I haven't said it perfectly, but I've done the best I can.
|We love you, Rhonda!|
|The bakery misspelled Rhonda. When I told my friends there was no H, Ralph said, "They spelled it Appy Birthday?"|
My Peace Corps friend Rhonda was turning 50 and wanted a destination birthday party.
|Kombucha and birthday button and new boots!|
I was excited but also nervous. Twenty years is a long time.
How would it feel seeing old friends after such a long absence?
|And here we are again.|
Is approximately how it felt.
|Rich is the Moscow Mule master.|
And that's what it all comes down to, every time: love.
I had the same feeling as I do with my high school friends, which prior to the weekend I'd have said I have with nobody else. And in fact, my worlds collided seamlessly when my dear Delhi friend Nicole, who drove me to Austin from Dallas, took me to hook up with my Peace Corps friends.
They all met, Carissa liked Nicole's boots, and Nicole immediately set about hooking her up on Poshmark.
|We just met and we're busy.|
|Women of Omnibus 70!|
|Mas cerveza, por favor.|
There was much remember-when-ing all weekend. We are still the same people. Older, with more life experience. But the same.
|That Suzy look!|
Remember when: we took overnight buses and hitched rides in the back of pickup trucks to go visit Suzy at the beach? When Janet and I hiked through the rain forest to visit with another volunteer's community and were immediately offered banana chicha (a beverage made by masticating bananas, spitting them into a vessel, and waiting for it to ferment)? Remember that priest at Eric's site who used to take us night swimming at hot springs and turned out to have two secret families?
The remember-whens all swirled together with who-we-are-nows.
People are married, have kids, have jobs with huge responsibilities, coach football, grow crops, make soap, run an Airbnb in the Galapagos...
|Oh, hi, Pearl!|
|Aww, Ralph and Juan Carlos!|
|No, nobody else was doing this. But they wanted to!|
Carissa and Rich and Alex and Pearl had rented a charming house, and the last night, a bunch of us crashed in the living room. I was the only one short enough to fit on the couch. I knew from Peace Corps days that it was bound to be a snorey, if brief, night.
|To sleep, perchance to dream..|
I left Austin exhausted, with no voice, and my body 98% nachos and Titos. My face was sore from laughing, and my heart was full to bursting.