Tag Archives: Update

Flying High

10 Jul

Greetings all of you fun-seeking, generous, kind people!
I just got back from the loving United States of America.
(Yes, again.)

This time it was for 20 days!



I celebrated my birthday (24!), Nicks birthday (27!), America’s birthday (235!), Fathers Day (shout out, Deekerson!), attended two breathtaking weddings, spent time in Pittsburgh, Alaska, Ithaca, and Boonville (it’s a real place), plus earned $300 in US Airway money due to an overbooked flight.
!!!!!!! It was the best 20 days of my life 🙂

The worst bit, though, is that I didn’t even warn you that I was going.
In this, my father has already expressed his disappointment.

Honestly, I have a plethora of great excuses.
Well, okay, two. But they’re good ones.

In your interest, dear reader, I am dividing these excuses into two blog posts.
Your welcome.

I’m going to start with my favorite topic and my first justification; The Motherland: Clearly I didn’t write on my blog while I was in America (aka the land of the free) because I was busy moving in slow motion, mouth agape, with the…
…Choices! (Even the ‘smallest’ gas station is brimming!)
…Variety! (Restaurants! Menus! Wegmans!)
…*Stimulation! (Driving on the road I was cautious and leisurely.)

*(About this last one, Nick got antsy and insisted on sitting in the drivers seat citing a desire to “not spend double the amount of time in the car”. I was happy to be a passenger enjoying the ride!)

Some things never change:
Yes, I still stare at strangers (people watching is my favorite activity), experience social anxiety when interacting with others (did I mention two weddings??), and I am perpetually fascinated with white people (letting your dog lick off of your ice cream cone, really?)

A brief synopsis:
In Pittsburgh: I hugged my parents, touched every object in my room (for the first time in 16 months!!), played games, went shopping (I love sales!), enjoyed North Park, and ate out at restaurants of my choice (anything but Caribbean).

In Alaska: I went on amazing hikes, jumped on a trampoline at the top of a mountain (see photo), relished in the vistas, spent time with Nicks family!, visited an old friend (Gabi), purchased a souvenir mug (which is with me in Jamaica), got my nails painted (glitter!), and Brandi & James got hitched!!!!!!

In Ithaca: I saw best friends (Colleen, Simone, Catherine – missed Laura), went swimming (in waterfalls and ponds), pined for avocados (called pears & ‘tis the season!), talked books, played with children, won a doubles tennis match, ate homegrown organic lettuce and basil that Nick raised (so proud, so proud!).

In Booneville: I went for a bike ride (with two hotties), attended a beautiful wedding, ate cake (twice!) met more of Nicks cool family (Olga, Hedi, Bonnie, love!), spent time with Kirks (so awesome!), enjoyed camp, got the daylights scared out of me by a bottle-rocket-firework-extravaganza, then got snuggled.

Jumping on top of a mountain in Alaska

Wow-y Wowza did I have an amazing time.
I’ve turned a shade of red, white, and blue.
I loved loved loved it there.
Happy Birthday, girl.

But she can’t get all the credit for my happiness.
No siree!
It’s you guys that made my trip.
ALL of you guys; my incredible family and friends (old and new). — You make my life so special and so so worth living. Not to mention hilarious. I love spending time with you and I look forward to every single hug that we share.

Most of you didn’t know I was coming to the US until I arrived and thus I didn’t get to see all of you (some people still don’t know that I came and left!) And to those loved ones, I owe a very hearty apology. I am genuinely remorseful that we didn’t spend time together and I am so sorry if you feel slighted that I didn’t call/e-mail/blog before I came to America.
Please know that I love composing, divulging, and sharing my world with you.
And I love your energy. Your conversations. Your input.

There is one more reason I did not write before my trip. — a second justification.
I’ll give you a clue in picture form followed by hints (disguised as observations):


A. Small bed (specifically designed for one person) with white, generic sheets
B. Needle in arm with IV taped at an uncomfortable angle
C. Hands holding belly coupled with a pained expression
D. Harsh lighting that is making a real tan look spray-on

In my next post you’ll see more of these highly unflattering photos but for now…
Your challenge is to deduce:
Where. is. Sammi??

dun dun dun.

Thus ends this segment of explanations and apologies in reference to my lack of communication re: my upcoming (and now past) visit to the Motherland. For the duration July (have I mentioned how realistic 24-years-old has made me?!), I am working on providing timely updates. So, we can all look forward to that.

