January is not normally a month that I am excited about or really look forward to, but for some reason this year I've been filled with a sense of anticipation that makes me excited. I'm happy about this, but it also sort of scares me because I am not exactly sure why I'm excited (it may or may not have anything to do with the five bags of Trader Joe's chocolate chips that Jason's parents brought to me).
Honestly, many things have not gone as we would have hoped with our time here in Guatemala ...
- Jason realized within the first week of school that teaching is just not for him ... getting a solid answer to this lingering question was positive, but it came with the major hurdle of knowing that there would still be nine more months of actual teaching
- we never imagined we'd get flooded out of our apartment & not get into permanent housing for over three months
- money has been extremely tight. Based on what we were told before moving down, we'd felt pretty comfortable with our budget and planned to be able to use some of our savings toward exploring this cool region; instead, we've needed to use savings just toward daily living expenses
- our laptop breaking down is just one more thing to add to a long list of minor heartbreaks/annoyances ...
But, I feel really thankful.
We have all that we need.
God provides and protects.
Luke is thriving.
We are blessed.
We have great friends here. Jason's co-workers are wonderful and have not shunned us for being nearly 15 years older than they are and toting a baby. Instead they've embraced & encouraged us. We have so enjoyed getting to know them. We have also made some awesome friends through our Sunday worship service at Porch de Salomon. Other couples with kids, who are also choosing to live in Guatemala and make us feel less crazy about bringing our baby here. They are a constant encouragement and joy to be around.
I suppose with a New Year brings the hope of new things to come and hope has a way to lift the spirits. With Jason's enlightenment about teaching, we are now on the search for a different career for him. This is scary and thrilling at the same time. It means that once again we have no idea where we will be or what we will be doing six months from now.
As much as we enjoy living in this beautiful, unique country and would certainly be happy to stay longer in a different job role, most of the jobs here are geared (pay-wise) toward single, recent college grads, not families. So ... the hunt begins.
For those of you who have held us up in your prayers -- thank you a thousand times over!!! The level of excitement and hope I have felt this week has been so unusual that I feel confident it is a gift from God and an answer to the many prayers being offered on our behalf. Thank you!!
And ... because posts with pictures seem more interesting to me, here are a couple favorites from our Guatemalan Christmas.
The traditional Christmas food here - steamed tamales wrapped in leaves. Sold at many of the tortilliarillas during the holiday season for about 60¢ apiece. Delicious! The wrapping reminded us a bit of this zongzi we enjoyed in China.
Luke unwraps his first present EVER!
Three generations of Schlafmann men --