Thursday, March 8, 2012

God Don't Make Mistakes

It’s hard to admit, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since I first found out that Peace Corps would be closing its Cape Verde Program later this year, I have been through too many emotional and psychological stages to count. At first, I was cynically unimpressed with the decision. Then I was indignant and pissed off. After a few weeks of venting and a cooling off period, I began to refocus myself on the decision at hand: whether or not to transfer.

Now that I’ve made the decision to move to Mali in June, I find myself in a surprising state of mind: happiness. With all due love and respect to everyone and everything that I’ll leaving behind in Cape Verde, I wouldn’t change things if I could... which is convenient, because I can’t. There’s probably a few shrinks out there that would argue that this attitude is just my psychological defense mechanism for coping with a potentially traumatic experience. So be it—whatever works. I don’t believe in predestination, but I'm a big fan of the expression, "God don't make mistakes!" More importantly, I don’t believe in reverse time travel, regrets, or woulda-shoulda-coulda’s. Once something is done, it’s done.

Since making my decision, I have been more at peace with my service in Cape Verde than I ever have since arriving last summer. Surprisingly, I have hardly thought about Mali since writing my last post. Instead, I’ve found it so much easier to stay present and focused on making the most of last three months here. Luckily, there’s been a few things to make the present that much sweeter. Sometimes it takes a visitor or two (or more) to help you appreciate all the amazing things that you have around you. Fortunately, the last few weeks have brought some of the best visitors a boy could ever ask for. The head count during Carnaval included out of town guests from Washington, DC, Senegal, The Gambia, and the Cape Verdean islands of Santo Antão, Boavista, and Santiago. I never blogged about Carnaval because when the dust settled, I had other things on my mind. So, instead of rehashing the experience, I just want to share a few pics.

If you are interested in what Carnaval actually looked and felt like (as opposed to me and folks partying), then you HAVE to visit my friend's photo-blog. Bob Toomy is a fellow volunteer here in Mindelo, and among many other things, he is an amazing photographer. Here's a little sample:

After Carnaval I headed to the main island, Santiago, to hang out for a few days before my Dad and Lita landed. I only meant to visit Cidade Velha for a few hours, but two days later I was still trying to pry myself away from my new favorite spot in the country.


Then I was blessed with a cross-Atlantic visit from the family, which could not have come at a better time. Having them in town was a great excuse to visit some great places and great people...


Assomada, and my host family in Fonte Lima...


Cidade Velha (again)...

One highlight was my first ferry adventure to Santo Antão. All I can say is, “Damn, that was some good grogue and cheese!” I’m looking forward to working in a longer visit to the island before I move.


Earlier this week I handed in my formal letter of “resignation” to my supervisor and counterparts at work. As always, they are behind me, and support my decision completely. Hopefully, I can make my last three months here into the best ones yet.

Pura Vida,



  1. I'm Proud of you drew! Even though all the BS you managed to keep to your word and promise! I wish you the best in Mali and need you to hurry up and come home! LOL! I Love you!

    Your god sister in 75 degree DC,

    PS: I bought you a box of swedish fish and dont know where to send it! Please email me info ASAP!

  2. Love the pictures, especially the last one, and love your dad with a full beard. He should keep it!

    Lita's take on the visit was equally inspiring and they seemed to enjoy themselves as well. Good job as host, Andrew.

  3. This is one wonderful work of art.You must have give so much time to dedicated this passion on those habit.It is always good to know that their are blogs so dedicated to providing information that is seriously concerned with the reader’s needs.Thanks for sharing your insights with us through your blog.

    Resignation Letter

  4. Drew,
    Your life experiences is a never ending cycle of informational NatGeo. I look forward to reading your weekly blog to see a new adventure in the life of the "most interesting man in our family " .I pray for your safe well being and health, I know you had to make plenty of life altering changes / especaially the eating of "really " different types of foods. I was telling my dad, you look sorta of thin and he said that was to be excepted. It's the start of the NCAA b-ball tourney and your old school GtOwn just got bounced out in round 2/ Duke was beaten in the first round by a local college[ 5 miles from where I work and my sister attended ] Lehigh University .

    As usual, Stay thirsty my friend

    Your Cousin .

    Anthony Scott

  5. Drew - I spoke to your Dad & Litsa today and he is doing great. He has taken two short walks already I'm amazed at his sprit. Between the good doctors and Lita he is in good hands and will be back jogging in no time.
    \Keep well my cousin and God Speed.

    Bernard Alexander