Thursday, November 28, 2013

Breaded Asparagus.

Last year for thanksgiving I made a video.
This year the internet has changed too much for me to be able to load a video from my house.
SO I am going to do this the “old fashioned way” and just write it out :)

Can not wait until next year when I can eat all the cranberries and pumpkin pies.

This holiday season:

I am thankful for my family and friends and my wonderful fiancé for being so supportive.
I am thankful for my kitten Papaya for being here to make me smile when I'm sad.
I am thankful for my new nephew because I know he is an amazing person.
I am thankful for all of the fellow volunteers
– especially the ones who have become really great friends of mine over the last year.
I am thankful for my fan for helping me readjust to this ridiculous heat.
I am thankful for airplanes.
I am thankful for technology that keeps me connected.
I am thankful that in about 9 months I will get to go home to a country that makes more sense to me...
I am also thankful for the experience to live in a country that doesn't.
I am thankful that I live in a world where the Peace Corps exists.
I am thankful for “TastyBites” minute meals for allowing me and Papaya to eat like bosses this Thanksgiving even if we were all alone in my living room. (Don't worry the real Thanksgiving festivities will take place on Saturday!) And for the Peanut Chew that I ate for desert. And lastly I am thankful that the only Turkey I saw today was alive and well and wandering in the field outside of my house.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone and a Happy Hanukkah as well!!

Think of me as you eat your mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Welcome Back

Back in village.

While I was gone my house flooded. This is something that I knew about since another volunteer (a complete angel - who also cleaned up after the flood) was checking in on Papaya cat every few days. Papaya is fine, and is very happy that I am back. However, I am starting to wonder if he is the only one.

I don't want to go into details, because I could rant forever and I do my best to try not to complain here in blog land... but since my house flooded (for the third time), and people came in to see the damage.. everyone has decided that I am very messy. Since, for obvious reasons after a flood, my house was quite the disaster. Papaya had freaked out knocking things all over the floor in his room – which is the room that had flooded -- (leading to a lot of things, mostly paperwork, getting ruined. Which meant there was water, and papers, and other small desk items floating all over the floor.

Something else you need to know about Benin, is that if you don't sweep on an almost daily basis, dust just starts to build up. Well, by the time my vacation ended, I had (for all intent and purposes) been away for 6 weeks. First the conference, followed by being very sick.. literally leading right into my vacation home. So the place was dusty, just as anyplace would be dusty after 6 weeks of being away. Duh.

Anyway, the general temper in my living situation at the moment seems to be that me (and my cat) are a complete nuisance, and I am not paying enough to live here given the state of my (inundated) house.

Gee, I'm glad to see you guys too. :(


Oh, I was also told that my cat is dangerous and might eat the children.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,

I have landed safely back in Benin. America was wonderful, and I will be happy to be home again for good in less than a year. In the meantime I am back in Africa and the updates will have to also go back to blog land and not in person :(...

I really enjoyed my time at home (maybe a bit too much) and am definitely having a bit of trouble readjusting to being away from the people who love and care about me.

Home was great.. there is hot water in sinks. You can eat almost anything at a restaurant. People pay with little plastic cards. I was just so CLEAN the entire time I was there. Not to mention all of the other little things such as sweaters and boots and cuddling up under blankets and just not being the center of attention 24/7. I could not be a celebrity, being so noticed all the time is honestly my least favorite part of being a PCV.

It was an eventful trip home as well, for those of you who don't know.. this trip home was so that I could meet my brand new nephew who is just the most loved and most adorable thing ever and I can't wait until he is old enough to talk to me. Then of course, as if becoming an aunt isn't big enough in and of itself, Erik and I are now officially engaged. (And yes I was completely surprised) –

Even with all these big things happening in my life, the best part of it all was getting to see so many of my friends. I lucked out with spending a chunk of my trip on the west coast, which means I got to see family that I wouldn't have gotten to see otherwise. Back home in the Philly area some of my best friends made the trip to Chez Moi to see me, which made me feel really special and loved – and allowed for such activities as eating pumpkin pie straight from the box.. and drinking champagne to celebrate over jigsaw puzzles. You guys make it really hard to leave (and that's a good thing).

Hopefully in a few days I will feel re-acclimated.
For now I feel hot and sweaty and homesick.
But that is perfectly normal.. I think