Thursday, June 28, 2007

The farewell tour continues...

Well, I'm almost finished with the Philadelphia/grandma portion of this trip and looking forward to heading down to DC for friends and a wedding. I was going to type a whole thing, but the internet is being funky at Panera (thank god for them and kudos for the free wifi, which has turned out to be a much bigger incentive for me to visit their stores than the food (not that it isn't good, too)). Some quick observations:

1) When Americans offer you tea, it is iced and really, super sweet. This is both odd and a little icky. Twice now, I have made this mistake.

2) People here look funny in shorts. I hadn't realised that I'd stopped wearing them, like most people in Britain. Also, they're super short and look a little hooker-ish. What up, style-less country?

3) Root beer is the best thing about the United States. Chicago isn't bad, either.

4) Anyone remember when I moved to the UK and thought that the NHS perfunctory doctor style was tacky? Now it's weird that they want to have a conversation about unrelated matters.

5) Top Gear should be added to the list (which also includes Duchess & Bill Bryson) of things that have been able to make me a little less funked.

6) I'm actually sick of talking about Peace Corps. And, duck it, I still would rather go to EE/CA and am secretly (well, maybe not so secretly now) not especially excited about leaving. I am hoping this changes and can stop envying the people who are going to Macedonia soon to do the same things that I am supposed to do in SA.

7) I'm still in grief mode and it sucks. I'm really tired of faking cheeriness, because no one would understand. I just want to go back to England and get a hug from the boy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I know, I know, again with the hiding. I've been away and doing my best to heal my broken heart/jet lag with anti-social behavior. On the other hand, you really know who is your best friend when you're in such a crappy mood that she's pretty much the only person you want to hang out with and she constantly reminds you, in ways she probably doesn't even notice, why you're still best friends after all these years. Thanks, Duchiepoo. We've been doing lots of laughing together (Avast, ye cookie!) and attempting to put right the years-long losing record of her family card game.

I spent last week with my wonderful, adorable, perfect nephew Jerry-bear, my sister and her husband out in the middle of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Seriously, it shouldn't be possible to live four hours from an airport, but it was great. I kind of loved being where no one could find me and nothing's more fulfilling than the knowledge that you can take care of a child (and give his mom a break). Jerry had his first fever and was a total crankpot, but recovered nicely and has turned (quite literally before my eyes) into a little crawling explorer who couldn't see enough of the world. I love watching him grow up and change and am super, super sad that he won't be a baby and won't remember me when I get back. We also spent some time tooling around Canyon de Chelle, the country's second largest canyon system. Stunning! I loved the morning that we got up really early to hike the one public trail down to the 1000 year old Pueblo ruins before it got hot and while the light was interesting.

And after that, it's been a series of serious shopping (so bored!), appointments and a short trip to Richmond to see one of my awesome Earlham professors and my guardian angel. Really, drive to Richmond is so short now! I can totally zone it out, especially now that the speed limit on I-70 is set to 70. Oh! And Duchie helped me with dress shopping! Tomorrow I'm off to Chicago after another PACKED day and then on to Philly, a friend's wedding, a side trip down to Baltimore and back to Indianapolis for the final countdown. Egads!

I haven't been using my computer, so I don't have the photos from Arizona to upload, but will try to do that when there's wireless this weekend.

Monday, June 11, 2007

It was suggested to me that I should at least update this blog to tell the world that I'm in Indiana. And no, I don't want to talk about it.

I miss London and my friends there so much, even after only a few days. Heck, I didn't have to make it out of the departures lounge for that (and OMG, there were American service personnel in desert fatigues EVERYWHERE in Shannon airport). I am so glad that there are people to pick me up and try to hold the pieces that are left together. I always knew this process would closely mimic the grieving process and that's proving to be rather accurate.

Two things that I've been thinking about lately, though:

1) A cab driver asked me what I thought I'd miss the most about London. And I think that I came a little closer to figuring it out (apart from the obvious close friends). What I love about that city is that I feel like I really can be a citizen of the world there: people come from everywhere and bring their cultures with them. It all sort of dumps in to this amazing melting pot that doesn't exclude people from outside their communities and Londoners LOVE experiencing other food, music, art, dance, culture. That stuff is always on offer and I adore how London is a really safe space to be, celebrate and share who you are.

2) We drove to Cleveland to see a Prodigals concert as part of a big family festival. Before them was a group called 'African Soul,' which was sort of educational music & dance troupe that's main goal was to teach kids and audiences about real (West) African culture (and Maya Angelou, which is always appropriate and should be done more often). Duchie asked me later if I'd felt any white guilt afterwards (slavery came up and celebrating a culture that hasn't always been allowed to thrive in this country) and I didn't. I still don't. What's happened to my liberal middle-class white guilt?!?

Monday, June 04, 2007

w00t for Race for Life!

Well, Race for Life was fun again this year, although I did notice the bits of silliness a bit more the second time around. And it was nice to run with a friend, too.

Anyway, the big news is that I finished in 35:38, which is basically three minutes faster than last year. Looks like I managed that goal! And my awesome, wonderful friends donated more money than last year, too, my other goal! If you'd still like to donate to Cancer Research UK, then my page is here!

Otherwise, packing up my life continues and I'm tidying up the loose ends. It stinks. But, the England Saxons (basically, the second-string England team) won a really great match against New Zealand Maori at Twickenham (home of England rugby) on Saturday! It was so much fun! Oh, and the US (which, incidentally has a national rugby team) got HAMMERED by Canada. They were really rather rubbish.