Friday, April 29, 2011

Reggie


I think I got a small glimpse into how a mother loves a child. When I met Reggie I instantly felt a love I've never felt before. It was pure and I just couldn't get enough of him. He is such a happy, good baby. He loves to smile and laugh and play. I'm so happy I finally got to hold him!

video

 Andrea is beautiful and a wonderful mother! It was so good to spend time with my best friend. I really miss her. She is blessed with a great husband and a perfect baby boy.






Can't wait to see him again!

The LONG Journey Home

 Wednesday April 20th 2011 marks the longest, most frustrating day of my life…
With not much sleep from the night before, I awoke at 4:00am and at 4:30 my friend Megan (ironically, she was also going home to visit) and I got in a taxi from Princess’ house to the airport. Our flight was scheduled at 7:57am to JFK. We were full of nerves and excitement! 8 volunteers from GUY 21 were also on the flight as they were heading home for good. My thinking prior to the flight, “everything will be okay because there’s 10 of us volunteers”. Boy was I WONG! Either Guyana didn’t want the 21ers to leave or Guyana really has it out for me.

4:30am

We boarded the plane and settled into our seats. We were ready! When a man, who was asked to move his seat twice grabbed a flight attendant on the shoulder and the flight attendant started freaking out saying, “sir, do not touch me or you will be kicked off the plane”. After that we were ready…but we sat without moving for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes until finally we heard over the PA, “sorry for the delay, we are having difficulties closing the back door”. What the heck?

After waiting over an hour on the door situation the captain announced, “we’ve fixed the door but we’ve now seemed to encounter a warning up in the cock pit. We hope to have it taken care of in no time”. By this time I heard a lot of laughing (coming for us PCVs, we should have expected this) and shucksing form the Guyanese. For me personally, I was praying to get home. One flight attendant kept saying, “they are trying their best to fix the problem but we might have to cancel the flight” Now, keep in mind Guyana is a small country and planes don’t come in every few hours or even every day. And the next flight would have been Friday morning.

After 3 hours of sitting and waiting on the plane, which people knew they were going to miss their connecting flights but my flight to SLC wasn’t until 8pm so I wasn’t too worried, yet. The captain again announced that they knew what the problem was but it would require us to fly at a lower altitude. The lady sitting next to me started yelling, “let us off the plane then”, the flight attendant told her the captain couldn’t hear her but she would go tell him. Then 2 guys came saying, “we can escort you off the plane” this made her madder. She kept saying it wasn’t safe to fly with a plane that couldn’t fix a problem in a timely manner.
Next the captain said everyone needed to disembark the aircraft and 50 people needed to voluntarily stay behind and take the flight on Friday. By this point tears started building up and I said, “I just want to go home”. Once off the plane I was so frustrated I just didn’t understand why this was happening? Why is EVERYTHNG so difficult here? We waited off the plane for 45 minutes then it was okay to re-board.

So we settled back into our seats with 50 less passengers when all of a sudden an elderly lady started roaming the aisle looking for her brown bag. The lady sitting in front of me said she had Alzheimer but the flight attendant said she had to be seated before we could leave. She wasn’t cooperating so her and the woman in front of me got off the plane.
By this point it was 12:15 and luckily we were in the air by 1:00pm due to arrive in JFK at 7:00, leaving me an hour to make my connecting flight.
But unfortunately, we didn’t reach the gate until 7:30pm and I knew there was no way I was making my connecting flight.
Once through immigration there were a few Delta employees waiting for us with re-scheduled flights for the next morning, which was very nice. Out of the 10 of us volunteers 2 made their connecting flights that night while the rest of us stayed in a hotel, courtesy of Delta.
After we collected all of our bags we made the trek to the tram and once outside we were pleasantly welcomed by the cold. Before this point it didn’t really click that I was “home”, it was so weird to look around and see so many different people.

We finally got to the hotel at 10pm. Meg and I shared a room and it was so nice! As I was taking a very hot shower I thought to myself, “what am I doing with my life?”
Meg and I got some food (a Caesar salad), also courtesy of Delta and called it a night.

