Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Goodbye Sweet Straightener Goodbye

Straightening my hair for the last time this morning was extremely emotional. I'm not kidding. It could have had something to do with the fact that I knew I had to say goodbye to my family and the fact that it was 4:45am, but it was also saying goodbye to my straightener which is the most important aspect of my beauty routine. My fellow volunteers will now be subjected to crazy Jewfro and it's just as terrible opposite... flat greasy hair. Oh, the horror. I will miss my Chi straightener dearly. I may even have it sent to me during the cool season if it is physically possible for me have nice hair. Meaning, it's not above 100F. I envy all of you with straight hair/ hair that looks good curly, is long, as well as everyone who can look nice on a regular basis.

Speaking of looking nice, the catastrophe I was at the airport was epic even for me. While Grand Rapids was a disaster of the emotional variety, the Detroit airport was hilarious in my inability to correctly stereotype my fellow volunteers. I'm sitting at the gate in Detroit and spot a girl wearing jeans, a recycling t-shirt, Tevas, and a traveling backpack. I approach her and introduce myself and find she's going to Seattle to go hiking and is only sitting at my gate to watch CNN on the big screen. Next, I spot a women with unshaven legs, Chacos, and a backpack, but again she was not a kindred spirit.

Stereotypes actually didn't hold up in DC when I got to meet everyone. Everyone seems nice, excited, and very interesting. I didn't really get in-depth with anyone tonight, but an 8 hour plane ride tomorrow should help that progress.

I've now been up for 18+ hours, which is exhausting when saying goodbye/ having complete emotional breakdowns including sob fests. I'm in my hotel room now preparing for my vaccines and departure tomorrow. It would be a lie to say I was not completely terrified and that there wasn't some part of me that would love to get on a plane back to Michigan, but I'm going to Africa tomorrow and that's pretty cool.


  1. You Rock! Thank you for keeping us up to date via your blog.

    We are very proud of you. You are a great niece and cousin.

    Please do not forget my wish for you - - the son of a tribal chief. You are a keeper though so your Dad deserves lots of cows.

    My comments do not reflect the views of the United States Government, the State of Michigan, Plainfield Township, the Home Builders Association nor my family.

    - Uncle Rich

  2. Good Morning
    You did it!! Getting on that plane was the single most courageous act I have personally witnesssed. It was juxtaposed against the most cowardly display of parental behavior since John left Kate with eight. Yes, I was convulsing and yes dad was crying harder than when you won your first tennis state chamapionship (sports victories are key to his sense of self.) What you may not know is that after you passed through security dad, CJ and I sat down at a table in the lobby. Dad and I were emotionally spent and sat staring into space as if we had just witnessed a war crime. Poor, bewildered CJ sat stiffly, afraid to say a word in case it might provide a catalyst to re-ignite the tears. I noticed an NTS employee approaching us. "OH God". I thought, "our behavior was so outlandish they suspect us of being terrorists." He sidled up next to me and spoke in a hushed funereal tone, "I don't want to make it harder on you folks,but you can follow her up to the screeners if you like." From the corner of my eye I thought I could make out CJ mouthing, "please God, no!" He needn't have worried dad and I were so spent the idea of standing up seemed as impossible as turning back time. We stayed until we were sure your plane had left and CJ reported he had received your text. The three of us left the terminal, with me leaning on CJ and him holding my arm like he was afraid I would bolt and chase down your plane on the tarmac. Wow! I"m not kidding or exagerating it was intense. But you, you are a champ! You got on that plane and now you are in Africa. The word conjurs mental images of exotic animals left behind by the laws of evolution, people who live on the site of the origin of hominids, and a landscape so primal it stops even the most metro-sexual homosapien in his tracks. It is a place that needs help and deserves people with your energy, passion and skill. This is not a place for cynics,sentimentalists or apologists. It is a place for pragmatic people with real skills. You are there! I hope you are in a place where it is possible to pause and process the enormity of your decision to join PC. Is there anyone out there who has a job with the potential to help so many and in the process grow so much themselves? I don't think so.
    Get some rest today and please post on this blog asap. Dad and I need confirmation that our progeny has defied the laws of genetics and is bravely and coherently facing her new world. Wow you are in Africa (if you see HIllary tell her to chill about Bill.)