05 September 2007

t-minus one month.

After a whirlwind week in New York, Orlando, and Gainesville showing two Brits the ways of the free world, it's hitting me that I have one month left before Ethiopia. This crash course in the highlights of American reminded me of the things I love about my homeland. They were fascinated by drive through ATMs and our ability to right turn on red lights, but I'm still reveling in the fact that I can wear tank tops without being fondled in the street. But I was most proud while sleeping in the car on the drive up to Gainesville - I overheard the guys talking about the deliciousness of the home-cooked meals at my dad's house and comparing it favorably to the ridiculously expensive steakhouse we went to in New York. I missed waffles and am proud that my house was a highlight of their America tour.

Gainesville still feels like home, but in a strange way. We bought scalped alumni section seats for the game, which was my first time outside the student section. I felt old. Even the Swamp and Copper Monkey started to feel like fond memories, not current haunts. Since I missed my last semester and any semblance of a real graduation, it was a nice closure to that chapter of my life. But that's not to say I won't be back for another Gator game before I leave again!

Although I still have a few more trips planned for the next month, I'm settling into "pack two years of my life into 80 lbs" mode. In preparation, I've compiled a wishlist of books I'd like to read in the next two years. Mail can take up to four months to reach Ethiopia, so if you really love me, you're welcome to start sending now!

Email jess.in.ethiopia@gmail.com for my address and detailed mailing instructions. Since I'll be living without electricity or water, books and letters will be my primary (only?) source of amusement. I've also taken to knitting, so if you want to include a skein of yarn, it'll become part of a patchwork blanket. Or send several skeins and I'll send you back you a scarf.

If you teach or know someone who does and would like a penpal for your class, email me at jducey@gmail.com. I'd be happy to exchange pictures and letters with your class. It'll be just like having friends.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Hey Duce,

I just wanted to say once more that it was great seeing you and the crew up here in New York. I wish you all the best in Ethiopia, and I expect to hear some stories (I'll tell you mine as well).

I feel ya with the Copper Monkey and Swamp experiences. I've gone a few times post-commencement and while I had fun, I felt a bit out of place. It's odd how a symbolic walk across a stage can change your perception of a place. It IS a nice confirmation that you've moved on with your life, though.

Again, good luck, and enjoy this last month.