10:00pm JFK

What seemed like 5 minutes of sleep at 3:50am I awoke to my alarm, time to get up and tackle the second leg of my journey home. I did run into 2 minor situations (not being able to print my boarding pass at the kiosk and having to discard my 2 bottles of rum at security) but that was nothing compared to the day before. Once at the gate Meg, Mica (a 21er), and I enjoyed some Starbucks and talked about how weird it was to be thrown back into the fast pace of life. I was intrigued by the iPads stations every few feet on the tables and by a large group of materialistic teenagers.

Mica & Meg & an iPad

Thankfully that flight was smooth sailing and I arrived in SLC just after 10am on Thursday April 21st. It was so good to see mom, Dan, and Isaiah waiting for me!
I couldn’t believe the ordeal to get home but it’s been so good being home and being with friends and family. And it was all worth it to finally meet baby Reggie! The moment I held him in my arms my heart filled with so much love and joy!

I just love him!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I already have so much to blog about...flight issues including a 5 hour delay leaving Guyana and having to spend the night in New York (a whole post will be dedicated to that craziness). How cold I am. Seeing friends and family. Falling in love with Reggie. My emotions since being home. How good it's been hanging out with Andrea and her family. All the yummy food I've been eating. And much more (and more to come)!

I just wanted to say Happy Easter to everyone!

I just love him


I had a great night last night dying Easter eggs! I don't remember the last time I did that.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm Off!

The next 3 weeks I'll be here and there!

Salt Lake City

The Bellagio, Vegas

LA, Lancaster

I'm so excited!!!!! See you all soon!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

In A Few More Days....

....I'll be cold!

I checked the weather for when I'm home and it's going to be a little shocking but I'm excited for some cooler weather. It's been so hot here the last few days.

Utah- 50's
Vegas- 80-90's
Lancaster- 70's

I guess in Utah I'll be cold, while 70 degrees sounds so nice.
I'm pretty anxious right now and I keep thinking it's a day ahead then it really is. Just now, I'll be home!

Here's a list of a few things I'm looking forward to....

Activities:
Meet Reggie!
Park City
See a movie in the theater
Go on a hike(s)
Massage, pedicure, manicure
Shopping
Yoga
Beach
Swimming (Vegas)
Spending time with friends & family!

Food:
Mexican
Sushi
Indian
In N Out
BJs
Starbucks
Olive Garden
Thai food
Clam chowder in a bread bowl
Frozen yogurt
Berries
Broccoli, zucchini, asparagus
Jamba Juice
Fudge
& the list continues....

Friday, April 15, 2011

Highlights

I spent a few days in Town, which was fun and helped pass the time.
Here are the highlights...

Went to a 10/10 Cricket game

It was great to see a live game and people watch 

Saw a beautiful sunset at the beach and collected sea shells.
Then had Pizza Hut

Attended GUY23's swearing in ceremony
(GUY 22 girls!)
Our Country Director giving a speech on behave of 
Peace Corps 50th Anniversary

It's pretty neat to be apart of Peace Corps 
as this year marks 50 years of service!

I also helped out with two resource fairs for Peace Corps, one for the Environmental Task Force and the other for Be Safe!

Now, it's time to clean and pack for my trip home!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Prayers For Poppy

I am asking everyone to say a little prayer for Poppy Steve. He is having major health issues, they think it's lung cancer and things aren't looking too well.  This has been very sudden and we should know more next week. But in the mean time please send him, Grammary, and the rest of the family positive thoughts and little prayers.
Poppy Steve is one big teddy bear, a real jokester, and a good man. When we were little we were always amazed by this magic tricks and loved listening to his many stories.  No matter what kind of mood you are in Poppy always puts a smile on your face or pulls a coin from your ear.
I'm sad I haven't seen him in a few years but I'm hoping I'll get to see  him and Grammary when I'm home.
Poppy, I love and miss you. Stay strong. We are thinking about you everyday and keeping you in our prayers.

Grammary & Poppy celebrating Grammary's 80th

Thursday, April 7, 2011

14 Months

I can definitely say I'm on the down hill slope now, less than 12 months to go!!!
And this month I'll be home soaking up family time, good eats, and cooler weather, it's going to be so great!

