Posted by: fullandbye | August 18, 2010


It is my birthday.

Going to porti in the morning to help paint a homeless shelter, hang out with a few volunteers, and meet a new response volunteer. It feels so great so spend this birthday feeling settled and calm.

Last year my birthday was the day before I returned to Agou-Fie and discovered my house was still toxic. What a weird and stressful day in Nkwanta a year ago. Scott was recovering from a bout of giardia and we had a party with the other Nkwanta vols at the nurses quarters in the district hospital. I remember hitch hiking on the back of a tractor with Scott and then playing frisbee with Jen. All the while I was so scared of what would be waiting for me when I returned to site. At the time I had no idea that Jamaica was even an option. I was such a wreck that evening. I returned to site the very next day and all my worst fears came true. The guano. The reaction. That whole day and the few following it were just nightmarish.

But ultimately that story brought me to where I am now, with a few excellent stops along the way. It is really funny how life works out. What an incredibly strange year. Not the easiest of my life, but certainly wonderfully eventful, challenging, and affirming. So many transitions packed into 365 days. So many new friends and sights and encounters. What a wild ride!

This year’s birthday will be much better than last year’s. I’m sad that a few of my favorite volunteers are in Kingston for a training and will not be around to hang out tomorrow, but the volunteers who are around are a great bunch and I am looking forward to spending a nice day with them.

Happy Labor Day, Mom!

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