Archive | May, 2012

Second Stop of the “Good-Bye” Tour: Atlanta

30 May

(The tour kicked off with the first round of good-byes in Orlando two weeks ago.)

I was in Atlanta Sunday through Tuesday, trying to fit in as many visits with friends and family as possible. We had a BBQ at my dad’s on Sunday, spent Monday afternoon at Piedmont Park and even found time to go to the historic MLK memorial (none of us had ever been). Most importantly, there was no shortage of hugs, kisses and well-wishes from everyone I got the chance to spent time with.

Piedmont Park with dad 🙂


MLK + Coretta Scott King

Whenever I hear Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind”, it always reminds me of how much fun I had visiting Atlanta as a kid every summer.  Even as an adult, there is always something new and exciting to do. The city is such a special place…if you’ve never been, definitely plan a trip soon.

Next stop: Austin.

Sneaky Sneaky

29 May

Memorial Day Weekend was officially my last weekend in Miami before I leave for staging.  Since I was basically done with packing, I decided to meet some friends out on Friday night.  Little did I know… they were coming over to surprise me with balloons, a cake and a veryyy generou$ gift card.



Thanks to everyone involved: Ramon, Angela, Diana, Jenny, Carla, Jorge, Gaby, Cristi, Dolly, Sonia, Evelyn, Heka, Becca, Claudia, Elena, Sophia, Jessi Jo and Even.  You guys have been an amazing support system thus far.

No dice.

24 May

Long story short– the phone-in-the-rice trick did not work.

Long story — I left it in the bag of rice overnight and this morning it was as good as new! For about 20 minutes.  Then it died. Not one single functioning key.



The good news is I was able to save all the pictures from the media card/phone memory.  That’s really what mattered most. And I was able to get a loaner phone for the next two weeks so…text me!  🙂



Dinner & Drinks & A Bag of Rice

22 May

This past weekend, two of my girlfriends and I made the five hour trip to Orlando to meet up (and say good-bye to) Angela, Evelyn, Aneesha, Jazzy and Ty, whom I hadn’t seen in a while.  It was a last minute decision to go, since I’m kind of strapped for cash, but I’m glad I did.  You can’t put a price on great memories with wonderful friends!

We spent most of the weekend lounging around  and catching up, with the exception of Saturday night when we mustered enough energy to get dolled up for dinner and drinks downtown.

just like the old days.

In unrelated news, my Blackberry is currently sitting in a bag of rice.  On my way to Wal-Mart earlier today, I was caught in the middle of a torrential downpour.  Even though the phone was in my pocket as I ran into the store, somehow it managed to get soaked and now the keyboard isn’t working. I knew there would come a point when I’d have to detach from my Babyberry, but this is not what I envisioned!

I’m hoping the let-it-dry-in-rice trick works…or the next two weeks are going to be a little complicated.

please work?


Did I miss the memo?

16 May

I must have missed the memo/blog post/handout/book that talks about how nerve-wracking the weeks before staging are.  Everything I’ve read focuses on your experience once you arrive in your new country. No one seems to talk about the anxiety or nervousness associated with detaching from your life.

“You must be so0000 excited!” – Everyone

I am!

But also…kinda freaked out.  Since I stopped working a few days ago, the reality of my departure reallyyy started sinking in. I’m seriously leaving for 27 months. What will the life I left behind be like without me?  What does my new life have in store?   Then I realized–I need to relax and enjoy the present moment here and now.

So I’ve been spending lots of time doing the things that make me happy:

spoiling princess gia.

trips to the park with gracie.

Other fun things I’ve been doing in between packing:

  • hitting the gym every day
  • meeting friends for lunch
  • looking for the best deals on sleeping bags and mp3 players



10 May

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is posisble, it is yours.”

Ayn Rand

Today was my last day at work.  My company is closing, coincidently around the same time I’m leaving, so this actually gives me the next two weeks to get all my ducks in a row before staging. As I cleaned out my desk, I came across this Ayn Rand quote I taped next to my computer screen. Every time I read it, it made me wonder– what do you really want out of life, and more importantly,  how can you make it happen for yourself?   Don’t be lulled into complacency by the comfort of your current lifestyle. If there is something you yearn for, do not let your spark die.

Peru #19 Training Group

9 May

Now for a REAL staging update! I received two important emails in the last two days….

The first came from Rosa, the Language and Culture Coordinator, asking to confirm dates for a preliminary assessment of my Spanish level via telephone.  Born in Colombia, raised in Miami, and working directly with Hispanic media for the last two years, I have a feeling I’ll do juuuust fine. I wonder if there will be any other native Spanish speakers in my group? A therapy session conversation with a great friend (here’s your shout-out, Poffle!) reminded me that I’m pretty lucky to be headed to a place where I am fluent in the language.  Where spewing out broken French during my six month study abroad stint in Paris was all fun and games, I’m sure a major language barrier would add stress in every aspect of settling into the Peace Corps.  I’m here as a resource, my fellow trainees!

The second, much anticipated, email came from the Staging Unit.  Just as I had predicted, staging will take place soon after I land in DC on June 7.  After a day of activities and presentations, Peru #19 will be headed to Lima on June 8 at 11am!