This will be my finale log update for this blog site. I am planning on starting a new blog soon to let any of my fellow readers keep up with what is going on with my life now that I am state side again. When I create this new blog, I will write the URL on this blog so you all can connect to it.
I want to end this blog experience with warm wishes and positive karma to all my readers and those who have supported me through my Moroccan Adventure ☺ I hope your life will be filled with opportunities, happiness, and volunteering (gatta represent). Please, go out within your own community and give back in any way shape or form. It is up to us to make the changes needed to improve the world in which we live in. Honor it and respect it.
23 February 2011
I am officially working full time (seasonally) as a Visitor Services Associate at the Denver Botanic Gardens! This is amazing news for me. It is a great first step for me in this town into the non-profit world here in Denver, it is seasonal with a possibility for permanent or recommendations to other non-profits within Denver itself, and due to it being seasonal, I can keep looking around for something when the end of summer hits. It is just nice to know that after 27 plus months, I will be making money again to pay of debt and to build up a life again here in the USA. Readjusting has had its difficult moments, but I am feeling pretty good about life, my future plans, and what living in Denver will bring these next 10 months. I miss Morocco more than words can describe, but I know that I will return soon, hopefully before graduate school begins to see my family who I talk to once a month on skype and dear friends back in Skoura and Kehmisset. I feel blessed at this moment in my life. I have finished my life changing Peace Corps experience, I have seen over 8 countries while in service and afterwards, saw a little bit of my own home country, found a new place to call home, and got a job and apartment within the first week of living in my new city.
Here is the link to check out where I will be working starting Feb. 25, 2010:
Here is the link to check out where I will be working starting Feb. 25, 2010:
I am moving to Denver! Yes, the one city I wanted to move to that i mentioned in the previous post is becoming a reality! I have found a cheap apartment blocks from the Capitol Building near all the fun events, museums, and stores that I am interested in. I also got an interview the day after I fly into Denver. Wish me luck!
Back in Michigan and trying to figure out what to do next. Out of all the places I have visited these past two plus months, I think I have an idea of where I want to go ☺ I do not want to say just yet, but I have a good feeling about this city and we shall see how the job and apartment hunting go for me ;) Now it is time to hang out with my mom, dad, little sestra, grandpa, and friends while I start applying like crazy to every non-profit/museum job I can get a hold of.
Well I finally made it to my last COS trip destination and what a way to end it. New Years Eve in Boston was the perfect way to bring in 2011. I got to see my old high school friend, Jenny, and hang out with her boyfriend and his friends for NYE. We spent the evening eating home made food and ended the night at a local bar listening to a 1970’s cover band. On New Years Day we spent it at a lovely café where we had a delicious brunch and got to grab a quick coffee at a local coffee shop before heading back to Jenny’s part of town. The Museum of fine art was crazy cool visit. They had an intense collection of Colonial American Art. That was a real treat. I hope to see Jenny more often once I finally settle down somewhere in the USA and show her the hospitality she so graciously bestowed upon me while in Boston. She showed me around to all the important parts of Boston including the Freedom Trail, the Boston Marathon marker, and some historic graveyards and buildings. Boston has such a rich history, it was hard to say goodbye.
I was welcomed with loving arms by my close friend, Amber, at the airport in D.C. It has been over a year since I saw her and she has been one busy lady with beginning graduate school and moving to the east coast to follow her dream. I am one proud friend ☺ I got to stay a week with her and her wonderful roomies, make an awesome Mexican Christmas Fiesta, and Christmas parties! It was not a dull time at all.
I got to spend time with a RPCV from my staj, John Wayne at his families Chinese restaurant and what yummy food! The Smithsonian museums were amazing in D.C. along with all the national monuments and buildings within my nations capitol. I got to spend a whole day just walking around enjoying the atmosphere.
22 February 2011
My MICHIGAN pit stop for a week was perfect!
I have been on the go traveling since November 12, 2010.. now being December 12, 2010.. I think it is time to pit stop, drop off some clothes and items, and see my family finally before I hit the road to the east coast for Christmas and NYE. I got to catch up with mom, dad, sister, and Emily, and g-pa. It finally felt like I was home. After 27 months plus traveling, it was nice to be HOME. December 22 though, I hit the road to Washington D.C. to see some good pals of mine who have been chilling on the “east side” since I began Peace Corps. I have never been out east so I am thrilled to see them and my nations capitol! Let’s just hope the weather will play nice. It has been one crazy month of bad winter weather across the USA.
I cannot forget to mention I got to chill with my GR pals for a few days as well. It made my week a little bit more brighter with spending some time with them :)
Denver was my couple day pit stop before heading back to Michigan to drop off some luggage and head east for Christmas. I got to spend some much need quality time with my favorite Denver people, Melissa and Matt. They hosted me a night before they headed off on their fun weekend in Vaile and then I spent the rest of my time with my friend, Craig, from Grand Rapids and got to enjoy sushi, good company, and a Christmas party along with a viewing of a classic movie with the Peanuts Gang!
By staying a few days in Denver, it reminded me how much I love this town, the people in it, and the weather. It was sunny and in the 50’s in mid December. The cost of living is cheap and there is so much art and culture out here that I can not stop walking around this town and enjoying what I keep finding around every corner. It is going to be hard to leave Denver, but I sorely miss Michigan and my family. I cannot wait to see my hometown! Michigan here I come.
