“Bliss is your birthright. You have great potential in this lifetime. The key to your life is gratitude. You do not give enough thanks. Say thank you all the time. After you say thank you, you should say more please. With gratitude, the universe is eternally abundant.” – Happythankyoumoreplease
I was lucky enough to get to travel this past summer to Italy and meet up with my boyfriend. Eddie and I spent 9 days traveling through Italy in Rome, Florence, Pontassieve, Tuscany, Pisa and Venice. We visited all the touristy places in Rome like the Vatican, Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, etc. Later, we did a wine tour in the country side around Tuscany and stayed in a B&B in Pontassieve. Finally, we went to Venice and that turned out to our favorite. (We’ll definitely have to explore the north a bit more).We left a little crispy, a little tired and as we said goodbye to each other in the airport all while having tears running down our faces, it was the perfect ending to our vacation.
I was excited to return back home to Ethiopia but having returned with a luggage that I was supposed to leave with Eddie, I had to splash cold water in my face when I kept getting screwed by people who wanted to take advantage of that small fact. The two days after I returned from vacation, I had great hatred for Ethiopians with their inability to understand that I am a resident of this forsaken country and I am not a foreigner who you can make a fool off. Once I started leaving Addis and returned home to my safe little town in SNNPR where people know me, I started to feel my body relax. Within two weeks, I had a camp in Jimma where my counterpart and I could bring our selected students to a sleep away camp. It was my second Camp GLOW that summer and the kids left feeling empowered, happy and a little sad that the friends they had made in that one week, they wouldn’t see anymore.
A few weeks later, the G11s arrived in Addis for our MSC (Mid-Service Conference) to celebrate our one year in Peace Corps being the first to ever work in a high school. It’s been challenging and there have been plenty of moments when I’ve wanted to call it quits but there have also been great moments that outweigh the bad moments.
It’s in the moments where the compound kids are looking through a science magazine and they have questions about everything. I’m trying to explain to the compound kids why some people have brown eyes and others have blue or green eyes. It’s where I’m told “you are my friend because you have brown eyes” by Solo. It’s in the moments of silly laughter with the adults in the compounds. It’s in the moments where I’m asked if I am sick because I’ve been in my house for two days and haven’t left it… without the people realizing it that I enjoy my time alone. It’s only those moments that make my time here worthwhile.
I have one year left to go and I know it will be a very difficult year ahead to stay present in the moment. With the year ahead, I have projects that I want to implement but am finding it difficult to stay motivated. My mission for the next few weeks as school starts is simple: thank you, more please; the good, the bad and the ugly.