* Michelle Thoughts, * Peace Corps

A Year In Review

Annual Review
This year, we’re trying out the Annual Review exercise shared by blogger Chris Guillebeau on the Art of Non-Conformity site. The basic idea is to set aside time to consider:

  • What went well this year?
  • What didn’t go well this year?
  • Next, you set specific goals for categories of your choice (Friends & Family, Service, Travel, Spiritual, Health, Learning, Financial Earning, Financial Giving, Financial Saving, etc.) including 3-5 measurable objectives for each one.
  • In the end, you come up with a summary and “theme” for your upcoming year.

Because the coming year brings a close to our chapter with Peace Corps and starts a whole slew of new things, I’ve been really looking forward to this exercise. I think Jedd and I both truly enjoy dreaming about possibilities. And because we’re not going home during our Peace Corps service, we decided to treat ourselves to a Christmas “staycation” here in Jamaica so we can rest, relax, and reflect. 

Another Year in Jamaica
In the spirit of looking back at 2013, here are ten of our most memorable moments and favorite blog posts:

Do It Yourself: Peace Corps DIY Ingenuity – It was really fun to see all the ingenious creations volunteers around the island have put togetherTP crafts Continue reading “A Year In Review”

* Jedd Thoughts, * Peace Corps

20 Months in 20 Photos

Yesterday was a special day for Michelle and I and the rest of the volunteers we arrived with on island, as we celebrated our 20 month of being Peace Corps volunteers. Below are 20 of my favorite photos from the last 20 months which, of course, doesn’t do any justice to the experience, but I hope you like them. (Also, you’ll notice that some of the captions have links back to related posts, in case you want to see more.)

Our group’s first photo when we landed
photo 3(1)
Famous Hellshire Beach

Continue reading “20 Months in 20 Photos”

* Jedd Thoughts, * Peace Corps

The Big Fat Jamaican Downtonish Wedding

Our awesome host sister

Being part of a host family during your Peace Corps experience can be a “make or break” experience for both volunteers and host family. Not all volunteers around the world live with a host family, but we do….and we are so thankful for them.

This past weekend we had the amazing privilege to be a part of one of our host sisters’s wedding. Preparations in the yard have been in the works for months, culminating in a 36-hour, three-dozen people effort to transform the front yard into a wedding reception area complete with dance stage and head table.

The yard before and after decorations
The yard before and after decorations

Michelle described the scene like something out of “Downton Abbey” where a lot of neighbors, family, and friends came together to put on this event. It was bustling. I described it more like Continue reading “The Big Fat Jamaican Downtonish Wedding”