Here in my city the streets have dried out now, but on Friday night and Saturday the streets had turned to rivers. I stayed indoors as the rain fell on Saturday, but Friday night I got to see some of the early flooding first hand. I have lived here for two years and have experienced harder rain, but nothing that consistent. As I walked home from the graduation party, I started remembering the first time I walked around the city by myself. I had gotten lost trying to find the soccer stadium. Everything seemed so foreign. But now I felt comfortable. Even though it was nearly 2 am and the streets were flooded, I felt at home. I knew which streets would be on higher ground and so I zig zagged my way home keeping as dry as a tropical storm will let you. I felt relatively safe, if anyone wanted to rob me in that rain, man they could have my stuff. I made it home safely, but drenched to the bone. Two years ago I wouldn't have ever done that.
Now Xela feels like home, and so when I read about all the people who have really suffered because of these storms, I hurt. A mudslide killed four somewhere in my city. The road that leads to my school was nearly underwater. The street I lived on last year flooded. These are places I know. These are people I know. Yet, my weekend was spent packing to go home. To Colorado. I was supposed to fly out on the 31st, but Pacaya erupted and changed everything. Having a few extra days in country has been difficult. Yet, I have realized I have made some real connections here; my students and a few friends outside of school. And that makes me excited for my return trip in August.
Please keep Guatemala in your prayers.