October 2008 Issue: You’re Still Here?

It’s October already. That’s the tenth month of 2008, for those of us whooctober08 haven’t looked at a calendar for awhile. You’re still in Xela? The college student summer breakers are long gone, the fair has packed up and left, and even the rainy season is on its way out. What are you still doing here?

You’re still “working on your Spanish”, right? You dropped out of Spanish school over a month ago, and you’ve been tackling the Prensa Libre a little less often lately. Most of your music is in English, as wells as your Internet time, your XelaWho magazine, at least half of your friends here, and most of your thoughts. But good job on that Spanish conversation with Carlos yesterday. That lasted, like, over half an hour. If you read the whole Spanish side of EntreMundos and hardly needed the English side at all, then call yourself proficient – you’ve earned it.

Or maybe you’re still here because you’re “in between things” right now, taking a bit of a retirement for a few months. Now you have the time to do those things you’ve been wanting to do but couldn’t while working full-time: read the classics, go out drinking for under $10 almost every night of the week, catch up on some movie-watching, start writing that semi-autobiographical novel, pick up a new hobby or two, and spend some quality time in a hammock.

With only a few months of the year left, maybe it’s time to think ahead. How is that grad school application coming along? Isn’t your travel insurance expired?  The longer you wait to buy your return ticket, the more expensive it might get. There’s also that wedding you have to go home for eventually. Start planning ahead, amigo. It’s been great, but all good things must come to an end.

Or do they? A certain election is coming up next month, and the stakes are high. In the unlikely event of a certain outcome, it may be worth it to convert your savings into Quetzales, find a gig down here to supplement it, and call Xela home for about four more years. And speaking of the election, if you’re a citizen of that certain country, here’s one more nagging question for you: you’ve registered to vote and plan to send in your absentee ballot, right? You can still rock (or salsa, if you prefer) the vote from Guatemala.

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