My mom came to visit me in Guatemala a few weeks ago. That’s her with a spider monkey that jumped on the boat we were on (I blocked out her face for privacy). It was a very long trip for her to get here, and I was so excited and grateful that she was coming.
I made all sorts of plans of things to do, but unlike when my friend Alex came to visit, I didn’t shoot for perfection. However, I did want my mom to see some of the sights in Peten. We went to Flores and walked around and spent a day at Tikal. I took her to the lake to swim and introduced her to my friends. She got to try some authentic Guatemala food, including tuyuyos and boxbols (she loved them!). She even went to a birthday party. And, for her Mother’s Day gift, I took her to the spa at Las Lagunas Resort for some pampering.
But the most interesting thing to me was seeing Guatemala through the eyes of someone who hadn’t been here before. It made me realize how quickly I had adapted to living here. Things that had seemed different, new or unusual to me when I first came here a year ago – such as seeing entire families on a motorbike or watching pigs roam freely through town – had become commonplace for me.
We are adaptable and flexible beings…when we are open to whatever change we are going through. When we aren’t, well, things are a bit more difficult.
I found myself explaining things to my mom about why things were the way that they were in Guatemala. Not in a defensive kind of way, but in an educational kind of way. I shared the customs I had observed, what the day-to-day life was like for a typical family, and how people worked. I highlighted both the similarities between Guatemala and the United States and the differences.
And at some point during the week, I realized that my little town in Peten had become my home. Thanks, Mom, for visiting!