I’m in a hotel room in Philly at the moment. I can’t write for long, but know that in a few hours I and 44 other volunteers are boarding a bust to JFK airport in NYC and from there will go to Brussels, and from there, Cameroon.

By far the worst part of the past 24 hours was saying goodbye to family.  The family Boyfriends held it together, but the rest of us were preeeettyy… cry-y. You’d be surprised how much nobody in the world’s busiest airport wants to talk to some chick trying not to sniffle on all of her two, giant (no seriously like 40lbs together) carry-ons. Even if she looks really, really sad and pretty scared.

When I got to my gate things got better almost immediately. I had barely peeked around the corner when two other volunteers recognized me from Facebook and called me over. We managed to wrangle up one more gal and the four of us endured a delayed flight, the pain in the butt that it is to get a Taxi from the airport, and the incredibly crappy traffic of Philadelphia at lunch hour. I’m sure that traffic will be light and polite compared to where I’ll be Friday, however.

After staging,which happened to take place on World Peace Day, and managed to be the birthday of not one, but three volunteers in our group, a giant mob of over half of us headed to the Hard Rock Cafe, which is right around the corner from our hotel. We had a few drinks and a whole lot to eat, as most of us considered this our “last meal”. I sure loved you, giant hamburger, and I’ll miss you a bunch.

So now, though I am very comfortably snuggled in bed thanks to the Marriott, I have to get this show on the road. We don’t head out till 10, but the last thing I need is to feel a time crunch on my last day in America. Running around JFK with a million bags will be hard enough.

I probably won’t be able to write here for a while. I don’t know where any cool cafes in Yaounde are yet, but maybe other volunteers and I can sniff them out. When and if I can manage to get to them, y’all will be the first to know, besides my family. I promise I’ll stay safe and won’t do anything dumb.


4 thoughts on “Philly.

  1. Thank you so much for the update. All day yesterday we kept reminding ourselves that you are still alive and well and pursuing your dreams. But boy, we sure do miss you already! I don’t know how military families do it. Your dog is very, very confused. She waited on your bed for several hours for you to return. I didn’t think she could last 30 months there, so we had to do the double distraction by calling both “ball” and “squirrel” to lure her out so we could shut your door. We are so proud and happy for you. Pay no attention to that loud maternal sobbing you heard at the airport. Who loves you? Mom loves you!

    • Jacqueline I know exactly what you are feeling. I kept it together pretty good at the airport when Max left. I was a mess coming home from the airport that day. He had stayed up late the night before he left and wrote me and my wife Lisa a real nice long note and sent it to us on Facebook. Do you have a webcam?? We have been able to Skype with Max a few times which is great to be able to see him as we talk with him. It all depends on the internet connection. Sometimes his connection in Edea is not good enough to Skype. We can usually communicate through Facebook messaging. I would definitley check that out. I have also found a web site that you can make calls to Cameroon cheaper than anything else I have found. The website is It costs 22 cents a minute and you can also send texts for 7 cents a page up to 3 pages. I think 3 pages is around 360 characters. Using this site has also been a blessing for us. If you do decide to sign up at could you use this referral code……..3cs0p0……this gives us some extra minutes on our account. After you sign up you will be given a referral code also. Then if any of your family or friends also sign up have them use your referral code for you. If you have any questions about anything send me an email.

      • Dear Gary,
        Thanks so much for your note. It has been a tough first few days but of course the updates from Georgia have been reassuring and she is thrilled to be there, so that is a big help. Right now she is still in the hotel and we have been able to keep in touch via Facebook. My husband said he thinks his Google voice rate is 18 cents per minute to Cameroon but if is less than his rate we will definitely use your referral code. I Googled Edea and found Max’s blog. He seems like an exceptional young man. I will follow it to see how your visit goes – you are brave. Thanks for the empathy and the phone tip! – Jackie

  2. You are the bravest kindest person I know. Thank you for what you are doing. Please be careful and get back soon as you can are are sorely missed.

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