Saturday, October 31, 2009

On the Road Again

First of all, let me say that if you have the ability, listen to "The Banjolin Song" by Mumford & Sons. Wonderful!

Now that that's finished.

Tomorrow I head out on a cross-country road trip! It hasn't really sunk in that it is happening since my first (and shortest) stop, tomorrow, is 40 minutes away. It counts nonetheless. Here is a copy of my tentative itinerary. I am, however, planning on cronicling my entire trip as I go (the frequency will be determined by my access to internet). I plan to take a picture of where I'm sleeping (bed, floor, car, hotel, ect), some sort of notation of how many miles (or maybe distance as expressed in time) I went that day and pictures or normal desciption of whatever I happen to think is interesting. Anyway, here is the itinerary (subject to change):

Tomorrow, I'll leave about 1pmish (I'm in no hurry to Mill Creek, it's close). Staying with my pal Sarah.
Monday: leave early morning and head to Newport, Oregon with my a friend from Holden this summer. I'll stay with Kaija until Friday morning.
Friday: Somewhere (I have yet to decide with whom I'm staying) in the greater Bay Area, CA (looooonnnnnnnngggggggggg drive, I'm aware).

sidenote: I'm taking highways 101 and 1 down the west coast, so I'll be taking the slightly longer, and much more scenic route. Once I cut east, I'll be on Route 66...again, longer and more scenic route.

Saturday: Head to LA, pick up Diana from the Anaheim airport, go to Hotel in Anaheim
Sunday: DISNEYLAND!!! That's right! Diana is flying down and we're going to do Disneyland in one day.....16 hours. It's going to happen.
Monday, Nov. 9th: Drop Diana off at the Anaheim airport and head toward Las Vegas maybe, definitly the Grand Canyon. If I stay in Las Vegas then I'll be there for the night with a friend from Holden. If I don't stay in Las Vegas (depends on the working status of fried there) then I'll stay in my car or in a hotel off Route 66 year the Grand Canyon. I'll be on the Historic Route 66 West, for a good chunk of this trip, of couse I'm planning on stopping at all of the roadside attractions.
Tuesday, Nov. 10th: Travel Day
Wednesday, Nov. 11th I will either be in Housten, or Tulsa, or somewhere inbetween (this is still depending on the people I would be staying with, I need to talk to both of them).
After both of those people are visited, I'll stay with aother person in Housten then head over to New Orleans for a week. I'll be there doing Habitat for Humanity the wek before Thanksgiving.
November 23rd or 24th: ATLANTA, GA with my pal Meredith(ex-roommate from PLU)! I'll be with Mere for Thanksgiving and most likely a trip to the East coast (so I can say it's truely a coast-to-coast roadtrip) until the 29th of November (ish) when I turn back and go back home.

I have yet to plan my trip back because it is going to depend on road conditions based on what I read and also what I experience on the way there.

4,104 miles there, 2,765 miles back. We'll see how this goes.

I am nervous, but excited! I have always wanted to do this.

Sidenote: For future reference, when I refer to Floyd, I am talking about my car. That is his name. He's named after the song "Pretty Boy Floyd" by Woody Guthrie (listen to it).

I'll try to start the cronicle of my trip tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Today is my lovely sister, Diana's, birthday!! Happy Birthday Diana, the world loves you!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My assignement!!

Here is some more information for those of you who either a) Have yet to receive a shrieking phone call from me or b) failed to understand what I was saying during the shrieking phone call...I think that covers everyone I know.

For starters, I'm going to MALAWI. It's a small country in Southeastern Africa that is about the size of Pennsylvania. Here is a site with more information if you want it:

Anyway, back to my assignment:

Program: Environment
Job Title: Community NRM/Forestry and Parks Extension Volunteer
Orientation Dates: February 24th, 2010
February 25th, 2010
Pre-Service Training: February 27th, 2010

The Primary Aspects of your job include:

A. Teamwork: Working, learning and planning with local Malawian residents to ensure project sustainability;
B. Community Forestry: Building the capacity of existing community groups to plan for and understand appropriate natural resource management.
C. Conservation Awareness: Learning and extending local technical information as a means of extending locally appropriate natural resources management technologies. Encouraging the use of sustainable building practices that discourage deforestation;
D. Government staff and local relationships: Contributing to the creation of positive relationships between local communities and parks,. forest reserves, NGO staff. Helping staff and community residents to understand policy changes.
E. Enterprise Development: Assisting rural Malawians to develop and implement strategies for improving their livelihoods. Small business start ups, community savings programs, basic marketing and sales education, as well as improving financial literacy, will help to achieve this goal.

