I have been away from home for sixteen days now and thought that it was high time I told someone (you, more ironically) where I was and what was the haps. It is also most helpful that I am sitting in a beautiful, little, air-cooled house with internet access through a gorgeous desktop mac, and my dear friend whose house and mac this is is busily occupied in the other room "working from home". The stars have aligned.
Daniel, Haley, Eli, and I left Waco at about 3:30 am the morning of Thursday May twenty third. We then drove to Tallahassee, Florida and spent several incredible days being pampered by their parents. On Sunday we embarked on a death defying canoute (which is a canoe commute) down the Wassissa River. There had been some talk of panther sightings on the Wassissa and Daniel and his friend Brian were eager to canoute the river at night, so as to maximize our chances of seeing us some Florida panthers (Floranthers?). This proved to me a near impossible feat. Per usual, everything took an unexpected long time and, while we were supposed to be on the river well before nightfall and then have a bright moon to guide us, we found our selves waiting, in the dark, for our friends to return or the moon to rise. The moon never did rise and we camped after only about ten minutes on the river. This was fine with most of us. The next morning we proceeded to canoute for about five hours down the beautiful Wassissa. Incredible river. Also, massive thanks to the Stewart's now brother-in-law, Clayton, for doing all of the paddling for those five plus hours. We saw an amazing array of birds and fish, and they made sure I saw at least a couple of alligators. And a fish almost jumped into our boat.
After Tallahassee Haley's parents (who are kind and wonderful people) drove me to meet my former roommate Melodie in Thomasville. Melodie took me home with her to Sylvester, Georgia, and we spent the next couple of days roaming from one small town to the next. Sylvester is beautiful in the way the wide open spaces of the south are beautiful. Pecan trees and peanut fields.
On Saturday we drove to Atlanta to pick up Grace and Whitney from the airport and from there the four of us drove to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, making sure to stop at a Cracker Barrel on the way. Myrtle Beach itself is kind of a bum town, but the ocean itself is incredible. We had a hotel room right on the water and spent half of every day baking ourselves on the beach. We built sandcastles and collected shells and relived all of our Mission Year traumas. I love these girls. On my birthday, which was Tuesday, we drove about a half and hour south and went to Huntington Beach State Park for a pristine, unspoiled beach. It was amazing.
On Saturday we packed up and headed back to Atlanta where the girls left me at my sisters house. Katie is in Europe until Thursday and so I spent the evening having margaritas with Leroy (the president of Mission Year) and a couple of Katie's roomies. Leroy and I were able to talk a few things out about my year. I feel better. I received an apology, I was able to mention a few of the more traumatizing events, and at least it has been talked about. So.
Then yesterday, I drove to Chattanooga and am not sitting on Reeve's couch while he makes advertisements in the next room.
I will be home next Wednesday. A week and two days.