Motorcycle ride!

No I didn\'t drive!

My Beth asked her neighbor Mike to give me a motorcycle ride when I came to Texas.  It’s been on my wish list for about 3 years now, at least. Mike was a great tour guide. We traveled 130 miles to Galvaston and back yesterday.   It felt just like I remembered it, like I was flying.  The difference between riding a motorcycle at 20 and at 50 is that a couple of times  I did think  about an accident, at twenty those thoughts never entered my mind!  Mike was a careful and safe driver it had nothing to do with his driving. But those thoughts were fleeting and I enjoyed the ride so much.  We drove the length of the seawall at Galvaston, ate seafood and walked around the strand but by far the highlight of the day was the ride!

-vc 

For Helen – May Itinerary

TravelMay 7 – Pittsburgh – Brother Dennis  and Stewart O’Nan’s hometown

May 11 – Salt Lake City – Brother Jack

May 17 – Houston – Beth

May 30 – Madison, ME – Mom

June 4 – Granby – Fiya, Liz

June 5 – Lunch at Newington – You guys!

June 7 – Philadelphia – New PC friends to be.

June 10 – Accra, Ghana

I Do Not Cry in Public.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public.

The favorite parts of my job were taken away from me over the past four years and many of my daily tasks were routine and boring but as my investment in the daily grind of the job lessened my connection with my co-workers deepened. This is a truth that I think will be reinforced over and over in my journey with the Peace Corps. More than the food, more than the movies, more than the easy access to book, EVEN MORE THAN INDOOR PLUMBING when I am in Ghana I will miss the people I love. To misquote a campaign slogan of an earlier Clinton Presidential candidate “It’s the PEOPLE, stupid!”.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public.

I do not cry in public

I do not cry in public.

-vc

Cleaning House

This week I have been cleaning my office. It’s amazing how much paper I have felt the need to keep in 13 years.  Most of the stuff I never looked at again once I filed it.  But it was fun to look at it now and remember my career here.  I found a tech newsletter I wrote for monthly for about a year. The minutes from tech team meetings and the web redesign project.  Instructions and manuals for software we don’t even use any more. Many good memories. I choose to overlook the bad ones!

And as I have seen things on my desk they remind me of people here I have given them the item. I feel the need to leave pieces of myself at LRW Library  in the place I have been at for so long.

-vc

Newington “chop shop”

Today Jeanette, Helen, Pat and I went to Steve’s, a local sandwich shop in Newington. In Ghana a chop shop is a local place that sells local food as opposed to a restaurant that sells fancy, non native food. Steve’s feels local. The people behind the counter are friendly and open. It’s a family run business. The mom and dad and their two son’s work there.

Today is warm turkey sandwich day. For the past two weeks I have asked about cranberry sauce and last week the woman who I paid said I should bring my own because the cooks were not going to make it that way. When I came in I was greeted with “She did bring her own cranberry sauce!” I handed one of the sons the container of cranberry sauce and said I want this on my turkey sandwich, please.  Helen seconded it!  When the mom came by our table she said “Oh they put cranberry on the turkey” and Helen replied “no she” pointing to me “brought her own in!” the mom said “I have been trying to tell them we need cranberry on the turkey sandwich, now maybe they will listen after a customer brings their own in.”

And of course, as I tell everyone I told them, I was going to Africa.  One of the sons told me about this young man who was in Africa and now works for them.  As I was leaving he hands me the phone and says “talk to him about Africa!”.  The young man again confirmed my previous understanding that the Ghanaian people are the friendliest people in the world.

Thursday May 1 the woman who told me to bring my own cranberry sauce is baking brownies for my last day at Steve’s.

Small town, small business, gotta love it!

-vc

Ghana June 2008 Invitees

Hey all of you who are finding my blog from the PC website. Some of us are in a Facebook group called Peace Corps Ghana June 2008.  The quote from my previous post comes from that group. The whole post in that group is extremely helpful for packing questions. 

Come and join us and get to know some of your fellow Ghana PCIs.

-vc

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.

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

Thanksgiving 2007

Yesterday was the start of saying goodbye. It was my last Thanksgiving with family for a few years, if all goes as planned. It was a fun, happy, warm and yummy thanksgiving, tinges with a bit of sadness. My daughter and my new son-in-law had it at their house. Liz cooked up a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Fiya, my granddaughter and their niece, was there and so was Liz’s friend Sammi. After dinner we girls watched football with Eric. Love that player named Kitten or was it Witten? We ate to much. We laughed a ton.

Considering options

I have been on vacation since last Friday only to return and get sick yesterday.  My vacation was spent with my best friend since High School.  We always have a wonderful time together. We finish each other’s sentences. Sunday afternoon we were watching a movie and I turned to her to ask if they delivered pizza to her house and before I could ask she said “How about pizza for dinner tonight?”

What does this have to do with Peace Corps and Africa? She has always said that if I just need a change I can live with her. So I have been thinking – Do I only want to go to the Peace Corps only because I am burned out from my job? Could I transition to a new career living with her in Texas?

This is the time to think and be sure because 2 years and 3 months is a long time.

vc

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