Spain trip coming up - Adina is probably sick of hearing about it, but since Febrary 2008, I've been planning a trip with about 10 middle-school students and assorted parents (since I am the Spanish teacher, it made sense to go, and it didn't hurt that I didn't have to pay). We started this long before we thought about moving to Guatemala, so imagine how hectic it is. Anyway, we're with EF Tours and are doing a 10-day trip to Madrid and Andalucia, with a side trip to Morocco. I'm really looking forward to it. When we decided to move to Guatemala, I briefly thought about handing the trip off to someone else, but I'd already done 90% of the paperwork, so I figured I may as well enjoy the fruits of my labor. We leave next Monday. I don't really have all that much left to do, but what is left to do is important What good is planning a trip if you don't get everyone to the airport on time? A plus was that for new group leaders, which I am, we could choose with our "global points" to get a free trip to Paris, which I did last July. It was basically a mini-tour so we'd know what to expect on a "real" tour. Didn't have to pay for that either....I love travelling for free! I think Adina is going to hit me over the head with a skillet, hard, if I don't take her to Europe next time I go. Three times, and have managed to somehow earn the trip instead of pay each time. Once was part of a government-funded international business course (two weeks in Europe), and twice with EF. Maybe I should review airlines or something...hmmm. I will say that Lufthansa is much better than some others. I flew to Paris with them, and our group is going with them this time, as well. Very nice. If you're interested in travelling with EF, let me know so I can refer you (I get $1000 bucks after you travel if I refer you!)
Anyway, when I get back from Spain, I've got one last college class to finish up for my Master's in English (lots of paperwork, apostilles, etc, in the meantime), a quick visit with family in Jackson, Mississippi, then I leave to drive to Guatemala. Still looking for a riding companion...any takers? At least the ride will be more comfortable than the chicken buses this time.
We are very much excited about this adventure. I think we're going into it with our eyes open as much as possible. Enthusiasm and idealism are both great, but they have to be tempered with a dose of "nothing's perfect, so just enjoy it for what it is." I can deal with things much better that way.
Some plugs along the way to a couple of people whose blogs, advice, and general cantankerousness have proved useful: Mark at Guateliving.com for his informative posts and crankiness, Genesis at ExpatMom for a realistic look at family life in Guatemala, and Mexico Mike for his detailed, annotated driving maps of most of the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Check them out (especially if you're coming to see us in Guate)!