Happy 2012! Feliz año!
I spent the New Year’s holiday in Parque Tayrona with seven of my fellow Peace Corps ladies. Parque Tayrona is a beautiful National Park just outside of Santa Marta, Colombia, about three hours away from Barranquilla. We had lots of adventures, including sleeping in hammocks, meeting new people, and having to stay an extra day. But let’s leave that for another blog post (tomorrow maybe?)
Let’s reflect on 2011, shall we?
Last New Year I was in Beijing. After an aborted attempt on going out on the town, we ended up hanging out in Emily and Michelle’s room, in front of their heat lamp, and ordering in spicy green beans and Tsingtaos, and ending the year by jumping on Emily’s bed.
Then we had Chinese New Year about a month later, with the most copious amounts of fireworks ever. Still need to find some Chinese friends here in Colombia to celebrate this Chinese New Year with.
I spent January through July finishing out my term working in China. I taught five more classes I believe. I also had the opportunity to visit Xi’an, Nanjing, Qinghai Province, Gansu Province, and Guangxi Province. I still miss China and all the wonderful people I met there. I promise, one day I’ll come back at least for a little bit.
I turned 22 in May. We had delicious Indian food in celebration.
I said goodbye to China in July and had the opportunity to fly to Seattle to visit my dear friends Emily and Tiffany on their home turf. I remember touching down in America and just being floored about how bright and vibrant the colors were, just in driving down the highway. Compared to Beijing, America is just so vibrantly full of fecundity. Like someone turned the saturation way up.
I returned to Wyoming in triumph in mid-July. I bummed around in Cheyenne, saw my brother and his wife for a few days before they moved to Japan, and played lots of board games. I was in a play for the first time since high school. I rode a horse for the first time. I flew first class for the first time.
I had the opportunity to spend a week with my family on Grand Island, which was amazing. Love you guy! Can’t wait til you come visit me in Cartagena!
In October I embarked on my next great adventure: Peace Corps Colombia.
And in December, I officially swore in as a Peace Corps volunteer.
January 2011 me and January 2012 me are about 8000 miles apart, and even though I think I’ve grown a lot personally over the past year, on the inside, new me and old me are pretty much the same.
- Be more outgoing and friendly. Say hi to people, ask them their name, make small talk, don’t hide at social gatherings.
- Learn to dance like a Colombian!
- Exercise more? Combat those arepas!