I have decided to continue with the blog, at least for a little bit. For my sake, and for yours as readers, I'm going to try and keep the updates quicker and more frequent.
I am now home after the first year of my service in Honduras. Last year, I learned so much--about sacrifice, patience, love and compassion, peace, faith, and myself. I returned here, thankful for the opportunity to rest up, regain some weight, eat home cooked meals, drink good beer, see some friends, but most of all, spend time with my family. With every little thing that I learned last year, I was learning more about my life here than was hard to take stock of while I was still here. It's not exactly like I didn't appreciate what I had until I didn't have it (see the posts from the beginning of last year), but my life in Guaimaca gently shoved me into the present, into a deeper understanding and feeling of the appreciation I have for the amazing family I have been blessed with.
Last year, I was blessed with the opportunity to find a new family in Guaimaca, composed of my students, my friends and co-workers, the Sisters and Fr. Craig, and of course our own volunteer community. This year, I look forward to developing new relationships and fostering old ones. I look forward to continuing to receive and give God's grace and love through my relationships with my family in Guaimaca.
I know that this year will be different from last year--I will not be teaching the same senior girls with whom I developed a relationship I can't begin to describe, I will not be living with the same people, I will not be teaching the same classes. I will be better at Spanish, more capable of communicating, more experienced and knowledgeable about Honduras and the culture, more in touch with who I am and how I can use my gifts to help. There will be difficulties (last year was the hardest year of my life, and I'm not expecting it to have gotten any easier in my short absence) and there will be joys (last year was the best year of my life, and I am now rested and capable of returning and giving my all once again).
I am nervous, but I am more excited. Remember in Psychology classes, when we learned about adrenaline? It's good to be a little nervous just before a test, a race, or a year of service; it keeps you on your toes and gives you an edge. That edge that I have found and used all my life, that's what keeps me going, it's what helps me accept my faults and still proceed, it's the Serenity Prayer.
So, this post on New Year's Eve is not just something for myself; it is not meant to assuage my guilt over not posting more at the end of the year. Its purpose is to remind all of us to take stock of the past year and give thanks. Its purpose is to resurrect the fire of determination and hope so that, whatever your own personal journey looks like over the New Year, we take that first step, not aspiring to change, not waiting or preparing to become the person we want to be. Rather, may we reconcile who we are and who we want to be, where we are and where we want to be, and may we do it today.
God bless you, your families, and this New Year we will share together.