Off the Grid
On the 28th of September we flew into Guatemala City, where at the airport we were greeted by Peace Corps Guatemala staff. It was amazing, Carolyn Beale or training director, Adrianna, & Xoce welcomed us with a beautiful banner with all of our names on it as we stepped foot on the soil of the place we would soon call home.
We transported our luggage on the peace corps busses and rode into Santia Lucia (where the peace corps office is located). Our new headquarters is amazing as it is incredibly spacious) Here, we were greeted by our amazing staff. Sensing the delirious looks on our faces, we had a brief orientation and then sent to check into our hotel to rest. We stayed at the El Mirrador hotel for 3 days and 2 nights, before receiving our host family assignments during pre-service. Here is we spent a lilt more time getting to know one another, and current staff and PCV volunteers Adrianna and Xoce. We had our opportunities to ask the questions our burning hearts desired about Youth in Development or the Healthy Schools programs. We played games, hosted a discussion on diversity, and even held a Bak’tun 8 talent show. The stay here, simply eased us into Guatemalan living and it was breathtakingly beautiful.
As we received the rundown of what the next 11 weeks would look like for us, I could not help but think, I was in the right place when I heard my training director say, “get comfortable with discomfort.” What?!? This one of my favorite yogi sayings. Apparently, our training director is one the best PC pre-service training directors and she is incredibly great at what she does. She is truly in sync with the program and in tune with people’s needs.
Simply put, we did not receive our work phones until exactly one week into training. Even though there was access at the hotel and the office, it seemed sporadic, and selective in the moments it chose to work. Although, it was aggravating not having instantaneous access to the outside world it was kind of nice. It was until now, I understood the saying get, “comfortable with discomfort.” Believe me I fought it every second, trying to connect every second I could. Until finally it clicked, that I should settle into the present moment.
A digital diet, is the only time, I could begin to be truly present and focus on what was in front me, and on the great work I hope to do. The difficulties I would encounter, the friendships I would form, the illness I would encounter, and the break through’s I would have. It was now I could begin practicing the eight-limb Path of Yoga, turning inward, and embracing the new world, and culture, before me. As written in the Bhagavad Gita, “Concentrate your mind on me, and fill your heat with presence, so I sit still and let the light pour into my soul. This is worth my while.”