Before I write anything else I have to say thank you, thank you to all of you who made my trip to the United States better than I could have ever imagined. I loved seeing all of you and catching up and eating delicious food. You all are the most wonderful people on the planet and, yeah, thanks.
I was going to write about how I seem to have nothing to write about. That'll come later. But, being home in the states really made me appreciate the good ole USA. Those of you that know me would maybe think that I would be the last person to be running around and saying how much I love America. But, that's exactly what I did and I wasn't trying to be a smartass. I never hated the country of ours but I was never quite the patriot. Oh, how things have changed. In the end you have to appreciate that America works. The infrastructure that we have set up might not be agreeable to all but it works. And having a society that more or less runs smoothly – especially in a depression – is amazing.
When I walked off the airplane in Miami and stepped on American soil for the first time in 16 months I felt like I had walked into the future. Now, I knew that Obama was president and that flat screen televisions have been around longer than the time I've been away. But, here we were, in a large international airport with flat screen televisions every ten feet and a black man giving presidential addresses. It seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie but it wasn't.
I also noticed how negative my emails have been lately – particularly because so many of my lovely friends would call me out on all the unhappy things that I've said. So, I must clarify—life is not that bad. I think my emails have a bit of journaling-syndrome. You tend to write down all the really bad things and all the really good things and nothing in-between. There have been so many in-between things that you just forget or don't seem like it's important to be sending out in mass emails. So, I am not living in a spiral of depression. It's actually quite alright.
This country drives me nuts a lot of the time but there are some really wonderful people who really care about me. Most volunteers have to pay someone to feed them lunch and dinner. Most volunteers have to pay someone to wash my clothes. And most volunteers had to buy their furniture. I can walk anywhere in my community and find food to fill my stomach. I have a best friend that lets me use her washer and she's the one that feeds me nearly everyday. I collect rain water for all my water use – bathing, cooking, cleaning and my tank was half empty before I left for the states. A fellow volunteer left her site with a tank full and came back to an empty tank. But, when I came back from the USA someone had taken the time to fill my tank when there were heavy rains here. Someone left their house in the pouring rain, uncovered my tank, filled my tank, and covered it back up. This seems like such a simple act but it made me smile as soon as I stepped into my house.
I've gone back to my community and seen all my Peace Corps friends. Things are pretty much the same and my youth are really excited to get up and going again. My women's garden has grown and they're ready to take vegetable plants and put them in their homes. I got funding for a stove project that I'll probably end up starting next month. There's a new group of volunteers coming into country in the next few weeks. We're busy planning our annual diversity conference for Dominican youth. Things are all moving so quickly and I'm sure that before I know it my time will be up.
Back to the "having nothing to write about". I think that there is actually a lot to write about even though my life is a series of repetitions. But, I think I don't write as much anymore because before my life wasn't really everyday life – it was Peace Corps life. There was a distinction between "real" life and "Peace Corps" life. I often forget now that I'm a volunteer. My routines have become just that – routine. I don't notice things that I would mentally note in the past and because I don't find importance in it I find it silly to write about later.
So, forgive the lack of emails or the lack of those stories that you all are so hungry for. I love you all so very much. Thank you again for making my 16 days in the United States the best a girl could imagine. For those of you I didn't see I hope that I see you after my close-of-service in November. I don't know what my life plans are but let me know if you have any big life plan changes.
I love you, I love you, I love you.
Take really good care of yourselves.
! Nos vemos pronto!
Con mucho amor,