It is incredible hard to believe that we have approximately six months of service left. Our of 26 total months, a measly six remain. Crazy.
We spent the holidays in America with our own families, though we had several festivities we had to decline in Jamaica to accommodate our trip. Of the 28 days we were in the US, we only saw 1.5 days of bare ground. We wished for snow and we got it. We loved all of it, from walking to skiing to hiking to driving. The time with family, friends, and familiar comforts was rejuvenating. Also, our cat still remembered me and slept at my feet every night. Just wonderful.
Returning to the island was also very heart-warming. Within an hour of landing we both received several phone calls from friends and coworkers. It was good to come back to our home and our community. This place has become comfortable now. The true test of that is to go away and come back.
That being said, we are full-fledged back in working mode now. With this comes the true realization of the continued existence of the frustrating and disheartening parts of this experience. It also brings with it the prospect for continued success and reaching out to just one more person.
We have already had some good fun since we came back as well. We went to our first Jamaican all night stage show, Rebel Salute. The music was good and the overall vibe of the concert was positive. We saw some big name artists (such as Queen Ifrika, Taurus Riley, Beenie Man/Ras Moses) and felt just a little more Jamaican for having had this experience. Though most of our good Jamaican friends that came with us wanted very little to do with the comfortable tarps and blankets we brought. They were up front dancing all night long! The all night long part was hard enough for me.
We were also able to watch the inauguration live on CNN, which was a treat for us. We happened to be at a Peace Corps conference and they altered the schedule to let all the participants watch the coverage. Huzzah!
Remember, I said this was a massive post of everything-ness, so get ready. Upon leaving my job in the US, I figured that I would miss working in the laboratory after so many years. I do miss it, but not in the way that I expected. I still get the same sense of challenge and accomplishment through the development work we do here. Thers is a real-time feedback mechanism in social work (the other person or people) that adds another dimension to the experience of challenge, inquiry, execution and analysis. The highs of success seem higher and the lows of failure seem easier to endure as there is a human on the other end driving you to try again. I do miss the precision, accuracy and ability to investigate single variables at a time...
And finally, I would like to say how much I love banana pancakes. They are delicious. And there is a very good song by Jack Johnson that should be played while making them.