Published: July 6th 2009July 6th 2009
Aqua is the volcano that looms over Antigua. It is majestic. The little city under it so reminded me of Tahoe City in the 1960's and 70's. Friendly people. Small, independent business. Delicious food. Visitors welcome and needed. Antigua for me was both new and familiar.
I’ve been back in San Mateo for a week now. Returning to my house feels like taking off tight, pointy, high-heeled dress shoes after a long, family wedding. Relief.
San Mateo is different than Antigua.
The shower has hot water and strong pressure. My bed is soft. I relish sinking into it. All the cars look new, even mine. People wear their seatbelts. Buses spew oxygen and not diesel dirt. Grocery stores are in business districts and homes are in neighborhoods. The dogs are well-fed. In fact, my dog Toby is a perro gordo (fat dog).
I’m getting used to it. But I miss the volcano.
When I left to study spanish, I was testing Ron and Marco’s suggestion that I could live and work in another country. And testing God’s call to do missionary work. I didn’t want to be foolish and just follow my heart without doing my
Happy Birthday Paulina
I gave here a little gift for her 85 Birthday.
homework. That would be crazy.
Questions rolled over me at night. Could I live away from the town that has been my home for 32 years?
Would I fit in with people from another country?
Would my health hold?
What do I have to give?
Where can I give it?
What would Luke think?
By the end of the first month in Antigua, I knew the answers. I wanted to come back to live, at least for a year, and then...more questions. My main concern was that if I moved when my son was in his last year of high school, he might feel abandoned.
Since his Dad and I split when he was 4, I did everything in my power to be there for that sweet, blonde little boy, who did not ask for his family to be shattered. I took low-paying jobs so I would be home at 5:30. I dated infrequently, and only confirmed bachelors that would not ask me to put them ahead of my son. And since he moved to his Dad’s, I stayed as connected as was appropriate.
I suspected Luke would be okay with
my decision. In the seven weeks I was gone, he never answered an email and only answered my texts when I threatened him. He had things to do. This is good.
Bouncing up and down in the van as we entered Antigua, I demanded that my son be serious with me for just one, tiny moment. I could see the dread on his face.
I told him, I did not want him to feel abandoned by my decision to live outside the country for a year.
He said, “Mom, I don’t feel abandoned. I feel loved”.
“Let me get this straight. I’m leaving the country and you feel loved?”
“Yeah, it means you understand that I don’t need you anymore. That you know I’m okay. That you trust me. That makes me feel loved”.
Guess I did something right. My son handed me my diploma from "Momming". Freely, I can live where I want, date who I want, and do crazy things.
Now, I have different questions. Do I just sell all my stuff and get stuff there, or do I store stuff? (Two months and I’m still dealing with stuff!)
long will it take to rent my house?
Should I paint it before I leave?
What should I do with Toby, take him with me or find him a new home?
Should I take my car and drive through Mexico, or leave it with Luke and fly?
What will I do after I learn more spanish? Work in Antigua? Or do volunteer work?
My goal is to have these questions answered by October when I plan to return to the city that sleeps under a volcano. That volcano spews grace all over my life.
(If you have any answers or suggestions, I'l love to hear them!)
Regardless of the miles, if you are reading this, you are important in my life. Thank goodness for internet cafes and blogs.
I love how the spanish say good-bye, A-Dios. Go with God. I’m going to. I hope you will, too.
Love and Blessings,
PS Enjoy these random photos of Guatemala. There are two pages of them.
There are more photos below