Kathryn's Peace Corps Adventure

The opinions expressed and experiences described in this blog are mine personally. Any musings that you read here are not affiliated or endorsed by Peace Corps or U.S. government. Or Starbucks. And I'm not making any money from any of this, so don't send a lawsuit my way. Got it?

Friday, February 08, 2008

the toughest job you'll ever love.

Well, I've been back for about 2 months now and have found readjustment to be quite tough. I miss Honduras, I miss my kids, I miss living alone, quiet time, not worrying about the next step, etc. But that is part of the PC experience as well.

It's been an amazing journey and hopefully, it's not over. There will be another adventure in the works, another challenge to face, and many more faces to see. But thanks for reading my adventures the past 2 1/2 years. In retrospect, it really did fly.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

a litle bit of mexico

Nighttime in Mérida.
The thousand pillars at Chichén Itzá. Sunrise at Tulum. (This view is right outside my cabaña!)

At the ruins in Palenque. McFly, McFly....at Sumidero Canyon.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

brrrrr! (yes, again)

I'm currently in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas. It's cold!! I slept with 3 blankets last night and still woke up from the cold. It's about 6000 ft. above sea level, so you can imagine that it's chilly. The good thing though is that I allow myself to drink as many Mexican hot chocolates as I please, which not only warm me up, but fulfill every chocolate dream I've had.

Anyhow, I spent yesterday exploring the town, taking pictures of the architecture, wandering the artisan market and attending a salsa class. (Oh, salsa dancing, how I've missed you. Unfortunately, it is not like riding a bike. I felt clumsy and off beat.) Today I went to Cañon del Sumidero, a massive canyon with a hydroelectic dam built at the end of the river. I went out on a tour boat, which was enjoyable but tiring because people wanted to take pictures of everything. I understand....but how many crocodile pictures does one need to show to friends back home?

It's decision time for me now. I have to decide if I'm going to head to Merida or Playa del Carmen tomorrow. Both bus rides will be over 12 hours...I have such a desire to get in some beach time since I was cheated at Roatan.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

tikal to mexico

I'm in Chiapas, Mexico!!!

Tikal was gorgeous. Before going there, I read that it was in the middle of the jungle but that didn't make much sense to me until I experienced it. It really is in the middle of nowhere. From the main entrance to the main plaza is about a 20 minute walk through a created path. The stuctures were amazing and climbing pyramids was thrilling (and frightening) but the coolest part for me was all the animals. I saw so many monkeys, turkeys, toucans and a handful of other birds that I don't know the names of...I was foolish though and did not have a good breakfast and was burned out by midday. I wish that I had stayed an extra day to go again because there is just so much to see there that I don't think a day visit did it justice. But Tikal is expensive ($20), though well worth the money. Besides, I had already purchased my ticket to Mexico by then.

The trip to Mexico was quite the adventure. As I said, Tikal is in the middle of nowhere, Guatemala so the minibus that I took rode horrible dirt roads for about 2 hours. And it was just farmland everywhere. No houses, no people, just land. The road ends at a river and from there, I took a speedboat to get to the Mexican border. It was fun. From there, another minibus but on a paved road (thank goodness!).

So I arrived to Palenque yesterday and am staying in the town of El Panchán, which is about 4 km out of town. It's a cool village with cabins set up throughout the jungle and am staying in a cute cabin that is costing me $8/night. Later today (after a good meal), I will head out to the ruins, spend one more night here and head to the Zapatista capital, San Cristóbal de las Casas, tomorrow morning.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I only spent an evening in Punta Gorda (PG) but I had a fabulous time. As I was walking around the town market, I was approached by a local and was asked if I wanted a bicycle tour of the town. Of course! We rode all around PG and on some back roads too which was difficult because those roads weren't paved and pretty muddy so I was caught up in some mud for a bit. It was beautiful weather, dusk, not too hot or chilly and the bike I was on was a cruiser! I haven't been on a cruiser for a l-o-n-g time...it was fun and took some adjusting to get used to because there were no handbrakes, just backpedal braking. After the ride, he invited me to join him and some friends for dinner and we ate delicious fresh fish and had a tea that tasted similar to black licorice.

I left the next morning at 8 to get to San Ignacio, which is in the western part of the country, which took awhile. I got in around 3 that afternoon. The ride was pretty and much flatter than Honduras. Miles and miles of orange groves and banana plantations covered the southern part of Belize.

San Ignacio is a larger town with a lot of travelers passing through on their way to or from Tikal. It's still has a local feel to it though and isn't catered only to tourists. Most people here speak three languages: English, Spanish and Creole which throws me off because I'm used to asking for food and hotel rooms in Spanish and I feel almost foolish speaking English....almost as if I don't know how to maneuver the language, which is ridiculous because my English will always overrule my Spanish.

Anyhow, I just came back from touring the ruins of Xunantunich (soo-nan-too-neech), which were chill. They let you climb the highest structure, the castle, which is about 130 ft high. What a view. I took pictures but foolishly forgot to bring my camera cord with me so I can't load the pics up until I get home. I sat up there for about an hour just reading and enjoying the warm sunshine. The coolest part though was the 2 minute ferry that you have to take to get across the river because it is connected by wire cables on each side and operated by hand crank.

I'm headed to Tikal tomorrow and in the meanwhile, I'm going to kick back and enjoy the national beer, Belikin, as their stout is que rica.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

wipe out

I am no longer a PCV! My service ended on the 16th. And now begins the travel portion of this blog....

After visiting my friends Crystal & Simon on the 17th, I was on the bus to San Pedro Sula with the intention of going to Belize that day but looked at the clear blue sky and decided, "I'm going to Roatan" (one of the Bay Islands off the north coast of Honduras). I get to Roatan at 6 pm and it's pouring rain. Sigh.

The next day the sun was not making an appearance so I decided to rent a scooter to ride around the island. Keep in mind that I've never driven a scooter let alone ridden on one but I was in 'vacation mode' and wouldn't let that stop me. After learning how to start the engine (hooray!), I head east and keep riding for 15 miles. It was so much fun!

...until I see the turn off for this town, French Harbor, and decide that I must go there. As I turn right, I hit a pothole and go flying! People run out of their cabs to make sure I'm alright, help me up, help me with the scooter and were just overall wonderful. I'm scratched up but more than anything I was embarassed. I start riding back to West End (where I was staying) and decided that I would cut my adventure short for the sake of my health and for other people on the road.

As I write this, I am currently in southern Belize. Tomorrow I'm headed to San Ignacio, in the west and this weekend, I should be in Tikal, Guatemala. But I don't have any true plans as I've decided to travel wherever the wind takes me. Or knocks me over.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


It's almost here. I'm in Tegucigapla getting medical stuff done (and probed in all sorts of ways!) and finishing up some final paperwork. My final day as a PCV will be this Friday. This Friday!!!! How surreal is that?!