"If you have come here to help me, then you are wasting your time. But if you have come here because your liberation is bound up in mine, then let us work together" -Lilla Watson, Aboriginal Activist

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Living Livingston

Check the tabs. Organize a drinking game. Do the room checks. Passports. "Buenos dias, Casa Iguana."

The hostel life.  I feel lucky to have landed myself a hostel job for a bit.  It's offered me a chance to stay in one spot for a bit, save some money, beef up my bartending skills, and best of all, learn about the inner-workings of a backpackers hostel.  So when I heard from the owner of Casa de la Iguana while I was still traveling in Nicaragua, I decided to get on a bus back to Livingston, Guatemala the following week.  And now here I am, in the small, islandesque Caribbean hub of Northeastern Guatemala where the water is as warm as bathwater, the fish is fresh, and the dreadlocks and marijuana a-plenty.

Two weeks into the job I've realized a few things.  One, that owning/running a hostel isn't as glamorous/easy as I thought; two, that living in the Caribbean is as awesome as I thought, and three, that my coworkers and I are the Slurms McKenzie's of the hostel world.  I think it's a common backpacker's dream to one day own their own hostel in some little corner of the world.  And working here hasn't changed that for me.  It has, however, given me some perspective.  Because the truth of the matter is that when you own or work at a hostel you become the constant.  Backpackers come and go everyday, but you stay put.  And if you happen to own a party hostel in the Caribbean, well, say goodbye to your healthy liver and hello to night shifts that go until 3am.  Every single night. 

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