Once upon a glorious time I spent a semester in Guatemala and Mexico. It was definitely my favorite semester of college, and that’s really saying something. While I’m not one of those people who graduated college and has spent the intervening years wishing I could go back to those “carefree” days of dorms and exams, I can honestly say that I did really love the four years I spent at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). I guess you could say that my semester in Central America was the crown jewel in my college experience.
The first ⅔ of that semester were spent in Guatemala living with a wonderful host family, studying Spanish in a small language school in the mornings, and learning about the nation’s tumultuous history and vibrant culture in the afternoons. We lived and learned in Guatemala City during the week and took our experiences to various locales all over the country for the weekends. It was life changing. I answered the call to do mission work while worshiping in a small Mayan-Catholic church in Chichicastenango (that’s another story for another day, but, for now, suffice it to say that the Lord works in mysterious ways--and, no, we weren’t worshipping a Mayan god), and God just continued to confirm that call in me over the course of the remaining weeks in that semester.
And then the Day of My Great Heartbreak came: we left Guatemala and went to finish our semester in Mexico. I did eventually fall in love with Mexico, too, but the transition was less than smooth. Did I mention that I was traveling with a group of 18 students and two leaders? And did I also mention that in Guatemala we studied in classes with no more than 3 or 4 students, but in Mexico all 18 of us were in one class together? For 4 hours every morning? Being lectured about Mexican history and culture in Spanish? There are more excuses for why I didn’t immediately take to Mexico, but I’ll spare you those details for now and get on to the point of this blog post.
During that 4-hour lecture each morning my dear friend and I would entertain ourselves by making lists of all varieties (yes, we were very rude. I know. We already apologized.). My favorite list that came out of this time was a personal bucket list. I found the journal I kept during this semester and thought that, instead of your typical get-to-know-me post, it could be fun to share some highlights from a bucket list I wrote during my last semester of college.
Without further ado, I present to you:
[Snippets of] MY [excpetionally long] BUCKET LIST
*Read/own the Classics in English and Spanish
*Learn to fly a plane
*Hike the Appalachian Trail in its entirety
*See the Northern Lights
*Live out west for a time
*Return to Guatemala, specifically my host family in Charcha
*Go to an Atlanta Braves’ baseball game
*Visit: Greece, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Argentina, Austria, Switzerland, Alaska, Russia, Kenya, Thailand, Brazil, Peru, Tanzania, and a host of other places
*Camp and backpack in the Canadian Rockies
*Complete the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk for breast cancer in honor of my mom
*Learn the constellations
*Memorize the book of James
*Start a camp for kids with chronic illnesses/special needs
*Have a secret/hidden room or passage in my house
*Never have a fake Christmas tree
*Learn Rubik’s cube
*Learn to sail
*Get good at the guitar and learn to play the cello
*Not use Wal-Mart
*Learn to throw pizza dough
*”live among the beggars”
*Use snail-mail more
*Read all of C. S. Lewis’ works
*Be able to do at least 10 chin-ups
*Buy a DSLR and learn photography
*Learn to drive stick shift
As I mentioned, these are just a few highlights. The original covers four (yes, 4) pages in my journal. I intentionally did not include ones that I have already fulfilled.