On this day in 2003

Nine years ago today, this picture was taken

I was visiting my school in Xejuyup for the last time. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cantel, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, where I taught health and hygiene in three rural schools. At Xejuyup, every time I entered the Kindergarten classroom, I was mobbed and group hugged like you see in the photo.

I had arrived in Cantel in March of 2002 after an intense fourteen-week training near Antigua Guatemala. I worked in “my site” for almost two whole school years, since in Guatemala they go to school from January to October – but my second year there was a teachers’ strike so we didn’t go to school until March again.

Normal Peace Corps service is twenty-seven months: three months of training and two years of service. Unfortunately, I was sick a lot, and in October 2003, a few things aligned that made me decide to come home.  My mom needed surgery on her neck and I wanted to be there to help her as she recovered, I was sick again, and the school year was ending. I cut my service a few months short, but it wasn’t short of time to teach, learn, and make new friends.

In the weeks or maybe months ahead, I will share some more of my Peace Corps service and photographs with you. I really enjoyed this time, and I learned so much. I want to share some of what I learned.

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3 thoughts on “On this day in 2003

    • It is both one of the best things I ever did and possibly one of the worst times of my life. If I had it to do again, I may have tried to volunteer with a Catholic organization. But I can’t replace the beautiful experiences I had.

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