Monday, November 28, 2011


Today is Guyana’s Presidential Election and Peace Corps has been preparing us for this day for awhile now. They have enforced that we stay in our houses today and tomorrow and possibly the rest of the week depending on how things go. We have stocked up on food and what not and have a bag packed just in case we have to evacuate. These are just precautions Peace Corps has put in order. So far today has been pretty quiet but I think tomorrow, once the decision has been made things might get a little heated (just my foresight in Linden). But I'm praying things go peacefully and soundly.

In the meantime, while we are instructed to stay home for a few days I’ve been enjoying being lazy. I’ve been listening to music and pinning items in Pinterest. I’m working on filling out a Peace Corps questionnaire and watching Gossip Girl. I’d like to start going through things in my house and thinking about what I want to take back home with me…it’s crazy how much I’ve accumulated since being in Guyana. And it’s crazy that come this time in January I’ll be home…

Please keep Guyana in your thoughts.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Second Thanksgiving in Linden

We celebrated our 2nd Thanksgiving in Linden with Chelsea's mom and brother and our friends. We had 12 people in total take part in our feast and we had a great day all gathered together...there was a lot of cooking, gaffing, laughing, drinking of wine, and thankfulness going on. As much as I missed being home with my family I was so thankful to be surrounded by my friends in Guyana. I'm seriously so grateful for the people I've met here. As we went around the table sharing our gratitude Chelsea and I got a little teary eyed because we have so much to be grateful for and this whole experience has been life changing and it is sad to know it's coming to an end soon. But I have faith the friends I've made in Peace Corps will be a part of my life for a long time.

Our house got painted!

Turkey cooking in a BBQ...ingenious. So grateful for turkey!

Chelsea's mom decorated our tree for Thanksgiving. It was our gratitude tree, everyone wrote what they were grateful for.

Chels, Becky, me, Princess, & Cassie

Becky celebrated Thanksgiving with us last year too!

Brother Tim

So much yummy was amazing!

Yay for Chelsea's mom and bro!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Grateful For...

I am so grateful for my life. I'm grateful for the people in my life. I'm grateful for all the experiences and opportunities I've been given. I'm grateful for the lessons I've learned along the way. I'm grateful for all the adventures.  I'm grateful for my health. I'm grateful for love, laughter, joy, and happiness.

I'm just so excited for life!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Chelsea's mom and brother are here visiting for Thanksgiving and today I spent the day with them, our friend Carissa and our neighbor Lisa. We went to Rockstone, an Amerindian village about 45 minutes away from Linden. Chelsea wanted her mom and brother to experience another part of Guyana...a boat ride on the river through the jungle. And that's just what we did. Chelsea arranged our transportation on a mini-bus and a boat man to take us for a tour on the Essequibo river. This part of the river is different than other parts of the river I've seen because it has rapids and rock formations all throughout the river. It was neat to see another part of this beautiful country.

This weekend in Rockstone is the famous fish festival but while we were there not much was going on, they were still setting things up. I guess Sunday is the busy, crazy day of the festival. But to participate in the fish festival festivities I ate curry fish and rice.
It was my first experience eating a whole fish...scales, bones, and head.

Thank goodness the eyes were removed. 

I am so grateful for Tim and Chelsea and Chelsea's mom, for letting me be a part of their visit in Guyana!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Advanced COS

After much consideration and discussion with Peace Corps Guyana staff I decided to apply for an advanced Close of Service (COS) date. I spoke with my Country Director and found out volunteers may apply for an advanced COS up to 90 days before their actual COS date and still be treated as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. However, the approval wouldn’t be up to him, it would have to be approved by the South America desk.

So I took the leap of faith. I had to write a letter as to why I was requesting an early COS and I had to have my supervisor at the health center write a letter saying she agreed that my projects are complete and she was giving me permission to submit my request.

