Especially with the unpredictability of my job as a Field Consultant, it’s funny how quickly much of my daily life has started to feel like routine. Sundays are always market day – I set aside at least an hour or two to go to the market and to wash and dry all of my produce to have it ready for the week. Mondays are e-mail catch up days. Tuesdays and Fridays are days in the office with Juana.
And then there are the little things – walking up and down Calle Santander, Pana’s main street, multiple times each day. Cleaning and refilling my water filter. Tuesday night 2X1 pizza at Atlantis. Thursday night trivia at La Palapa. Sunday brunch and pool time at Club Ven Aca (weather permitting). Wearing and re-wearing the same clothes over and over. The (still somewhat unnerving) twenty minute camioneta ride up to my office in Solola twice a week, and eating at the same comedor, with the same three or four menu options, each day. Jogging along the same streets every morning. Waving to the same people – at tiendas, food stands, shops, cafes and restaurants I frequent – at the same time, and same place, every day. Campaigns, sales pitches, sales goals, eye exams…so many of these, all of the time. I’m still not always 100% clear on what I’m “supposed” to be doing each day, but somehow, I’m always busy.
But sometimes, think get shaken up – often quite literally. There was the 6.5 magnitude earthquake last week, and the giant sinkhole that apparently has just opened up on the highway between Quiche and the capital (don’t worry – nowhere near where I live or work!). I was also unfortunately pick-pocketed on a camioneta last week, and while I luckily didn’t lose much, the process of cancelling bank accounts and debit cards in Guatemala is way more challenging and annoying than I would have expected (okay, maybe I should have expected it). And this morning, after leaving my house at 5am in the pouring rain to try to visit one of our puntos de venta (sales points) on the coast – about a 3-4 hour trip – Juana and I only made it about halfway before having to turn around because of excessive rain and poor road conditions.
The important caveat to all of this is that I am happy, healthy, safe, and still loving my job and my life in Guatemala. But there’s something innately different about coming to Guatemala to live, on a permanent basis – versus coming with the expectation of leaving in a few months. I’m here for the long haul, and that means, in addition to those unexpected crises that come along with the sheer fact of living in Central America, I’m going to be dealing with paying rent, challenging landlords, friends coming and going, traffic jams (albeit on boats and chicken busses)…and all those other fun challenges that just come along with day to day life.