Monday, June 8, 2015

Dancing in the Street

If you read other Peace Corps blogs, PCVs advise spending the last couple weeks prior to Staging eating all of your favorite foods and enjoying time with friends and family.  With three weeks between leaving my job and my departure to Africa, I set off to do just that.

Philadelphia's Fitler Square
Last week started with a trip to Philly, where I visited friends, explored the Mutter Museum, ate way more food than I possibly could ever imagine and luckily, walked miles throughout the city.  It was a great little getaway!

Coming back to Boston, I kicked off the weekend at Flatbread Pizza in Somerville.  If you haven’t been yet, drop everything and go now! When I start day dreaming about food in Benin, I imagine flatbreads flying like giant UFOs in and out of my consciousness.  

Saturday was a perfect #exploremore day. After months of walking by it every morning, I ate a late breakfast at Three Little Figs before venturing into Davis.  Having searched for local activities online, I came across a live performance of the Star Trek episode “Space Seed,” where the gender bent cast of Jane T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise encounter the SS Botany Bay and the superhuman foe Khan Singh!  Yes, total nerd alert.  

From Davis, I hopped on the Red Line to Central where the Cambridge River Festival was taking place along Mass Ave.  The streets were mobbed with people gathered around food stalls, exhibit booths and live performance tents.  I was drawn to one tent, where the Benkadi Drum and Dance group was dancing, and immediately brought back to my days in West African Tribal Dance at Smith.  Benkadi, meaning Coming Together Sweetly in Bamanankan, performs traditional dances from Mali, and I knew there was no better way to #countdowntoAfrica than to join in when they invited the audience on stage.  So, for your viewing and comedic pleasure, please enjoy this short clip of me totally embarrassing myself dancing my heart out to the beat of the drum (and thanks Soren for the video editing!!).

Central Square Chalk Walk 2015
From the dance arena, I happened upon the Chalk Walk, a tribute to Sidewalk Sam, a Cambridge icon and famous chalk artist who passed away earlier this year.  I couldn’t resist adding to the colorful collage on the street!

After spending the rest of the afternoon listening to several different bands, people watching and soaking in the sunshine, I wandered back home to get ready for my last night on the town and Jenn’s birthday extravaganza at Empire.  I’ll spare you all the details of the evening, but just leave by saying that I have been so lucky to have met and lived with these amazing women— you guys are all so wonderful and I can’t wait for #nailpolishcafe17 updates!

Although moving and packing still looms ahead of me (can you tell that I'm totally procrastinating?!), I am getting more and more excited about the adventure that awaits.  Ten days to staging!

So thankful for these wonderful ladies!!