Saturday, April 18, 2009


The village kids always come to greet me on my way home from work.  Lately they’ve developed this routine of hanging around and asking to help me prepare dinner. It’s adorable.  They peel onions and measure water for the rice and carry the scraps out to the chickens.  After everything is prepared and boiling away on the stove we play Go Fish and Uno in my livingroom until their parents call them home for supper. 


I love this routine.  I look forward to seeing them.  It’s nice to come home to someone.  Or many little Someones. 


Today was my one year Peace Corps anniversary.  I flew out of Boston exactly 365 day ago.


The kids didn’t know this.  I almost forgot myself until I was walking home with two enormous bags of groceries and watching the sunset and greeting the villagers and marveling at how familiar this has all become in just a year.


As I approached my house the kids ran up laughing and squealing. 


“Look, Jessi! Look!”


On my porch there sat four flowers that had been placed on top of notebook paper.  The paper held giant pencil letters that read:


“Dear Jessica,

I give you these flowers.  We have been friends since you came.

From Soma”



I’d trade a standing ovation and ten bottles of champagne for the feeling I had when I read that note. 


I Belong.

I Fit.

I am Here.

I am Happy.


And a little boy who doesn’t know what day it is or why my eyes are watering has wrapped his arms around my waist and made everything Perfect.


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