Can someone tell me where this school year went?
Last Friday we sent students away for the summer with a marching band farewell and are left with empty classrooms, quiet hallways, and a few days to close up shop. I really cannot believe how fast this school year went. The end of the year was bittersweet for me – I will be teaching the same students again, so no hard goodbyes there; however, some close teacher friends are moving on and I’m moving to a new grade level team, so my day to day will look very different next year.
The last week of school was especially hectic this year – in addition to normal “year end” routines, I also ran a half marathon and had FIVE basketball games!
The Half Marathon
I first ran the Coban half marathon last year thanks to peer pressure from a dear friend. While I was PETRIFIED of a mountainous half marathon, it turned out to be a wonderful experience – great energy, friendly, welcoming people, and merely hilly, not mountainous. After finishing in 2:33 last year (ran slowly, mostly out of fear…a bit due to lack of training), I set my mind to do it again this year.
This year, a group of 6 of us took off after school on Friday. The plan was perfect: leave early, miss Friday traffic, drive the 4 hours to Coban, get settled in, get dinner, and relax. A they say, “the best laid plans…..” We had traffic most of the way to Coban due to construction and got there after dark, which made it very hard to find the hostel half the group was staying at. By the time we found it and Joel and I found our way to our lodging, it was almost 9. Dinner and bed.
Saturday morning we went to the expo, explored a nearby park with waterfalls and swimming holes, then came back to venture out for dinner. The restaurant we wanted to go to was out of food (?!?), so we found a restaurant that was having a pasta bar and lamb roast. We sat down to discover they were out of pasta and the lamb still had 1.5 hours to cook. Asi es la vida.
We finally ate, made it back to our rooms, and went to sleep early to prepare for the race.
At 5:45 the next morning I received a message from my friend Sue saying, “uh, Annette – we’re locked in our room and there’s no one around. Can you call the owner for us?” WHAT? For the next half hour I received updates related the current state of the door. It had to be taken off, but they were rescued in time to make it to the race.
Thankfully, the mishaps didn’t carry over into my race. I felt great, ran hard, and finished in 2:13 – 20 minutes faster than the year before on an equally hilly course!
After the race we piled back into the cars and drove home, which leads to…
Five Basketball Games
Earlier this year, I joined a basketball team in the “Liga Mayor,” or the top league in Guatemala City. Thankfully, I stumbled onto a team full of wonderful women who quickly became friends and a team with a great coach! It was fun to get back on the court and realize that some things never change – I love being part of a team, I love the game of basketball, and Guatemalans are terrible organizers. The season was supposed to end in April, with a tournament for the top 4 to follow. Due to numerous cancellations and schedule changes, our team ended up playing our last two regular season games on Monday and Tuesday with the final four beginning on Thursday – immediately after my half marathon and during the last week of school!
It was as tough as I imagined. In addition, 3 of our guards were not able to play due to commitments with the national team and a planned vacation. Short handed and short on energy, we lost our first two games of the Final Four by four points each, and won the last won – finishing in 3rd place. Not bad for our first season playing together!
Needless to say, the past week brought closure to multiple areas of life: a school year, race training, and a basketball season. I’m looking forward to a few days of rest and relaxation, and then to “what’s next.”