Of Life as I Have Missed It.

Our last team dinner. :)

I’m home!

It’s been absolutely glorious. The smallest, most subtle of previously overlooked details of my life are now magic to me. Everything from running to the mailbox in bare feet to getting coffee with my Mom, to helping my little sister pick out her outfits and running AT NIGHT [oh, how I’ve missed night runs!] with not one but two body guards. :) [And you’d better believe that nobody so much as thinks about spitting on me with my brothers there!] Dinners with my family, coffee and shopping with friends, …every day feels like a new best. :)

At Em's 5th grade graduation the day after I got home!

 Getting out of Senegal was a feat of epic proportions-the customs agent [or ‘il duce’ as I have un-affectionately nicknamed him] insisted that all of my bags be unpacked and searched, and when that didn’t turn up the pipe bomb and hash I imagine he was looking for, I was strip searched [mostly] behind a curtain. Now, I was flying before I could walk-I’ve grown up jet-setting all over the world and probably had flown more by the time I was ten than most people do in a lifetime. Never, never have I ever been strip searched! In light of the fact that I was simply too excited to sleep a wink the night before I left, the whole experience left exhausted me feeling incredibly frustrated and rather irate. Had I been ENTERING Senegal as opposed to leaving, I am entirely confident that I would be typing this from the Senegalese women’s correctional facility in downtown Dakar. My final word on the matter is that the maniacs working airport security in Dakar are better equipped to be dressed in clown suits and stuffing bodies under front porches.

Thank goodness I was leaving. :)

Chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake with Mom-I've been daydreaming about this for months!

The night before I left, my team threw me “ghetto-fab” themed goodbye dinner—complete with medicine bottle candle holder centerpieces, and suit jacket/short combos. [Oh, the GQ men on my team. :)] It was bittersweet to have dinner all together one last time-I will dearly miss having Cash around next year. I am indescribably thankful for the four people that God gave me to do life with in Africa this year-more on them to come soon. :)

I flew into JFK, and with a beaming smile told the customs agent with his cute little New York accent that thank you very much I was doing wonderfully. He laughed at me, and asked why on earth I was so happy-at which point [much to the chagrin of the long line of tired travelers clutching their passports behind me] I proceeded to give him an animated rendition of my life story-…or at least, the past year or so. With the warmest grin I’ve seen in months, that rather

Making greek food for Mom's birthday with Ian yesterday.

baffled [but highly amused!] man welcomed me home, and told me to go get myself a cup of coffee.

Oh, why thank you. I believe I will!

As quickly as my 5’3 little self could roll two huge duffels, I ran to check in at the Delta counter [clown suits!] again and then found a Peet’s coffee shop. Now, I know I’ve talked about Starbucks a lot-but I almost always prefer other places to Starbucks if I have the option. I ordered the most divine, large, skinny, iced caramel latte from a sweet girl who had a hard time believing I had wanted to move to Africa [yes, another life story!], and then sucked down that little bit of heaven in about five minutes before  I had to go through security again. [Don’t worry, I got another icy latte on the other side of security. Bliss!] After a myriad of different delays, I was out of JFK five hours late and FINALLY made it to Raleigh. My family, Gretchen and Danielle all met me [even better than the coffee!] and took me

Making hummus with Steve--he makes the BEST hummus and pita.

home for dinner. My Mom has had the list of foods  that I wanted my first night home for months now-and dinner was everything I’ve spent hours on end daydreaming about. It was so fun to have Gretch and Danielle there-I’m not entirely sure what we talked about [the perfect storm of no sleep and an obscene amount of caffeine had started to addle my tired brain a bit], I simply remember curling up in the red, overstuffed chair in my living room talking with them and thinking that I couldn’t possibly be happier. :)

I’ll post some pictures that will give you a better idea of what the past several days have looked like–it’s been beautiful. My friend Steve took me to get Japanese food [is there anything better than Hibachi chicken with seafood sauce?] on Fanklin Street [in Chapel Hill] and then we walked around campus and got coffee. I’ve shopped with my Mom, gone to coffee with my brother, celebrated my Mom’s birthday with my family,

Dancing to "INDEPENDENT" with my Mom last night. Clearly.

 spent hours sitting with Danielle and Laura catching up, scooped ice cream at my sister’s elementary school…it’s been an incredibly busy, wonderful couple of days. Tonight I’m meeting a lot of friends at my favorite place to have dinner in Chapel Hill [Fosters Market, if you’re ever in the area–it’s a must!]-and then we’re going to get coffee and walk around campus! I can’t wait to see everybody-what a wonderful thing to wake up every morning feeling like it’s Christmas again. :)


  1. Kristin says:

    1. LOVE Em’s outfit for graduation.
    2. Please tell me Ian put on a shirt while cooking.
    3. So glad ya’ll hit Cheesecake.
    4. IMHO Peet’s is FAR superior to Starbucks

    See you this weekend???

  2. Yes please!! …what is IMHO? I have a wedding on Saturday-what about Sunday or Monday??

    I can’t wait to see you!

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