It’s amazing how quickly you can grow to love a place and think of it as home. As my last week of classes drew to an end, I found myself with a growing pit of dread in my stomach: I was not at all looking forward to saying goodbye to San Pedro. The festivities of Semana Santa provided a bit of a distraction, as did special events like celebrating my teacher Elizabeth’s 21st birthday by going out to dinner:
Our class also took a field trip to local beach after school that Thursday, which involved catching a ride to get there:
The last day of classes was a tad anticlimactic: while the other students finished their lessons that morning, Elizabeth and I had moved our class to the afternoon due to the early Good Friday processions… but by the time school time rolled around after lunch, we were exhausted, hot, and burned out. The town was swamped with tourists (mostly from Latin America), and the heat wave made it difficult to concentrate. I convinced Elizabeth that our last day together would be much better spent enjoying a licuado (smoothie). Sooo much better than attempting to squeeze in another verb tense! 🙂
There was no fun-filled karaoke farewell party, as I had been excitedly planning. My group of friends climbed the stairs of Alegre Pub on Friday night – their normal karaoke night- only to be greeted by horrific dance music, a smoke machine, lasers, and the scantily-clad Brahva girls (picture your typical group of young, attractive beer-or-alcohol spokespeople) dancing up a storm. I guess the pub had tried to up the ante for Semana Santa weekend. We spent the remainder of the night at the decidedly more relaxed Sublime, where we could enjoy the bonfire along the water.
With Max, Lauren, and Paul (who is both completely amazing and potentially insane to be biking from Alaska to South America. As in, on a bicycle. Check out his spectacular website at The Ride South).
The next day, Saturday, was my last in San Pedro. I spent the morning running around: finishing errands, buying a thank-you carrot cake at Cafe Cristalina’s for my homestay family, buying souvenirs, and failing in my final attempt to attend a yoga class in San Pedro. (THANKS FOR THE NOTIFICATION, SAN PEDRO YOGA, THAT YOU NEVER SEEM TO OPEN YOUR DOORS). Part of me knew that I would need to keep busy to avoid thinking about the inevitable: leaving my new family and the people in town that had come to be my neighbors and friends over the last month.
I’ll admit it: the last lunch with my family was very emotional for me. It’s hard to say goodbye to people who have shared their home, their meals, and their lives with you for four weeks. I loved my homestay family, and I hope that I will be able to see them again.
I also bid farewell to many of the other new friends I had made:
When I boarded the lancha to Panajachel for the last time, it was with a heavy heart, which will always fondly remember my time in San Pedro.