Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Spending 4 days in a remote Amerindian village, surrounded by the rainforest, hanging out with good friends and enjoying some peace and quiet was exactly what I needed. Becky and I flew (in a small 6-seater plane) to Kato last Wednesday to visit Heather and Kellen and we are so glad we did.
I fell in love with their site, although I don’t know if I could live like they do for 2 years...they are both amazing. They are pretty isolated out in the rainforest with no running water, electricity or indoor bathroom. But they are surrounded by such natural beauty.

It was just so nice to relax and talk with fun friends.

On Thursday we hiked about an hour and a half (one way) to a vegetable farm. They don’t get many fruits and vegetable at their site so it was interesting to see what they have to do if they want any vegetables. The scenery was amazing as we walked under the rainforest canopy. On the way back we had to climb a huge hill, us girls were huffing and puffing and Kellen just waited patiently for us at the top. It was pretty funny. After that hike we were so hot and sweaty so we decided to hike to a waterfall about 20 minutes away from their house. Becky and I kept saying how it looked like a resort back home and Heather just kept laughing at us. We took advantage of the waterfall to wash our hair and shave our legs; we also washed some of our clothes.

Since they don’t have electricity we ate dinner before it got dark and then spent the rest of the evenings with our headlamps on talking and laughing and eating dessert.

On Friday we packed a little picnic and went back to the waterfall to layout and swim. Than that afternoon we went to their resource center (which is their project) to watch Bug’s Life and color with some kids.

Saturday we went for another long hike to larger waterfall and it was incredible. It was just an amazing feeling to know we were in the middle of nowhere and seeing something so unbelievable.

Sunday morning we left, I didn’t want to leave. We ended up having to stop in Mahdia for 5 hours. Mahdia is a gold mining town and luckily enough a volunteer lives there so we called him up and he was able to show us around. It was good to see but I’m glad I don’t live there. Then we made it back to reality and to the blazing hot Guyana sun.
Kato is at least 10 degrees cooler and at night we actually got a little cold, it was so nice!

I wish Kato wasn’t so far away and so expensive to get to because I would love to go back. But I’m grateful I got to spend 4 days there and see Heather and Kellen’s site!

{bird's eye view}

We were so excited!
{The yellow building is their house and the bigger building behind it is their resource center}

The vegetable farm

The waterfall closer to their house. I wish I had a waterfall I could hike to....

The larger waterfall, which we hiked down. It was neat but a little scary because it was so slippery.


We had a S'mores night. They were so good!
{Headlamps shinning & Kellen being a creeper in the background}

Sunday, August 21, 2011

7 Years Ago

It’s hard to believe 7 years ago today my older cousin, Brittany passed away.
She was 25 years old.

I remember that day like it was not that long ago. My mom and I were in San Diego attending Andrea’s sister’s wedding and when we got to our hotel room that night I had a lot of missed calls from my dad. My phone rang and it was another cousin who told me that Brittany was in a car accident and had passed away. My mom and I were both in shock. I laid awake that night thinking about all the times I spent with Brittany and how much I looked up to her. She was beautiful and full of life.

I grew up with my cousins. Almost every weekend, birthday party, and holiday we were together, playing outside or at park, having picnics and sleepovers. We were close. However, as we got older we drifted apart but my cousins have always been my cousins…my family. And knowing one of us is gone is still weird.

As I think of Brittany today I also think of her mom, dad, brother, and daughter.
I think how they must be feeling today and how life has been unfair to them but yet; they have also been so blessed because Brittany touched their hearts.

And as I think about my own life, seeing as I’m 25 now. I think there’s still SO much I want to do and accomplish in my life. I think about how important my family is to me and how I wish so badly we could all be together, always. I think about how life is too short and how we all need to live life to the fullest. I think about all the people I love and miss and how I can’t wait to hug everyone again and tell them I love them. And I think about the importance of happiness, laughter, smiles, and love.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why Now?

I feel like I am in such a dark place right now…and I don’t understand why. I mean I have 7.5 months left in Peace Corps why is it now, after 18.5 months of already serving, living, and adjusting to life of a Peace Corps volunteer…and living in Guyana am I feeling this way? I want to know why, why now? Why am I unhappy? Why don’t I feel like myself? Why can’t I dig deep and find happiness here? Why can’t I pull myself up one more time? I’ve been low before and I’ve pulled myself up, so why am I struggling now? Why do I feel like I am failing?

