coming back to latin america is like one day deciding to listen to that album you played on repeat 5 years ago. or cleaning out your attic and finding a box of books or toys from your childhood. there¨s a sense of nostalgia, but the thing youre nostalgic for never really went away- youre the one who left, or changed, or found something new to occupy your mind. so when you experience it again, it feels so familiar and new at once.
Ive never been to guatemala, and it clearly has its own personality and culture that im excited to experience and discover over the next month. but some parts of the last two days are so familiar, they immediately transport me to Ecuador or Honduras, and I have the feeling of memories I had locked in some latinoamerica box in my mind suddenly bubbling to the surface. things like boarding the plane in atlanta for guatemala city not in any sort of organized fashion, because why have the expectation of order? its latinoamerica. go with the flow. we will all get there eventually, or not.
OR little kids trying to sell me earphones in bags on the street
OR old american school buses full of locals careening around every corner.
OR broken glass affixed to the tops of walls
OR a security officer outside a corner store holding a huge, 20 year old rifle
Each of these brief images hits me with a wave of memory, of the time ive spent in this part of the world. and i can feel myself settling into the person that I am in latinoamerica too- a slightly different person than in the US. I drink coffee. I wear the same clothes pretty much every day. I dont worry when people show up a hour late. speak spanish, and start to live within the language- todo es mas suave, mas relajado. its latinoamerica. go with the flow.