Last Thursday Chelsea and I completed the start of the Be Safe! program with a graduation for the 18 nurses and teachers who participated in and delivered the program to 9 school across Linden. The program has been a success and we can't wait to see where it goes from here. I know I already have two nursery schools lined up to teach the 6 week course and I can't wait for these kids to meet Trusty the Turtle!

Here's a little glimpse into Be Safe!
The goal: prevent child abuse & let kids take ownership of their bodies
Each card is one lesson

Re-enforcement is key
Kids preforming a little song about Be Safe!
The graduates

The graduation was on TV!
& aren't these little ones so cute?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hawaii, Alaska, Home

Since I was in high school I've wanted to live in Hawaii. Andrea and I always talked about moving there and being beach bums for a few months. This dream is still tugging at my heart. I'm a very lucky girl because I've had to opportunity to visit Hawaii 4 times, although I only remember 3 trips (the first time I went I was 2 years old). I think this dream will be a reality soon!

But lately I've also been thinking about Alaska. In 2004 I had the pleasure of going on an Alaskan cruise with 2 of my friends after graduating form high school. I haven't given much thought to going back to Alaska until recently and I don't know why. I remember it being so beautiful but also cold, cloudy and rainy and we were there in July. But I think it would be so cool to live there for a little while. I miss the outdoors, I miss mountains, and I miss being cold (shocking). I just think it would be such an awesome experience.
So, I know I don't know where life is going to take me but I'm hoping I'll end up in Hawaii and Alaska one way or another. 

2 more weeks until my vacation home!!
I'm so excited!
I can't wait to see my family.
I can't wait to eat at a Mexican restaurant.
I can't wait to go to a health food store and get healthy food.
I can't wait to bake.
I can't wait to drive.
I can't wait to hike & go for walks.
I can't wait to be mosquito free.
I can't wait to take a hot shower every day.
I can't wait to catch up with everyone.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Morning & Realizations

I spent the night in Georgetown last night and today Becky and I spent the morning at Oasis CafĂ©. We enjoyed talking over coffee and eating crackers with peanut butter. I’m so grateful for Becky and the friendship we’ve developed over the year. Her and I are a lot alike and it’s so nice having someone to share this sometimes frustrating experience with. She is a lot of fun and I can’t wait for our upcoming trips we have planned together.


While we were there Peter (a friend of Princess’s) who usually hangs out at Oasis walked in so we sat and talked with him for a while. He is an interesting guy and we always enjoy listening to him share his stories. He is from England and was a volunteer in Guyana a few years ago then decided to move back to Guyana for work. We talked about Cricket (which I still don’t understand), iPads, and travel. After talking with Peter I always feel encouraged to just travel the world, to see all there is to see, and do whatever I feel like doing in life.
After we left Oasis we walked down Main Street where people sell crafts and jewelry. Over the past few weeks there’s been a new couple selling things so today we stopped to check out their stuff. The girl is Brazilian and the man is Argentinian and they make really unique, pretty jewelry so of course we bought a few things.
It was a good morning in town.

Over the past few weeks I had some realizations. Have you ever had an “ah-ha moment”, a moment where you truly feel the higher power talking to you? I did and I have to admit it was pretty amazing. Maybe in the past I’ve been blind to these moments, maybe I’ve ignored them, or maybe my heart has never truly been open to the higher power. But for whatever reason my eyes and heart opened and I’m so grateful for it. I truly believe we have all been put on this Earth with a purpose and the events that take place in our lives happen for a reason--to make us stronger, better, more giving and loving people. We can’t be afraid of the unknown. We can’t be afraid to live. We can’t be afraid to take risks.

I’ve realized Peace Corps is not a perfect organization; it has its flaws and imperfections just like human beings. But this journey isn’t about Peace Corps. This journey is about me. It’s how I handle life as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Sure I may not always agree with Peace Corps or like the way things are run but there’s really nothing I can do about that except accept things as they are.

My final realization is I am me. I can’t pretend to be something I’m not. I am not a social butterfly. I am quiet. I am reserved. I sometimes feel very uncomfortable in large crowds or social gatherings. I am not a partier. I am a dreamer. I am a hermit sometimes. I am curvy. I am emotional. And I have my faults. I’ve learned how important it is to truly accept myself for who I am. And that’s something I’m so proud of.