What has Brenda been up to?

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So a dear friend pointed out that I hadn’t posted in a couple weeks, and she hoped that it was because I was having so much fun over here that I simply couldn’t carve out the time to post anymore.  I realized that was partly true, and that I had some mini stories to tell to my faithful readers that you may or may not care about.  Here we go!

Brenda tries not to die

So if you read my Istanbul post you’ll know that I was battling some kind of nasty sickness that seemed to subside halfway through my trip.  Well I got back home, had a few more days of pseudo-good health, and then BOOM, everything changed.  I was battling crazy high fevers, alternating between freezing/burning up, had zero energy, coughed incessantly and had a terrible time catching my breath.  It became clear that it was time to seek professional medical attention.  I went to one of the Embassy doctors, they checked me out and decided that it was really likely that I had pneumonia, and I received a good scolding for waiting as long as I did to go to the dr.  I was given 5 days of crazy strong antibiotics, an nebulizer for breathing treatments 2x a day, and was put on bed rest for 4 days.  No work, no nothing.  It’s the most sick days I’d ever taken at one time in my life, and it was not a great week.

Not happy

Not happy

I slept about 16 hours a day, watched basically the entire Netflix catalog, and took the opportunity to recharge my batteries.  4 days at home seems like a dream, I’m sure, but when you live alone it is terrible.  Nobody to talk to, nobody to bring you Sprite.  Nobody to wake you up at 2:00am when you need to take more cough medicine.  Luckily my friends here seriously stepped up to the plate, and took amazing care of me.  I had more offers than I could count of people asking what I needed at the store, bringing me food, watching movies with me…I was so incredibly touched by everyone’s care and generosity, I’m a very lucky girl to be here with these amazing people.  I’m happy to report I now have a clean bill of health, and am making sure that I don’t push myself quite as hard between work and play anymore.

Brenda becomes a superhero

I was pretty hesitant to find a new hairdresser here in Sarajevo. I looooooooved my old stylist from the STL area (Hi Natasha!!) and knew it was going to be really hard to fill her shoes.  Finally my stupid grey hairs (ugh) started showing and it was clear I needed to find someone local.  It was suggested that I check out a local salon who’s owner grew up in Chicago, was great with cuts and color, and who spoke ENGLISH!  I made an appointment for some fun fall color.  My hairdresser was incredibly sweet and helpful and agreed to give me some fun fall color.  I love red in the fall and we decided on a bold red with light highlights, and it was going to be great.  She added the color, and I loved it.  It was such a gorgeous shade and she did an incredible job!  I looked like a damn superhero, and loved it.

…and then a few days later, I decided I just didn’t look like me.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t get used to the bright red hair I saw in the mirror.  I talked to my hairdresser and begged her to let me come back and change things up, and she was SO helpful in coming up with ways to tone down the red and save the day.  I spent 3.5 hours in her chair for my follow up appointment and took up her whole morning, but she was so sweet and kind and took amazing care of me.  I’m happy to report I’ve still got red hair, but with highlights and lowlights added in, and I LOOOOOOVE it.  I will definitely be returning to her salon.

Before and After

Before and After

Brenda becomes a murderer

So an unfortunate part of the foreign service lifestyle is how often your new friends get another posting and leave you behind.  One of the very first people I met in this country had their tour end, and he and his wife were getting ready to pack out from their apartment in Sarajevo.  They had an amazing rooftop patio lined with houseplants, and were desperate to give them good homes.  I was happy to oblige, and took in several of their “harder to kill” varieties as I don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to keeping plants alive.

Hello new friends!

Hello new friends!

Long story short, four of them are now close to dead one month later.  And people seriously want me to bring kids into the world?!

Brenda gets super old

My 30th Birthday was on October 4th, a Saturday.  I wouldn’t necessarily say I had a lot of anxiety about turning 30, I’m actually pretty thrilled with where I am in my life right now, but I do have kind of a birthday curse that has followed me around for the past 8 years or so, I purposely kept bday plans very low key or nonexistent because when I planned something, I could pretty much guarantee something awful was going to happen.  But this year my friends decided I needed to celebrate, and offered to throw me a Birthday BBQ at their house.  We had an enormous cooler of beer, a counter full of liquor, a grill full of delicious grilled chicken and sausage,  homemade birthday mac and cheese, cheesecakes, and a house full of my friends.  I was so touched with gratitude, (again these people take amazing care of me here,) and I had a great time entering my 30’s!

Complete with candles, for crying out loud

Complete with candles, for crying out loud

***

So there you have it, a few summaries of the things I’ve been up to here.  While we don’t have pumpkin patches and apple orchards here for me to enjoy, this has been a great fall, and I am feeling pretty great right now.  Missing my family and friends back home like crazy, and I hate that I’m missing their big life events (having kids, turning 30, losing loved ones, losing and getting jobs, etc.)  Hoping to plan a trip home in early 2015, will keep you posted with those specifics so I can maximize my visits.  Love you all, thank you all so much for checking in and supporting me in this crazy lifestyle, I’m so lucky to have you in my life 🙂

~B

 

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One thought on “What has Brenda been up to?

  1. Brenda thanks for the update. Get healthy and keep on enjoying Bosnia-H. Happy late birthday and the hair stylist did a fine job.

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