Leaving only salted chocolate chip cookies behind

Thursday early morning I’ll hop on a plane to Atlanta, wander through the airport to connect with my flight to El Salvador, where I’ll be for the next 10 months.

I’m leaving my sister some cookies to get her through the first few days of my absence…

These next 10 months are a result of a Fulbright research grant to study soil chemistry on coffee farms. I’ll be working with an organization called Blue Harvest to do some soil analyses that I have become familiar with through research at Smith. The adjustment will be steep, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. It has always been that in these times of discomfort that I’ve grown the most, so while I recognize the present anxiety in the imminent travel, I know that the long-term benefits outweigh any trepidations.


As I frantically pack last-minute items, I’ll also be enjoying my last day in Chicago summer. Tomatoes will be my primary food group, picked off the vine, and juice dripping down my chin.Mostly sweet, slightly acidic, tasting like sunshine and keeping me grounded for one more day.