Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Fever

I have spring fever, which is weird since I live in the tropics. 

So it's not the spring fever because I've spent months bearing the cold. I've been trying to figure out why I'm feeling this way. Is it because I miss the seasons? Is it because I'm getting a little tired of the heat? Is it because I love the feeling of spring time? Is it because I miss home? Is it because I've been looking at people's blogs and reading about the change in weather and the light, colorful treats they post?  Is it because I want some of that spring time candy? Or is it because I only have 22 more days until I'm home? I conclude it's a mixture of all these things.

I know I've been writing a lot lately about going home, I'm just so excited!!! And the idea of being home may be consuming me just a little bit.

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday at the Beach

The beach? What beach?

I spent the weekend in New Amsterdam to take part in a surprise birthday party for our friend Kirsten. It was fun and good to see NA (Region 6). It was so pretty, with a different feel to other places I've been to in Guyana. It kind of reminded me of the country with wide open plains and palm trees everywhere.
New Amsterdam is about 4 hours north east from Linden and borders the Atlantic ocean, hence the beach.
Saturday we loaded up a bus with 20 of us in total, there were other PCVs, volunteers from World Teach, VSOs, and a few other friends.

Although the beach was brown (kind of muddy) sand and chocolate milk colored water it was nice to be at the beach, to smell fresh air, feel the sea breeze, and walk along the shore. I didn't swim but waded in the water, which was really warm, then Princess and I walked for a while up the beach. We found a few interesting things and enjoyed taking pictures.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Raining...

Source: Laetificus


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ice Cream!

I Love ice cream. I've loved it since I was a little girl. Every night I would have my coffee mug full of ice cream, sometimes even with milk (thanks dad!).
Tonight I got to taste the creaminess, sweetness, goodness of Cookies N' Cream (one of my favorites). It was So Yummy!
It truly is the little things that count most.

So, I've decided to give myself a rule while I'm home....eat ice cream everyday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Going A Little Stir Crazy

Happy Spring! I can't believe spring time is among you. I love spring when everything is new again, the weather gets warmer, the air is fresh, and lovely pastel colors start popping up everywhere.
4 weeks, 4 weeks, 4 weeks until I get to witness a little of this magic!

Lately it has rained a lot, there were a few days it rained none stop and I just wanted to curl up in my bed with hot chocolate, not because I was cold but because I imagined it was a cold winter day back home.  And this morning I imagined it was the first day of spring (or more like the first day of summer) because it was HOT. I was out doing some wash and the air felt nice and warm and I could hear children laughing. It totally reminded me of how I felt when I was little!

But I can't help to feel a little stir crazy
And this could be for a couple of reasons....I've been confined by my 4 walls for days now. I've gotten so lazy over the last year. I'm exhausted all the time (a mystery to me). I'm so excited to come home. There is no variety and it's wearing on me.


But I gotta just keep swimming

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On A Girly Note

I miss being girly. Now, I've never been over the top girly, I've never worn designer labels, I've left the house without make-up on, and the most I've worn heels was when I worked at LA Hotel. 
But I miss feeling pretty, I miss taking the time to do my hair and make-up, I miss shopping (even window shopping), I miss feeling "done up".
Since I'll be home (visiting) in a month I've been scoping out clothing websites (mostly AE.com). I love American Eagle and can't wait for the moment I step foot into one of their stores...it's going to be dangerous!

I really want a new dress, shirts and jewelry!

I have been one for loving bright colors and I think this dress is incredible!!
I'm excited for the first day I'm home and I get to feel girly! I just might imagine I'm wearing this dress, hehe!

On a more serious note, I love, love, love Mexican food and I was craving it like crazy all week. Luckily my craving got a little fix when Chelsea had the idea of making enchiladas for dinner on Saturday. They were pretty yummy and the salsa I made almost brought me home.

Sorry this picture isn't great
I'm really hoping there's a Mexican restaurant at JFK. Oh, I can't wait!

Now, on a real serious note, come April 14th there will be two new PCVs in Linden.  And right now they are here visiting and getting a feel for the next 2 years of their lives. We had them over for dinner last night and they both seem really cool and excited to be coming here.  It's surreal to be the "older" volunteers, it wasn't that long ago we were in their shoes. 
I remember feeling so overwhelmed and scared when the volunteer I stayed with took me out for a walk one night. She interacted so well with everyone, she seemed so comfortable and I wondered if I would get to that point? It's crazy to look back on my time in training and how far I've come.

A little funny fact I learned about one of the girls; her name is Amy and I told her my sister's name is Amie and she said her sister's name is Sarah, her sister is also younger.  How bizarre!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I haven't ever been tagged either Ange!

