Thursday, July 19, 2012


Whirlwind. I feel like that word sums up just about every part of my life right now. My past 3 weeks have been a whirlwind. The remaining 9 days I'm in America are scheduled to be a whirlwind. My emotions. My room. It's crazy. Let me give you a quick update of all that I've been up to. I'm exhausted from it all, but am running on adrenaline to get me through this last week and on to Malaysia! On July 6th I got back from my 2-week orientation in Mississippi. It was a great time, met a lot of people, learned a lot about transitions and teaching and what not, ate way too much good food, and got really excited about this newest adventure in my life. I posted during my time there, so you can get a little more detail, but here are a few pictures from my time there that never made it online!
During our tour of the home office, we decided to take our first team picture ever! Thankfully, there just happened to be a Malaysian flag handy!

One of the nights, we got to go to a Memphis Redbirds game!
When we got bored with the actual baseball part of the game, we decided to venture up a hill. We found some kids sledding down it on pieces of cardboard, so we ever so gently stole those from them and took a turn ourselves! 

The last night of PFO, there's a huge BBQ for all of the participants, hosts, staff, etc. It is encouraged for people to dress up in multi-cultural apparel. My suitcase wasn't big enough to fit mine. :)

I got back to Virginia Friday night and pretty much passed straight out. The next day, one of my teammates from my kickball team was hosting a Beach Party on a little island only accessible by boat. So, we got ferried over there on her family boat and had a good time! I was only able to stay for a little while because that evening I had to go to a Going Away Cook-Out with my Small Group (like I said, WHIRLWIND!). It was a VERY fun day, but all the sun and sand made me even more exhausted! The next day, I went to Church, hung out at the pool with some friends, packed my bags and drove up to Northern Virginia. I spent the night at my brother and sister-in-law's house and got up bright and early to see them off to work. Then, I got in my car and drove to the airport for major trip #2... Wisconsin!

Reppin' Battlestar at the Beach!
After a quick flight, I arrived safe and sound in Milwaukee and my grandma and Aunt Sherry were there to meet me. We made a quick lunch stop at Culver's (if you've ever been there, you'll understand!) and then headed on to Clinton. I was a little nervous about how these 4 days were going to go when asked grandma what she had planned for us for the week and all she said was, "I think we'll go out to supper with some people one night," but it turned out to be a very full and fun trip!

Highlights: Seeing a lot of relatives, visiting my aunt and uncle's new and improved house (including a shooting range!), eating LOTS of meals and all my favorite menu items at my aunt's restaurant, redecorating my grandma's dining room, girls' night out at a Mexican restaurant, and breaching Clinton Public Library security. I forgot to bring my camera on this trip, but here are a few shots from my phone:
Molly's favorite meal at the Clinton Kitchen is the Roast Beef Dinner. Naturally, I had to get one in her honor.
The view from my Aunt Rhonda's house. Not too shabby, I guess.
I flew out of Milwaukee on Thursday morning into Washington, D.C. and drove straight up to Maryland to visit some friends at Camp Bennett. I scheduled it just right so that I could partake in some of Chef Darrell's world famous chicken strips and macaroni and cheese. I hung around there for a little while catching up with the director, the few counselors I recognized, and watched the skit at chapel. Then, I snuck out for a little while to go visit with a friend who lives in a neighboring city. After some catching up with her, I went back to camp and chatted with some counselors and power napped before my fellow-world-travelers (Phil, Peter, and Alison) showed up at 2 am to begin our road trip to Canada!

We got to Canada around 10 am on Friday (July 13th) and headed straight to Niagara Falls. We sight-saw there for a little while and headed on to our hotel in Mississauga. Saturday we played tourist in Toronto. Sunday we drove down to Pittsburgh and spent the evening there. Monday swung back by camp to get Peter's car and then they went on home while I went to Fairfax for the night. I got to spend some good quality time with Tim and Katie and then came on home to Newport News.
There are a whole bunch more pictures of our adventures on Facebook, but just so you can get an idea of the fun we had!

So now my traveling is done until the big trip. But, my life surely isn't settling down. Since I've been back, I've moved all of the furniture out of my house (most of it to Molly's, some to Craigslist people, some to thrift store), packed up a majority of my stuff, made 3 trips to Richmond, and about 15 trips to the Goodwill! 
I may look into being a professional mover if this teaching thing doesn't work out!
In a few minutes, I'm meeting up with my college roommate for dinner, followed by Trivia Night at the Weekend Pub, followed by my first ever midnight/opening night, movie showing (The Dark Knight Rises!). Phew! As I said, "whirlwind" seems to be a fitting term for my life right about now. It's a little exhausting, but a LOT of fun! I sure am making lots of memories to take with me!

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