Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011!

First off, apologies for being MIA for the past month. I literally have only been on the internet like 3 times this holiday, and I’m actually kind of proud of that! I have so much to recount from my month-long adventure, and when I’m alone again after New Years I will start with the stories! That aside for a post I wrote a while back during my intensive alone time: wowwww this year has been epic! Sometimes it can be nice to have time to reflect, and I’ve definitely had copious amounts of time to think about how much my life has changed in the last year, and the cool things I’ve had the chance to do. I crafted a list that I’ll share of some of the awesome things I did, which explain why 2011 was definitely my best year ever:
-       Went skiing in Breckenridge with the fam [And got to miss sorority rush because of it?! Best Christmas present everrr]
-       Got a job nomination for the Peace Corps… in Central Asia [my guess was Azerbaijan]??
-       Unexpectedly was given the opportunity to learn how to camp in freezing nighttime temperatures, build showers, love dogs and Texas longhorns, and cook for 12 people over a single portable burner. That’s right ASB2011
-       Sang karaoke at Lonnie’s almost every week for the entirety of 2nd semester
-       Completed a French and European Studies Thesis [it wasn’t awesome when I was writing it, but it felt awesome when I finished it]
-       Graduated from Vanderbilt!
-       Experienced the wonders of Harry Potter World, and learned the scrumptious recipe for butterbeer.
-       Day One of said magical vacation, was given an invitation to join the Peace Corps… in AFRICA!
-       Got to actually hang out with both college and high school friends during the summer, so rare!! Anddd rented a margarita machine, delish.
-       Completed my first Triathlon, thus ending my prior extreme fear of running. 750-meter swim in a swamp, 16-mile bike up a never-ending hill, and 5k run with Grace and Lumay!
-       To be cool like two of my sisters, made a spur-of-the-moment decision and cut off all my hair [or 12 inches] for Locks of Love
-       Moved to Africa alongside 37 complete strangers. Waddup Namibia!?!
-       Took an exhilarating ride home from training one day on the back of an 18-wheeler’s flat bed [disclaimer: ironically, two days later we had a safety session in which we learned how majorly against PC rules that is… whoops]
-       In twee maand het ek ‘n bietjie Afrikaans geleer wooo dankie ouma! Rough translation: Ouma Martha learned me some Afrikaans [that’s Namlish for you, aka the way Namibians speak English, which I have also quickly learned]
-       Realized the Core 34 consists of some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. Gained a NAMily.
-       Swore-in as a US Peace Corps Volunteer with all 37 people that started this adventure [it’s actually very unique/unheard of that no one has gone home yet, 4 months strong now!!]
-       Moved to an anomaly of a town, on the coast but in the desert… and perhaps arguably the most remote place in this country. Yeah Luderitz!
-       After a trying time with the host family experience in training, tried again for 6 weeks of phase 2. Became the third daughter in an actual Namibian family, with possibly the three sweetest Namibians I’ve ever met.
-       Became a full-time Grade 6 English teacher!
-       On my December holiday, went SKYDIVING over the Atlantic coast and the desert with 6 other Volunteers!
-       Zoomed down sand dunes at 80 k per hour in an awesome sandboarding adventure in the Namib Desert!
-       Moved into a huge house that’s all mine for the rest of my service what?! Vegetables made a triumphant and eagerly anticipated return into my diet!!!!
-       Though I couldn’t be with my family for this holiday, got to host 12 of my closest friends in Namibia for Christmas/New Years. Having a blast with my Ludacrew with braais and crazy fun czar activities!

I hope everyone stateside had a Merry Christmas, and that you have an incredible New Year! I can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring!!