Web of Relationships – A Farewell to Portland

Savoring time with family and friends has become all the more important to Emily and me since we accepted our invitation to the Peace Corps. Thankfully, we were able to squeeze in some pretty epic adventures before leaving for our road trip. Some highlights include:

Guy's Weekend at Hosmer Lake with my dad and brothers
Guy’s Weekend at Hosmer Lake with my dad and brothers
Friend going away shindig at a gorgeous cabin on the Klickitat River
Friend going away shindig at a gorgeous cabin on the Klickitat River
Sibling adventures at Tamarack Fire Lookout
Sibling adventures at Tamarack Fire Lookout

There were countless smaller, but equally savory moments, such as tuna poke at Uwajimaya, campfires at the homestead, farewell potlucks at church and work, pinochle with the parents, and good wings and better conversation at Fire on the Mountain, to name a few. With our impending Peace Corps service, these interactions have been imbued with an awareness of my place in a rich web of relationships. Although it is not a surprise that I have many friends and family in Portland, my home since age three, I was repeatedly overcome by a sense of gratitude for the presence of so many awesome people in my life.

This appreciation, however, was underscored by the reality that I would soon be voluntarily extricating myself from my social support system to move thousands of miles away. I have vacillated between the sadness of goodbyes, the fear of starting anew in Nicaragua, and excitement for the new relationships that I hope to form through my Peace Corps service.  Through all of this, though, my gratefulness to the people who love, support, and ground me seeps into my daily activities. Thank you for the hugs and well wishes. Thank you for empowering me to feel confident in my abilities to craft new friendships in a foreign country. Thank you for making me feel that I matter.

I will miss you all over the next 27 months, but will never forget that I am because we are.


5 thoughts on “Web of Relationships – A Farewell to Portland”

  1. I love this entry, Andrew. Nice job! It is a strange mix of excitement and sadness that I feel too. I’m so impressed with how many meaningful and fun Portland things you were able to accomplish these last 6 months, at the same time as working and jumping thru hoops for Peace Corps. And you’re doing your road trip up right too! Hope that car keeps chugging along all the way to Illinois. See you in MO soon! xo Mamma

  2. I am a little late checking in on your travels and whereabouts. Glad to read of your adventures. It is wonderful when you can share your passions and enjoyments with people you love and love being around. That is a blessing! Just so you know, we miss you the two of you back here already and you have only been gone for a few weeks. But we are glad to see you pursuing your dreams. We send our love to you both!

    1. Thank you Harold! We definitely love and miss all of you back home, and we feel your love and support very strongly. We appreciate the note, and hope that we can stay in touch through this blog 🙂

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