When Auntie L and I left Guatemala four years ago, we were excited but sad. Excited because new adventures loomed on the horizon… and those new adventures included not being fearful for our lives at certain times of the day or in certain areas of town, and buying fancy new smartphones. Sad because we’d both loved (many of the things about) our time in Guatemala. It is a beautiful country full of amazing people. Our school, The American School of Guatemala, was a such a great place to work. The administration- especially in the middle school section- was supportive and kind. The kids and the teachers respected and liked them, which can be a tricky combination that doesn’t always work. The campus was stunning, with rolling green grass, vibrant flowers, tall trees and, when it rained really hard, a waterfall on one of the back walls.
Auntie L decided that we should do a countdown to our leaving day, something to ‘remember Guatemala by.’ She came up with the ’60 Days in Guatemala,’ idea- we’d take a picture every day for our last 60 days in the country, the last one being an airport or airplane shot before we jetted away to the next chapter in our stories. Being a shutterbug with a 15-month old baby who was born in Guatemala (hence, the hormones and the emotions took control), I immediately said yes. We plotted and planned a few photos- the grocery store with no front windows or doors that we seemed to visit every other day, our neighborhood, a tiendita, our classrooms, the Pricesmart, and the mall. We made sure to get photos at all of the leaving parties and ‘last times’ that came around. Auntie L made a photo book of her 60 Days and I incorporated it into my Guatemala photo book. I love looking back and seeing photos of the Tigo sign on the wall in our neighborhood (our phone company), the view from my classroom on a rainy afternoon, our mechanic Emigdio who saved our butts more times than we can count, our stuff as it was being taken away by our shipping company, and our nanny Andrea, holding The Ladybug for the last time, tears streaming down her face.
Since we’re leaving another country together, we’ve decided to do a ’60 Days in Bahrain’ countdown as well. The 60 days of Bahrain officially started on April 16th and, as it encompasses expat life, our international community, my family, and traveling, I’m going to share my last 60 days in Bahrain with you. Enjoy!