There are so many really fantastic days here. I have learned the names of all my neighbors and they know me. Every morning when I bike to school I get fewer “yovo’s” and more people call me by name instead. I have started to be allowed to help with the cooking at the house and made pasta salad for dinner for my host family the other night. My host Mom realized I like peanut butter so I have protein in my diet again, which is exciting! My French is getting exponentially better and it is getting much easier for me to communicate with people and even talk about more complicated subjects like global warming and the health system in the US.
There are of course bad days as there is everywhere. This week I found out that Taylor’s Aunt and Uncle, who I consider family are having a boy in November and I cried when I realized I wouldn’t meet him until he’s almost a year old. Then my sister and her husband moved to Seattle today, after four years of trying to convince her to move to Seattle because it’s the best place ever, she has moved there to work at Harborview as a CRNA. I am seriously so freaking proud of her, but I can’t believe I am not there to show her all the amazing markets, hikes, dog parks, wine tasting, beer gardens, restaurants, kayaking, yoga, and music that Seattle has to offer. However, I have never had a moment here where I couldn’t think to myself, “doing this is still easier than waiting tables”. Funny enough when I told the director I waited tables in high school and college she said I would have no problem here because all the volunteers with experience in the food industry have been treated horribly by someone before and are therefore able to laugh off the hard days here. Every day is really about the little things for me. Like when it rains and my host mom boils water for my bucket bath is bliss, or yesterday when my host mom told me she found an apple at the market and remembered that I told her Washington is known for apples so she bought one for me, or in language class when someone accidently uses the wrong word in a particularly funny way and we all die laughing. Or a few nights ago I was sitting outside watching the stars, the stars are amazing here because there isn’t any light pollution, when my Host Mom comes out and she asks me what I am doing and I told her watching the stars. She said, “those aren’t stars, that’s where the US is watching us in Togo.” I seriously almost fell out of my chair laughing.