I returned to the US from my last bit of international travel about a month ago. This past month has been filled with so much love, joy, and… well traveling. There is always an initial rush of excitement when I get to see friends and family after being away for a little while. I enjoy hearing about what they’ve been up to and sharing a couple stories. Then there’s the prolonged loved that I feel for those folks and the places we enjoy in each other’s company.
One of those places is Lexington, KY. I’m always drawn there and never want to leave. Memories of kitchen counter sitting, late night doll house building, eating Thai food in a packed Irish bar, trips to Al’s, Arcadium, and The Breadbox keep me going when I’m feeling lonely rambling around.
I couldn’t visit Lexington without going to Berea. Most of my friends graduated this past semester, but there’s still a few good ones around and plenty of beauty to make it a place worth stopping. We sat around singing and playing cards more than a couple times this past month, any group that will put up with my singing voice is definitely worth keeping around. I was even able to head up to the 144 home of the Parsons family before leaving for a quick jaunt down to Florida with my momma and sister.
Now, I’m sitting in a hotel room lovingly provided by a friend from high school feeling thankful for the kindness of others and the weight of the upcoming journey.
Tomorrow, I head to Huehuetenango, Guatemala. I was there for about a month during the summer of 2015, but this time, I’m returning for 10 months of English teaching in an elementary school and a university, and to be a house mother at the Ixtatan Foundation house. My Spanish skills are pretty seriously lacking at the moment. I’m expecting the next few months to be filled with a lot of learning (quickly, I hope), sharing, a bit of struggle, and TONS of tamales and chuchitos.
I needed this time at home, and it was a wonderful reminder of the love I have for so many beautiful people and the love they have for me. Finding true friends is rare, but there are gems of humans that I’m glad let me hang around them. I’m even more lucky to have the family I do. I stopped by 12 Oaks for a little while and got to spend some much needed time with the Mountain Man. Tearful goodbyes are always the hardest part of embarking on a new adventure, but that always means there’s love to carry with me.