Just after I'd finished processing my disappointment, and becoming oh so excited about Plan B and a month in Guatemala, I receive an email congratulating me on receiving funding to go to New York.
Cue agonising hours of decision making (and can I say a big thank you to everyone who didn't treat me like a spoilt brat, which they could have because this is a ridiculously privileged decision, but instead gave very helpful and much appreciated advice) with the eventual outcome of embracing my first option: New York.
That's right, I will in fact be spending two months back in the Big Apple! I am so excited, and thrilled for this opportunity. I will be working with a woman I deeply respect and admire, on a subject that I am incredibly passionate about. In addition to that I have many friends, some of whom I've met here in Ghana, who will be in the city too and we are already excitedly making plans, including possible jaunts to other nearby cities. As if that wasn't enough, there are two beautiful little girls living in Brooklyn that I haven't had the pleasure of seeing in a year and I can't wait to go and wrap them in cuddles!
All in all, I think it's going to be a pretty wonderful summer.
There are, of course, downsides to this which is why official choosing it was actually pretty tough: Spanish will have to take a back seat for the time being, and it will mean significantly less time with my family and friends back home.
On that note, though, I am so lucky. I rarely spend time at home these days, with two week snatches three times a year being all the time I have to cram in catch ups. For this reason, I guess, I have lost touch with some, but I am so lucky for the many incredible people who have stayed in my life and supported me along this journey. I have been trying to write a longer post about this, but it's difficult to communicate what their unending love means to me. My family, in particular, have never stopped championing me along the way, even though I miss them terribly and I'm sure they miss me just as much. Weekly Skypes and little messages here and there make it so much better, as do their efforts to fly and see me wherever I may be. Two very special people will be arriving in Accra soon and honestly my overwhelming feeling right now is relief, born out of a deep seated desire to share this experience with them. I have had the privilege of showing several relatives – parents included – around my home in Abu Dhabi, even as recently as this December, and both parents came out to New York to see me last year. Friends too, with even tighter finances, have flown out. One in particular has visited me in almost every place I've lived, and hopefully will be adding to the list with NY this summer; in the past four years we have actually spent more time together abroad than in England, which stuns me and makes me utterly grateful for her.
I am blessed to lead this life, the ridiculous one in which I get to experience such incredible places, but it would be so much harder without them. For that, I am truly grateful.