Tuesday, May 26, 2009

hot wings, jalapeno poppers, chocolate chip cookies, and malibu

I am eating a significantly more amount of bad food that I love in these last remaining days. I am however, trying to keep my coffee addiction at bay. Coffee King in Mongolia is apparently quite terrible and the only option.

I have had several queries as to my state of mind and preparedness lately. I am anxious, not yet to the point of anxiety attacks, but there is still time. In many ways I am really prepared, I am certainly more prepared than last year. If I would have gone last year as planned, I am sure I would have been fine, but I would not have the benefits of this crazy "accidental" year in the life of me. I, for example, would not have had this amazing "adventure" back pack into which I fit the majority of the stuff I am bringing. (thanks Dad!) I would not have known that I would not only be able to stand working with children for a year, but I would have many many moments of joy with the little hellions. I would not have seen every single episode of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer with my two amazing little sisters. Should Mongolia become overrun with vampires, I will have a significant leg up. Madeline, by the way, is 14 and 5'10'' with legs all the way to to there and a quick mouth almost to rival her big sis. Claire is apparently a softball protege, the "big kid" coach wants to groom her to be his star pitcher in 7 -ish years!

I would not have worked on the Democratic Coordinated Campaign for South Dakota and thereby helped get Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin and Tim Johnson re-elected, and of course, the man himself, Mr. President, Barack Obama! That victory party is something I will never forget and I truly believe that these people have and will continue to do good for South Dakota, The United States, and the world. I would not have gotten to once again lend my time, talents, and sanity to the Black Hills Community Theatre. Cinderella was an amazing show and it was great to see some of the old faces and feel that production buzz again. I would not have been able to help my grandparents out for a couple of months. I would not have been introduced to The Gilmore Girls by my wonderful friend, Miss Becca Davis, and therefore would not have spent the majority of my time in Steamboat Springs obtaining and watching the remaining episodes. (Which I finished with a week remaining, guess I'll watch Star Trek online now :)

I would not have come here to Steamboat and spent so much time with my Uncle Doug, Cousins Taylor (Brother) and Kimberly (Berly!) and my Aunt Casey who has been such a joy and been so good to me. I can never give enough thanks for all that Casey has done for me. She gave me a place to crash for a couple months, which became a home away from home. She gave me a wonderful trip to Costa Rica, through which I bonded with my cousins so much that while I know we will always be family, know I know we will always be friends as well. But, above all, she has given me the gift of knowing who she is. We have shared some amazing times and some hard times, and through it all she was someone I wanted to be with and hang out with, laugh with, and cry on. I am so grateful that she is my aunt and even more blessed that she is my friend. My thoughts will be with you guys all the way from Mongolia. I wish you all joy and the strength to overcome all obstacles.

Of course, there were disappointments this past year. I was unbelievably devastated when my Peace Corps adventure had to be postponed. Dealing with this delay also came, of course, right in the middle of having to deal with my medical issues. This was a extremely frustrating and painful experience that I would not care to repeat. I also had to cope with the uncertainty of my Peace Corps status, a low-paying job after finishing my degree, and explaining to everyone why my best laid plans were suddenly derailed. My mother and I also had our huge blowout fight that we must have forgotten to have when I was a teenager and it was more appropriate. This was hugely distressing to me as my mother is the most amazing person on the planet and I am so happy to have her as my BFF.

I am leaving Steamboat Springs on Friday to go spend a little time at home before I ship out. This has been a great town and I will miss it. The mountains are beautiful, the sky is a vibrant blue, and the natural hot springs are something I am sure I will remember and drool over in Mongolia. Friday evening I will get into SD and immediately head to a memorial service to honor Miss Rowan Grace. I am blessed to have known such an amazing little girl and I know the world seems little less grand since losing her sparkle. In truth however, her sparkle remains with those who had the privilege to know this leukemia warrior. Rowan was and is an inspiration to so many people, including myself. Her mommies are amazing people and I know they will get through this. Rowan Grace 6/23/1998 - 4/23/2009 "Tuesday's Child is Full of Grace"

I will spend 12 days at home, soaking up time with my family, seeing my friends, eating more delicious food, and hopefully getting everything ready. I fly out of Rapid City at 6:11 in the morning on 6/11. I love numbers and am taking this as a good omen. I fly to Denver and then on to LA, the same flight as another volunteer headed for Mongolia. I told him we should make sure we become friends and then everyone else will be jealous of our special relationship we developed since we got to meet a full 4 hours before everybody else! hahaha I will spend roughly 26 hours in LA, including 2 hours of filling out and turning in forms and 5 hours of various orientation information including Welcome to Peace Corps and start of Training Program, Background to Peace Corps history, mission & goals, Anxieties and aspirations for service, Managing Risk (personal responsibility for safety), Policies, Reflection on commitment to service, and Logistics and departure/arrival information. We to South Korea the next morning have a short layover and then on to Ulanbataar, Mongolia. Oh boy! and Yikes! and deep breaths...


Mom said...

““Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.””

So Keep your feet, love.

You can be very proud of your life and what you are doing. I am very proud of you and love you beyond all measure.

All my love,

Gabb said...

You're my person. I'm incredibly lucky to have someone with your strength and overall amazingness. Deep breath!

Day 1: May your adventures be many and your blogs be plenty.