I’ve been in Guatemala for almost 3 years now. Actually, October 4th is my Guateversary. I’ll celebrate in my own special way somehow that day. I still can’t believe two things: 1) I live here and 2) I’m still here.
I was only supposed to stay for 4–6 months, return to Ontario for the summer and then come the next fall, pick another third world country to hang out in for 4–6 months again. I thought this was going to be my life. Boy was I wrong.
What did happen, was that I got here, fell in love with this place, and stayed. Will I stay here forever? I honestly don’t know. Time will tell.
Anyway, when I first got down here I could barely speak the language. Forming any kind of intelligible sentence was a struggle. I took a few Spanish lessons before I got down here. Learned the important stuff. Numbers, greetings, food and money.
Yup. That’s all I knew. Oddly enough, there are many gringos down here that can’t speak Spanish at all and have been here for years. This still baffles.
So almost 3 years in now, I can sort of get by in conversation and I’ve learned a shit ton of words. Sometimes a friend even asks me to do a translation for them. Go Iva!!
There are several different words that can mean the same thing. Some are slang, some are standard Spanish, others are native to the indigenous people.
My favourite word so far? Linda. The ‘i’ is pronounced like an ‘e’. Leenda. What does it mean? I’ll save you the trouble of having to use Google translator, which I might add is the best free app in the whole wide world for travelers. You can even use the camera function to automatically translate menus, documents and any other written out items (this feature was especially helpful when I bought a box of fabric dye and couldn’t read the instructions to save my fucking soul).
Anyway. (I just noticed I say anyway a lot)
Linda means ‘beautiful’. ❤
It’s not a word I hear very often to be honest (and that’s not because I think I’m ugly or anything), but there’s one group at the market who own a big table full of fruits. There are about 4–6 guys who work this table on any given day. They’re mostly young guys. 20–30 yrs old I’d guess.
The first time they called me linda, my first thought was “I’m sold. I’ll buy all my fucking fruit from you from here on in”. Their prices are about the same as everyone else’s anyway so why not?
Then one day I heard them calling other ladies linda and I thought “oh how lovely!!!” I think it’s absolutely fantastic that they call all the ladies linda.
I believe that women should be treated like queens and princesses and reminded often of how beautiful and special they are.
You know those women who are all about “I don’t need no compliments to make me feel special and I’ll buy my own damn flowers and I don’t need no man to make me feel special? “ Ya I ain’t one of them.
And it’s not that I feel I need a man. I’d like to have one, but I don’t necessarily need one, but with that said, I’m one of those girls who likes to be treated like a princess, I’d like to feel I am well protected and safe with my man and I’d like to be called linda every now and then. Yup. True story.
I crave attention and affection. I honestly believe it stems from my shitty upbringing but this article isn’t the place to talk about that now. My last few stories have been kinda dark and I want to make this one special and beautiful and full of love. ❤
Call me linda. Call me linda over and over again. Why? Because it actually makes me feel linda and I appreciate your innocent term of endearment.
But I don’t want to end this story about me.
If you see something beautiful in someone, tell them. If the girl in front of you at the coffee shop has a beautiful dress on or her hair looks great or maybe even the guy in front of you looks handsome, TELL THEM!
People are always so quick to judge, point fingers, ridicule and shame others. How about we not do that anymore. How about instead of pointing out someone’s flaws, why not find the beauty in them?
Tell people they are beautiful. Make someone’s day. You could be the only person that day who puts a smile on someone’s face. Be that person.
Every. damn. day.
Peace and Love
xo iva xo
Have you checked out my podcast yet? You should. It’s kind awesome. ❤