The reasons vary as to why I decided to try and complete my Peace Corps service early. I do no feel like I am quitting or failing because I am completing my Close of Service (our COS conference is the first week in January). I am so grateful for the support of my Counterpart, Project Manager and Country Director because my request for an advanced COS date has been approved and I’ll be home by the end of January!

Wow, I kind of can’t believe it. The request was sent yesterday and I found out today that my advanced COS date has officially been approved. I was not expecting that quick of a response and I can’t believe I have 2 months left in Guyana. It’s crazy to think about. And I’ll admit I have mixed emotions. As much as I am excited to think about life back home I am a little scared. But I am super excited…I’m anxious, happy, sad, nervous, unsure, surprised, excited, happy, sad, excited.

I knew this adventure would eventually end and all my fellow PCVs would go their separate ways but wow, it’s really coming to an end and I’ll be leaving my friends and life in Guyana so soon.
Deep down I know this decision and step is right for me. It’s time to move on.
But right now it’s time to really enjoy my last moments in Guyana.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grateful For...

I am so grateful for my family. I am blessed to have such a fun, beautiful, crazy, caring, loving, supportive family.
There is nothing like family. 

I got this picture today from my cousin and I think it's awesome!
My cousin Holly's wedding. It was a great day!

I am so grateful for...
Dad & Berna, Mom & Dan, Amie, all my aunts, uncles, and cousins, Grammary & Poppy Steve, Grandma & Papa.

Monday, November 7, 2011

21 Months

I can't believe it's November. This year has been flying by.  And I can't believe in 8 weeks we'll be at our Close of Service conference!

Life in Guyana has been streaming along. The roosters still crow, the buses still speed by, it's still really hot and humid and I pretty much eat the same thing every day. 

I've been doing the Be Safe! Program twice a week at the nursery school and I've been working with 10 students from the primary school teaching phonics, reading, and spelling. Work at the health center is so slow. I still see patients every Wednesday for Infant and Child Clinic and I'm there for the monthly Elderly Club meetings.  But other than that I don't do much at the health center these days. We have a new Medex (head of the health center) so it's been a little weird lately.  I miss the old Medex, we got a long well and worked together. 

Chelsea is starting a new program at her health center called Food for Healthy Babies and I'm excited to help out with that.  Her mom and brother are coming to visit next week and will be here for Thanksgiving. So we'll be having a similar Thanksgiving to last year just with her family. I'm looking forward to meeting them. 

I can't believe it's the holiday season already.  I'm trying not to think too much about it because I wish I was home.  I don't know what my plans are yet for Christmas but I'm sure we'll do something fun.  And then it's the new year, which is exciting!

My plans for after Peace Corps change daily.  We'll see where the wind blows....maybe it's good that I don't have a plan. 

Time is passing quickly. 

Today is Berna's birthday and I wish her a very happy birthday!!

I miss and love everyone.

Happy November

Friday, November 4, 2011

5 Girls in Tobago

We started off our vacation by making hand painted T-shirts to wear for our arrival in Tobago. None of us had ever made our own T-shirt before, it felt very spring breakish and they turned out so cute. Since our flight left at 5:30am and we had to leave Princess’s house at 2:30am we thought it best to stay up all night.

