With the end of my service quickly approaching (although sometimes it still seems forever away) I'm constantly thinking of the first world and how ahh-mazing it's going to be when I get back, aka "The Return". I fantasize about all the things that I'm going to do when I'm home and how the options will seem endless!
All this day dreaming of sushi rolls and soy lattes stems from the fact that I’ve already had to make a lot of plans upon my homecoming. One of my besties is getting married shortly after "The Return" and I'm the maid of honor (holla!). I’m also in one of those easier-said-than-done long distance relationship thingies that is surviving despite the many obstacles that go along with it. It's been like running a super extra long marathon but there's a pot of gold waiting for you at the end (I imagine, since I've never run or intend to run a marathon, nor been in pursuit of a pot of gold) So being in the home stretch (4 months to go!!) only makes pondering the future more inviting and too often I find myself thinking about "The Return".
"The Return", I have no doubt, will be magnificent and satisfying and I will feel so grateful to have completed my 2 year service. However, in an effort to "live in the moment", which is the livelihood of this entire blog, I have made list of all the things I love about Jamaica and being in the Peace Corps. Because I want to appreciate all these things before I'm gone, and secondly, I never want to forget how I feel now and all the things that made this experience worth it.
So here they are, in no particular order, My Favorite Things About Jamaica:
1. Huge food portions - Food is awesome, I love it. So you want to give me more of it? Great!
2. Little to no “real life” adult stresses, such as bills and insurance, gross!
3. My after school Craft Club
4. Lot's of fried stuff - Fritters anyone? Yes please!!!
5. Public Drinking - What more can I say?
6. Obscene amounts of people in taxis – This one time, there was definitely 14 people in the taxi and it wasn’t even a wagon. There was just a guy sitting with his legs in the trunk and he just held the trunk down on his legs. All you can do is laugh, but only if you are comfortable laughing in a taxi full of strangers.
7. Being the most beautiful women males on the street have ever seen (or so they say, yet it’s still flattering at times)
8. Endless hugs from the children at school
9. Cards and letter from the students every day telling me how much they love me and how “butiful” and “perty” I am.
10. People relying on me for all things technology – I will never again be the smartest tech person around!
11. No make-up!
12. Putting on a few extra pounds is a good thing
13. Teaching adult computer class
14. Never having to worry about cooking dinner – my fantastic host mom’s always got that covered
15. Plenty of alone time
16. Reading books and watching movies/shows I never had to time to before
17. Four day work weeks, sometimes three, sometimes two...
18. No one looking over my shoulder at work, I’m basically my own boss
19. The most work schedule flexibility I'll ever have
21. My old school Nokia - the indestructible phone
22. Goats – seriously. The way they make noises like a crazy person yelling at you.
23. Especially baby goats – so cute. Like little awkward unaware children with feet too big for their bodies wearing knee high socks.
24. Pear/Avocado Season – I eat about 3 a day during this time, which is late August – late October
25. Mangoes – dentist’s secret delicious little helpers(because you always have to floss after)
26. Oranges – so sweet!
27. Crazy fruits and vegetables that look like something out of a Tim Burton movie (See: Ackee - for real, Google it)
|It was cold outside that day|
28. Fresh veggies always in the fridge and fresh fruit on the table
29. My addiction to shopping has substantially subsided; one new clothing item every 6 months is a treat!
30. Wild rose bush in my yard – I can pretty much have beautiful fresh roses each week! They never stop!
31. The ability of some older Jamaicans to just sit and enjoy the time, enjoy the day, enjoy the fresh air. No need to be constantly entertained.
32. The power you have over students when you offer up stickers – even more power when it’s a new pencil
33. “Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!” Students calling me constantly, I will miss this
34. Insanely cheap public transportation – like $3.00 USD to get 2 hours away
35. Chattin Patwa, mon
36. Beach trips
37. The unbelievable color of the ocean
|Clear blue ocean water|
38. Dance hall music and the ridiculous lyrics (Think praying to god asking to not cheat on your significant other, and then praying to not to be caught)
39. Throwing your compost out the window when you can’t get to the trash or the pig pan
40. Making fun of tourists
41. Year-round flip flop tan
42. Dying your hair pink makes you less of an outcast
43. Belting along to a Celine Dion or Mariah Carey song on public transportation and no one bats an eye
44. Waterfalls, hummingbirds, hibiscus, coconut trees, almond trees bougainvillea...basically the overall natural beauty of Jamaica
45. No snow or weather under 60 degrees
period full stop
46. My host mom’s huge smile and the way she’ll give me a surprise laugh at the random things I'll say
47. New appreciation of the little things
48. Peace Corps get-togethers in tourist spots, but on PCV budgets
49. Being part of such a talented, creative, low-maintenance, down-to-earth group of people
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
These are all the things that I am thankful for today! What are you thankful for?