lessons until I figure out how much time my school planning will take. I’m teaching three middle school elective classes, an old testament bible class for sixth graders, seventh grade English and grammar, and Middle School/High School PE. Just call me a renaissance man. Or a jack of all trades, lets hope I’m not a master of none. I’m a little nervous about my teaching load, but I know that I’m not alone down here. God is with me and he has placed a great support staff around me. There are about twenty or so teachers at the school. I have only met the other teachers, who are like me, are new to the school, but unlike me they are all girls. I have really enjoyed getting to know them and I look forward to working with them.
I’m working on getting pictures of the school and where I live, so I will post those as soon as I have them ready. The school is on a hill that over looks the city. While I feel cramped inside the city, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to work where I have a view of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes. I’m really starting to realize how much I value open space. I miss the mountains of Colorado, but I am starting to find beauty in the city. Most of the buildings look old and weathered. It has rained here everyday, which I love and have felt comforted by the afternoon storms. They remind me of living in the Rocky Mountains. The rain has been my friend when I have been separated from the rest of the teachers. Most of the teachers are living with host families, which means once we’re done with work we all go home alone. We live alone to stop a real world Guatemala situation from happening between the teachers, but at times I have felt disconnected.
Here is what I am doing to battle loneliness: I am going on walks around the city. Mostly before nightfall because the city is not the safest place, especially since I can’t talk my way out of a problem. I have also been listening to worship music, in-particular Enter the Worship Circle by 1000 portraits and Waterdeep. It is good to worship God when you feel lonely. As I mentioned earlier I’v been making a point to hang out with my host family. Being around people helps a lot. Tomorrow I am going to join a gym with another one of the teachers. I’m also considering joining a rec. basketball team or playinf rugby on the team the principle formed. I just have to remember that creating a community takes time. And as soon as I remember that someone typically calls and invites me to come do something. On Monday I went and played video games with Michael, the director, and Josh, the principal. I had just walked out of my house to walk around the neighborhood when Josh called and invited me to dinner.
I think it is funny that God met my needs on Monday night and by Tuesday night I was feeling alone again. Again community takes time. I have used my down time to work on my school preparations. Having a reason to be busy helps the loneliness too. I think teaching is going to be hard, but I’m not all that nervous about it because I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into and as they say ignorance is bliss.
Friday was a hard night. Josh and Michael were busy with something so I couldn’t hang out with them and all the other teachers didn’t seem to be up to anything. Maybe I should have tried to get them together, but I decided to be lonely and watch movies. I was sitting on my bed feeling bad for my self and journaling. Enter the Worship Circle was playing and right at that moment the song Though I Feel Alone came on. These are the lyrics:
Though I feel alone
I am never alone
You are with me
Oh, my Lord
In the night time while I’m on my bed
I will let every thought be of you
For you are good
You take all those who come to you
In the morning as I face the day
I will let ever thought be of you
For you are good
You take all those who come to you
This song hit me and stuck. I am not alone. Before I departed on my adventure I was prayed over by my friends and family. I was anointed to come and serve here in Guatemala. I was sent out to serve and my friends who sent me, by praying for me, have come on this journey with me. God sent my friends with me. They are here with me just as God is here with me. I went to bed Friday night feeling loved. I woke up Saturday morning feeling loved. Before anyone called me to invite me anywhere I felt loved.
Saturday I walked down to the school and hung out with a couple of the teachers. I got some work done, but most of all I started making deeper connections with my fellow teachers. I found out that they have been feeling the same way. I guess I should have called them Friday night to try to get something together. I walked them home. I’m the only new male teacher so I guess I can take up the responsibility of escorting the girls around when they feel unsafe. After I dropped them off it started to rain. This afternoon rainstorm wasn’t nearly as comforting as the ones earlier this week. Maybe it was because I wasn’t feeling lonely anymore. Or maybe it was because I was actually walking in the rain rather than just listening to it from my dry room.