We picked her up at the airport late Friday. She looked great -- happy, tanned and smiling if exhausted. When she came home from Ghana last summer she was also happy, but also bitten, bruised and scarred. She liked the trip, but clearly preferred the Ghana experience, where the kids really engaged with the people in the village, and they worked together. This trip was more of a tourist experience, though the places where they spent their time -- Oxford, Paris, Florence -- are pretty spectacular. This time she came home the same person she was when she left; she came back from Ghana changed. But it's so great to have her home. It took a while to get out of the airport for all the hugging -- every possible combination of the 30 or so kids had to hug or be hugged.
She brought us beautiful and thoughtful gifts -- wallets for me and Nick from the Florence market and beautiful teal gloves for me from Madova. She's still jet-lagged and on European time, and she and her Putney friends are planning immediate get-togethers for this week. She loved the people on this trip.
To me one of the oddest things about her return was the fact that all of her dirty clothes were neatly packed. We're talking about Olivia here; the same Olivia whose room is normally so toxic that only a HazMat team is trained enough to deal with. When I asked, she told me that a Japanese girl on the trip -- the one she described as the coolest kid in the whole group -- is a neat freak who insisted that Olivia get organized and helped her re-pack. Wish I could hire hire.
Welcome home, Liv!