May 27: To Live and Die in LA

I’m sick. It’s a chest aching, coughing fit, bloody nose, sit-your-butt down, cold/flu, type of sick.

You knew this was coming, right?

Flying from Yerevan to Athens to London to Reykjavík to WDC to Durham (NC) to Charlotte to Dayton to Detroit to Los Angeles, in just nine days, was gong to drop me. Well, it did.

Being sick gives you time to reflect.

I almost miss my little bed, in Armenia. My room was hot, during the summer, and freezing cold, in winter. Still, I loved it and the family that hosted me, as a Peace Corps volunteer, for two years.

My flight from Yerevan to London took me back to a city that I have visited more than a dozen times. My first trip to London was in 1984. I arrived the day before Band AID recorded “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” I’m still crazy enough to take the tube from Heathrow to London. It’s cheaper and it reminds me of my first visit to London.

Iceland has been on my bucket list for years. I backpacked through Europe, in 1985, while waiting to hear back from the Peace Corps. After traveling to Finland, Sweden, and Norway, Iceland went on my bucket list. Thirty four years later, I finally made it there. The Silica Hotel, at the Blue Lagoon, was well worth the money.

A return to the job that you retired from is an interesting experience. I received a hug, from a Duke University bus driver, another hug from one of the security officers, guarding the West Quad traffic circle. I saw old friends, co-workers, and family. The latter being my crew from the Department of African and African American Studies.

Dayton truly is my rest stop. Some of my oldest friends are there, my godson is there, and everything I own is there, in the form of three boxes, one large suitcase, and the two bags that I bought back from Armenia. In 2017, I gave away everything I owned, then left for the Peace Corps.

Now, I’m just a Returned Peace Corps volunteer who is sick, in LA. I’m eighteen days away from staging, for Peace Corps Ethiopia. And, I still have four flights to go, before this month long Armenia to Ethiopia post-a-day ends.

So, I’m going to leave you here. I’m at Denny’s, getting a 55+ senior citizen meal deal, in Burbank, California. This is all I have for you, today.

I’m just that sick! –GGT

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