On the Plane

Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
Trip End Nov 29, 2007

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Monday, November 5, 2007

          I write this first entry from 20,000 feet above the ground, white clouds dotting the sky below like wisps of cotton. I'll post it from land, of course, though I was surprised to find "Free Public WiFi" available up here in the air!

          I'm feeling incredibly excited, a little nervous, and very alive. For those of you who don't know the story behind this trip, here's a brief summary. This past April, I found out that after three years teaching in a fabulous school in Brookline, I wouldn't be able to keep my position. (This was nobody's fault; there would be fewer sections of fourth grade the next year, and, as the saying goes, "Last one hired, first one fired.") In July, I thought I had found the perfect replacement job: a wealthy family with school-aged children wanted to hire a teacher to accompany them on their trip around the world! Sadly, I didn't get the position, but the seeds had been planted in my mind. Why couldn't I take a little time off and plan my own trip around the world - not traveling to a different place every few days, as the family planned to do, but focusing instead on learning through service? I had some savings, I could sublet my room, and I knew how to travel cheaply. I was single and had no job commitments - in short, this was the perfect time to follow my dreams.

          In late September, as I set up temporary jobs and pondered where to go, my Guatemalan boyfriend of two years unexpectedly left the country. There was no prior warning, no good-byes. It was with great relief that I finally received his phone call assuring me that everything was all right. Sadness and heartache then transformed into joy as we began planning my trip, which I now realized would begin in Guatemala.

          Many friends, knowing I'll be away until Christmastime, have assumed I'll be spending the next two months together with my boyfriend (who has requested, in the interest of privacy, that I call in these writings Nelson). In fact, he can take just a few days off work (and may face consequences even for that). Afterwards, I hope to spend some time volunteering (and writing about my experiences), following my initial plan for this year. Ideally, I'd love to work in a traditional Mayan village and become acquainted with their traditional spiritual beliefs and practices. We'll see if this is possible - at the very least, given my time frame, perhaps I can find opportunities to return to in the future. Whatever happens, though, it's bound to be fascinating!
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