May Day

13 May

First things first:
Shout-out to my Mum, Emmy:
Happy (belated) Mothers Day!!
You are my role-model, inspiration, cheerleader, and constant support.
Thank you for all that you have done and all you continue to do.
I owe the woman that I am to you!
I will love you forever.
And ever.

Alright, Here’s what I’m thinking right now
– I renamed my tiny puppy — Tyger. ‘cause he’s ferocious and striped.
– I have an itch on my leg. And one on my neck, my back, my ankle…uh oh…
– I like procrastinating (I *should* be working on a lesson plan for school.)
– Having a clean house, clean clothes, and a ‘made’ bed is oh-so productive.
– Mangoes are VERY good. I eat them twice a day. Nay, Thrice. Fresh off the tree. (Yes, I’m gloating.)

Quick recap of wha gwan in May:
Allow me to start off by stating *just* how happy I am that it is, in fact, May!!!! Eeeeeee!! 😀
Big UP to Group 81 for making it to our Mid Service Conference! I’m proud to be part of such a cohesive, positive, respectful coalition of people.

At our Conference (the entire first week of May!) I got a chance to reconnect with friends, play beach volleyball, and most importantly, drink virgin strawberry daiquiris for lunch AND dinner. At times like these it’s easy to love PC Jamaica!

On a more serious note, I also got the chance to recommit myself to the Peace Corps service and hear about other peoples experiences/challenges. PC Jamaica has gone through many changes recently and I am inspired to report that we currently have a wonderful staff as well as an impressive set of volunteers. — it’s amazing the sense of solidarity and motivation that these people provide for me!

After the conference, I hosted three couchsurfers (Belgium/Panama/Canada)! All ladies. Two were dancers who stretched with me (super awesome), and the third spoke French and Arabic fluently so we practiced our language skills!
Yay de nouvelles cultures! 🙂

On the frustrating front..
…Um, one of my puppies was stolen.
What the….?? Yeah, I know. Jamal. Tiefed (aka, taken by a thief).
I wish I could explain this. It’s bizarre. Seriously. Like there aren’t enough puppies running/barely-moving-because-they-have-worms-in-their-bellies that are going to die a slow and painful death that they *had* to take the one that was going to live. Grrrr! This is why I renamed Tyrone, Tyger.
We are trying to move on after our very upsetting loss.

…My *waterproof* stopwatch got water in it and now it won’t work. It won’t even register the time. Hrumph. I was on a long bicycle ride and got caught in a powerful downpour that, apparently, submerged my wristwatch more than 100ft underwater!! It was epic!!!! To be honest, I wouldn’t have estimated us to be *exactly* flooded under 100ft of water but according to the manufacturer, “there is no other explanation”. I am very displeased.

…The spider population had a spike; they are HUGE, fuzzy, and everywhere.
…Also, the mosquitoes are extra prolific; sneaking their nasty selves indoors.
…And, I have an ant issue. In my bed, on my floor, the walls, my yoga mat…
I have bites all over! The itching is incessant and terrible. I can’t sleep.
…To add insult to injury, there is a new bug in my life; half moth, half worm, and as plentiful as blades of grass in the yard. There are thousands of them, every night! Ew. They squeeze their way through the cracks in my door to bask in artificial sunshine. They can’t all fit, though, and each morning I open my door to a carpet of dead bodies covering my veranda. In some places the debris is an inch thick! It’s gross. In a cruel turn of events, if I don’t sweep them off immediately their dead-worm-bodies provide fodder for ants which swarm, devour the bodies, and leave the wings. This then creates excess wingage that is lighter than a feather and susceptible to the slightest breeze (ie. a dog walking by). These wings get blown around and land inside my abode by the hundreds; coating my dishes, spice-rack, books ect. I am both rebuffed and repulsed.

…There is a rumor going around my community that I’m a lesbian.
I credit recent female couchsurfers. And while it’s not at all true (in fact, highly amusing) it does, potentially, pose a bit of a safety risk. Maybe I’ll start wearing a picture of Nick around my neck? I’m open to suggestions.

…Uggh, this bad-news-lady, Marsha, moved down the road from me, next to Mama. She got evicted from her house last night and is now living with her children up the road. This has very negative potential. Her bad pickni (kids) are young and rude! They beg, cling, and steal; I am dreading encountering them everyday.

…Lastly, errr, my hair is falling out. Hmmm. Dunno why? A hopeful hypothesis I have is that the weather is getting hotter. But all I know is I am shedding way more than usual. On the plus side, I think I remember this happening last year…

Highlights from last week:

At the conference:
– Emphasis on all-you-can-drink frozen strawberry daiquiris!
– And the all-you-can-eat cooked, delicious, food – with NO DISHES!!!!
– Room with an ocean view/swimming in the ocean/beach volleyball
– Dancin’ with the girls/feeling safe hangin’ with the boys!
– Watching a video in patwa, for the second time (the first was a year ago, in training.) What a difference a year makes; we all understood the entire clip!
Yay for comparable progress!!!

Since I’ve been home:
– Laundry was scrubbed, wrung, hung, CLEANED!!!! This was (way) overdue.
– I spent time with Ledah, one of my favorite farmers.
– I’ve been teaching consistently at the local High School (!)
– Saw a full rainbow – Both ends in my yard! (Yeah, Nick didn’t believe it, either)
– I’ve gotten better at catching mosquitoes in my hand and killing them (ie, not just letting them go). This is an acquired ninja skill and I’m proud.