All of these whys have been running in my head for days. I’ve been trying to change my thoughts and outlooks. I’ve been trying to concentrate on the now…being here. I’ve told myself, “You signed up for this, you have to finish.” I’ve reminded myself home will still be there when I return. But nothing has given me a piece of mind.

There have been a few moments where I’ve felt a surge of strength rush through me but it hasn’t stuck around fully...yet.

I was looking online trying to see if I’m the only PCV who’s ever felt this way (I know I’m not alone) and I came across this post from a girl who served in Tonga:

“You shouldn’t not quit for the sake of not quitting, you have to find some sliver of happiness in what you’re doing, otherwise you’re not doing anyone else a favor by ‘sticking it out’ ”. 

I know everyone has their reasons for leaving Peace Corps early and it’s so nice to know the option to leave is available. It just boggles my mind that I’m feeling this way NOW…so close to the end…but yet I feel it’s still so far.

I debated posting this post because some people can be critical and I hate the fact that I’m coming off as weak, whiny, and unhappy. But again, this blog is a collection of my thoughts and my experiences. I know every volunteer is different and every experience is different, just like every body and every life is different.

This is just  how I am feeling now and what I am going through at this moment in my adventure.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spring Cleaning

In August? It's Guyana, the seasons don't change and it's been incredibly hot lately.

Today I woke up at 5:30, got out of bed at 6, ate my daily helping with oatmeal with peanut butter, scrubbed and hung 2 loads of laundry and deep cleaned my house. All by 11am.

I don't remember the last time I deep cleaned my house, sure I sweep every few days and throw bleach in the shower occasionally but I don't remember the last time I mopped or cleaned under my bed.
The thing is, my house is gross and it doesn't matter how much I clean it's still going to look dirty because the house is falling apart, even though it was totally rebuilt last year, right before we moved in. So my solution for over a year now has been to ignore it. Yes, I see the grossness everyday and yes it bothers me but there's nothing I can do about.

I thought by cleaning my house today it would make me feel better and it has now that I'm finished and sitting in a semi-clean smelling house. But as I was in the midst of my cleaning session I kept thinking how this house (living with mold, ants, laminate flooring that moves and cracking walls) is just another reason why I want to go home.

 I also decided to take some lovely photos to share with you so you can see what I'm talking about.

In my bedroom. I started sweeping behind the door and tons of ants starting crawling out from the floor.

This is rotting, moldy wood in my kitchen. 
And you can see the laminate flooring, which has moved from the wood, exposing gross, sandy cement.

And this is mold coming up from under the kitchen sink

Gross right? 

I am happy I cleaned, it needed it.  And I'm happy I cleaned my fan it was so full of dust, hair, and bugs. 

P.S. duct tape is my new best friend as it has been used so much around my house. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Things To Be Excited For

1.Visiting Heather and Kellen in Kato, Region 8. Excited to see their site and another part of Guyana. (August 24-28)

2. Going home for a week in September to see family in Arizona and California
(September 17th-24th)
{I leave Guyana on September 16th and fly to Barbados, where I stay for 15 hours, excited to sit on the beach}

3. Zach spending a week in Guyana. We are flying back together on September 24th and he'll be here until October 2nd.

4. Spending 7 days on the island of Tobago. Excited to see another Caribbean island and spending time with Heather, Becky, Princess, and Leighton. (October 26th-November 1st) 

5. Helping out with Chelsea's project, Food for Healthy Babies.

6. Close of Service (COS) conference {knowing the date to leave Guyana!}
(hopefully this will take place the first week of December).
  Updated 8/18:  just found out the dates are January 2-5, 2012.

7. Applying to COC for prerequisite classes so I can start nursing school. 

8. And one day, having a little puppy as cute as this lil' guy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I’m kinda lost for words. Where do I start?

For about 2 weeks now my mind and heart have been screaming at me to go home.
To give up on Peace Corps. To quit and return home to the life I miss.

You know that feeling of wanting something so badly it actually hurts? That’s where I’ve been and that’s what I’m trying to overcome but it’s so hard.

