Laura Keaton guatemala 2010

"I want to become more confident about the way I see the world and what I can do to change it. I want to show other people that what I do this year is something they can do too."

Full Circle!
July 11, 2010

The first blog post that I wrote for Global Citizen Year was one that I thought about for a long time  before writing. It was maybe the hardest post that I ever had to write because I wasn’t yet even out of the gate, and it was difficult for me to figure out how to relate Global Citizen Year to my life when I was still waiting on it to overtake and transform me. Then it did. And now here I am, back at my grandmother’s house in the Poconos, back where the tangible counterpart of the metaphorical basis for that first blog post actually…Read the rest »

Old School Google (Pronounced “Goo-Glay”)
April 26, 2010

On Wednesday afternoon my sister left North Carolina headed for Germany, and on Thursday I read about the cloud of volcanic ash that a certain volcano in the land of Ice is spewing out, wreaking havoc on air travel in Europe. As it turns out, my sister is now stranded in London, but is taking the train to Brussels tomorrow and then another 2 after that in order to make her way to Germany. Telling Omar and Josefina about this over dinner, Omar remarked, “Wow! She’s going to travel underneath the ocean then!” Oh, uh, yeah I guess so. I…Read the rest »

Looking Forward
April 23, 2010

Josefina and Omar never cease to amaze me. Tonight at dinner while eating carrot cake that I made with Fina, she told Omar: “Hey listen, I said to Laura the other day, I said: Don’t be jealous of the students that are coming for the summer program, even though they’re going to be staying in your room. They are coming for two weeks and you’ve been here 7 months. And you will always, always have a place to stay here.” I said, “I’m not jealous, I’m just, you know, envious.” “That’’s true, Laura, (‘La-oorah’, he says) you’ve robbed my heart,…Read the rest »

The View
April 15, 2010

The fellows now have just 2 short weeks left in-country. It seems unreal, because before I began my Global Citizen Year, my longest-ever vacation hadn’t even been that long. (It clocked in at 12 days.) Strange to think of my “closing time” as longer than any previous beginning, middle, AND end of a trip combined. It seems like now my eyes should be starting to look at things in the way I want to remember them–to paraphrase Vladmir Nabokov. But the truth is that until yesterday, everything was clouded by my desperate desire to be on a plane to San…Read the rest »

Green Thumbs Up
April 2, 2010

In November, I came up with the idea to start a “square-foot garden” in one of my schools with the help of the mothers group. I thought it would be a good idea because the school gathers donations of vegetables every week to give them and the garden would be a simple and self-sustained way to augment that program. Then I turned it over and over in my head, finding deficiencies and insecurities to hang on to such as: these women probably know how to plant a garden already, they probably won’t want to make one in their homes, what…Read the rest »

“LIVE” TV
April 2, 2010

Dear Mrs. Rasnick, Do you remember my peculiar Drama I class? You said it was peculiar because for the most part our class was not in Drama because we wanted to learn about the origins of theater, Thespes and the like. We were in Drama because we wanted to play games. I am writing today to tell you that although I have not used algebra here in Guatemala, nor history, nor even very much English, I have used the games you taught me, and used then well. The fellows recently took a trip to Belize. We stayed in a guest…Read the rest »

Family Resemblance
April 2, 2010

“Canche! Que bonita su hija Fina!” Fina and I are standing outside the tortilleria, my absolute favorite spot in Santo Tomas. The woman speaking has coarse gray hair and dark wrinkled skin. I might say she is in her mid 70s judging by her looks but she’s probably around 60, and her agility reinforces that idea. “Blondie” she calls me. What a pretty daughter! A man standing nearby twists up his face in confusion and he says “su hija?” but then it relaxes into acceptance accompanied by a shrug of his shoulders as if to say, “Yeah I guess that…Read the rest »

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