...but I'm doing it anyway. I haven't given enough thought to what may happen. I have no expectations about anything (I've been to India, so I know better.) I have no friends (yet) in Guatemala. I have never been to a country by myself without a friend picking me up and taking me around. Despite all of these things, something is propelling me to carry-on. Part of it is because I am surrounded by loving, supportive friends and family members who keep me going when I feel as if I can't. Another part of it is that I can no longer remain in this comfort zone I've established for myself without taking some sort of action. Donating money and signing petitions isn't enough for me. I don't feel as if I found United Planet and Nuevos Horizontes anymore than I feel as if they found me. I had no specific destination in mind, only that I wanted to go where I was needed. And so it has come to pass. After I land in Guatemala City tomorrow, I will travel by bus for four hours into the Northwestern part of the country to the city of Xela (pronounced, "Shay-la.") There I will stay with a host family and do my volunteer work at Nuevos Horizontes. (A description of the shelter and a link to its website is below.)
No matter what may happen, I know that my life will be forever changed from this experience. And I will try my best to meet it with an open mine and an open heart.
Inhale. Exhale. Onward...
Time to pack.
Asociación Hogar Nuevos Horizonteshttp://www.ahnh.org/
AHNH is a non-governmental, non-profit, Guatemalan organization that has been working with women and children in the city of Xela, Quetzaltenango since 1989. AHNH is comprised of a network including an administrative office, a Shelter, and a Day Care Center. All offer support, services, and temporary shelter to women and children survivors of domestic violence and to single mothers with extremely limited financial resources.