Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reflections on Christmas in a "foreign" country

As I'm sitting in my living room in Guatemala City on a quiet Sunday afternoon in early November, listening to a somewhat drunk man outside doing covers of popular Latin pop songs, including "Feliz Navidad," it hits me again.

I live in a "foreign" country.

But do I?

Guatemala is foreign in the sense that life is different, the geography is different, people are different. Different than what should be considered normal, by anyone that I grew up with, and maybe by myself, too.

But the reality is that it's not really "foreign" to me anymore. Oh, it's different, and frustrating, and all of those other things. In spite all that, it's what I call "home" for now. The crazy driving, the loong waits everywhere, the fact that no one is in a hurry (unless they're driving!) - that's all normal to me now.

There are only a few reasons that I can feel this way, though. We speak Spanish, we enjoy the food (well, to some extent; Guatemalan tortillas still don't sit too well with me), and we enjoy meeting new people. I suppose if any of that were different, Guatemala would seem more "foreign."

This year will be different, though. Last year, we spent Christmas with just our little 3-person family alone in Guatemala, and we struggled to find our own traditions, since every other time we'd been with family in the USA. This year, we've decided to visit the US and enjoy the time with our extended family, since that's the main time everyone is guaranteed to be within arm-wrestling distance :D

Even though we won't be in Guatemala for Christmas, that doesn't mean that we won't be celebrating Christmas semi-Chapin style! We've got a lot planned before we go, including a trip to El Salvador over Thanksgiving weekend. I've been burning the midnight oil getting ready for the launch of our "Christmas in Guatemala 101" ebook - stay tuned for more details on that later this week!

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