27 September 2012

On True Friendship. {And a Winner!}

One weekend while I was in California, I headed up to San Jose to celebrate with one of my dearest friends before she packed up her life and headed off to Ukraine for two years to serve in the Peace Corps.  Quite coincidentally, Mckenzie and I met while studying abroad in South Africa in Spring 2009 and from the moment we bumped into each other we were basically BFFs forever.

I had studied abroad in South Africa previously in Spring 2008 and she had also in Fall 2008 {I was back in the States during Fall 2008}, so it was a second semester in Stellenbosch for both of us.  But, this time most of our American friends from our previous semesters had already gone back home and so the city was feeling quite empty for the both of us and it was also daunting to think about having to make new friends with a huge group of Americans all over again.  We ended up being exactly what the other one needed, since we were both used to South Africa {and both dating Afrikaans men!}, but felt a little bit foreign in a town that used to be swarming with people we had developed friendships with.  The moment I heard her rattling off Afrikaans curse words and belting out the lyrics to Stellenbosch's anthem in Afrikaans - well, let's just say that I knew we were meant to be.

And honestly... I don't know how I would have made it through that semester without her.  Jurgen was scrambling to finish his Master's dissertation which meant that I was often left on my own to entertain myself.  I didn't really know anyone outside of Jurgen and his friendship group and I was still trying to decide whether I wanted to jump in the deep end and re-locate to South Africa {semi-} permanently... which was a pretty huge decision that I went back and forth on constantly throughout that semester.  During this time Mckenzie was the one responsible for always convincing me to put down my book, throw on a little make-up, and get out of the house for the evening.  We went to shows together, chatted for hours over coffee, and even rented a car and took a girls trip to Cape Town one weekend.

Put quite simply she.is.awesome. and the kind of friend that every girl should have.

After her going away party had ended and all of her guests had left for the evening, the two of us were sitting on the couch reminiscing about our study abroad adventures and all that had changed in our lives since then.  With me planning an international wedding and her getting ready to head off to the Peace Corps for two years, it seemed like so much had changed... except at the same time it seemed like nothing had changed at all.  Even living continents apart and sometimes going months without speaking and years without seeing each other, we were sitting there chattering away like not even a day had passed since our last coffee date.

And I've decided that it is exactly that thing that is the number one indicator of true friendship.  No matter how much time passes without seeing one another and no matter what adventures life takes us on, on those few and far between occasions when you are able to see one another, it feels as though not even a day has passed.

So Mckenzie, thank you so much for your friendship and support over the past few years - it has meant more than you even know.  I'm so excited for this next adventure you are about to embark on and am quite positive that you will make a huge difference in the lives of all those you meet!  Miss you already and can't wait to start planning our eastern European reunion!

{Mckenzie recently started a blog to document her adventures and daily life in the Peace Corps!  Be sure to head on over and follow along on her journey here!}

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AND, a huge congratulations to Lesley of The Dream Tree on winning the Reader Appreciation giveaway!  I will be contacting via email today for your details!
Thanks so all much to all who entered!


  1. Love your blog. New follower for sure! Follow me back via GFC too?

  2. i have been wanting to serve in the Peace Corp like NO OTHER - my beau is a lil against it :o( -- i still dream of joining!!!

  3. This post made me smile. You're so lucky to have each other :)

  4. That's so funny because your definition of true friendship and mine are identical :) Good luck to your friend on her new adventure!!

  5. This is a beautiful post Jen! And so ironic that we both posted about friendship today. You girls are lucky to have each other, and a special bond has been formed. These true friendships last forever...

  6. aw, i like what you said about no matter how much time has past, it's as if not a day has gone by. i feel the same way about my bff that moved to baltimore 3 years ago. love that distance doesn't matter with true friendships.

    i'm heading to her blog now! xx

  7. I totally know what you mean. Those friendships are definitely to be treasured!

  8. that is just how i am with my bff....even if we dont talk for awhile...we pick right back up!

    so glad you got to see her :)

  9. You both rock :) this post was beautiful. Good luck to both of you lovely ladies! <3

    -Becky Coates

  10. good friends are hard to find and mckenzie seems like a great, life long friend. i can't wait to follow her adventure, thanks for including me in your guys' renuion so i could get to know BOTH of you fab girls :)


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