Saturday, December 29, 2012

Photos of the year gone by

The first word that comes to mind when I think about the year 2012 is adventure. For me, the adventure began in March when I packed my bags and left rainy BC and headed south to Honduras. While I was in Central America, I helped make an alfombra in the streets of Antigua,

I hiked to the highest point in Honduras, 

I baked traditional Mennonite paska for the first time ever using traditional Honduran baleada flour, limones and possibly a dash of Honduran ants (so so proud of myself),

I explored ancient Mayan ruins and picnicked in ancient sports fields in the pouring rain,

I wandered through the colourful colonial streets of Antigua and kayaked in a lake high in the Guatemalan mountains surrounded by volcanoes and coffee plantations:

and I saw a few too many of these of these.

But more importantly, I got to spend a great deal of time teaching English and playing with kids here:

I was able to teach this cheerful looking group how to play "Ode to Joy" on the keyboard:
and I made a great deal of creative (and MESSY!) art with this bunch of darlings:

And to end my adventures in Honduras I traveled by bus, taxi and fishing boat with some friends to a small island in the Caribbean where we snorkelled with barracuda and ate heaping plates of fish and crab:

Upon returning back to Canada in August I spent some time wandering in the mountains around Banff with my brother:

And then it was time to embark on the new adventure of moving into a little yellow house on a tree-lined street of Vancouver and beginning my first semester of grad school:

Looking through these photos reminds me that this certainly has been a year of adventure. And while the moments of "firsts" have perhaps been the most memorable - and the most photogenic - it has been the undocumented moments that truly composed the framework of the past year.

It was the time spent reading with fidgety nine-year old boys, teaching the oh-so-valuable phrase "the wolf cries" to a group of Honduran elementary students, spending my early mornings reading and praying while looking out over the mist-shrouded mountains, listening to a fisherman's story on the beach, braiding little girls' hair and searching every grocery store in Copan Ruinas for baking flour that filled my time this year. It was the hours of reading both in and out of school and the hours of essay-writing and studying that have shaped and guided my thoughts. It has been a year filled with moments of waiting for buses in the pouring rain and taking long walks through misty forests. And it has - perhaps most importantly - been a year of finding wonderful and dear friends to go along with me in adventures that each year brings.

I suspect, given my loosely formed plans for the year to come, that 2013 will be primarily composed of the undocumented moments, those moments which are likely not as photogenic as exploring old ruins and cities in Latin America. But I know that every adventure is composed of time spent waiting in the rain, where the excitement of adventure is hard to discern. And so I will strive to keep my eyes open and my ears listening for the strains of beauty and excitement that weave themselves through the fabric of every adventure that ever comes my way. 

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