Saturday, February 25, 2012

back in the usa - friday night

beautiful evening back in new haven of dancing, watching listening to the sounds of spain...
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Meeting up with KC in El Salvador!

On my way home from Paraguay, I extended a layover in El Salvador to visit one of my favorites people, K.C., a dear friend from grad school.  K.C. and I met in Jerusalem, and shared many adventures in the Middle East together.  She is just wrapping up 2 years in El Salvador as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and the last time we saw each other was over 2 years ago, right before she left.  Needless to say, when I figured out I could route my flight back from Paraguay through El Sal and could extend it to see her for a few days before the end of her service... I was there in a hot minute :)

(I have to pause here and get a little mushy - I have been living a transient life style for.. a while now.  I don't know if you know this about me, but I am lucky to call some of the best people ON THE ENTIRE PLANET my close friends.  Seriously.  You should see the people who I hang out with.  That said, I don't get to be around my nearest and dearest all of the time, and most of them I actually only get to see every once in a long while.  While not ideal, that is the type of lifestyle that comes with the work I am passionate about.  All of that said, it means SO MUCH to me when I see dear friends after a long while, and we can just pick up like we just saw each other 2 days ago, instead of 2 years.  It is what keeps me going.  K.C. is one of those people - we looked at each other for about 2 seconds, and then picked up right where we left off.  It makes my heart happy and is a reminder of how blessed I truly am to have the amazing, passionate, motivated and loving friends that I do.  XOXO KC!)

We spent our time together at Tunco Beach just about an hour outside of San Salvador, and as always, shared stories, laughs, life dreams, good food and beverage, and I got the chance to meet some of her lovely friends from the last couple of years.  We took siestas in hammocks, played pick up games of beach volleyball on the black sand beach, made lists of all of the amazing food and drinks that needed to be consumed and worked our way through them (Ceviche! Pupusas! yummy homemade popcicles! Pina Colada! etc.etc), watched sunsets, swam in the ocean, swam in the pool, went days without taking off our swimming suits, met up with old friends, made new friends, learned to play the bongo drums on the beach at night, watched the stars with fellow travelers....

It was a beautiful, relaxing, rejuvenating several days.  I was able to call my team in Paraguay every day to check in, unwind from an intense month, and reconnect with one of my dearest all at the same time.

Thanks Atha for the wonderful few days!  Already looking forward to the next adventure...

images of camp in paraguay, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Felicidades Campamento Tape Jerovia!

Congratulations to these wonderful folks, who just wrapped up the last day of camp in Paraguay for 2012.  I am so, so proud of you!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Goodbye Paraguay, hello El Salvador!

Just like that, my time in Paraguay is done for now...

My heart and mind will stay here though, as my team finishes up week two of camp.  They are phenomenal and are going to do such an amazing job, and I am excited for them to take on the week.  But man oh man will I be missing them..

Luckily the next stop is about as great as it can get..

in a couple of hours I'm off to El Salvador to visit one of my favorite people.  I have no idea what we will do the next few days, but when I'm with this lady, it doesn't matter a bit.

A Walk in Tobati, Paraguay

After a week of facilitating intensive training, my two colleagues and I decided to get out of the house and take a walk around the little town we are working in.
 It was a steaming hot day.  We stumbled across a group of 4 men sitting in the shade by the side of the road, playing guitars and harps and singing away at the top of their lungs.  When we paused to listen, they invited us to sit down.
 Before we knew it, they were pouring us ice cold drinks and we were being fully serenaded.
It was one of those 'this is your life!' moments for me - such a lovely, simple and unexpected little gift -  sharing music, cool drinks and a moment in time in the shade by the side of the road in Paraguay.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What is happening in this picture?

Here's what's cool.  I've been working with this leadership team day and night for the last 6 days preparing every detail for a week long staff training next week, basically without break.  We are absolutely exhausted.  But before we called it quits for the day, they decided they had to make a treasure chest and a gigantic parrot costume to model our theme of 'treasure island'.  

Work is so much better when you top it off with a cardboard treasure chest and a giant parrot costume.

I'm really in love right now with how much a sense of play adds to serious work.  It energizes and makes me remember how fortunate I am to do the work that I do. This team reminds me of that every day.

Life is good.