I hope that fills you in! If you have any more questions, ask me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



Here is information about the country

I am going to be doing resource conservation work. For tonight, however, I have been talking about it too much so I'll update more tomorrow with what specifically I'm doing.

I leave February 27th.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Since I've Been Home

Well, I have officially been home a week as of yesterday. Time isn't moving very quickly; I sort of expected it to pick up as soon as I left the village but so far that hasn't happened. That's ok, I'm not trying to rush fact, I very much appreciate the slowing that it has done.

These are pictures of things I've done since I've been home:

The first picture is a show poster from the concert I went to last night (sorry I didn't rotate the picture). I've been to see this band 5 times before in the last 2 years, and I've been to a lot of concerts, but this was the single GREATEST concert I've ever been to!!! I can't even express how wonderful it was!

The second picture is of all the hats I've knitted since I've been home.

The third picture is one of the hats from the previous picture but close-up because it's the neatest thing I've ever knitted! I gave it to my Dad.

I mowed my name in the lawn.

The last picture is the SS Adventurous. This isn't our new boat (we wish) but it is a really cool boat that I've been on that we saw near the Everett Marina.

So, it hasn't been that exciting since I've been home but that's what I've been up to. I've also done a lot of trips to the Good Will, a lot of cleaning of my stuff and a lot of working on my car.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Guest Blog 3.0

As we speak, Amy is on her way back to the "real world" from the magical land of Holden. What does this mean for you, gentle reader? That, unless you are currently at Holden, your chances of being friends with Amy just skyrocketed (trust me, I'm a statistician). In honor of this fact, I humbly present:

The Top 10 Reasons to Be Friends With Amy!

10) Amy is thoughtful. Once, when our whole apartment was having a lousy day, Amy snuck off to the store and prepared our favorite treat--worms and dirt! And despite Amy's warnings to the contrary (fact: Amy is always right), we all finished out GIANT servings and regretted it later. Totally worth it.

9) Amy is very good at keeping secrets, even if they aren't or don't seem important. Any bank would be lucky to have a vault as secure as the one in Amy's brain!

8) Amy makes you feel like dancing! Ok, not exactly, but she is an excellent dancer (exhibit A). One time, when I was having a lousy day, Amy, without missing a beat, flipped on a Leo Sayer classic and performed an elaborate might-as-well-have-been-choreographed routine. I almost died laughing. Made my day.

Exhibit A (sorry, Amy...the world had to know!)

7) Amy is extremely motherly. When anyone she loves gets sick, she will not let them leave her sight until they are sufficiently hydrated (according to her extremely high standards of hydration)

6) One word: brinner!

5) Amy is exceptionally cool. Enough said.

4) Amy is generous. One time, I stole/borrowed a shirt from Amy... now it lives in Georgia and she has not hunted me down (yet)!

This photo was taken in Georgia yesterday...seriously.

3) Amy has great taste in friends.

Friends who make gross flan :)

2) Amy never forgets to tell you how she feels about giant letters!

1) Amy is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute! (And knows it!)

Seriously! How could you NOT be friends with Amy???

Welcome Home, Amy!!! We missed you! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Goodbye Holden Village

This will be my last post from the village; I leave tomorrow.

Judging by the number of layers I now wear just to walk outside, fall is here. All of the summer staff has left (I'm one of the last ones). Yesterday at the staff meeting, most of the discussions were about fall and winter schedules. It was sad to hear about all of the AMAZING things that are going to be happening when I'm gone. At the end of the staff meeting all the people who are leaving before the next meeting stand up and everyone prays the 'Holden Prayer' around them. There weren't very many of us standing up so there were a lot of people per leaving person. Lots of hands, lots of prayers.

Last night was my last night in the Snack Bar...I still have this afternoon. It was really quiet, sort of anti-climatic.

Today, other than work in the Snack Bar this afternoon and then the Pool Hall this evening, my day is, almost completely, consisting of packing and cleaning. For those of you who know me, I'm moving pretty slowly with the packing because I hate it. I'm sort of glad that I'm going to be living out of a suitcase for a while because then I won't have to pack up and stuff.'s to the beginning of a nomadic existence!

For those of you who have been at Holden this summer, thank you for the greatest summer of my life living in the most beautiful place I will ever live. I am tempted to extend but its time to rip the bandaid off and move on. People tend to linger around here forever. It's time to go. I have gotten to know people better this summer than I ever have before. To those people, thank you for being a part of my life, I love you and I miss you.

Also, if you have the capacity, listen to "Gotta Travel On" by Au Go-Go Singers.

When I'm home, with faster than freakishly slow internet, I'll post some of the pictures for yesterday. I documented the entire day.