April 23, 2014

Valley Hem Geh

Valley hem what?

Valley hem geh means 'let's go home' in the Amish language. My dad always said this growing up as he was raised Amish, and it was a one of the few phrases that have stuck which I still know. Besides shany bay, which means nice legs. I don't know how I know that one. Pop didn't teach me that for sure.

That aside, it's time for us to go home. We leave on Saturday. Just a few more nights in Dom. Nights serenaded to sleep by crickets and bats and awakening to birds, roosters, cows and goats.

Just a few more days of sweltering humidity, multitudes of Chinese take out options, walking everywhere and a simpler life.

Just a few more days of untouched beauty, the smell of salt in the air, and new experiences every day - including mushrooms that grow in the shower.

This was a whole new experience. Can't say I've heard of this happening, but it's been so windy the past few days, and we keep the window open in our bathroom, so this little guy must have blown in at just the right time. I noticed a small black dot in the morning, and it was this size by afternoon. Hilarious. Nothing a little lysol can't handle. Dominica will never cease to surprise me.

Randomness aside, a few things will always remind me Dominica - the smell of coconuts, rainbows, and weed whackers. Along with Chinese food oddly enough.

We've ended our time here with a fantastic BBQ provided by our landlords - delicious. The staff here at Fletcher's has been nothing short of wonderful. I'm sure our experience here would have been much different if it wasn't for them and this beautiful apartment, which is in my opinion, the best place to live in Picard. They have definitely made us feel like family, and I will miss this place very much for that.

I'm sure it's going to be an emotional next few days. Matt is preparing for his Comp Exam by studying hours on end. He's ready for travel just to provide a break I'm sure. As ready as we are to go home, we've had a big part of our lives here in Dominica. We've changed and grown so much, so it will certainly be an emotional exit.

We still do have our calendars full for when we're back home. I've also started a grocery list. I just couldn't help myself. And yes, it consists of ice cream and ice cream sandwiches. Pregnant much?

I also plan on splurging on fancy shampoo, a fresh hair cut appointment is made and getting a new stock of make up from my favorite Mary Kay lady. Maybe I'll start to feel human again. Matt's request? A desk chair. He'll be spending quality time with that getting ready for Step 1.

We'll also be seeing our OB when we're back just to have another look at Baby Wells and make sure everything is up to par. We did our 20 week ultrasound here, and we know if it's bows or bow ties as they say. That surprise is coming!

We wanted to share this exciting news in person with our families, even though it's been so hard to keep it a secret. Our plan is to wear pink or blue shirts home on the plane to Chicago. Our parents are picking us up, and they are going to wear pink or blue, depending on what they think the baby is. So get ready O'Hare baggage claim; you've got an extra special gender reveal/reunion coming your way.

The important thing to know for now is that Baby Wells is healthy. Everything looked great on the ultrasound, and the kicks I'm feeling are proof he/she is active and well.

The other items on our agenda are Target (duh), seeing the rest of our family, and watching my favorite little guy make his t-ball debut. I'll also be heading to Indy a couple times to visit the office, have a UIndy PR reunion and I'll get to be there for the wedding of a dear, dear friend. So happy for this timing! And Matt, well he'll be getting cozy with that desk chair studying for Step.

We also have plans for a big family lunch at my grandparents. The menu? We asked for steak, mashed potatoes, garden salad, grape salad and rhubarb custard pie. Oh America, you're so delicious.

So I just ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers through the weekend. It will be emotionally and physically straining on us both as we finish packing, Matt takes Comp, and we make our journey home.

April 17, 2014

One Week

I can't believe there's just about one week left in Dominica. If I'm being completely honest, the last few weeks have seemed to drag on and on because we are so ready to go home. But I know there will be much of Dominica I'll miss once we're gone.

It's impossible to begin to put together our most memorable moments here. We've seen and done the most incredible things - things I couldn't even imagine doing before we arrived. We've reached beyond our comfort zones and learned to live in a different culture and a different lifestyle that challenged us on so many different levels.

We've seen things that will likely be once in a lifetime experiences such as whale watching, sea turtles hatching, dolphins and sights like Scott's Head where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.

We've gotten to go on incredible vacations on a whim - visiting St. Martin, and I got to go to Barbados. We've seen beautiful islands such as Antigua and Puerto Rico while flying through.

We've seen some of the most amazing sunsets and rainbows I'll be sure to ever see.


I can't even begin to talk about how blessed we are with the incredible friends we've made. I just know that our experience wouldn't have been half of what it was without these people in them. They will certainly last a lifetime.

We've learned so much beyond what we could have imagined from our time here. We are different people than when we arrived. A piece of our hearts will always belong to Dominica. 

As anxious as we were coming to Dominica, we are faced with some anxieties with moving back. We're going back to start a new chapter, a new pace, and different customs that will take some acclimating. We'll hold with us things that we inherited from our time here, and have to adjust back to our American lifestyle. 

There are things I hope we keep, like holding a genuine conversation with those around us, not being addicted to our phones when we're with friends, taking time to enjoy our time together, finding joy in the beauty that surrounds us, and remembering to slow down, take a deep breath and treasure the day we were given.

But for now, we're enjoying our view, taking in the sunsets, and cherishing the days with the people here while we can. Matt takes his Comp exam on April 25. Then it's off to Puerto Rico on April 26 and Chicago April 27. As always, prayers are always appreciated for Matt's study, safe travels, and for our transition back to America.

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