I feel I’ve always been a pretty patient person.
I’ve been waiting wholeheartedly…keeping faith that things will happen when the time is right.
But a strong force swept through me, saying, “I don’t want to wait anymore. I’m sick of waiting. And I want the next step”.

But it’s not that easy.

I have to be a little more patient.
I have to be stronger.
I have to keep having faith.

I have to stay grounded a little while longer in Guyana.
I have to push through.
I have to enjoy and endear the end of this crazy roller-coaster ride.

I’m truly hoping this is the last low point I’ll experience during my Peace Corps experience.

I am eternally grateful for the love and support from my friends and family. I’m grateful for the friendship Chelsea and I share. And I’m grateful for Zach, even though I didn’t want to hear the words I know he is right, I should stay.

 “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians
I read this scripture everyday.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

18 Months

Wow, it’s hard to believe I’ve been in Guyana for a year and a half. That’s a long time. I don’t want to ramble about everything I’ve done up to this point, or how I’ve made a difference, or how much I’ve grown personally. I want to focus more on how I am feeling at this point in my service. And in all honesty, I’ve been having a hard time lately.

I’ve been feeling like giving up. I feel terrible admitting it but it’s the truth, I’m just feeling over everything here. When this thought first entered my mind I told myself, it’s not okay to be feeling this way. You can’t be thinking like this because you have 8 months to finish.
Yes, I’ve felt this way before but this time the urge is different, it’s much stronger and it’s weighing very heavy on my mind. There are a number of factors playing into this notion of mine…everything from things I have no control over, like loud music and riding in mini buses to being tired of the heat and feeling unhealthy to the big factors of feeling like I’m not doing anything productive and missing home a lot.

Luckily, I’m coming home next month for a few days to see some family and I’m hoping that will give me the strength to push through my final months of service. But as of right now I’m not certain if I’m going to stay in Guyana or come home early.

On  a more positive note I've done a lot over the last few weeks and here are some pictures to prove it...

What We Wore
Chelsea and I modeled what we wore for August's episode of Health Watch

Saw a baby goat

Walked the Demarara bridge 

Laughed, smiled, and played with kids
I spent 3 days helping my friend Jillian with her Special Needs Summer Camp

Miss Jillian, she is an amazing person, with such a big heart full of love and kindness
She is an inspiration to be around

Becky helping kids brush their teeth

Celebrated Becky's 25th birthday with sub-sandwiches 
A new place, like Subway opened in Georgetown, a taste of home!

Went to my first Indian wedding

Bride & Groom during the ceremony

Ate 7 Curry with my hand out of a leaf

Becky & I are headed to Kato in 2 weeks to see our friends Heather and Kellen in their remote, Amerindian village. Excited!

Day 30

A quality you admire/consider a strength in yourself.

A quality I admire/consider a strength in myself....moving, leaving behind the life I knew and my comfort. Adapting to a new culture, different way of living, and new environment. Letting go of my comfort zone and pushing through struggles, challenges, and frustrations over the last 18 months. 
Living in Guyana.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 29

Your go-to pick-me-up.

This ranges from lots of different activities:
Talking with friends and family
Eating ice cream
Going for a walk
Listening to music
Going for a drive

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 28

Your favorite scenic picture.

I couldn't just pick one favorite scenic picture because I have too many!
So, I chose one from every season + one I absolutely love.

I hope to get these photos printed and mounted one day

Spring Time Utah 2009

Fall Utah 2009

Winter {so peaceful} Utah 2010

Utah is a beautiful state 

Summer Time Barbados 2010

I love palm tress and I love this photo I took in California
December 2008

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 27

The most romantic movie & song of all time.

Movie: The Notebook

Song: The Way You Look Tonight

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 26

Your favorite childhood game.

I loved playing Old Maid, Go Fish and Yahtzee as a kid.

I remember this one time my dad and I were playing Old Maid in our camper and we were so caught up in the game we forgot to pick little Amie up from school. Poor Aim!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 25

Your most peaceful place to be.

I find it so peaceful to be on the water. 
Whenever I'm riding a sea doo or sitting in a boat this sense of calmness washes over me.
I especially love being on the water early in the morning, when everything is still.