The. Best. Show. Ever. What more could you ask for? LeVar Burton showed me so many wonderful things. People read me so many wonderful books. Children recommended so many more wonderful books.
So many of my favorite childhood books are Reading Rainbow books. This show did such a great thing for the minds of children, including mine! It inspired imagination, reading, doing anything, going anywhere!
But, you don’t have to take my word for it….
Beautiful Kelsey at her Sloppy Joe Party
When I joined the Peace Corps, I never really thought about the fact that I would be making a lot of new American friends. I anticipated making Azeri friends, but it never occurred to me that I would be traveling, studying, adjusting and living with 55 other American volunteers. Kelsey is one of those volunteers. Kelsey is also one of my best and favorite friends (even though I haven’t seen her in almost 2 years…).
First off, we have the same hair, so that is a natural friendship starter. Second, she’s awesome. Same hair + awesome = friends. At least in my math book.
I feel like Kelsey and I went through a lot together. There were lots of moments in Azerbaijan when I needed support and encouragement, and Kelsey was always there for that. She was even there to see us off when we were med-evaced to DC.
We also had a lot of fun! My fond memories of Kelsey include listening to music with the fan blowing directly on us (and Sally), Qax Girl’s Weekend with our list of all AZ5 men, cutting Kelsey’s hair on my birthday, the American birthday cake she brought (!) and many, many great conversations.
Now Kelsey is back in Iowa. She needs to be here in Oregon. This is a link for Kelsey. It’s a vegan bakery here in Eugene. See, Kels!! This is where you belong!!!
On an Azeri bus
Jen and her eldest son
Oh, Jen. How do I love Jen? Jen came into my life 14 years ago as an instant sister, friend, confidant and supporter. The day my mom married Jen’s dad was the day I met Jen and her siblings. This could have been a really bad situation, but it turned out to be one of the best things that has happened to me. I feel like we all embraced each other and created a new ‘Brady Bunch’ family easily and joyfully.
Four months after the wedding, Jen moved out to Oregon and I had a live-in real-life sister! We had bunk beds and everything! We have always been close and I have always loved her.
She now has a wonderfully loving husband and two sweet little blond boys. I love the fact that the random number generator pulled Jen’s name because she sent me one of the greatest birthday messages yesterday – her oldest son singing my Happy Birthday! Jen is an incredible mother and she is raising two fantastic boys!
My lovely sister and her lovely son
Farid in our yard
It somehow seems very sweet that Farid was the first person the random number generator chose for me.
Farid was my host brother during my time in Mingəçavir, Azerbaijan as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He was such a funny kid. He was a 5th grader at the school where I taught, but I didn’t get a chance to teach his class. We did walk to school together a few times – he always seemed very proud and protective of me as we walked through the bazaar.
Jesse and I would often sit in our room, listening to him sing in the courtyard and crack up to ourselves. He was always singing – American pop songs he had heard, Azeri folk songs, Azeri and Turkish pop. We tried to teach him English phrases (“How was school?” “Uhhh… it. vas. good.” ) and he often helped us with our Azeri. He was eager to pour us tea, but would call his mother in from outside to pour tea for him when he was sitting right next to the tea-pot.
He was a wonderful little boy to have as our brother. I truly hope to see him again someday… InşAllah.
Farid and me at a toy (wedding)
My list is almost ready… I have left a few blank spots since I’m hoping that this year will bring more people, places and things that will inspire me!
Today I am going shopping for a new outfit to wear on my 29th birthday tomorrow! Tomorrow I will post my first real post and bake a caramel cake. Can’t wait!
For my 30th year, I have decided to reflect on the people, books, places, music and things that have inspired me along the way. I am still working on my list… What I hope to do is have all 365 things that I will write about and use a random number generator to pick what I will write about each day.
I am actually really excited to turn 30. For some reason I think that my 30s will be really nice and exciting. I think they will be lovely and calm and full and wonderful. I am so excited for a new adventure!
Two days to go!