The Start of the Year

17 Sep

Forget January; for me, the real start of the year will always be September.  Tightened schedules, fresh starts, fancy new binders and notebooks and sharp pencil tips and full boxes of crayons and straight folders and notebooks with no frills and clean white pages and organized backpacks…

So, maybe I have a thing for school supplies. But more importantly I just have a thing for school.

Seriously you guys, I love school. If I could get paid to attend school and sit through classes my whole life I totally would.

While I find myself not directly working or studying in a school for the first time in TWENTY YEARS, I still caught the excitement and back-to-school bug.

Yesterday, my site-mate presented  at the opening of the soccer field she helped to build. Seriously, one of the most amazing and proudest moments you ever did see. In front of hundreds of students and parents she stood and spoke about her three year service. And while her time is coming to a close, its strange to think ours is just beginning and the long road ahead. And she is one of three leaving; there are some big shoes to fill here, team. For real.

It was also the first day of school and I cannot tell you how darn cute these students were. I think it is a fact of life small kids – especially in freshly pressed new uniforms – are adorable no matter what country they are from.

One of the cutest moments: the first form students performed a small dance in which they put their toys in the middle of a circle, waved goodbye, and prepared for a year of growing up and learning. It was both adorable and a little sad!



After the ceremony, we had an amazingly delicious lunch together with a few teachers as well as our country director who came for the presentation.

And honestly, the day just kept getting better. While the students slowly meandered into their classes for a hectic first day, I spent the rest of the afternoon with another site mate working on her upcoming grant project. Any time you tackle a big project with another PCV, it always seems to be infinitely more entertaining and delightful than any adventure solo.

But the coolness didn’t end there. At the end of the day, we had our weekly yoga get-together. On the walk home, a strong breeze turned into a freezing rain. Which, in the endless heat in the palm, felt amazing. AND, afterwards, we saw a rainbow, literally over the moon.  While only 7 o’clock or so, the moon was extraordinarily bright and full.

THEEEEN, the rainbow turned into a double rainbow. (I obviously quoted it way too obnoxiously. ) AND THEN, a flock of doves flew right in front of said duo. AND THEN, a woman came out of an alley holding two big bags and balancing a giant bowl of apples on her head. It was so perfectly serendipitous.

When we turned down the road to our house, this adorable little man popped out, tipped his hat and bid “dear mademoiselle a fine evening.” Then he walked away. I don’t really run into a lot of short, French-speaking Azerbaijanis quite often, nor do they tend to pop out of thin air.

Finally, after a lovely dinner with host aunt, we made a giant batch of popcorn (hollah!) and drank some Cola and I won Bananagrams and our INTERNET WORKED! and honestly, it was just a great day.

Call it a Monday or consider it the Magic of the School Year – either way, I loved it.


Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle. – Walt Whitman



One Response to “The Start of the Year”

  1. Allyson Loomis September 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Olivia, I want you to know that I just so so so so love reading your blog posts. Thank you so much for writing it. We miss you ferociously and all Loomi send their love.

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