The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it. – Rudy Kipling
I cannot help but feel as though I am twelve-years old again, back at summer camp in my new surroundings. Small houses that are sparsely spread throughout the property, each one slightly different from next, the volunteer house, La Cometa, has four bedrooms–one attached to the other with a small outdoor patio in the front cluttered with several chairs, the shared bathroom has an outdoor shower with a panoramic view of the pyramid-shaped hills in the nearby distance, and I have come to occupy room numero dos.
Living without a watch in a relaxed stress-free environment, I begin to wander around the corner of the building near one of the brightly colored hammocks that sits vacant, when a beautiful girl in a pink dress approaches. She introduces herself, Karen, a former volunteer at Finca Ixobel, she is visiting from Guatemala City for a few days to escape the concrete madness, and is locked and loaded with a smile that is unforgettable as she flashes it once more walking away over her shoulder. Shy and unsure of what just occurred, I brush off this encounter, despite the flirtatious glances and her excellent English pronunciation. The rest of the afternoon is quiet, and soon, the sun begins to set on my first full day, bringing with it, dinner. Each night there is a delicious buffet, as every one of the food groups are represented accordingly, including homemade breads that are made daily onsite in the bakery, my mouth begins to water with all of the various food options.