Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The End

I've decided to end this blog to begin a new one.


If you followed this blog please continue to follow me over here and see where life takes me next.

Thank you for reading my thoughts and adventures.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Highlights

My friend Jillian gave me tasks to do each day of my first week back home. It was actaully a good way to get semi-readjusted and it was fun to have to do something everyday.

It was a good first week home.
Went to Target and bought a new hat an feather earrings

Ate In N Out...delicious! 

Saw The Descendants

Andrea had a welcome home dinner for me and I got to see all the little ones
little Reggie is walking & oh so cute!

Had sushi with Andrea, Yoho, and Reggie 

Best friends since 1991, it's good to be with Andrea again!

Mexican food night!

I splurged and got a new iPhone 4S & I love it!

Sunday afternoon at Little Cottonwood Canyon


Snowshoeing

It was a beautiful day! 

video
Video of snowshoeing, it's a little shaky

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Beginnings

The end of my Peace Corps experience marks the end of a huge chapter in my life. It’s not only the end of my journey in Guyana but I feel like it’s the end of my young adult life {my adolescence in a sense}. I came to Peace Corps unsure of who I really was. Unsure of what I really wanted in life. I came to Peace Corps to figure out my life…to find myself. And I have.

Now that it's over and I'm looking back on the whole experience I feel extremely grateful. I had my share of ups and downs and there were times when I questioned if being in Guyana was worth it. But now I can definitely say it was worth it and I would do the whole thing over again if I had to. I met amazing people and I grew. I gained a whole new perspective on life and that is something I’ll be forever grateful for.

Being home has been good but a little weird. And I say weird because I have felt so many different emotions like happy, overwhelmed, scared, excited, sad, loved, lonely, jealous, guilty, and subdued.  I can't help but feel that since I'm home I have to have a plan. I have to jump into something, anything.  I have to be doing something.  When these thoughts/feeling come into my mind I welcome them and feel them but I don't allow them to stick around too long...I just keep telling myself it's okay to feel these things and it's okay to take a little time before jumping into something. I know things will happen when the time is right....

I'm pretty excited for new beginnings and the next chapter in my life.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Videos & I Hope

I am excited to finally share a few videos. 

This first video is the boat ride/wetlands tour we took during our Close of Service conference.
video

The second video is of the nursery school kids singing on my last day with them. 
video

And this third video is my last minibus adventure.  While we were sitting waiting for the bus to fill a guy started harassing Becky and asked her some pretty personal questions so Princess being the 'hold nothing back' gal that she is chimed in...I love Princess! 
video


I hope you were able to get a little glimpse of life in Guyana.

...........................................

My friend Jillian is amazing and I'm sharing a poem she wrote because it's lovely and it speaks true to how I feel about my time in Guyana. 

I hope by Jillian Johnson
Oh Guyana. I hope I loved you enough.
I hope I turned up in the days that the sun was high and warm and worked hard under your heat and sweated enough.
I hope I taught you something.
I know you taught me something. Or two.
I hope the day ended feeling better than it started.
I hope the next day starts better than it ended.
I hope I tried for you enough.
I hope you felt the fast beats of my heart and the tears of my eyes.
I hope you know that I tried my best.
I hope you know that I loved your children like my own.
I hope you know that many of times they were.
I hope you see a difference because of what I did or did not do.
I know that I will be different, because of what I did and did not do.
I hope you show your beauty to others, like you have shown me.
I hope others will see your beauty that is truly here to see.
I hope you know that you brought some of my favorite people of life together: In my heart and in your country.
I hope you feel the feelings I have for you in every breath that I have left to take.
I hope you know that at times it felt like it was forever, but that quickly slipped to lost when I was awake.
I hope you know that I woke up with you, dreamt of you, slept with you.
I hope you know that I broke for you, struggled for you, fought for you.
I hope you know that I loved for you, for everything and everyone you generously gave to me.
I hope you know that I cared for you and will continue you to do so daily.
Oh Guyana, I hope I loved you enough.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

In My Final Hours

Somehow time got away from me and up until the last moment I was still saying goodbye to people, packing, finishing documents for Peace Corps, and hanging out with good friends, whom I’m going to miss so much.

Thursday night I stayed at Princess’ for the final time and Friday I signed, dotted my I’s, crossed my T’s, and said farewell to Peace Corps. Then Becky, Princess, and I headed to the Linden bus park for the FINAL time and I said, “hallelujah” to my last minibus ride!! Friday night we had a little dinner, which was perfect, just my style. It meant so much to me that Mrs. Gibbons and Dawn come over and brought some channa and macaroni and cheese. We reminisced over memories and talked about all the crazy, good times we’ve shared in Guyana, even the memory of ‘flat bird’ (what a nurse called me in the first month at the health center) was brought up. My eyes were teary all night. After dinner Becky and Princess treated me to ice cream and we got caught in the rain, but it was actually kind of nice. We continued packing and by 2:30am I felt like I wanted to close my eyes and try to sleep for an hour so the 3 of us laid in my bed (my last time under the mosquito net!) but my mind was just racing and my heart was feeling very anxious. At 3:30am I got up, made some coffee, ate a bagel, and then Becky woke up and we talked some more. Around 4:45 a sleepy Tim and Chelsea came down stairs to see me off with hugs and tears. They are going to be the last ones standing in Linden and I’m so proud of them, I will truly miss them, we have been through a lot together.

