What I Want to Remember

   While going through piles of pictures I have from over the years, I have found some that stand out...
 I was a very shy kid, but my parents encouraged me to put myself out there and not be afraid to try new things. I'm glad they pushed me.
 I was very close to my siblings and cousins growing up. This picture is at our Nana and Grampy's house and reminds me of how even though I haven't lived close to my extended family for a long time, we still have so many shared memories.
 This was from the summer after we moved to Maine, one of the times that we hiked Borestone Mountain. I love that mountain, and it reminds me of how glad I am that my family moved to Maine. Plus, the moose t-shirts make me laugh haha
 This is from a very tough night working at my job at a residential treatment center. I loved that job and learned so much from it. It also reminds me of how humor is so important in getting through difficult situations.
 This picture reminds me of Boston and was taken at an '80s concert toward the end of my time living there. It reminds me of a friend who was there for me when I decided to go for my dream and also of how endings bring new beginnings. Also, '80s music is great.
 This picture reminds me of my cross country road trip during a trip to the zoo with my family and also of my mother who loves giraffes. I really love them too.

 This was taken by my sister as we road together from Maine to California when she followed her own dream and moved to L.A. It reminds me of how proud I am of her and of our time together on the trip.
This is my little brother and was taken in Bar Harbor, ME. One of my favorite places. I have "run away" there many times.
This lady was arrested for protesting the war. She was in her 90s. I met her with my Alternative Spring Break group in NYC during college, and she told us her story in the middle of a Greek restaurant. One of my fellow group members joked that I would be like her someday. I hope so : ) One of my all time favorite memories.
I'm with some of my Delta Zeta sisters at an alum. event. DZ helped me to grow so much as a person when I joined my freshman year in college and has continued to in the years following. I've made so many wonderful friendships with people whom I may  have never known other wise and whom have supported me through many adventures so far.  This also reminds me not to judge people because when I first went to college there was no way I intended on joining a sorority because of the assumptions I had made, which turned out be very false.


A Year Older and New Beginnings...

   Yesterday was my 27th birthday, and it was wonderful. I spent the evening before with my family watching movies, scrap booking and reminiscing. My brother had dance classes all day on my birthday itself so it made more sense to spend time at home with them the evening before. Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I went out for a sushi dinner with some very close friends whom are like family to me. It was great to spend time with them because I do not get to see all of them regularly due to distance, busy work schedules, and busy family lives. Then some of us went roller skating and bowling. The last time I went roller skating and bowling for my birthday was for my 16th birthday. That memory holds great sentimental value to me because that was the first birthday that I celebrated with my group of friends from high school. At that time, I had just moved and started going to a new high school that fall. Like now, it was a time for new beginnings for me.
   It was great to get together with people I care about and just laugh and have a good time. Some of my friends gave me some very thoughtful gifts to bring with me to Botswana as well: pictures, a book to write down my adventures in, and thoughtful cards. I know these things will help when I'm homesick, and I really appreciate them for being so thoughtful. When I got home last night, Mom also surprised me with some t-shirts to bring with me. My parents had already given me a fleece jacket as an early birthday present so it was nice of my mother to think to get me some t-shirts when I know she was running around with my younger brother all day to dance classes.
 If you are reading this, thanks to those of you who were there for me yesterday and are always there for me. Love you all!




   I've been doing a lot to prepare for April. I've been getting financial matters in order and completing other paper work that I will need at staging. Staging is the event for which all of the the volunteers going to Botswana will meet up in a city in the United States before flying to Africa. I'm not sure where my staging will be yet, but I do know it will be in either Boston, Philadelphia, NYC, or D.C.
   I've been determining what to bring with me and what I still need to get.  I just joined a facebook group called "Bots 10", and I'm finding it helpful in planning what I'm going to bring. "Bots 10" means the 10th group to go to Botswana since the PC was reinstated there. Some items that I will need to get are a sturdy hiking shoe,  a comfortable pair of sandals, hooded fleece that is water proof, a flashlight, lots of AA batteries, an alarm clock that is battery operated, and a pillow for the plane ride (which will likely be about a 15 hour flight!). I have a longer list of what I'll be bringing, but these are just some key items that I plan on getting before I go.
   I was glad to receive some clarification about clothing in Botswana. I had heard that in some African countries it isn't acceptable for women to wear pants, shorts, or capri pants, so there was a possibility that I would be expected to wear long. floor-length skirts and dresses every day. However, in Botswana it is apparently acceptable to wear pants and even capris and skirts that are knee length or longer. ( On a side note, Old Navy has some great skirts on sale on their website if anyone is looking for spring/ summer clothing! I found 2 for about 8 dollars a piece that are cotton and ordered the "tall" size to make sure they would be long enough).
   In preparation to go away, I am also spending quality time with the people I care about, and I'm trying to just make the most out of everything. It is starting to hit home that soon I will be going away for a long time. I think my family is going to be throwing a party for me in March up here in Maine sometime to help say "see ya later". I also would like to visit my second home of Boston before going away.


Happy 2011

   Happy 2011! This NYE day brings special meaning to me because it is the start of the year that my Peace Corps service will begin in! I was lucky to be able to spend my last NYE in the United States for a while with three of my best friends. Spending time with them reminded me how much I will truly miss them when I am away, which I know will be difficult. However, it also reminded me that there are people that will remain close despite the distance, and I am grateful to have them in my life. Love to my NLSers and Happy 2011 to all the other PC volunteers beginning their adventures this year and to those currently serving.