My best friend tagged me in this four by four meme that reveals some little facts about me. It will be great fun getting to know my blogging buddies better! So check at the bottom and if your name is listed copy and paste this list onto your blog and insert your information in the four categories below:

1st ~ four places I go:

The Health Center
The Primary School
The market
Sherwin's (the green shop across the street)

2nd ~ four favorite smells

Fresh laundry
Cookies baking in the oven
The ocean

3rd ~ four favorite TV shows or movies

The Office
The Notebook
Forgetting Sarah Marshall

4th ~ four recommendations

Go with the flow
Love with all your heart
Accept & love who you are
Count your blessings

I tag: Tibbs, Quinlivans, Shanade, Deborah

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Paddy's Day

Yesterday at the health center The Today show was on TV (what a treat) and they were cooking up some corned beef and cabbage in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Miss Gibbons (who I like a lot) was sitting next to me and said, “that’s your food” I tried to explain it’s food eaten on St. Patrick’s Day, then I tried to explain St. Patrick’s Day but all I could come up with was it’s an Irish holiday, associated with wearing green, luck & shamrocks, leprechauns, beer/feasting, and rainbows leading to pots of gold. Of course I didn’t say all of this to her, I thought it in my head and then I thought, “Why do we really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? What’s the history behind it?” It’s crazy that it’s taken me living in another country to ask these questions. St. Paddy’s Day has always just been the day to wear green in order to avoid getting pinched and of course going out for green ale.

So I decided to do some research, it’s an old religious Irish holiday which was dedicated to Saint Patrick in the fifth century. There's a lot of history behind it but here’s just a little blurb:
“Saint Patrick's Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck.
So, why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died [in 461]. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.”

I’m glad I finally know more about St. Patrick’s Day (maybe I was absent that day in school?!)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! May the luck of the Irish be with you!
I hope to go to Ireland one day ☺

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Bit Personal

I’ve debated whether or not to write about some of my deep feelings here, since it’s open for anyone to read. But this blog is a collection of adventures, thoughts, and events going on in my life, it’s my journal that I hope to get printed into a book one day.

And this is something that's been on my mind a lot.

Turning 25 is kind of a big deal to me not just because I am getting older but because when I was younger (in high school) I pictured my life differently by this point. I use to think by the time I was 25 I would be so grown up, having a career I love, with a nice home, married, and starting a family. I never imagined I would be a Peace Corps Volunteer, living in South America, on my own, away from the ones I love, not knowing what life has in store for me.

Isn’t it funny how life doesn’t always play out like we thought when we were kids?

I’m not complaining, I’m so grateful for everything in my life and I’m so glad to be where I am today. But that doesn’t mean the picture of life I imagined in high school has faded. I still want to have a career I love, I want my own place I call home, I want to be married and I want to start a family. If anything this PC experience has made me realize what I want so much greater and it’s prepared me for “grown up” life. I feel like I have a true sense of who I am now, which is so important before sharing my life with someone and having babies.

Although, I have to admit since I’ve been away from home it’s been hard to know of all the people who have gotten engaged, married, and who have had a baby. I feel like I’m missing out, which is silly, but hey, I can’t help the way I feel. Sometimes it feels like I’ve taken the road less traveled in life but overall that’s a wonderful thing because I’ve had the opportunity to see and do so much, I’ve grown, and I’ve taken the time to do the things that are important to me. I know by being patient things will work out and one day I’ll have the life I dream of.

I now know how naive I was in high school…. ☺

Sunday, March 13, 2011


My mom is now a certified yoga instructor!
I'm so proud of her. Way to go mom!! 

A Week Away

This past week was a good one! I was gone the whole week doing enjoyable things like getting to know new people, teaching, realizing how much I've grown, spending valuable time with friends, being captivated by pure beauty and peace & quiet, having deep, meaningful conversations, and the best part--taking a hot shower!

From Monday to Wednesday I was in St. Cuthbert's helping out with the remote training. I really enjoyed my time there and getting to know the 7 remote trainees. I taught lessons on nutrition, maternal health, infant & child care, and shared some of my challenges and successes with the group. It was a very boosting experience for me because these new trainees are full of excitement, eagerness, and hope. Sure they are anxious but they'll be fine; it's very exciting to see them start this journey.

I was suppose to leave St. Cuthbert's on Thursday but ended up leaving Wednesday afternoon and went to Georgetown, I got lucky and crashed with my friend Leighton, who had a hotel room in a pretty nice hotel (hence the hot water, I also got to enjoy TV and A/C). It was fun hanging out with her and I got to go to the other training site (the urban site) to meet the other 20+ trainees.

From Friday to Saturday I hung out with Becky and Princess we planned to spend Friday getting our visas for Brazil but of course it was chaos. It was pouring rain in Georgetown and we had many places to get to. First we had to get passport pictures taken, which look like mugshots. Then we took a taxi to the Brazilian Embassy where they gave us the run around, long story short, we didn't get our visas so we'll have to try again later. It's pretty frustrating to do things here because nothing goes smoothly but we'll get them and we'll see Brazil, even though the lady made rude comments about us being Americans.
To lift our spirits we eat at Pizza Hut (so good) and had soft serve ice cream!
Friday night we went to the Miss India Guyana pageant, which of course was an interesting experience.  It was suppose to start at 8:00p.m. and last about 2 hours. It ended up starting at 8:30 (not a bad late start) and was over at 12:30a.m. Overall, it was fun and I enjoyed watching all the dancing!

