The Fear of Vanilla

"Why don't you go out with him?" My mom asked me over breakfast. I replied without hesitation. "He's way too vanilla." "What exactly does that mean?" She looked confused. I straightened, confident. "It means he's too boring, settled, and plain. You know, like vanilla." My mom tried to suppress a chuckle. "So it has absolutely … Continue reading The Fear of Vanilla

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Warm Beer and Grimy Chacos

I'm seated inside the Toamasina port drinking a lukewarm beer that cost less than $1, staring at striped fish in transparent waters beneath my feet. The quiet moment invites contemplation; thoughts swarm my mind, tugging about, and I continue to stare. My gaze focuses on my sandals--Chacos, to be exact. They're great, aren't they? If you're from … Continue reading Warm Beer and Grimy Chacos

Have Yourself A Merry Little Pity Party

Yesterday marked my first Christmas away from home, in a warm climate, and aboard a ship. Rough life, huh? In all sincerity, I wasn't particularly excited to celebrate this year. Since I arrived on the Africa Mercy five weeks ago I have battled a severe case of "scrambled egg brain." This self-diagnosis reflects the ever-changing emotions and tired, mushy state … Continue reading Have Yourself A Merry Little Pity Party

From Michigan to Madagascar

“That sounds so cool. You should totally do it,” I affirmed, cupping my steamy, tea-filled mug. Kelsey, my dear friend and college comrade, smiled. “You should think about doing it with me.” I inhaled earl grey steam and pondered. “Mercy Ships? Nah. I'll do my own thing.” I withheld my genuine reason for declining. Truthfully, … Continue reading From Michigan to Madagascar

Coffee with a Dollop of Yogurt

"Good morning, honey." I glance up from my journal and exchange a greeting with my dad. He silently settles into the wicker chair to my left as we listen to the salty waves tumble over the sand. At nine o'clock in the morning Costa Rica already cultivates heavy morning air, which clings and sticks and drowns the … Continue reading Coffee with a Dollop of Yogurt