Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time for another update

So a lot has happened since my last update. Let me get all the bad news out first. My grandmother passed away and I was sent home on emergency leave. She was everything to me. A lot of people claim to know what it's like to lose a grandmother but she wasn't the typical grandmother to me.

I lived with her for the majority of my life. My first memory was her giving me a bath. And her HUGE face looking down at me smiling. Not only did I live with her, but I slept in the same bed with her. No one really knows what it was like to get home and go to the bedroom and find everything there just as she left it. My clothes still in my drawer, where she slept the bed was not made, and her favorite shoes on the floor as if she never left. Her Baby Phat jeans next to the bed as if she recently wore them. That was the hardest for me. So I just want to put things in perspective so people can understand. Gloria had style. Gloria was sassy. She had the most beautiful smile. When her picture was taken she would turn her head to the side like a model. She fed anyone that came by and was loved by anyone who got the chance to meet her. A 5'2 woman with enough attitude and PHYSICAL strenght to make anyone listen. She almost knocked ME out before! This woman was a fan of a good cognac (preferably Hennessy), red sequins bras, knee high boots, tight fitting jeans, and flashy cocktail rings. So you can just imagine! She WAS a second mother to me. She never set foot in a nursing home. This woman was independent. She took long walks. She wasn't sick. It was very sudden. A stroke took this angel.

So when I got home from seeing her at the hospital the day before she passed and it was time for me to sleep, the room was surpisingly warm. I'm not joking. Then I heard these weird whimpers in the closet. When I went to check, two very small kittens were in there! They were so adorable. I guess they kept my grandma company. They peeped their heads out and I fell in love with them immediately. I really think they helped me heal. One of their names is Gloria. I think I stayed in the house for a full three or four days. I couldn't eat, I didn't shower, and my eyes pretty much shut closed from so much sobing. I was like a zombie. It was serious depression. My sister even thought I needed to see someone. The mornings and the evenings were the hardest. In the mornings, she always made coffee. Just enough for herself...then ask if you wanted some. You say yes then she's say, "well go boil some water and make yourself some!" lol. At night, it was her getting up in the middle of the night to have a cigarette or use the bathroom. Things are really hard on my mom. We both lived with her. I'm much better now. I managed to come back to Benin.

I also failed the Foreign Service Exam. That's not so bad though. It's pretty common like I mentioned before. I'll take it again when I return to the states. There I should have more resources to study from.

Good news. I am 99.9 percent sure I will be the next Malaria Coordinator. This means I will be extending a third year, and moving to Cotonou, the big city. I'm pretty excited about it. Plus the house I'll be moving in is REALLY sweet. I would have my own rooftop terrace and watch the planes fly over my head to the airport. Some people would be annoyed by that but I LOVE the sound of passing planes. Traveling is in my blood.

When I went home, I ate sushi, hung out with my best friends, went to the Cheesecake Factory, and took my God daughter to the Barnum and Bailey Circus. That was AWESOME!! They did some stuff this time that I had NO IDEA how they did it!!! And I had GOOD seats know what the hell I saw!!! If they are in town in your area you MUST go. I didn't do too much because the first week home was just me in the house. Is it wrong to be obsessed with the new RuPaul's Drag Race show??? That show is AWESOME!! I really am upset that I only got to see one episode. It's funny, unique, and there is genuine talent in the art. Check it out. I also brought back a ton of pasta and rice side dishes from Lipton. They are my absolute favorite because they only need usually margarine and milk which I can get. Powdered milk is what I use in village and that works just as good. Maybe I've been here too long because I can't taste a difference.

Coming back to Benin wasn't hard at all. I'm actually looking forward to getting back to my village. For the past week and a half, I've been in Cotonou working. I brought back a lot of candy to share with them. I also brought back some origami books for my art class. I can't wait to get them started on that. Me and my boss will be going up north to lead a training on malnutrition recuperation. We are very excited to be selected for that. I adore my work partner. He's the hardest worker ever!! I really think he should consider working for Peace Corps one day. I don't think I have anything else to add. Thanks to all who were there to comfort me in the hardest time of my life. I really appreciate it. Please continue to follow my blog and keep in touch. Please write me and/ or send me FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! My wishlist is magically displayed on your right. Thanks for reading my update. Until next time.....