My adventures serving in the Peace Corps

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New York and the One-Month Countdown

This past weekend Mitch and I went to New York City! It was really fun; we saw Passing Strange (a new musical that has a good chance of winning the Tony this year), Gypsy (a WONDERFUL revival cast starring Pattie Lupone and Laura Benanti), and Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Laura Linney. All of the shows were totally different and really well done. Passing Strange in particular struck a chord with me because it was about a young person who leaves home to "find himself" by experiencing different cultures in the world.
We also spent time with my cousin Dave and my big Italian family. It was sad saying goodbye to them! Dave has been one of my closest cousins for a long time. It is hard saying goodbye to older people in particular because- I hate to sound morbid, but it's a fact of life- you never know how many more chances you will get to see them. We also stayed with Cam for a night and had a nice dinner in the city with him and drank wine in his hot tob under the stars- so relaxing. We also had just about perfect weather the whole weekend- mid-70s and sunny :) Mitch and I had a ton of fun together; it's so unfortunate that we only met this past autumn because he is now one of my best friends- I'm going to miss him like crazy!
One month from today is my big Goodbye party in West Park in Ann Arbor. I can't believe I only have one more month in Ann Arbor before I move to Benin! I am really looking forward to it. I recently finished a book called Nine Hills to Nambonkaha about a Peace Corps volunteer in Cote d'Ivoire (also French West Africa) about 10 years ago. Her first-hand account of her experiences in West Africa gave me a really good idea about what to expect over there, both good and bad. For instance, a major frustration for her was that it's not that they don't have the resources to correct health problems, but rather many of their traditions and cultural values help to perpetuate some of these problems. Throughout her assigment, she learned how to work with these traditions in order to improve community health. Overall, the book only made me more excited to go!!
One week from tomorrow is my last day of work. I can't WAIT to have a few weeks to myself before leaving, although I have a feeling I might start to panic about packing, shopping, seeing everyone, etc. once I don't have work to distract me! (Speaking of, please make an effort to see me before I go! I will do my best to see people, but I will be very busy and may not get around to calling everyone. I want to see you!)
One month until service starts... let the countdown begin!

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