Portland is The Emerald City for sure! While I was there for a short time, it sure was green and rainy and I would not of had it any other way ☺ I was picked up by my KCAD buddy, Sam, and we went right over to house just long enough to drop my things off and then we were off to see the city! We spent our time eating at Voodoo Doughnut, checking out the local eateries, funky thrift stores with odd yet awesome pickings, and meeting all of her crazy cool friends at a yummy dinner party and bar hang out. I cannot wait to return on a sunny warm day in Portland and go on a much needed bike ride around the city like the locals do :)
After my long 23-hour flight, I landed in LAX and passed out to catch up on some much needed sleep. When I woke up, I realized that I was really in sunny California with my two awesome aunts Joan and Shirley ☺ We hung out for a whole week together checking out the California coast, The Getty, along with eating some yummy food and getting a little primp with hair and nails. Humdullah!
I got to also spend a day with my dear friend, Naomi and catch up with her and what she was doing now that she just moved in California. Once I sadly bid farewell to my aunts, I headed up north to Santa Rosa to spend some much needed quality time with one of my favorite people, Mr. Myhkeal! He showed me around where the famous Peanuts animator lived including a much-needed wine tasting adventure ☺ it was amazing!
Once I had my fill of Santa Rosa, I got on the next boat to the Golden Gate City where my old Quizno’s buddy, Amanda C now lives. She was such a great host! She showed me everything from the Golden Gate Bridge to the best place in town for pizza to the coolest little museum of vintage old games! It was so delightful! I got to meet her future husband and hear about their plans for their up and coming wedding. I am very excited for the two of them.
It has always been a dream of mine to check out the northern part of California and I was able to do so in good ole San Fran ☺ Maybe next visit I will try to get further north and check out those massive red woods, but not in late November early December weather. Too cold! Before heading to Portland, California has gotten me a little more up to date in the world via new phone, clothes, FOOD I have missed for two years, and catching up with old friends.
18 February 2011
Turkey.. oh Turkey... I am so happy I got to visit and experience your capital, Istanbul. What a true treat and fun time. Istanbul is a real city to go in visit to see an authentic mix of where the East meets the West.
Maggie and I had a blast hanging out with our coolest CS Maggie, Sondra, and Yunis! They were so welcoming, helpful, and they put on the yummiest Thanksgiving for all the Ex-Pat friends in Istanbul and fellow CS like Maggie and myself, these two guys from AZ.
The bars were a lot of fun to go to in downtown Istanbul and had pretty cheap drinks. One bar had a Quiz Bowl Night going on and I took part in that interesting event. The highlights of Istanbul were for sure the architecture, people, and the boat ride from the west to the east side of this old and historic city. The Blue Mosque, Haja Sophia, Toksim Square, and the awesome one of a kind watercolor I bought at a unique art gallery down the street from the Blue Mosque will be memories and treasures I will never forget, ever.
It was nice to say goodbye to this part of the world before I board my next plane, which will be taking me to LAX! I will officially be back on American soil for a while ☺ I just wanted to say best of luck to my travel buddy, Maggie, who starts her India/Europe journey after I leave to the USA on the 26th of November. She is a great friend, fun travel buddy, and is one of the most honest people in my life. I hope to see her soon in AZ. When I come to bug her in the spring/summer ☺
Maggie and I are now on our little COS Adventure and our first stop is Cairo, Egypt! What a beautiful and unique city it is. Christians, Muslims, tourist all mixed in together in this museum filled city with wonderful architecture and history. The Pyramids were breathtaking, the sphinx was HUGE, and the food was Oh My Allah Great! Sorry Morocco, but Egypt’s food kicks your foods butt☺ the people of Egypt are super nice, helpful, and sweet.
Luxor was the other city I got to visit and while I was there I saw The Valley of The Kings, Queens, and other little ancient treasures! I wished I had more time to see more of these two cities. A fun highlight would be having yummy coffee at the Winter Palace in Luxor
and Sailing at sunset on The Nile. What an amazing site to have experienced. Everyone should go to Egypt!
HUMDULLAH! After 27 months of service, I am done! What a rewarding feeling I have coming over me. It is hard to describe. It is a mixture of excitement because I am ready to go on vacation and see the world and start my life back up in the America. I am nervous because I am not sure what the next step will bring, but hopefully the traveling will clear my head and show me the next step. The last emotion is sadness because I am leaving my Moroccan family, dear friends, and my wonderful students and I am not sure when or if I will ever see them again. All of them are welcome to America if they get the chance to visit, but that is a pretty expensive ticket, but Mahurbikum dima klushi men Skoura u Kehmisset ☺ I know that one day, hopefully in the next 5 years I will be back in Morocco visiting my family and hopefully a few students and friends if they are in town.
I am currently in Rabat planning my COS trip with Maggie, my travel buddy for Egypt and Turkey. It is almost done! So excited that all this planning is actually going to happen. I am looking forward to meeting my couch surfing hosts and all the sites listed on our “Must See” list.
The hardest part of leaving thus far has been saying goodbye to my host family. I have grown very close with them and had a hard time saying goodbye without it becoming a total water-works show. They know I will return and promise to keep in touch, but at this moment, I am sad about leaving them and Morocco, the place I have called home for over two years. I will also be missing my PC crew very much. After 27 months together they have become close to my heart and a support system I feel I can count on even after COS. They are all amazing, loving, and passionate people. I wish nothing but great success and happiness in their lives after Peace Corps, truly.
The last night all of my PC friends and I were together we had a nice dinner and yummy McDonalds sundae ☺ Tomorrow we say goodbye, sign that little red book and stamp it to officially be done with PC. That is when we al will start to leave and live our own lives again. I hope to keep in touch with most of them, def. a couple of people for sure, but what a interesting time now in all our lives… everything is changing and nothing will be the same as it is tonight starting tomorrow morning. Best of luck to all my fellow PCVs and Moroccan friends and family. Goodbye Morocco, hello world/fate.