How one missionary balances his love of Guatemala with his love of the U.S.
One of the things expats, missionaries and TCKs have in common is their ability to adore their current home, miss where they’re from and feel like they don’t fully belong anywhere — all at the same time.
Here, George Sisneros, who, along with his wife, sold all of their possessions and moved to Guatemala to do mission work several years ago, shares what he loves about his new home and what he misses about his old one.
5 Things I Love About Guatemala
- I love the culture. I love the colors and smells. I love that streets are always crowded. I love the vendors selling everything from tortillas to bed mattresses.
- I love the people. Some of the very best people I’ve ever met are here. They are uncommonly kind and hardworking. If there were an Olympic event for hard work, Guatemala would medal.
- I love the weather. Guatemala is known as the land of eternal spring. The average temperature is 76 degrees. Don’t get me wrong, it gets cold. One winter it dropped to 73!
- I love that we could adopt. Although adoptions have been closed since 2008, as permanent residents, we were able to adopt four siblings. It’s a slow process, but Guatemala gets this right. There was an intense screening process but no cost to adopt.
- I love the slower pace of life. There are people going in all different directions, but there’s a patience about it all. Everyone seems happy and kind. It reminds me of a scene from Beauty and the Beast.
5 Things I Miss Most About the United States
- I miss my family. I miss my oldest daughter and my two grandchildren and I miss my mom. I wish I could just stop by for coffee. We can talk for hours. I miss that.
- I miss the mountains. I miss hiking and camping with my dad. I miss the opportunity to take my kids fishing.
- I miss seasons, especially fall. I miss the aspen trees changing. I miss the crisp air. I miss the first snow. Actually, I miss snow.
- I miss convenience. I don’t think you can have a slower pace of life and convenience at the same time, so I’d take the slower pace of life, most days. But some days, I just want to go to Target or Home Depot and find everything I need.
- I miss drinking water from the faucet. When I visit the United States, I’m still very cautious about the water. Even though I know it’s OK, I always ask if the water’s safe to drink.
Are you currently living away from your native home? What do you love? What do you miss? Where do you feel most at home?