March. What a month! It started out with billet night, which I can safely say was, by far, the BEST NIGHT OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. I am going to Sunny San Diego, California with my boyfriend! We got co-located, which was our main priority, and I get to go back to my home state. I would have been happy with absolutely anywhere Nicko and I were placed together, but I am extra happy that I get to be near my family again in California. We only put two locations on the West Coast (Oregon and San Diego) and San Diego was last on our list of 42 places. Everything else was on the East Coast to stay closer to Nicko’s family, and because there were better options for co-location. I have been away for five years, and I’m ready to be close to home again for a couple years. My little sister lives six hours away in Arizona, and my parents are a 1.5 hour flight plus 3 hour drive away! I am sad that Nicko has to move so far away from his family, though. I know they are going to miss each other so much. They’ve lived 10 minutes down the road for the past three years, so they’ve definitely gotten used to having the whole family around. Especially since his brother also goes to school here with us. It’s definitely a bittersweet situation. However, I’m glad Nicko is going to get to spend more time with my family. I have gotten to know his family very well over the past couple years, and I would love for him to be able to do the same.
Ok, enough about that. Let’s talk Haiti! This trip was so much different than my trip last year. Last time there were mostly girls, and this trip had a pretty even mix of guys and girls. And the age range was more spread out, whereas last year most of us were in our 20s. I got to be with Haitian children that I had grown close to last year, and it was so heartwarming to see that they were doing well. I missed them so much! We camped out on top of a remote mountain and helped start the foundation of a new church. We also held clinics and gave out medication to those who needed it. It was so rewarding. I definitely got my share of sun while I shoveled concrete into buckets in the 100-degree weather in no shade! The way they do things over there is so different, and much more physically taxing, but I loved it. We were carrying rocks up from the bottom of the hill, carrying buckets of water from the creek, and mixing dirt in with the water and cement right on the ground. Then we made a daisy chain of people passing rocks and bucket of concrete to fill in the trench where the walls would be placed. It was awesome. We also held Bible studies in the evening with their future pastors and church leaders that were from the ages of 18 to 24. The pastor there said we revolutionized the way their pastors would be teaching for years to come. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than that!
I also had my surgery this month. It went well, but I can definitely say it is a challenge to get around the Academy with crutches and one working leg. There are no elevators in my wing of the barracks, so I’ve had to master getting up and down the stairs. Definitely a great workout… The medication they put me on for pain was making me throw up and itch all over, so they gave me meds to combat that. I’ve reached the point where it isn’t working well enough to make it worth it, so I’m just going to grin and bear it and have stopped taking the meds. Plus, it made it very hard to focus in class!
Only a couple more months and I’ll have my degree! Let’s just hope that comes with a commission! I guess I’ll know soon enough.
More about Ally.