Ashley & I in January 2010 in Philly!
Yesterday (Saturday, the day this was the focus for) I felt a little overwhelmed. Starting the day off with an hour and a half yoga class, I walked into a 12 hour day full of cooking, running around, and Hillel kitchen-time. [Make no mistake: I love all of this, but 12 hours is hard for anyone!] Ashley posted this morning (Sunday) about her adventures in Malawi including learning a new language, lighting fires, cooking, and impressing her Malawian family so much that they claimed her as one of her own. Oh, you mean I didn't mention that Ashley is a PEACE CORPS volunteer for the next 2 years in a foreign country and decided to do this all on her own? Oh. Whoops.
But that's the type of person that Ashley is: a go-getter, an adventure-seeker, and someone who always goes above and beyond to be kind and to do good in the world. She is a leader without trying to be, constantly able to navigate a difficult situation or help find the best route to get to a place on the Las Vegas strip. When I met Ashley in Philly (pic above!), it wasn't long before our friendship grew for her to get a key to our house, do laundry there, and take the Ells-bells to the dog park (and introduce her as her dog!). Since then, countless phone calls, visits, debates, discussions and one amazing girls-trip to Las Vegas (shout out to Colleen who doesn't have a Facebook!), I couldn't be more excited to look up to Ashley as someone who's mastered this idea of leadership through acts of loving-kindness.
Four and a half years later in Eugene, OR (Photo cred: Andi G.)
While I'm not sure when the next time I'll see Ashley (maybe, maybe in Malawi...but we'll see), but as she's about to get placed--my hope is MAYBE, she'll see this post before she goes somewhere and does awesome things for the next TWO YEARS. I'm so proud of you sweet girl and so lucky to be your friend.
Love you Ash-e-lee! :-)