*The next post will, of course, explain the picture above.*

One more thing!
I forgot to tell you, on my flight back to Jamaica (the 4th of July), after spending those glorious 20 days in America, US Airways (because of overbooking) upgraded my airplane tickets to first class resulting in free snacks, drinks, and a new sense of unrivaled patriotism.

Thank you, US Airways.
And thank you for reading.

As much as I love America, I love YOU even more.

Stars and stripes forever,

Welcome Home

14 Apr

Hello World!

If you’re reading this you probably already know that I decided to start a blog. Yup: Share. Chat. Work on writing/general English skills. Update you on what I’m currently doing (err, typing and sitting in front of the fan — it’s hot here). Recount events and anecdotes. (Try to) put things in perspective. Give virtual hugs. And much more.

You also might know that I just got back from my first trip to America in over a year.
I stayed for 12 days. — and got back two days ago.
It was a gust of welcome, fresh air.

And I know, I know, most people start a blog for the duration of their Peace Corps experience. That is, at the beginning.
I’m a bit late. — 13 months late, to be exact. The customs official told me (when I re-entered the country on Tuesday) that I have 405 days left on this often sunny island [I swear, I didn’t do the math!! (this time…!) ]

So since I’m breaking traditions I don’t plan on stopping.
Imma start with an excerpt from my journal of how I felt BEFORE I left for America. Not all the sad, misery, woe-is-me details I admit I’ve been experiencing while in Jamaica, but rather the sense of excitement and anticipation of entering a culture I felt fluent in 13 months ago but now am slightly intimidated by, yet still admire and adore:

I kept flitting back and fourth between thinking the transition to being in the US was going to be invigorating for me and then conversely worrying that I would be overwhelmed and pushed to a nervous breakdown from pretending that I have any idea about what’s going on. Like someone would start to make a pop culture reference (Charlie Sheen?), mention a social must-know (tsunami), or anything about politics (Um, the government almost shut down?! seriously?) and I was just gunna nod my head noncommittally and look like a real poser.

I kept wondering, ‘is there a way you can pretend to know what’s going on and just *listen* without coming off like a total jerk? What if there’s only one other person involved in the conversation?? Or am I more of a weirdo if I say, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, can we go get something cool to eat?”

*Sigh* it’s just so much easier to think about the weather in Jamaica.

Speaking of the weather in Jamaica- it was really hot before I left. 92 degrees at 8am. — in MARCH! Now that I’m back though, things seemed to have cooled down a bit. 88 degrees with scattered, welcomed, showers.

Back on track, k. If you haven’t read my e-mail update (ask and I’ll send it your way), I’m sure you are breathless — what was it actually like when I went back to the land of ‘milk-and-honey’ earlier this month???

Emotional break-down in Panera Bread? Check
The best Thai/Sushi/Tofu I’ve ever had? Check
LOADS of clean, washing-machined clothes? Check
Hugs, love, snuggles from friends and family? Check
No mention of Charlie Sheen? Check

The trip was powerful.
I feel much better.
And now I’m back. 🙂

Exciting Things:

–Started a womens walking group. We will be meeting 3 times a week. Met this morning for the first time! Walked for over an hour with 3 women. Huge success. Saturday is our next walk.

–I’m bicycling into Santa Cruz/market for the first time tomorrow!!!

–A mentioning in the Green Initiative sector bulletin.

–A few calls from fellow PCVs (Raz), welcoming me back to island.

— My supervisors wife telling me “we missed you while you were gone”.

–It just started raining!!! (the gorgeous sound of pitter pitter pitter on my tin roof). It’s gunna be a great night.

— I brought ‘stuff’ to The States with me and now my home in Jamaica is less cluttered! It’s awesome. I still haven’t unpacked or anything (ha!) but there’s time…

–The Agricultural High School where I teach might be merging with the local college of the West Indies (super exciting, in my opinion). There are intense feelings on both sides (for and against). The high school has contacted me and asked that I help them write a business plan and budget proposal.

–I made popcorn over the stove, to coincide with the sound of raindrops 🙂 Plus I am drinking cold water from the fridge (It’s the last cold water bottle, but I’m motivated to work on my blog and am not filling the empties up right now… Ah, well.)

–Earth Day is coming up! (April 22nd)

–Easter weekend (read: extra long holiday for PCVs, and the Basic School – not to mention Patricks birthday)!

–Mid Service Conference is in the first week of May!! (and Ms. P is not coming with me this time :))

That’s all for my first post.

Hope this finds you happy and well.
And that everyone around you ignores Charlie Sheen.

Love and sunshine,

PS. A huge thanks to Taylor for the blog layout!