No internet

Oh boy. 1 1/2 days (and counting) without internet at my house and I am feeling out of touch,  and disconnected! How am I going to survive in Africa….. It’s amazing how many times I turn to the net for contact with family and friends or to get directions or to get a phone number  or to write this blog or to buy something! wow no net access or limited net access may very well be one of my biggest adjustments!

-vc

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State of Suspension

Hanging here  suspended between Connecticut and Ghana I feel just a little bit unreal. My life here is winding down. At work I am passing off my duties. I am telling people to have another person work with them on a project because I won’t be there to follow through. I cleaned some of my desk today. I am there but no longer really of the library.

The physical things here don’t mean as much. I am already detached from half the shoes in my closet. Yet the minutes with family and friends are filled with so many emotions. I wonder how can I leave this friend she’s going through such a hard time right now. I think oh how can I miss all the wonderful things this other friend will experience in the next couple of years. I think how much my granddaughter will grow when I am away. The moments with people are filled with joy, sadness, guilt, happiness, laughter, love and excitement.

I am poised on the edge of a very high diving board primed to jump but the starting shot has not been fired, yet.

A Thought

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Talking to family and friends made me think more about why I want to be a part of the Peace Corps. I thought heck they are children or grandchildren of immigrants. I would probably immigrate to America 100 years ago or have gone west in the 1800s. They left what was familiar. They left family and friends. I understand that thinking. It’s not only about improving the quality of your life. It’s also about facing a challenge. I would also do it for the chance to experience a new place. I think the immigrants or the people who settled the west had to be pretty optimistic. They had to believe in the future. They had to believe in themselves and the people with them. And of course they were looking for a better life but without the other desires and qualities they probably would not have crossed a sea or a continent to find it.

-vc

The Goodbye Tour

Finally made my plans for the trip to visit my family and friends.

The train did not cooperate on many levels. The part that really got my dander up is that someone from out of the USA could get an Amerapass for about 1/2 the price of a peak North American Rail Pass that Americans and Canadians have to buy. Why does it cost more for ME to ride the train than a tourist?

Second part was that I had to go to Canada. OK so I might like to go to Canada but not for this trip.

Third and this was the clincher. I would have to pay full Peak Fare if I traveled even one day after May 22nd since I am leaving my Job on May 2nd. I really wouldn’t give me much time.

So I surfed the travel sites for plane fares. As I was surfing and getting more and more depressed, the prices were outrageous, I remembered Southwest does great one-way fares. They also don’t participate in online travel sites. So I surfed on over to Southwest.com and SHAZZZAM! They were having a sale and I got a better deal than the train and will have much more time to spend with family and friends.

I am going to Pittsburgh. The birthplace of the world’s greatest living author – Stewart O’Nan. Hope I don’t get arrested laying flowers on the doorstep of his childhood home. Oh yes my youngest brother Dennis and his wife Melanie also live there.

Then on to Salt Lake City to the Sevison clan. My brother Jack, his wife Bette, Teresa and Erica his daughters, Jay and Alan his son’s and too many grandchildren to even count.

The to Houston to see my Beth.

I’ll be back the last weekend of may and off to see my mom one last time.

Planning this trip makes me realize I am really leaving the US and going to live in Ghana. OH BOY! Is there a word for terror, excitement, anxiety, sadness and joy all wrapped up in one?

-vc

Easter Road Trip

Today, Good Friday 2008, Becca, Fiya and I went on a road trip to visit my mother in Maine. Becca is my oldest daughter. Fiya is my granddaughter. We are going to visit my Mom before I go to Africa.

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Driving to the hotel from my mother’s Fiya took off her clip on earring that my mom had bought her. She said there was a drawing on her ear from the earring. Becca then said it was an indentation. Fiya asked what an indentation was and Becca patiently and simply explained what it was. there were many questions and answers back and forth. When Fiya finally understood indentation she said to her mom “I’m glad I have you. You teach me so much!”

