January 18, 2008

America and Back Again

On Christmas Day I was sick. Annoyingly sick, the same sickness that has dragged on for 5 months. So, I went to SOS International in Beijing and eventually was recommended to see a specialist. In what seemed like a whirlwind, I was put on a plane and sent to California on New Years Day. I celebrated New Years Day twice, once with my roommates in China and the other with the people next to me on the plane.
So, for two weeks I had doctors appointments, 'procedures', a biopsy, lab results, follow-up appointments, etc. And then, when it was determined that I have giardia, I was put on 2 months of antibiotics. Two months on strong antibiotics should do the trick. I'm glad it's over.
Once I knew that everything was ok, I was able to spend 3 solid days in San Diego. We went rock-climbing in Santee and I got a rock named after me (actually it's already named Carousel, but a side is named after me). Sean named it "Take THAT parasite!" because I was pretty weak and wasn't really feeling the rock-climbing. I also went on a yacht from Seaport Village to Shelter Island and back...it's a long funny story...ask Lucy.
I saw Rudy Francisco feature at PoeticBrew, had a Vietnamese Iced Coffee with Kate at Java Jones, walked from First Pres. to Ichiban with Sean, hung out at LAX baggage claim with Mullins, had couch time with Cori, drove around town with Ariel, watched Lotus perform card tricks at Boba, had lunch with Becky at the Cheese Shop and sat around the dining room table with Drew, Kyle, Wendy, Misty, Reid, and baby Emma.
Not to mention that during my time in Clovis with family I was able to see plenty of aunts, uncles and cousins that put a huge smile on my face. I look forward to the day that I can hang-out with my family for longer than a couple hours every 6 months.
Cynthia came down and we pretended that we were best friends that actually lived in the same country. She's a fun one. She tells me about married life and I pretend like I get it.
Reflecting on my time in America, I spent a whole lotta time with married friends and family. I was able to visit the Collins' and Starr's in their new homes and hear about lives as newlyweds. I observed with wide eyes as I spent an afternoon with my aunt and uncle as they raise 4 kids ranging from 11 to 3 years old. I helped the Wielands take down their Christmas tree and watched old episodes of The Amazing Race. In all, America was great.
The next time I'll be back will be sometime in September. I felt that reality as I said goodbye to my mom at the San Francisco airport. I was teary as I got to security screening and I appreciated the sympathy as the guard asked, "Are you alright honey?" I nodded and wiped away a tear. Then he told me to take off my shoes and belt and pull my laptop out of my carry-on. We both laughed.
Today at 3 o'clock I'm saying goodbye to the high-level students as they leave to go change the world. Nothing I can say will do justice to how much I love/respect/admire these students. I need to go write good-bye letters.


caljoy said...

Sorry I've been so out of touch. Life just carried me away. So sorry to also hear about your giardia...Dave got it once and man it was rough.
But, you got to see family and get a good dose of America...
I do think of you often, you have to know that. Keep in touch

R said...

Oh Alli Jo! Are you really not coming back until September??? I miss you oodles.