Saturday, July 9, 2011

what i've done

even though i've been here for a week now, i am still having a hard time facing the realities of being home again. it has been a bit rough sleeping through the night {in a safe and comfy bed nonetheless}, finding the time to unpack and clean up my messes {poor family. the grace monster and her messes are back - paints and brushes and clothes and gifts are now in every corner of our once perfectly clean house}, and finding foods that don't upset my confused stomach. in addition to all of those little things, i am still finding it hard to adjust to normal life {whatever that means} in other areas as well.

when it comes down to it, i have realized i really haven't had much time to even think through all that i just experienced. . .

here's to remembering!

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just a few of the things i did with my time abroad:

* survived on my own for half a year {i did have to face my pride and ask the parents for a bit of a loan, but i am proud to say i made it home with exactly $13 in the bank account}
*bungy jumped where it originated
* cruised the milford sounds on a boat
* hitchhiked around nz
* rode on a ferry and a water taxi
* wwoofed on two different farms on the south island, nz
* got a real, paying job in nz {harvested garlic and worked on a beautiful vineyard}
* opened an international bank account
* saw the sydney opera house
* got stuck in china without a visa and got interrogated by chinese officials {!}
* ate red meat again for the first time in two years
* made a documentary film with the people at psi - population services international {washington and nepal branches} and the wonderful and talented mary olive smith
*learned ali ali {a little} of the nepali and hindi languages {my telegu is still sad}
* saw rhinos, elephants, crocodiles, deer, monkeys, peacocks, camels, and other rare birds in their natural habitats
* rowed boats on lakes in nepal
* rode on the roof of local buses in nepal
* read lots of books both good and bad
* flew long distances and sometimes short on a lot of different planes
* filled up three journals with my notes and paintings
* traveled by train, jeep, and bus in india {and survived}
*rowed a boat down the ganges at sunrise
* took a bath with an elephant
*rode a camel through the desert for two days
* saw the lights of pakistan
* saw kangchenjuga {the third highest mountain in the world} and the everest mountain range
* trekked the annapurna circuit and through the world's longest mountain pass {at 5,416 meters . . . nearly 18,000 feet!}
* waded up to my knees in the ganges and lived to tell about it
* had a tea tasting on a plantation in darjeeling
* visited friends in india
* made lots of new friends and connections around the world
* volunteered working on bio-gas projections and teaching english in southern nepal
* learned how to make dal bhat, mo:mos, pakoda, proper chai tea, and other delicious curries
* learned how to drive a motorcycle
* got my first tattoo
* walked around barefoot a lot
* bought lots of gifts for myself and my loved ones
* designed some clothes and had them made at a tailor
* had a 70 year-old nepali guru for a while
* kept up with my yoga and meditation practice
* bought a sari and learned how to wear one!
* had natural dreds in my hair for a while {still have one in as a souvenir i guess. no one is a big fan}
* learned a lot about the world and her people
* fell in love on a daily basis

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photo 1: riding the mini bus in ktm, nepal

photo 2: frisbee golfing barefoot in queenstown, nz

photo 3: meditation time in the airport, delhi, india

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