-vc

Day brightening news

Today I went to Peaberry’s for brunch before going to work. I visited with my daughter and the staff there.  My daughter,Liz,  gave me some wonderful news that just made my day. She said that she will be taking the Wednesday – Saturday June 4th – 7th to spend time with me.  Liz and I will have a great time. I am already thinking of so many things we could do!

I love my family!

-vc

Guest Post on OLPC News

Today I am a guest poster on OLPC News.  I sent Wayan of OLPC News an update on how I like my XO now and he asked if he could put it up as a guest post. No XO Laptop for A Peace Corps Volunteer going to Ghana is my update. Wayan made it very presentable with a couple of photos and some editing. My friends will know I needed the editing! Thanks Wayan for letting me share my views.

-vc

EeePC

Got my EeePC today. I am putting it through it’s paces. I connected to the Internet quickly on my wireless connection. I quickly found how to store my password and open my home wireless connection on startup. It will be interesting to try it on an open network. The speed the same as with my desktop. Plug-ins work as expected. Firefox, the supplied browser, has all the features as the windows version I have on my desktop.After a few hours of surfing and emailing I am pretty happy with the Internet

The user interface is displayed on 6 tabs. Internet, work, play, learn, settings and favorites. It’s been pretty easy to find what I need. The learn and play tabs have some basic apps. as well as some surprises. You can play solitaire, or tetras. A unique game is a penguin run. I think my granddaughter would love it. You can also play video, music and view photos on the play tab. Learn has some basic math, English and art apps. The surprise is the planetarium! i set mine for Ghana. The learn tab also has a link to a site called Skoool.ie. On first glance it seems there are a lot of resources there.

All basic office apps are under the work tab. I have only opened that tab but have not used any of the apps.

I have to say compared to the first day using my XO I have had much more fun. I have spent more time using the tools instead of finding work arounds or downloading software. I found this machine much more intuitive.

The keyboard is small but I can pretty much touch type with only a few glances to the keyboard. The screen is also small.

One concern. The XO ran very cool. This machine is very warm. I never had a laptop before the XO so I don’t know if running cool or hot is the norm.

-vc

Peaberry’s Cafe Simsbury

Peaberry’s is my cheers. I am going to miss going in there so much. My daughter is the manager. I love visiting with Leanne and Tracy and meeting the new staff. Today Leanne was celebrating March. “Don’t you just love March?” she asks when I come in. My reply is “I love March because April, May and June follow!” “Exactly” she replies “March is full of hope. And my birthday is in March!”

A woman next to me says “It’s his birthday today” pointing to the only guy behind the counter. “Leanne quietly says “Happy Birthday Evan” But I love birthdays and celebrating even a strangers birthday brings me joy so I begin to sing “Happy Birthday…” the woman beside me who said it was Evan’s birthday joins in “dear Evan …” then together on the big finish “Haaaaapppyyyy Biiiiirrrrthdaaaaaaaaaay tooooooo yoooooooooo”  Liz turns from the milk station and says “Even, meet my Mother!”

When Liz got me my chai she said “wow mom you even got a customer to join in with you!” I had to confess “It was HIS mother!”

Then I was reading the paper and it’s the day after the big prostitute scandal with the governor of NY, Gov. Eliot Spitzer.  The Courant has that awful picture of his wife standing beside him. I assume almost every paper did today. The guy next to me commented on how sleazy and self-serving  it was of him to have her there. So then the counter staff, the people at the counter were all discussing it. 

Visiting to Peaberry’s always brightens my day and I will miss it very much!

-vc

Ditching the Train for the Plane?

Pros to take the plane over the train

1. It would cost less to fly Southwest one way trips from point a to point b to point c to point d etc.

2. I could spend more time with people

3. No sleeping on trains

4. Amtrak won’t prorate for the part of the month I travel in the off season. Peak season start May 22 too soon to stop traveling in my mind.

5. I love to fly

6. I have to go to Canada

Cons of taking the plane over the train

1. No fun train trip with my sister-in-law

2. no sleeping on trains

3. Plane travel and security hassles

4. Won’t see the country as I would on a train

any thoughts would be appreciated.

-vc

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