I came home to babies – babies everywhere. Sometimes it is hard as a single person when most of your friends are married and having kids. We have less to relate to and finding time to hang-out has gotten harder and harder. But I love those little ones and it is beautiful to see my friends raising up a new generation. Brittany and Beren are super great to hang-out with. We go do all the things that we would normally do and just bring Beren with us. He is super chill.
Filed under Family, Friends
There is nothing better than sitting on a front porch swing, surrounded by your oldest friends, watching the twilight settle over the southern rolling hills. I got together with my “family” for a family farm weekend. These are the friends that know me the best, who I can count on to welcome me back home to America like I never left. Granted, there were a few more kids and spouses than before, but it still feels the same – the love is still there. We spent the weekend telling stories, playing music, hitting pinatas, swimming the lake, playing cards, and shooting guns. The sun shined bright on our days and sparklers lit our nights.
Filed under Family, Friends
What was the absolute best way to spend my first weekend back in America? Going to the RC and Moon Pie Festival, of course! It has been a tradition since 2008 for us to go the Festival in Bell Buckle Tennessee, and what a beautiful tradition it has been. I felt like America was welcoming me home with a big Southern hug. Not only did I eat a corn dog that was a least a foot long, but I had cold RC and a banana Moon Pie just like I remember having when I was little and would go fishing with my dad. We shopped in antique stores, walked through arts and craft booths, and listened to a hog calling contest. Loren went prepared this year to win the hula hooping contest; where she had to drink an RC and eat a Moon Pie without dropping her hula hoop. She came in 4th place this year, but we were not discouraged. Loren and I decided to compete in the water balloon throwing contest and this is where we won first prize. Which led to us being knighted on the stage by the Queen and King of Bell Buckle. Our prize: a free t-shirt and the privilege of cutting and serving the world’s largest Moon Pie.
Filed under Food, Friends
A Day In The Life: my 28th birthday
Man, I am getting old – do you see all those greys?
Our friend Wendy took us out for French toast at a local hotel. We have to make and bring our own syrup…
I thought it would be fun to show you what our “kind-of-grocery store” looks like… and here is our ride – the decorated bajaj.
My besties Marissa and Jordan made this pinata for me and mailed it to Africa. Not only did it have candy in it but notes from a bunch of my friends. Yup, those are granola bars…I guess I am a grownup when those are what’s in my pinata.
Homemade felafel and pita for my Mediterranean dinner.
Just a little dancing, food, and cake. We also showed “Wreck It Ralph” on the side of the house and invited a lot of people to come celebrate with us, but I didn’t get any photos. It was a wonderful day!
This weekend we celebrated Megadis’ 5 year birthday. Megadis is our house-worker’s little girl. She has spunk and attitude. We thought the perfect things to give her were “movie star” sunglasses, costume jewelry, and bubbles. She danced around her mom’s coffee ceremony and her birthday cake, blowing bubbles as close to our faces as we would let her. Here’s to five more years of craziness!
This is Marcie and me hugging the first of many goodbyes I will have before leaving Africa. Though, this one is coming extra early. Marcie is heading home to Florida for 9 months while I will only be in Africa another 8 months. So this is probably the last time I will see this lovely lady. Marcie will be fundraising for Grace Center, a women’s and children’s advocacy center. I partner with the Grace Center, so I have known Marcie since I first arrived here in my town. She has been such a support and encouragement to me over the last year. I am going to miss her terribly. She also means a lot to so many single mothers and orphaned children in our region. She works everyday to make sure children have food and clothes and that single mothers can find work and a home. It was good to get together and celebrate Marcie and her wonderful family.
Filed under Food, Friends
Food in Turkey was the best. Well, it probably isn’t the best, but after you have been eating the food I have been eating for a year, this stuff was gold. We ate a traditional Turkish breakfast a few times on our trip. They bring you all kinds of foods in little dishes, designed to be eaten together in different combinations with different types of bread. Most of it was savory: olives, flavorful cheeses, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, salami, peppers. But there were sweet jams and pastry style bread as well. One of my favorite parts of the meal would be the mint lemonade. I mean, it was ridiculously refreshing.
Have I mentioned that we get bored frequently here? Well, we also like throwing parties – so whats better than having a 4th of July Independence Day party where half the guests are not even from America! We threw a cookout and invited our German, African, Australian, and American friends to celebrate freedom everywhere. Our fireworks were rained-out, but that just gave us extra time to gather inside and sing all of our National Anthems, in the dark (that’s right, our electricity was out). It was definitely a memorable 4th.
Filed under Friends, Holiday
So I have these awesome new German neighbors. Why are they awesome, you may ask? Well, first of all, they listen to great music. Secondly, they have really great kids. Thirdly, they are super-chill. Despite their international status, they have made me feel the most at home here. They have me and Milli over for cookouts. They sit around fire pits and have interesting conversations. Their kids come-over to do things like bake cookies and color with me. Here are some images for a cookout they had before Christmas to celebrate the grandparents coming to visit.
Oh Bowling Green…you will always have a special place in my heart. And as Banjo Bill once sang, “Bowling Green, Bowling Green, Somebody’s gotta live in Bowling Green. Jesus lived in Galilee, so I guess it might as well be me. And here I walk the streets of Bowling Green.” He then goes on to say that “It is hard to break-up with Bowling Green.” I have done it once before and it was pretty darn hard. It is no different now.