Jillian & me with 3 awesome trainees
Cute little girls

The house the PVCs stay in, yes there is no door
It was nice exploring the village
Morning chores--washing dishes in the river
Dressed nice for the pageant

Monday, March 7, 2011

13 Months

13 months down. 13 months to go. This is the true half way mark! 

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it."
~ Mother Teresa

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Very Happy Birthday

Today my best friend, Andrea is 25!!!!
First day of 1st grade

Forever 21

Momma and Baby Reggie

Andrea, thank you for being my best friend since kindergarten!!! I'm so grateful for your friendship! I can't wait to see you, I miss you so much. I hope you have a wonderful birthday! I love you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Wednesdays are the busiest mornings at the health center. Mothers bring their infants and children in to get vaccines. About 30-50 mothers (maybe a few fathers) come and settle in for the morning as they know it’s going to be awhile. They hand the clerk their child’s card, which contains information from the day they were born. Their babies get their height and weighed measured and then sit waiting to be called. Some days it’s a mad house.

I like Wednesdays because I actually do work. I call in patients, chart the child’s height and weight, talk to parents about nutrition and or the importance of breast-feeding and I get to see little babies. Since I’ve been working at the health center I’ve gotten to know many mothers and their children. It’s crazy to have met a woman when she was pregnant and now watching her child grow. [Side story, one mother brought in her son—I went with one of the nurses the week he was born to do his health assessment—when I saw her with him the other day I couldn’t believe how big he was, he is now 9 months old, it blew me away.]

Anyway, on our walk today Chelsea told me about an undernourished baby she saw yesterday at her clinic. Surprisingly I haven’t seen too many undernourished children but today I saw two. One was my patient, the baby was 2 months old and the mother was not breast-feeding her, when I asked her what she was feeding her baby (who she has yet named) she responded with water and tea. The other nurse in the room over heard this and just let into this mother telling her she HAS to breast feed her baby. The woman was not pleased and she didn’t believe that her baby only needed breast milk. I tried to explain how her baby’s stomach is not developed yet for foods like tea, fruit juice and porridge. I hope she does the right thing for her baby.

The second case was one Medex called me in for. When I walked into the room I saw a very little boy sitting on a woman’s lap. One look at him and I knew he was malnourished. He’s a year old but looks about the size of a 6 month old. He’s so tiny, with little arms and legs, and a sunken in face. He broke my heart; I wanted to take him away right then and there. Medex couldn’t believe this mother and was quite harsh with her.
The crazy thing is both these mothers have other children. I don’t understand how a mother cannot take care of her children. It really is heart wrenching.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Over breakfast at the remote training Jason and I were talking about life and travel plans after Peace Corps. The topic of living in Hawaii came up and he told me about WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). He told me you go volunteer on people's organic farms, they take care of your accommodations and food, you just pay to get there. Sounded pretty neat so today I checked it out (you should too) WWOOF . I would love to do something like this! I'm really interested in working in Hawaii (coffee and macadamia farms...yes please!) and there are a lot of organic farms looking for help. It would be so neat to learn about organic farming!
It looks like you can stay a week or two or up to a few months depending on what works for you or you can travel from farm to farm. How awesome would that be? You can go to other countries or stay right in the US (I think Alaska would be awesome too). 

This is something I'm seriously going to think about doing.
Check it out!!

Experiencing Remoteness

I can't believe it's March already! Next month I'll be home :) !!!

I had the opportunity to help out a little with training. This year they split Guy23's group into urban and remote trainings. So those people who think they can spend 2 years in the bush are training in an Amerindian village and the people who want more of a city feel are training in a urban setting.
I was lucky and got to attend the remote training.  At first I was a little apprehensive about this because for one, I live in the second largest town in Guyana, I don't know much about remoteness, and second, I would be staying remote (i.e. using pit latrines, and staying in someone else's house) but I loved it!  Despite, us living in a large urban community they are using us Linderes to help with the remote training because the site is not far from Linden about 30 minutes down the Linden highway and about another 30 minutes down a dirt road.  It's easy for us to get there but that's not the case for us to get back so PC ends up driving us home.

Standing on the Linden Highway

I ended up staying the night there Sunday because I wasn't sure what time my session was on Monday so I figured I'd better be safe than sorry. It actually worked out well because fellow volunteers, Tony and Jason were also going so we met and traveled together.  It was fun hanging out with the guys and getting to know the new trainees.  There are 10 trainees in the remote site, they seem to be enjoying their time so far and are learning a lot about life in Guyana, especially living in an Amerindian village.  I'm a little envious of their training because the place is beautiful, they are away from the hussle and bussle of city life, they have a small group and are getting really close, and they can all hangout together after dark because they live near each other. But it's also a little weird to see them not getting to know the other people in their group. I'm so interested to see where they are all placed and how things work out for everyone.
It was a little weird to be back in training, except this time I was the one facilitating sessions and sharing my experience, which is so crazy!

Some village life

Being somewhere new in Guyana and surrounded by new people really made me feel so grateful to be here. It was one of those moments where I just realized how amazing this whole experience is.

Kids are curious 
I'll be going back next week for a few days and I can't wait!!