Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Three C's of America- What I Will Miss

I leave tomorrow morning on the Joe Biden train from Wilmington, DE to staging in Washington, D.C. If you are not familiar with Peace Corps lingo, staging refers to an orientation event typically including at least one overnight in an American city where trainees gather to meet, turn in paperwork, get the low down on expectations, and then travel to the airport together to leave on the same flight to their host country. My group's schedule includes meeting at 1 p.m. in D.C., going through registration and various talks until 7 p.m. We are then free to sleep in our hotel until about 2:30 a.m. where we depart for Reagan Airport. We have a 7 a.m flight to El Salvador that includes about a 3 hour layover in Miami, FL.

On this eve of my last night in my own home, I have decided to put together a list of the things I will miss in America. It is intentionally vague. I am writing this post in the least sappy way possible because to be honest, I am not really fond of being over-emotional. My family and friends know how much I love them- as I told them in person (which in my opinion is how you should do it anyway). Plus, I am not going into my Peace Corps service sad or already missing home. If I was that sad about leaving, I would not be going.

So, if this post is not meant to be sappy and emotional, what is it for? This post is about appreciation for the homeland: an appreciation of certain things here I think most people need to be more cognizant of. Think about how my three items play out in your own life. 1. Convenience 2. Comfort 3. Choice

My three C's of America Appreciation:
1. Convenience - last night at midnight my best friend Hannie and I decided that we wanted Wawa. I got french vanilla flavored coffee. It was delicious. Need I say more about American covenience?! *
2. Comfort- Family, friends, privacy, thinking in English, alone time, knowing everything and people around me, feeling safe, secure, and aware.
3. Choice- Independence, political freedom, free speech, autonomy, self determination, my voice, political activism, and so on. Oh yes, let freedom ring...

* I placed the star on this because I realize that the element of convenience is relative to economic status (which is true anywhere). I am thankful that I can afford the luxury of convenience here in America and my $1.35 Wawa coffee.

All of this having been said, I love America. I love all of you. But the time has come (the walrus said) to learn about not being reckless with my three C's ( I don't always need coffee at midnight), to give and share what I can because I have been afforded the three C's all my life (this does not imply that other people around the world have nothing and I have everything, but I only mean to say that I think we all deserve to share and honor the three C's in a variety of ways, together), and to pay America back in my own way for spoiling me all these years. I hope you will keep up with my journey in Central America and enjoy what I have to say. I can't promise anything about future content, but I can promise that I will always share what I can.

See ya in anotha life, brotha...

Post script: Please write letters, emails, send packages (Contact Me section has current address, please use USPS and padded envelopes!), and add your email address in the side bar to get an automatic email when I post!


  1. Jamie, I completely agree with your C's. In a lot of ways, I feel like being an expat is making me really appreciate the US and identify as an American, even as I realize the limitations and contradictions in our society. Looking forward to reading your blog, and I'll work on getting you a postcard from Freetown!

  2. Hey Allyson. It is so nice to hear from you. I am glad that my three C's were not completely wrong given I haven't really left yet. That makes me happy. Ill admit I have already been creeping on your blog too, so keep it coming! Your work sounds so awesome. Oh and I will definitely return the favor in the post card department as soon as I get settled! Just make you sure you get me your address when you have time. Take care in the mean time. :)

  3. Hi Jamie,I started really loving my travels when I forgot all about that first C. It doesn't take long and that turns out to be a real "freedom" in itself and an opened door to the adventure! Love you and so happy for you to have this opportunity.