Alana- (I know you follow this and I felt like I needed to say this out loud... so this is for you) I miss you so much Alana!!! I live my life in my head repeating words that I want to say and wanted to say and will say over and over. Its like a constant conversation between me, myself, and I. Sometimes its interrupted my reality where I often say the exact opposite of what I want to say so that I know for sure how people will react. This past year has been the most jumbled up stream of conversation and reality of my life. Not only is it in Spanglish cause I suck at Spanish but Dominican culture never fails to surprise me. This makes me think of you Alana of course because you are just neurotic enough to understand how that feels and it makes me love you even more and I'm sure it makes you love me even more.
Ok... so there are other things that have happened in the past year that I have yet to write about because I'm a pretty bad blogger but let me por lo menos write a semi-end of the year blog to share my thoughts and experiences with family and friends. Those of you who know me the best will know that I like lists so I'm going to break this into a number of lists cause it's how my brain focuses...
List 1- Things I accomplished and take pride in for 2012!!
1-I learned spanish!!! I maybe never be the best at it but I understand it and people understand me and that is freaking amazing!
2- I started an environmental youth group and my kids are awesome.
3- I became a pc volunteer, I have lived in the DR for 8 months now and have yet to give up.
4-I have jumped off of a waterfall, I've also jumped off of rocks into natural springs (I do now think I'm scared of heights thou)
5-I've lost 35lbs, and I'm not sickly
6- I'm proud of my work with my women's group (we've mostly just done fundraising, but I think we've bonded and they've learned some things from me... maybe)
7-I have been taking a cake decorating class- I do this to encourage my women to take it but I am also pretty excited to take home and eat a piece of cake every monday.
8-I'm scuba certified
9-I hiked in DR :)
10-I feel like I've made myself a dominican family and group of friends
11-I have cooked arroz con leche and habicules con dulce (not that I'd be able to do it again)
12-I made a solar oven (it works but i made it late in the year so I haven't had much opportunity to cook with it)
13-I've learned how to travel in the DR on public transport (this I think makes me brave and crazy)
14- This is the longest I've lived on my own and away from home in my life
15- I got a dog
List 2- Things I've missed in 2012.
1- My family!!!! I can't even say how much I've missed my family it makes me want to cry thinking about it and the little things that I've missed in their lives and I haven't been able to share about my life with them.
2- My friends. I've know for a long time that whatever kind of god there is or power in the universe likes me cause I've been blessed with the best family and friends. I've missed my pw friends even though from the sounds of it we have scattered throughout the world. I've missed my eip and gmu crew, when I come home we are all going out to Thai food and $3 movies, and I want to play soccer (which ends up with me laying in a grassy field with kim and feiven watching clouds in the sky and talking ). I've missed my bike/hikes with jessica.
3-My bed (my bed was freaking amazing back home (my parents told me in september that they got rid of it and bought me a new one... I don't even know what to say to that.
4-The 2012 elections... This makes it two presidential elections I've been out of the country for... the only two that I've been legally eligible to vote in too.
5- Lots of birthdays... I'm sorry I'm so bad at remembering too!
List 3- Not so good things in 2012
1- I saw a car accident and it really freaked me out (the month of July had way too many funerals in my town it was just depressing)
2- Dominican food- not that it's horrible by any means but it's not really my slice of cake. Dominican food like any other cultural thing has some really great things that should be cherished but they do not include the use of sopita, salt, parts of the chicken or cow that include the feet... or any of the things that have made me sick.... On the other hand I have gotten over my disgust of cabbage because it's the main part of salad here.
3-Machismo- bad dominican come-ons, the idea that I should have babies and a husband by now, paripos (this goes along with come-ons but it's basically the things men yell out in the streets)
4- I have felt more awkward this year of my life than I have since I was in elementary school.
5-I had the best and I mean best donias in training, especially in cbt in santiago-she made me feel like part of her family and she cooked really great and was so sweet, the only reason this is not so good is cause I feel really guilty for not keeping in touch with her and that makes me a bad person.
6- Chisme (this is the spanish word for gossip) I hate the gossip that goes on in my town and in my women's group... I don't know how to navigate it.
7- Sometimes I feel inadequate to do my project... this stems mostly out of not knowing really what my project is half the time... and the fact that I've yet to apply for any grants... I guess that's normal for some at my stage and very unnormal for others... but I try.
So 2012 has been a super long and interesting to the least year. I'm happy the world didn't end on the 12 of December and that my family is coming on the 22nd... so I hope it doesn't end that day either. I hope next year is as interesting as this year but maybe a little easier but with the hard things often come the greatest and most lasting memories