Things I miss desperately…

…My *waterproof* stopwatch. This was crucial in motivating me to cycle several minutes longer or to run a few seconds more (hey, every moment counts).

…Drews Poppy Seed Dressing. Luxurious, tasty, and not-so-local. This was a departing gift from my dearest mother back in April. I’ve been eating a lot of salad as of late and, well, seems like I’m back to picking up preservative-laden-dressing in Santa Cruz.

…My multi-tool. I lent mine out (silly me) and, well it’s a long story. Okay, fine, I’ll tell you. The boy I lent it to claims it got stolen (wtf?). I’ll never see it again. Well now, you’re right, that wasn’t so long.

…Mason Glass Drinking Jar. Simone gave me this while I was in the generous United States of America. I carefully packaged it during my travels and it arrived safely in Jamaica. I used it everyday (until yesterday) when I carelessly I left it on the ground while I answered my phone, kicked it, and RIP glass-mason-jar.

…Granola. I just love granola.

– Two couchsurfer girls from Sweden (let the rumors keep on!)
– High School presentations on healthy lifestyles. Should be good.

Thank you for your patience while I took two weeks to get this blog posted.
I’ve actually been BUSY!!!
It’s been wonderful 🙂

I look forward more interactions/emails/blog comments.
Thanks for being involved my life.
And thanks for reading.
You guys totally rock.

I Love You,

P.S. Oh, and sorry there’s no photos…the internet won’t load them…also…I didn’t take any. AHahaha. I’ll work on that.

6 Responses to “May Day”

  1. Cousin Richard May 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    Hey Sammi,

    Aunt Joan, aka Gramma Joan is sitting here next to me. We’re celebrating her birthday, spring, and anything else we can think of 😉 Just read your posting together and had fun chuckling with you. Off to take Nate to baseball practice and then come back and make dinner for all. Wish you could be here, too!

    Spring took a long time getting here, but this week has been lovely. Warm, dry, not too hot and everything is blooming.

    We both think you are amazing and love reading all of your writing. Keep it coming whenever possible. You have our love and admiration for a job being done well. Laurel and the boys all fine and busy as usual. I am taking an 80 hour Wilderness First Responder First Aid course in a couple of weeks.

    Now I have to sign off and take Nate.

    Lots of love,
    Aunt Joan, Uncle Jerry, & Cousins Richard, Laurel, Zack and Nate

    • Sammi Travis July 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

      Hey Cousin Richard 🙂
      So nice to get a response on my blog from you! I can’t believe it has taken me so long to respond!!!! Sorry about that :/

      How was the WFR course?? Do you feel like you can save the world now? Or at least anyone in the woods??

      Happy hot, lazy summer day (to all of you!),

  2. Laurel May 14, 2011 at 1:45 am #

    Hi there, Sammi.

    If you weren’t sure that the ants were making you itchy, it could be the mangoes — they share chemical properties with poison ivy (urushiol, it’s concentrated in the skin of the fruit) – here’s a web link if you want to read more:

    About your hair falling out – are you eating enough protein? A lack of protein can cause hair loss (as can hypothyroidism)…???

    Love you lots and think about you often!

    • Sammi Travis July 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

      Hello Laural 🙂

      I totally appreciate the mango itchiness link. pretty sure it’s the bugs though as there is not really a rash…
      Or maybe it’s chocolate-withdraw?
      Could be that, too 🙂

      Love you!
      Thanks for reading!
      And thanks for the advice!!!
      I’m going to go and eat some protein filled eggs…(!)

  3. Bonnie Bourgeois May 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi Sammi, You don’t know me but I feel like I know you a little bit! I am Nick’s cousin on his father’s (Ron Kirk) side. My Mom (Patsy Bowen) speaks of you often and quite lovingly, I might add!. She turned me on to your blog by forwarding a letter you wrote about being back in the states for a visit. I love the way you express yourself and have great appreciation for you experiences.
    I just got a new 5 wk old kitten and we have been trying to decide on a name for him. He is a fluffy, ferocious, orange tiger who is anxious to get growing into his stripes. After reading about your puppy (Tyger) I totally decided that would be his name!!! I just wanted you to know that you are affecting people in other areas of the world without even coming into contact with them (me) :D.
    I hope to have the privilege of meeting you someday.
    You take care,
    Bonnie Bourgeois, N.Y

    • Sammi Travis July 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      Hi Sweet Bonnie! How did it take me so long to reply to your wonderful post?? I’m so sorry!

      Thank you SO much for your unbelievably sweet message! (and warm hug/reception at the wedding!!!)
      I am so honored that Patsy turned you onto my blog and that you felt compelled enough to write something!

      I forgot to ask about Tyger when I saw you!!
      How is he?! What a mistake on my part! I was so overwhelmed. It’s best to get me in a one-on-one situation which I would LOVE to do with you sometime in the future. Maybe we could sip some tea together or something??

      Thank you so much, again, and again, for this message.
      I really appreciate that you took the time to write to me.
      Lots of love,
      sammi 🙂

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