Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011


I took the online orientation for College of the Canyons today and as I was going through it I couldn’t help but think, “I can’t believe I am going back to school. Wow, this is weird. Here I go back to studying, writing papers, and being a broke student”. But I kept reminding myself that this is something I want to do, this is for my career, this is for my life.

Looking at my life it’s been full of adventure. I've taken risks and I’ve done what I’ve wanted to in life. So why am I feeling afraid? Why am I scared to start over? I shouldn’t be afraid…I can do anything after doing Peace Corps. I took a huge leap by moving and leaving the life I knew behind and it’s turned out well. I know whatever I choose to do in life I’ll be okay.

Yes, I’m scared for the unknown but I’m also very lucky because I get to live my life. I get to decide where I want my life to go. I get to create a life for myself. And that is something I’m very excited for.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

You're A Firework

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep?
Six feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky
              -Katy Perry

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Desert Will Always Be Home

The moment I walked out of the airport and into the warm Arizona desert air I knew I was home. Well, not really home since I was in Arizona and wouldn’t be in California for a few days but in my heart I knew I was where I belonged, in the desert.
I guess I just realized I am a desert rat at heart.

There’s just something about the dry heat and flat, brown, Joshua Tree covered land that speaks to me. And there’s nothing better than a warm, comforting desert evening, in fact that’s probably the best thing about Lancaster.

My short, week-long trip home (in Arizona and California) was great! It was so easier the second time around coming home and settling into the life I love and miss.
I’m so grateful I got to spend time with my family in Arizona. It was so good to see and hug Poppy Steve and Grammary. My first night there Grammary made a wonderful dinner of spaghetti with meatballs. I seriously don’t remember the last time I ate spaghetti with meatballs, it was so good and she also made a homemade apple cake and chocolate brownies!! The next night we had family dinner again and I swam a little in the pool. It was a relaxing 2 days. I didn’t want to leave.

I got to meet the newest member of the AZ family, Leon

Poppy Steve

In that week-long trip I think I saw more family than I’ve seen in years, which was pretty neat. Grandma Sonia, Greg, Tory, Kassandra and her boys met me for an evening in Arizona and we got to all Skype with mom and Amie. Then I flew to Burbank where dad and Berna picked me up, it was so good to see them! And we went straight from the airport to a Mexican restaurant and then for the remaining days I continued to eat Mexican food and cookies!

I was able to see Papa, Cola, Dana and Barbara all in one night. The next day I drove down to Northridge to see Zach and the next night we celebrated his birthday at his parent’s house with his family. Then the next morning him and I were on a plane headed back to Guyana. It was so good to see everyone!!

I loved being home and I can’t wait to return to where my heart belongs, in the desert.

Friday, October 7, 2011

20 Months

Today I have been in Guyana for 20 months and the end is near!
Sometimes it still feels like I can’t believe I’m here, that I am doing this. But having Zach here was a reminder to myself that I’ve come along way in these 20 months; that I’ve learned how to live and survive on my own in Guyana. One of the funniest moments with Zach here was when an Indo-Guyanese man was talking to him and he yelled for me to translate. Later Zach said, “He was not speaking English”. Zach also learned that you just say “O.K.” a lot.

It’s interesting to look back on these 20 months and it’s interesting to notice changes within myself. In the beginning months I felt myself grow and change in a way I had never felt before. I felt like I was really changing. This didn’t happen the instant I arrived in Guyana, in fact, I remember in training feeling like I lost myself, I had no idea who I was or what I wanted in life. But as time passed I was able to recognize myself again and figure out my life.

But now here I am with a few months remaining and I’m feeling a little lost again. Have I really changed? Or did I feel like I was changing just because I changed my environment? Do people really change? I like to believe people can change if they really want to. But I think I need to stop focusing on change and focus more on acceptance, acceptance for myself, acceptance for other people, and acceptance for the way things are.

With these few months remaining I can’t help to feel anxious and scared but also very excited. I feel anxious, scared, and excited for the unknown life that awaits me when I return home. I’m nervous but excited to start school again. I’m excited to get an apartment but scared and worried about money and responsibility. I’m excited but also terrified of finding a job. And I'm anxious to end things here. But more than anything I am excited for the next chapter in my life!

Today I applied to College of the Canyons and hope to start in the spring. When I was home in September I drove to COC and talked briefly with an adviser, she told me I have to take a biology class before I can start on my prerequisites to the nursing program, so a prereq. to the prereqs. By starting school in Spring 2012 I hope I can apply to the nursing program in Spring 2013 and start in Fall 2013. I hope that’s how it works out.

I’ve started working again at the nursery school and primary school and it feels so good to have something to do. I’m grateful for the kids who touch my heart here.

And on October 26th 4 of my friends and I are going to Tobago! Can’t wait to be on another tropical island!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Zach In The Jungle

I am so grateful Zach got to spend a week with me in Guyana. It means so much that he was able to be a part of my life here….he’s now lived Peace Corps life in the jungle.

It was really nice traveling to Guyana together. I planned my trip home so that I could travel back with him and I think it worked out well. Plus, traveling with someone is way better than traveling alone. Fortunately, everything was smooth sailing and we arrived to the humid jungle and welcoming friends last Sunday morning.

On the red-eye to Guyana

He made it!

Friends who welcomed us

I loved seeing the awe in his eyes as he took everything in while looking out the mini-bus window. I’m glad I was there to experience his first trip out of the U.S.
I also loved the shocked looks that appeared upon his face when the mini-buses would speed into the on-coming traffic lane and dodge back into the right lane just to pass a slower moving vehicle. Priceless.

Of course our week flew by but we had a wonderful time together! And I think he really enjoyed his time in Guyana....
We went to the Linden market multiple times. We went hiking through the backyard of Linden. I took him to the health center, schools and hospital kitchen to meet all the people I work with. We watched school sports on the big sports field. We went out to eat so he could taste local dishes. I cooked us a lot of rice and beans. We had two group meals with other PCVs. He helped me with the laundry. We went to Georgetown a few times (he really got a feel for the craziness that goes on and he seemed to like it). He got to see Giftland and LOVED all the pirated movies. We went to Kaieteur Falls, which was amazing! We played pool one night and he got to see the nightlife of Linden. We got ice cream a couple of times and watched movies at night. He also got his lift on at the gym, which was a plus. We stayed two nights with Princess so he got to see another volunteer’s site. We went to GuyExpo, (kind of like a county fair) there were so many people there-- it was overwhelming for the both of us. And then this morning I saw him off at the airport, I was sad to see him go.

Hiking the backyard of Linden

Hanging his laundry

The kids loved him


It was a beautiful sun-shiny day. Simply amazing!

Yup, that's us sitting on the ledge

Enjoying fresh coconut water

Ice cream