Category Archives: In-Mad

Friends in high places

Friends in high places

Dan, Jackie, and I celebrating the opening of Dan’s community library. Can’t believe we are all leaving in a few weeks. Shit. Is. Getting. Real.




Why do I feel as if nothing profound or interesting can come from my pen anymore? I’ve been avoiding the blog for that reason. In fact, I’ve been avoiding a lot lately.

There’s always misplaced emotions when I anticipate big changes in my life. I tend to dramatize, to minimize, to fixate, and of course, to cry. A lot. The latter is primarily how I’ve been dealing with the change of leaving this island after over two years, the longest period I’ve ever spent in any one place abroad.

I won’t say that this has been the best experience of my life. If best means the easiest and the happiest. Because, if you have been reading my posts, Madagascar has not always been particularly easy or happy. But yes, it has been an experience to remember. Challenging. Revealing. Bruising. Redemptive.

A few weeks ago, I went on my last work trip to the coast. There was a week-long quarterly meeting with all the field agents in our department, and I found myself getting upset by small things—the way someone spoke to me, being the butt yet again of a joke whose punchline I didn’t get. I was sick of not getting the punchline, always being on the receiving end of laughter. I could feel myself becoming overly sensitive and preemptively defensive about everything. A look, a comment, a tone of voice.

But it is absolutely inexcusable for me to treat others badly because I feel stressed, anxious, nervous, unsettled, or emotional. I am perpetuating negativity. My negative thoughts breed negative actions which multiply and infect myself and those around me, ultimately returning those feelings I want so badly to avoid straight back to where they started. Within me.

So I am changing my attitude. I am choosing to enjoy these last weeks here in this country, to look back on the time I spent here with gratitude and optimism, because that is the only option I am allowing myself. I am imperfect, there is so much that I need to work on still, but I will not let my spirit feel defeated by disappointment or rejection. I will not feel guilt or despair any longer. I choose not to.

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

― John Lennon

Christmas in Diego

Christmas Day



Peace Corps bonding


Beach day!


A prayer for my 26th year

Lord, make me an instrument of thy Peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow Love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy

Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying
that we are born to eternal life

-The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

From Coal to Cupcake

Finally! My foodie post at Verge. Enjoy 🙂

Culinary Comforts

…and extra video for your viewing pleasure:



you and me at the edge of the world 
with a pretty little smile for me to see 

“This life is a hospital in which each sick man is possessed by a desire to change beds. One would prefer to suffer by the stove. Another believes he would recover if he sat by the window.

I think I would be happy in that place I happen not to be, and this question of moving house is the subject of a perpetual dialogue I have with my soul.”

-Baudelaire, Anywhere Out of This World

Hospital Beds