Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The best part: My Peps!

Yup. The best part of my vacation was my friends. Sounds weird, but we could have gone to Siberia and I would have been just as excited. 30 days with six awesome people - what more could a girl ask for?

So, what made this better than any other group gathering? Well...go with me for a minute...

Leaving everything you know and that you are comfortable with is probably not as hard as you think. Living without it for 27 months is harder than anything you could ever imagine. Planning for Thailand, preparing for Thailand, leaving for Thailand, that's got me through the down days. Knowing that I would be spending 30 days with people who love me despite my Star Trek obsession, my love for everything orange, and my foot-in-mouth wacky comments, was what made the bad days bearable.

Thailand was incredible because I shared it with 6 of the best people in the world. Well, that and the constant flow of shrimps and piggy.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Oh My Gosh...the Beaches!

Of course, you can't visit Thailand without fitting in some hardcore beach time.

My first Thai beach - Ko Chang! Holy smokes is all I can say. White sand beaches, warm smiling people, delicious pina coladas (in the coconut!)...life was perfect. One of my favorite places: Bang Bao. If I could recommend a beach for any beach nut out there - Ko Chang is it.

And I should know - we also went to Ko Samui! This island paradise was a bit more touristy than Ko Chang, but still offered a relaxing atmosphere where I worked on my tan for half a day (don't worry Mom. Aggie made sure I put on sunblock when I started looking a little red)!


Yup - my beach time was well spent. I have come to realize that vacating isn't just about doing all the things you can, but also about taking a moment to relax and enjoy a slower place. Odd, that I woke up around 6 a.m. every morning, but I blame that on Meghan and her darn internal clock.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Making Meghan Work on Christmas

Originally, this blog was going to be called, "The Awesomest Thailand PCV Ever, Eh," but I promised a certain PCV I would keep it easy on the ehs.

Anyway, I think this title is better. It pretty much says it all...after a brief excursion into Bankgok, Meghan and I headed toward Isan (Issan, Isann...however it is spelled) to visit a Thailand PCV and learn a little bit about what it is like serving in Thailand.

We had a great time.

I am still warmed by the reception we received, the people we met, and the generally awesome company we held. Our brief time in Isan gave us a great insight into the beauty and uniqueness of Thailand and allowed us to experience something very few people get to see: an untouched and untouristed-out Thailand.

Thank you Tony, Sherri, and everyone who hosted us, taught us to fish, and opened their hearts.

Unrelated, did you know eh was spelled with an e h? I always thought it sounded more like an a y.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

And...she's back!

Whew guys. As of 7 a.m. this morning, I am once again a PCV in Azerbaijan.

Let the blogging begin!

Actually, I do have a lot to say (don't I always), but I'm afraid of info overloading ya'all, so here is what I am going to do: I am going to break up my Thailand musings into 3 bits. After that, I will get us back on track with some PCPP info, a debriefing of MSC (what? another acronym!!), and then start on the rest of my life.

Sound like a plan?

So, now that that's settled, let me get the real important stuff out of the way:

Thank you Meghan, Aggie, Regina, Tom, Will and Erik for taking me on vacation. I have no where near the words to express my most heartfelt gratitude and love for you all. Without being too overly dramatic, my life is worth what it is because of the support, love, and perspective you all give me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe, Ever.

Ingredients:
  • cup sugar, light brown
  • cup sugar, granulated
  • 2 tablespoons flour, all-purpose
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 & ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger, ground
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, juice, grate & make with a garlic press
  • 2 cups pie pumpkin, fresh, roast and puree
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • cup whipping cream, heavy
  • 1 9-inch pie crust
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the 8 ingredients. Add pumpkin, molasses, ginger juice, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until fully combined and then add the whipping cream. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
2. Pour mixture into pie shell and place on a preheated cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees F and then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutesor just until the center of the pie has set. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature.
4. Refrigerate until ready to eat and serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.