Thursday, January 29, 2009

Midnight in the Snow

It is always so peaceful. No matter what is going on in life, an incredible calm falls over the world on a snowy night. As I stood outside with my arms spread wide, big wet flakes falling on my face, I could not help but to put aside everything that is going on right now...

I can't stress enough how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to go to Peru and meet so many incredible people. I also can't stress how thankful I am to be home right now. Spending this last time with my grandfather is such a blessing. At the same time it is hard to watch him leave us in this slow and painful process.

Today, he called out my grandmother's name. It makes me wonder because when Tara was in the hospital and almost dying, she could have sworn Nanny was in the room with her. It makes me feel like she is here right now with him... and with us.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

For some reason, hawks seem to be my sign from God that I will make it home soon... So with that being said, it isn´t so strange that I saw a hawk fly overhead while I was hanging up my laundry for the last time here in La Punta de Bombon. I used to write on xanga way back in the day and here are two other examples of times I´ve seen hawks...

Thursday, May 03, 2007
i saw a hawk today... day before last final crit ever... losing all hope... and down swoops a hawk just like before ((thank you God for your signs to keep on keepin on))

Saturday, September 11, 2004
Once upon a time, there was a poor, stressed out design freshman wondering across campus to find a copy machine that actually worked. She walked through wooded areas and crossed dangerous highways, when all of a sudden, not more than 100 feet from the studio, the most amazing thing happened. A huge, magical bird came swooping down from the sky right above her head and as she looked up it seemed to be telling her that everything would be all right and she would be home soon. You see, this was not just any bird, it was a hawk, and this was not just any girl, she was from Hamburg. It is said to this day that this "hawk" was actually a message sent directly from home ensuring that the distraught freshman would make it through just one more day.

and i´m throwing in this one because i just saw it and think its a hilarious memory...

Monday, November 21, 2005
just pulled THE funniest prank...the obnoxious boys next door left their desk in the hall so angie and i took it upon ourselves to move the desk all the way down the hall and place it in the elevator....just minutes later after explaining the situation to megan, we venture into the hall to photograph the situation only to find the unhappy owner of the desk in the elevator with his desk and a confused look on his face while he explains, "this is my desk. but i don't know why its on the elevator. i think my roommate did it." so we ride in the other elevator to the basement hoping to catch it at the bottom for photographs only to have the door open to his roommate and the desk looking even more unhappy than his friend and he says.."someone was nice enough to put this in the elevator for me." hahahahahahaha

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This may come as a surprise to some. Others may have seen this coming from day one. The truth is that, for me, it has been a gradual process of deep thought and prayer that has guided me to make this decision. I joined the Peace Corps and came to Peru because, after four years of killing myself over something that seemed so meaningless and materialistic, I had a desire to help others. I know I came here with the right motives and an all or nothing mindset. In fact, up until a short while ago, I still had the right motivation and a feeling of peace. Slowly that feeling of peacefulness has faded and has been replaced with discontentment and confusion, a longing in my heart for some sort of change. I have no obvious reason for feeling this way. The other volunteers in Arequipa are amazing people and I am blessed with an incredible site. I kept thinking I was just in one of those “valleys” we talked so much about during training. I kept trying to remind myself of all the reasons I should stay and suddenly found that foolish pride was number one, helping people was no longer at the top of my list or even on it for that matter. The more I thought I about it, I realized I am doing service work selfishly. What an oxymoron.

Another important realization I have made is that I was helping people at home. I just wasn’t able to see it at the time. I was a shoulder to cry on or someone to just listen in the middle of the night when a friend needed someone. I was a daughter who eased her mother’s worries by living in the same country as her. I was a grandaughter that came to visit whenever I could. I was there for anyone that needed a companion for an adventure. I was a niece to pass time with when a daughter moved away. I was a fellow design student that had a small role in helping the others get through it. I was a coworker that would always give someone a ride home. I was a babysitter. I was an advice giver, a dog walker, and someone who specialized in always making people laugh. I don’t want this to sound like bragging because it is not. It is really just a self-evaluation that I am able to make because I have stepped out of my life to get a third party perspective.

I have been gone for 7 months (8 if you want to count California and England) and in reality not that much has changed at home. The world did go on turning without me. Friends and family missed me but they continued living their lives. Some new buildings were built. Some businesses had closed. There is a McDonalds in Shartlesville now?! Some old friends moved back home and some old friends moved far away. People got engaged, married, pregnant, or became parents. Kids got older… well everyone got older. And a close friend passed away. I don’t want to imagine what I would miss in another year and a half. I knew I would miss out on things when I left. It was part of the deal. I guess I just didn’t think about how short life is when I did it. Yes I am young but, as we have all recently seen, that doesn’t always matter.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
-T.S. Eliot

As much as I hate quitting things, I think that is an awful reason to stay. I will have other opportunities to travel and other ways to pay for grad school. Did I even want a government job anyway? I will be able to visit Peru in the future. I will be able to stay friends with the fellow volunteers that I am blessed to have met. I have faith that I will be able to find some sort of job regardless of the state of the economy. Although it will be hard to leave, it would be even harder to stay. Peru will always have a place in my heart. It has changed me more than I can even know right now. It just all comes down to what I truly believe is the most important thing in my life… spending it with people that I love. Kara always says, “I spell love T-I-M-E.” I was able to do that before I left and now I have to spell it the normal way and in emails or myspace messages. What I am trying to say in a really round-about way is that I want to know that I spent as much time as I possibly could with Granddad (and everyone else) before it is too late.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm Back

Being home was AMAZING. It would be hard to summarize it all in here- although I think anyone that reads this blog probably shared it with me anyway.

I got into Peru super late last night. The line at immigration took me like an hour and 45 minutes to get through... So, I didn't get out of the airport until about 2am. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper.

I had a bit of an ironic situation on the plane when I turned to see Kenneth (a volunteer from my training group) standing in the aisle next to me about halfway through the ride. AND even more ironically he had been in the states for Christmas and New Years to visit with his sick grandfather, too. It is a strange world we live in.

I have some explaining to do for everyone but I will let that wait for about a week. I need to work on putting my thoughts into words. Stay tuned for that.

Monday, December 22, 2008

With my Ladies

not the sunglasses....

Susan and Feesh!!!

i feel home.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Homeward Bound

Wrote you this
I hope you got it safe
It's been so long
I don't know what to say
I've travelled 'round
Through deserts on my horse
But jokes aside
I wanna come back home
You know that night
I said I had to go
You said you'd meet me
On the sunny road
- Sunny Road, Emiliana Torrini

I´m in Arequipa right now... my bus for Lima leaves tonight. I can´t believe the time has finally come! I can´t stop smiling and I don´t think I´ve ever been this excited for Christmas before, which is saying a lot if you know me.

I´m off... into the great wide open.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still Here

¨As long as we can love eachother, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on- in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.¨
- Tuesdays with Morrie

We will never forget you.