It seems a favorite pastime of the hormonally-abundant Guatemalan teenagers around here, is to make drive-by grabbings of the constant flux of beautiful foreign girls living in and out of the Camino Seguro volunteer house. MY house. It`s a lovely game that includes any mode of transportation and a stolen slap, grab or grope of any female body part.
Did I mention I can be one firely little bitch when I want to be? I usually catch them pre-grab, with their hand outstretched, and I`m ready to do a little grabbing of my own — to pull them from their wicked little scooters and introduce them to my friend, Pavement. As of yet, I have not drawn blood. Only one hard kick to the ass and a few near-bike accidents. But oh man…..*shakes fist*….you just wait! By Mouse Almighty, I WILL take one of those little brats down before I leave Antigua.
And speaking of Leaving Antigua…my two month countdown began four days ago.
This is where I officially… FREAK OUT.
I can`t help it…already my mind is spinning with an all-white and English world, where things smell of Spic and taste of Spam. Where I can`t pick an orange off the tree in my yard and there is no woman that brings me hot tortillas every day to my door. Where snot covered children don`t topple me with hugs in the morning and where I can`t hear Mayonesa and Merengue booming from every house, bar and bus…
STOP! STOP! I can`t think about it anymore
Which is WHY, it is time for me to create my own carrot to hold over my nose. And I will now take this opportunity to present my possible carrots:
I return “home” on March 26th, 2002 — my one-year anniversary being in Central America. I will “live” in Portland for a few months with the following objectives: 1. Make up lost love and hugs with my family and friends and apologize deeply for my complete ignorance of all birthdays and anniversaries. 2. To beef up the old bank account by means of some terrible, but completely non-committal, type of work. 3. Reflect on my past travels and re-appreciate and REV up for my future travels.
I will stay in Oregon ONLY under the premise that I give myself unquestionable permission to jump plane and “adios!” my way AWAY the minute my heart aches in any way, shape, form, manner or style. Actually, P-town will be an adventure of its own for me, seeing as I left it when I was 18, and was grounded and strictly forbidden to adventure in it, ages 12-18.
Where was I? Ah yes. My carrots.
Carrot 1: A good friend of mine here did some volunteer work in Nepal with an excellent program. It includes some nice treks, a few weeks of language school and then a 3-6 month volunteer stint according to what you have to offer. Got the contact. All I have to do is buy the ticket.
Carrot 2: Found a dozen or so “Divemaster Wanted” signs at divejobs.com. I`m thinking maybe the coast of Spain? The Red Sea? or Thailand? Doesn`t matter. What matters is that the jobs exist and I can`t WAIT to get my flippers wet again!
Carrot 3:You meet a lot of friends bartending. And more importantly, FRIENDS who offer you jobs bartending in other parts of the world. One offer to staff a vineyard in New Zealand. Another a bar in Sydney. From experience though, I think it`s usually better just to show up, hop behind the bar, pour a drink and figure out those silly details later. And I really want to save the best (Australia) for last…*grabs binoculars*…which is still lookìn’ pretty far away.
Carrots 4 – 236: I haven’t any idea! * I haven`t even begun my internet search. I`ve heard rumors of volunteer work diving in the Galapagos? Maybe some resort work in a Club Med in Greece or Italy? I have friends who`ve been divemasters on cruise ships or student sailing trips. And one can pretty much volunteer in any country in the world!
One of my top ten lessons I`ve learned from my travels, travel does NOT have to be a vacation. It can EASILY be a WAY of life. Just takes a little creativity, a lot of initiative and a really open schedule.
Seeking Web Geek and Travel Freak
SO….. if anyone out there in cyber-reader-land, has any ideas or types of opportunities for this generally-hyperactive web geek and travel freak….please! Send them to me! Solbeam@Solbeam.com
And LIKEWISE, I`ve created a bit of a position here in Guatemala at the project that NEEDS to be filled! We need a new volunteer to take over being the digital photographer/e-mail sponsor relations person starting April *or earlier* to take over managing THIS gallery! If you know anything about digital cameras or computers, you know more than anyone else here. A 6-month commitment would be ideal and you get to live in the volunteer house free ‘o charge. (Drive-by Grabbings at no extra cost!) It’s an incredible opportunity that I`ve already babbled on about for months….so if you`re interested….REALLY interested, check out the website www.safepasage.org and then email me: Solbeam@Solbeam.com.
I`m starting to sound like an infomercial….that`s my cue to make like a tree.