I’ve been in my little jungle hut now for about 8 weeks. This morning, as I walked down to the center of town to catch a collectivo to Santa Elena, I was struck by how much I’ve become a part of the daily fabric of life here.
As I left my home, the neighbor’s dog, Tigre, came running to the fence to be pet. I had only walked past a couple houses when one of my neighbors called out and wished me “Buenos Dias.” As I continued walking, I waved to the old man who sits by the lake every day. He smiled and waved back. Two minutes later, I passed by a small hostel/camping area. The son of the owners, a young man in his early 20’s, called out my name and blew me a kiss (which I of course returned). Two friends rode by on a scooter and waved and said “Hola” as they drove by. And so it continued as I walked the 15 minutes to the center.
The people here are extremely friendly, and it is a small town, which definitely accounts for part of my experience here. But as I thought about it, I realized that there was something else going on here as well.
Each time we interact with someone or something, we share our energy with them. We may also share a whole host of other things: our opinions, a shoulder to lean on, a sympathetic ear, a meal…the list is endless. In any event, we leave an imprint on them, and they on us. Depending on the depth and length of the interaction, the imprint can have a significant impact on the person and may even cause the person to shift his or her life in a new way.
I can see and feel some of the changes in me since I’ve been here. There are some new threads related to patience, spirituality, connection and friendship woven into my life now that are enhancing the related threads that were already there. I can’t foresee where these threads are going to take me, but I am positive that my life has shifted because of them.
And while I can’t be certain, I would imagine that the people that I’ve interacted with here in Guatemala may have a unique and hopefully sparkly “Jennifer” thread in their lives now too.