COUNTDOWN: 11 days
Another letter in the mail today, this time from the Village of Cary. I couldn't really guess what it was about, so I was happily surprised to see it was a letter from Mayor Tom Kierna wishing me well. Thanks Mayor Kierna!
My preparations for Ecuador are at a standstill. Again, time is flying. Another week's gone by, and soon I'll have just one week left to get everything done. I still haven't done a test pack, and I still have a couple more things to buy - but I ran out of money. And before the last four days, I was reviewing Spanish almost all day, every day.
So yesterday, Cafe Firefly hosted their first-ever open mic night and I had to go. I carted along my piles of Spanish books to study, and even manage to slog through some pages while some very talented people played up front. I think I managed to stuff 40 verbs in my head before I had to give up for the day. The least useful of them all: 'surgir,' or 'to surge.' It probably does have a lot more uses than I give it credit for. Like how a lahar surges. Electricity surges. People surge with anger.
Today, my parents wanted to do something with me - the realization that we have little time remaining is setting in with all of us. They suggested we go for a hike to find some geocaches, so we drove off to a conservation area near Woodstock. I had the info for four caches, but after the first one, the dog (Gizmo, see below) was too cold and tired to continue on. It was a much shorter hike than I was hoping for, but at least it was something.
For dinner, I convinced them to go to Lou Malnati's - yes, I'm a vegan... usually... but I AM trying to eat cheese now and then to keep up those digestive enzymes. And Chicago deepdish is pretty good. Laurie stopped by just in time to go with us, so we had a good time apparently annoying the table next to us. My parents presented me with a card and a deposit slip for a chunk of money from my dad's yearly bonus. I couldn't even really refuse it because it was already in my bank account. It's amazing, though, how that money alleviated so many of my problems. 80% of my worries were money-related. I had trouble getting to sleep at night the past month wondering how things would work out before I left. It's like they pressed a 'reset' button.
I guess it's time for VLOG 5, starring our fiesty dachshund-chihuahua who shares his namesake with a gremlin. Supposedly unrelated. I'm a little bizarred out that Peace Corps Journals caught my YouTube upload before it was even posted here, though.