Things I Miss:
Cali Food!: In N' Out, Tutor and Spunkys, Larchmont, sushi, Monarch sliders, Pink Berry
Driving on the right (correct) side of the road: although, I'm starting to get used to the leftys
Warm water: You'd think cold showers would be great after sweating all day in the hot Caribbean sun. You'd be wrong.
iPhones and Blackberries: My thumbs are going through a bit of text messaging withdraw
Coast Hills: there are dozens of church denominations here, but there's just something about walking in to your home churh auditorium that is irreplaceable
Carpet: cleaning carpets here would be a nightmare, so this is most likely a blessing in disguise
Correct Pronunciation of My Name: it's not Hemily, it's not Emmy and it's definitely not Lindsay (the last female volunteer in my community - apparently they can pronounce her name!)
The Beach: I may be on an island in the Caribbean, but I'm over an hour to the closest beach
Things I Don't Miss:
Cali Clubbing: Hollywood has got nothing on the scene in Jamaica. Out 'til sunrise and some of the best dancing in the world
The Rat Race: volunteering is fantastic because it's not about how far up the company ladder you can climb, and half my job is just getting to know my community
Politically Correctness: Jamaicans tell it how it is. If you're fat, you know it, they know it, and they will usually make sure everyone else knows it too. Race isn't a factor here except for means of description and identification, which is very refreshing. I don't mind being called the white girl: it's how people know it's me they're talking about!
The American Ego: This island may be small but it is so involved with world affairs, especially sports. I've learned more here about world politics, society and athletics than I ever could have in the "We're American, we don't need to know about anyone else" mentality.
Things I'm Learning to Love:
Long Walks: Not driving has its perks. My jeans are definitely looking better around the behind and I have had so many fun discussions with community members during my frequent exploration outings through the mountains.
Networking: Wow, I'm good at this. I don't know if it's because I have no choice because I started off not knowing anyone here, but I have pretty much met every high up official and health worker in the country through cold calls and references. Almost got to take a ride in the Governor General's chopper last week. No big deal :)
Handkerchiefs: When you sweat as much as we do here, you need a bandanna hanging out of your back pocket to use as a sweat rag. They're also fantastic headbands, bracelets and napkins!
Wash-Off Tans: You know you're really in the Peace Corps doing some fun, dirty stuff when your tan washes off at the end of the day. My favorite: sandal tan.