Rastaman James picked us up at 5am, Becky and Princess came to airport with me, which was so sweet of them. It was a very rainy morning and my last drive down the Linden highway was a bit scary, we hydroplaned a lot, but we made it to the airport safely and in time. My bags were a tad over the allotted weight so we had to move some things around, I was glad I had Princess and Becky there to help me, the airport can be stressful. I hugged Becky and Princess goodbye, again with tears in my eyes and then I was on my own departing Guyana.

Seeing as I hadn’t slept I was tired and once I boarded the plan I closed my eyes and after a few minutes I heard someone say, “Sosebee”, I opened my eyes and there was a ground personnel asking me to please come with him that I had to look at my bag. It was still raining and there were a few employees gathered around my bag they called me over and a man came over and told me he was checking my bag for narcotics. He pretty much ripped open every single thing I had wrapped up and then proceeded to interrogate me, asking me how long I’ve been in Guyana, what I was doing there, who I worked for, and if I had my supervisor’s number. I told him I was a Peace Corps volunteer and told him the name of our country director and then he said, “Oh, I know who is” and said my bag was okay and let me re-board the plane. It was so weird and it really bothered me and of course I cried once more when I returned to my seat. I have had the worst luck at Cheddi Jagan International Airport and boy am I glad to not deal with that airport any longer.

And now, I’m sitting in JFK waiting for my flight to Salt Lake City….

It’s definitely been an emotional roller-coaster ride for me the last few days…I just can’t believe I’m finished and now I’m a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
I can’t believe I’m back home and it’s time to embark on a brand new adventure…readjusting to this American life and figuring out what my next step is going to be…it’s definitely an exciting time in my life and I’m ready for whatever life has in store for me next.


Saying goodbye only allows us to say hello again!

Oh, Miss Jillian!

LAST MINIBUS RIDE!!!!

Man, way to go out with a bang, I mean messy hair!

A dear lady made me a goodbye heart cake

My farewell gang--love them!

Mrs. Gibbons and Dawn

I have to thank God for watching over me and keeping me safe over  the past 2 years, especially on all those minibus rides!


I’ll be writing and reflecting more about my time in Guyana and the whole experience once I get some sleep.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Saying Goodbye

It’s crazy to think that another new group of volunteers are embarking on this adventure come the 1st of February. Although, I won’t be in Guyana to greet them or get to know them I can’t help but think how they must be feeling right now…how I felt 2 years ago, packing my bags and venturing out on an unknown, foreign experience. It’s interesting to compare my thoughts and feelings as I was leaving home and arriving in Guyana to now, leaving Guyana and returning home. The thoughts and feelings are very similar--scared, uncertain, excited, nervous, sad, hopeful, and knowing this change is good for me.
Honestly, I never thought I would be this emotional when the time came to head home, after all I’m returning to once a familiar land…I’m returning to my friends and family. But it’s hard and I’m sad to leave Guyana, I’m sad to say goodbye to the amazing people I’ve met here. Guyana has become a part of me, it became my home and I’m truly going to miss it.

I have come so far in 2 years and I’m so excited that a new group of people are leaving the comforts of their lives behind for a little while to experience a new, great, different, adventurous, crazy, beautiful roller-coast ride that is Peace Corps Guyana.

It doesn’t feel real that on Saturday I am leaving Guyana and heading home…it’s just so crazy that my time here is ending. Where did 2 years go?
I am so grateful for this experience and for all the friendships I’ve made along the way. I know this experience was exactly what I needed at this point in my life. I will never forget my time in Guyana; it’s truly a beautiful country.


There are so many people to say goodbye to...neighbors, nurses, teachers, market vendors and shop keepers, taxi drivers, boat drivers, patients, the laundry guy, and everyday people I pass on the road. It's been hard saying goodbye.
Yesterday was my last day at the hospital kitchen and today was my last day over the river, at the health center and schools. I have become a part of a community and I'm really going to miss everyone who's been so kind, welcoming, and friendly towards me. I'm sad I didn't get to say goodbye to a few people over the river today but I hope they know how much I enjoyed getting to know them.


It's been hard saying goodbye to the kids, the students who have touched my heart. At the nursery school the headmistress had them sing me songs and give me hugs and kisses, it was so cute. My heart goes out the kids in Christianburg and I'm so blessed I got to spend time with them.


The goodbyes are only going to get harder in the next 2 days...
 ...but it won't be hard saying goodbye to this guy!