A whirlwind summer

Trip Start Jul 06, 2005
Trip End May 31, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, September 30, 2007


I will jump to the present since it has been many months since my last entry.  As the map indicates, I am in Olympia, Washington.  I moved here, with my boyfriend, for an engineering job with the Washington State Department of Transportation in the Olympic Region.  My first day of work is tomorrow!! I am excited to start, but I must be honest, I have thoroughly enjoyed the 4 months between Peace Corps and my new gig with the DOT, even if it has been a bit hectic.  It's a rainy Sunday here, so I have some time to let you know what's been going on.

I left Jamica about 4 months ago on May 31st and arrived safely in Green Bay, WI on June 1st after a night at O'hare Airport.  My last Peace Corps test before I could complete my service, perhaps??  Anyway, I adjusted quite quickly to life at home, which was easy since I was living with my parents and they were extremely accomodating and hospitable (thanks mom and dad).  The first half of June was relatively quiet, but soon the excitement began...
- Camping at Newport State Park on the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin 
- Interview in Seattle, WA
- Maid-of-honor in my cousin's wedding in Duluth, Minnesota and then a camping trip in Jay Cooke State Park and then a few days in St. Paul, Minnesota
- One week family vacation in the Canadian Rockies - Lake Louise, Banff National Park
- Final work done on master's research report and preparations for defense
- Awarded MS in Civil Engineering at Michigan Tech! (I'd like to thank my committee)
- 11 day sailing trip from Bay City, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin with my parents and boyfriend (approximately 400 nautical miles)
- 9 day roadtrip to Olympia, Washington via the Badlands, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Missoula, MT, Walla Walla wineries, and finally Mt. Rainer National Park
- Sign apartment lease, buy furniture, and move in
- 5 day backpacking trip on the Hoh River Trail in the Hoh Rainforest

I think that is all. Maybe work will give me some time to relax.  :-)

Olympia is the Washington state capitol, and is a neat town.  My boyfriend describes it as 'a little Madison'.  The downtown is thriving, with countless art venues, coffee shops, and restaurants, including the Fishtale Brewery and Old School Pizza (two of our favs).  The Farmer's Market runs all year long and right now the apples and pears are abundant.  For all you sailors, there are a few marinas in town, as Olympia lies on the southern tip of the Puget Sound.  And for the hikers and climbers, Olympic National Park is easy drive from here and about 90 minutes to Mt. Rainier National Park.  Amtrak comes through Oly too, with easy trips to Seattle and Portland.  The list of activities goes on and on and on. 

Now that my time in Jamaica is over, this will be my last entry for this travelogue entry.  I have found this to be a very effective way of keeping in touch with family and friends and also chronicling my Peace Corps story to the masses. Thanks for reading.  Stay tuned for my next adventure...

in peace,
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chris_sayward on

Nice transition
Hey Jenni! Congrats with everything: defending your MS; getting a job; and all your small adventures. We had no idea you had COS'd from PC Jamaica so long ago, and are anxiously awaiting our own transition back to American life and culture. With all luck we'll find ourselves in the northwest neighborhood early next year and will have to rendevouz and celebrate old (and new) times! Cheers, Chris & Sayward

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