The Road to Guatemala

The Road to Guatemala

I’m a little anxious today as I pack for a week of serving in Guatemala– which means separation from family and being delivered into the hands of hard labor and living conditions that most of us Americans would consider totally unacceptable.  As I studied the details of what to expect there, I quickly became thankful for everything I take for granted here— basic stuff like clean water, modern plumbing, and decent health care.  It put things in perspective. Quick.  

All that being said– I’m really looking forward to this trip– working shoulder to shoulder with friends, all of us singularly focused on doing for others and not “what’s in it for me.”  Now for the physical preparations– just spent two hours at the clinic filled with blue-hairs and sniffly kids to get my tetanus shot, and I need to stop procrastinating and finish packing.  The North Face Base Camp Duffel will be the go-to bag for this excursion.


Road to Guatemala

You don’t want to take anything that could be considered a display of wealth– first of all it’s rude, secondly you can quickly become a target– and I don’t need any help in that department.  I’m not going to blend in– typical irishman here, as white as they come.  I was instructed to scale back to only those things that are essential.  To me that means my iPod and Bose headphones are going (just for the plane). Basic need, right?  Messed-up.  I’m going on record and saying that I deserve for them to be lost or stolen on this trip.



I saw this bag today from KILLSPENCER and that little voice inside whispered that what I have isn’t good enough anymore.  It’s been deemed obsolete by something new and improved.  You know when you see something great, and you immediately identify it as the item that truly epitomizes, and totally completes you as a person?  You have to have it, in order to maintain a happy life.  I have those feelings all the time, and I can tell you from experience that it can be a miserable trap.  Don’t get me wrong– I would love to own this beauty, but maybe this trip will help me to see that I don’t always need the latest and greatest _______ .  Maybe I should just be appreciative and thankful for what I have.  Maybe you think I’m full of crap and just want to know more about the cool new KILLSPENCER collection. Whatever the case may be– see you in a week.  I don’t know if I’ll have the ability or even the desire to post while I’m out there– we’ll see…

6 thoughts on “The Road to Guatemala

  1. Further to your point: I just returned from a couple business trips in Colombia and went through a similar thought process on top of extensive, local security awareness training. In addition to avoiding a display of wealth, consider trying not to look too foreign or this case…American. Chances are that your “lack of wealth” won’t stop someone trying to get another’s using you. Just being American/Western can equal wealth to many. I was surprised how western I looked even after considering and simplifying my wardrobe during my trips. But as you note, it’s the attitude that is most important. Have fun, be safe and keep us posted.

  2. You might want to use earbuds of another color. Those earbuds are instantly recognizable as being attached to an iPod; small, high value, easily stolen.

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