We arrived in Trinidad at 6:30am. We heard that a Subway was in the airport and we were so excited when we saw the green and yellow sign. Subway for breakfast was so good! Our flight for Tobago wasn’t until 12:30 but luckily we were able to get on an earlier flight, we were only in the air for 15 minutes and we arrived at our hotel at 10am. Our room wasn’t ready yet so we sat on the back porch of the restaurant, which was attached to the hotel and over looked the bay. We were pretty tired and just wanted to settle into our room and lay out on the beach. But tour guides kept coming up to us and asking if we wanted to book a tour, we told them we were only interested in going snorkeling. One guy came with all his brochures and Princess told him we didn’t have that much money. He ended up making us a deal, he would take us snorkeling and since it was a holiday he invited us to join him and his crew for a cook out dinner on the beach and than swimming at Nylon Pool (a sand bar out in the ocean). We talked it over and even though we were all tired we decided to do it, it would be a good experience to see what the locals do for fun.
When we got on the boat we were a little skeptical but we knew it would be okay. We went snorkeling, the water wasn’t so clear but it was still fun. Then we headed to the beach. We got a few looks from people but for the most part everyone was friendly and welcoming. They were grilling up fresh fish and let us eat it straight from the grill. Then they made duck curry and dumplings, I liked it, the curry was different than the curry in Guyana. Once the sun went down they packed up and we headed back out on the ocean. Nylon Pool was neat because we were in the middle of the ocean and the water came up to our thighs. The local people on the boat were having dance party, which was pretty funny to watch but I think we all thought, “Oh my, how do we get in these situations?” it was a little crazy. At this point we had been up for 40 hours and were beat. Once we got to the room we all passed out.

Grilled fish and duck curry 

We stayed at Miller’s Guest Hour and our room had 3 sets of bunk beds and a kitchen, it was just what we needed and it was nice to be able to cook most of our own meals.

Miller's Guest House

We rented a car for the day and drove around half of the island. It was beautiful and reminded me of Hawaii. The road was narrow and windy. I was excited to try and drive on the left hand side of the road but I waited until the road was not so narrow and curvy. It was weird and I didn’t feel that comfortable with it but I’m glad that I can now say I’ve driven on the opposite side of the road.

We named our car Pepper Ann

Weird to drive on the wrong side of the road

For Princess’s birthday we ended up eating at an Italian restaurant close to the Guest House. The food was amazing, probably the best Italian food I have ever had. The chef, who’s originally from Southern Italy came out to talk to us and gave us free appetizers. We were in food heaven!

During the day we’d pack a lunch and head down to the beach. The beach was pretty isolated and the water was so nice. In the evenings we sat outside, ate dinner, played cards and talked.

On Sunday night food and craft venders were out on the road. It was neat to walk around and look at the local crafts. For dinner we ate shark sandwiches, they were so good.

Monday was Halloween and we spent the day paddle boarding, reading and napping. At night we dressed up as the Spice Girls, making do with what we had and ate at the Italian restaurant again. People actually guessed that we were trying to be the Spice Girls.

We Left Tobago early Tuesday morning and instead of taking a plane back to Trinidad we took a 2 hour ferry ride. We were all impressed with how big and nice the ferry was. Then we had about 8 hours to kill in Trinidad since our flight back to Guyana wasn’t until 8:30pm. We decided to spend our time in a mall because Leighton and Heather really wanted McDonalds. Trinidad was really nice, very developed and modern. Becky and I walked around the mall a little and then ventured out to see what else we could find. We found a supermarket that was just like home and we were impressed by all the big buildings and apartments near the mall. It took us 2 hours to get to the airport because the traffic was really bad. Once at the airport we got Subway again, did a little souvenir shopping, and sadly boarded the plane back to Guyana.

I’m so grateful I got to spend 6 days with good friends on an island in the sun!
Leighton, Me, Becky, Princess, & Heather

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


There’s just something about an island in the sun that speaks to my heart. I don’t think people understand how much I love islands and blue water. Tobago was amazing! Princess, Becky, Heather, Leighton and I spent 6 days exploring and soaking up another part of the Caribbean. We swam in the emerald colored ocean, ate delicious food, snorkeled, paddle boarded, rented a car, took an epic amount of photos, and laughed until our bellies ached. We had a great adventure together!
This is just a preview into our trip. There is so much to write about and so many pictures to share.
More of Tobago coming soon! 

Becky & Princess bought us these amazing beach hats

Buccoo Bay
view from outside our hotel door

on the boat to go snorkeling

driving around on the left hand side of the road for Princess's birthday

we were swimming and this passed right by us

another part of the island

we took a few photo shoots!