Friday Gratitude

“Thought I had an answer once, but your random ways swept me along.” — Little Dragon, Twice

Kosovo is lush and green, which means we get a lot of rain here. Monday morning I was awakened by a gorgeous thunderstorm. The weather has been dark and moody, reminding me that autumn — my favorite season — is coming soon.

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Night sky view from my bedroom window

I finished a book this week, Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ open letter to his 15-year-old son sharing his experience of what it is like to grow up as a black man in America. Some of my favorite quotes are:

“But some time ago I rejected magic in all its forms. This rejection was a gift from your grandparents, who never tried to console me with ideas of an afterlife and were skeptical of preordained American glory. In accepting both the chaos of history and the fact of my total end, I was freed to truly consider how I wished to live — specifically, how do I live free in this black body? It is a profound question because America understands itself as God’s handiwork, but the black body is the clearest evidence that America is the work of men.”

“There are people whom we do not fully know, and yet they live in a warm place within us.”

“My wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable.”

***

I finished my second oral language exam. It was about as much fun as getting punched in the face, but it is over now. I only have one week left of pre-service training and then, a week from today, I will officially swear in as a Peace Corps volunteer! And then I’ll move to my permanent site. Next week is going to be busy and chaotic and emotional. But I am looking forward to settling in.

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