Back by Popular Demand!

19 07 2010

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, but I’ve been a little busy visiting the United States for a month. Now I’m back in Guyana and I know now how many of you actually read this thing, so I figured I should write something. (Thanks Mom for sending this to everyone in your email contacts list).

So let’s get caught up since my last post:

-When I thought I had Dengue Fever in March, it wasn’t really Dengue Fever, it was Dengue-like Fever…..

-I had the real deal Dengue Fever on my 31st birthday at the end of May(Happy Birthday to me). It consisted of 100-101 degree fevers for 5 days straight, serious dehydration, headaches, and a full body rash (including the palms of my hands and bottoms of feet) that made my entire body itch for 2 whole days. It really sucked and I don’t recommend getting it.

-I GOT TO SPEND A MONTH BACK IN THE UNITED STATES! I know I said that earlier, but still, it was really exciting.

So yeah, I got to spend this past month back in the US hanging with my family and a whole lot of friends. I didn’t get to see everyone that I wanted to see, but I did get to see A LOT of people. Of course I was fed copious amounts of food for the entire month I was home and I’m very happy to report that I only gained 5 pounds. Other Peace Corps Volunteers always have some kind of horror story about gaining massive amounts of weight when they go home for visit, but those volunteers usually go home for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas and all you really do that time of year anyway is EAT, EAT, and EAT. Don’t get me wrong I ate, ate, ate too, but I ate, ate, ate my weight in healthy things like strawberries, broccoli, and kale. I also ate some no so healthy things as well, but I ate those in moderation, like medium rare steaks, ice cream, Mexican food, hot wings, and real pizza (not the Guyanese kind with corn, carrots, and tuna fish- sounds GROSS, I know). I did get to do things besides eating. My not-so-baby sister graduated from high school the weekend I got home, which is very exciting and I’m so very proud of her. She is a woman of many talents and has no problem putting the rest of us to shame. She is athletic and is planning to play soccer at college this fall, she plays 3 musical instruments (and she plays them well), she is an incredible singer, she writes her own songs (and they are GOOD, like Top 40 Radio Good), and she is just a really nice person. Congratulations Jennie for all your achievements! Enjoy this time before college starts and have fun AND learn lots this fall!

Seattle was good times as well, besides the fact that I was FREEZING the whole time I was there. (I know I spend a year and half in the tropics and I turn into a wimp. What can I say?) People have been busy procreating while I have been gone so there were plenty babies to meet and to play with. My new favorite little guyis my best buddy Mary’s babe, Lincoln. He is the happiest, smiliest, talkative little guy I know, plus he is nice and chubby with a big head and a dimple in his left cheek when he smiles. He is scrumptious and I just wanted to eat him up. Apparently he felt the same way about me since he peed on me the first time I changed his diaper. I took that as a good sign that he felt comfortable with me. Thanks Lincoln, it’s a good thing I love you! Also while I was in  Seattle I was able to get a chiropractic adjustment, a massage, and a pedicure (needless to say it was a relaxing visit). It was very good to be back in the Pacific NW despite the weather and it was good to catch up with all the peeps, dogs, babies, etc. Expect me back next spring………

North Carolina was hotter than poop (literally, it was 100 degrees there the whole time and I think poop only gets to body temp which is like 97-98 degrees, unless you have a fever or something). Anyways, it was nice to be back in the heat and hang with more family and more friends. I got to eat awesome food while I was there like peaches, hush puppies, frozen yogurt, and banana pudding. Surprisingly and sadly I did not have a single biscuit, serving of BBQ, or run to Bojangles the entire week I was there.

Now that I’m back in Guyana, I do have to say that it is good to be back. I had a wonderful and relaxing vacation, but it is nice to be back in my own house, sleeping in my own bed (even if I do have to sleep under a mosquito net), and back to my own schedule. One thing that surprised me the most was how easy it’s been for me to adjust from one culture into the other. It wasn’t even 3 weeks ago that I was standing on The Ave in Seattle with The Stranger tucked under one arm, a skinny mocha from Tully’s in one hand, and cell phone in the other, I had to take a second to stop and laugh at myself and how cliche the whole look was. Two weeks later I am standing in line at the Cheddi Jagan Airport in Georgetown to get my passport stamped when all of a sudden there is a blackout. I’m in the country for not even 10 minutes and I realize that I’m REALLY back. I waited patiently like everyone else and wasn’t even put out by it, I actually chuckled a little bit to myself. Since I’ve been back (for a whole week)  I’ve noticed how much better my Creolese has gotten. I didn’t practice once while I was back in the States, although many people requested that I say something in Creolese. Before I left my Creolese was all right, but not really something to be proud of. Lately I find myself just chatting away without even having to think about it. It’s caught me off guard, but people actually understand me now, which is way better than repeating myself six times. I guess I needed some time away to truly understand just how much Guyana has become my home and how much I have become a part of the community. The amounts of “Welcome backs!” and “Where have you beens?” makes me realize how much I have become a part of life here, my neighbors, co-workers, and even the guys at the gym all missed me, even my market lady was excited to see me back (or maybe it just meant her lettuce sales would now go back up). It’s hard to see the progress you make sometimes when you’re standing too close to see the full picture, but my month back in the US gave me an opportunity to rejuvinate, relax, visit, eat (of course), and reflect on what I have been doing over the past year and a half, not just on a professional level but on a personal one as well. This experience has been incredible so far and I still have about 9-10 months to go with it. I want to thank all of you for your support from abroad, it really means the world to me.

Here is to the home stretch, full of sunny days, loud music, curry, and cows!

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