Yesterday I completed another year, as they say in Spanish, and I decided to take stock with a list of things that have happened since my last birthday. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. I visited two new countries - Guatemala and Nicaragua - and lived in one of them for the majority of this year.
2. I learned how to make tortillas by hand.
3. I got really good at speaking Spanish.
4. I acquired two new families, one in the south of Nicaragua and one in the north.
5. I ate beans almost every day.
6. I rode a horse exactly three times.
7. I had my first experiences with intestinal parasites. Verdict: not as scary as they sound.
8. I read a ton of books.
9. By some miracle, I did not get a sunburn one time.
10. I ran a 10k race, my first ever.
11. I taught my first yoga class in Spanish.
12. I paid a sum total of $200 in rent.
13. I spent a full month with my younger brother - more time than we have spent together since our childhood.
14. I grew a vegetable garden.
15. I picked dragon fruits, lemons, and guanabanas from my backyard.
16. I learned that living without running water is not as difficult as it sounds.
17. I got good at washing clothing on a cement slab. (I even think they actually get cleaner that way.)
18. I made several new close friends.
19. I learned to tell time by which bus is passing by my town, e.g. The Big Honker at 6:30, The Red Bus at 7:30, Santa Inez at 11:00, and Chico's Bus at 1:30.
20. I developed the habit of washing my shoes after almost every use.
21. I ate a lot of fertilized eggs, aka huevos de amor, and I came to believe that they are many times superior to unfertilized eggs.
22. I learned to make soy milk from scratch.
23. I slept most nights underneath a mosquito net.
24. I saw 3 scorpions - inside my house.
25. I felt cold twice.
Overall, it was a great year.