This may possibly be my busiest year to date. If I had succeeded into
training myself to use a planner like I tried in middle school, I may
have filled in every little box and used up all the stickers on the
back page for appointments and birthdays, vacations and minor life
changes. If they had stickers for moving to a village and learning a
foreign language I may have used those up, too. None-the-less it has
also been one of my favorite years.

Looking back at all the pictures looking for the perfect ones to use
for my Peter&Demetra-inspired Christmas card, I got to relive all of
the adventures I had this year. I lived in two different states and
moved countries as well. I took part in the unintentional tradition of
living with your parents after graduating college and was pleasantly
surprised. In March I moved to Chicago to live with family and arrived
just in time to take part in the snowpocalypse of 2011. I got to have
2 little sisters for a small time. I took the subway to work in
downtown Chicago everyday, and ate at every restaurant I possibly
could. I helped Peter and Demetra re-do their kitchen and bathroom
from laying tiles to finding beautiful cabinets on craigslist. I
finally received my long awaited letter from Peace Corps announcing my
departure and post in Cameroon, Africa. In June I left for Africa and
had three months of training while I lived with a Cameroonian family
learning customs, foods and practicing my awkward French. I moved to
Bandenkop, a village in middle-of-nowhere Cameroon, with a few bags
and a cat named Bellatrix Lestrange. I’ve been teaching computer and
english classes at the government high school of Bandenkop since
September—somedays I’m the only teacher who shows up. For Halloween I
dressed up as Rapunzel and danced with Gaddafi, and for
Thanksgiving I spent the day making american “usuals” and eating
around a bonfire outside the tree-house of an African prince.

This year I got to cross three things of my list of things to do
before I die; work for peace corps, live with extended family, and become
fluent in another language.

I am so thankful for this year, and I honestly couldn’t have made it
through without you, my family and friends. I hope you all have a
really wonderful Christmas with your families, because I definitely
would if I could!

I love and miss you. Merry Christmas!