So It’s Been a While

September 14th, 2009

I had actually thought I’d let the ol’ blog fall to the wayside and forget about it. But I miss it. And I miss what it represents to me. So, I’m going to try to write more often these days. About what? Well, that remains to be seen…

I’ve been thinking for a while now about how different life is here versus on the road. Sure, there are the obvious ones…but last month I had a not-so-obvious difference pop up into my face. Waiting for my flight to STL from LGA, I got stranded for five hours past security. There was one 20-seater bar and that was it. So, I started to talking to my fellow travelers. I soon learned that there was another traveler my age that was heading back to STL via Milwaukee, too. And when we started talking about hotel rooms in Wisconsin, that’s when I realized how different my life is now. She had just booked a Milwaukee room for $80 or so, and I needed to get me one too. If it had been 2007-2008, I’d have just asked if she wanted to share. I mean, who wants to pay $80 for a place you’ll spend maybe eight hours?

But I let it go. And after making yet an actual friend (as opposed to just meeting the acquaintance as I did that chick) on that same journey, I even passed up another opportunity to offer a room-share arrangement (although that may have been a bit more shady-sounding considering he was married and his wife wasn’t there).

Granted, I didn’t spend the night alone in my hotel room. Thanks to my chattiness (and Facebook), I made a new friend and hung out with an old one…but I did go to sleep without a roommate. It’s still a bit odd when I think about it.

So, yeah…from sharing rooms in Laos, so we could each save $0.75, I’ve come a long distance.

Gratuitous-Jayna-Was-Here-Photo(s) #25

April 7th, 2009

Philly edition:

game

game

Liberty Bell

Rusty Trips

April 1st, 2009

Liberty Bell

Something I’ve recently decided is that if I ever have kids, we’re taking multiple family trips a year. And these are gonna be trips of all shapes and sizes. Camping, beach lounging, history seeing…I want them to experience all of what our country has to offer.

For some reason, my parents weren’t ever big travel fans. In my 18 years of living with them, we took two family vacations. I look back fondly on them both. But those were the only times I left the state of Missouri, up until I went off to college and started taking road trips (oh, yeah, add Final Fouring to that previous list), going on mission trips, and studying abroad.

I think I’ve decided this because now that I’m an adult, I’m seeing things for the first time that many of my friends experienced when they were in elementary school. I mean, on my recent trip to Philly, I was nerdily excited to see the Liberty Bell. I guess I just hope my kids get their nerdiness out of their system before they hit their 20s.

Philly

Updates from SA

March 27th, 2009

The last few weeks I’ve been getting updates from the organization I volunteered with in South Africa.

While I was volunteering at the home, I learned of one of the high school girls’ past home life. The abuse she had suffered from her family was absolutely horrifying. Still, though, she remained friendly and driven in her studies. And when I went on my morning runs, she was usually one of the girls joining me. The first email I received informed me that she had been returned to her family by the government’s order, and she was recently found working in a brothel. She is only 14. I am absolutely heart broken thinking about this. And now reminded how far my life is now from what I was doing just a year ago. I feel quite useless at this moment.

But in a bright spot of news, the organization emailed me yesterday saying that inter-country adoptions will be OK’d starting April 1. That means that some of the kids who have been there since they were babies have a much better chance for adoption. There are a handful of these young kids (under 5) who’ve basically been raised in the home and have no emotional or physical problems…but just have to share their house with about 35 others.

So if you or someone you know has ever thought of adopting internationally and want to have a super-sweet kid (that I can completely vouch for in the sweetness department) who probably speaks pretty good English, let me know, and I’ll put you in touch with the organization and their lawyer.

Patron Saint of Engineers

March 21st, 2009

For the third time in my life, I spent St. Patrick’s Day in New York City. For the first time I wasn’t a tourist and was actually too busy to watch the parade.

But, being a true (now) New Yorker, I of course made it out that night.

Here’s a little video of one Irish-ish man cutting a rug. And why he shouldn’t have.

Awesome Week

March 15th, 2009

I just have to say that overall, this past week was a great one. I got assigned a story by one of my favorite magazines, caught up with an old friend returning to the city, and made it out of the state for an evening. It even ended with a win for my touch football team, and the Tigers taking the Big 12 Tournament.

But this next should be even better. Can’t wait.

Philly…here I come! (And I’ll send my heart to Boise)

Super Thankful

March 4th, 2009

for Megabus. I’m finally going to get out of the city this month…if only for a little bit.

Girl has GOT to get out more.

Yummy Food

February 24th, 2009

fried okra

Here’s a picture I forgot to post a while back. It’s from when some friends and I went to see a one-man show (btw, Sleepwalk with Me is definitely a must see!). We wanted to have dinner together beforehand, so I googled for nearby places and discovered one down the street from the theater had fried okra. As we were from small-town kansas and Missouri and big-town Texas, I knew the others would dig it as well.

I also had the red beans and rice to go along with the okra, and I was reminded of college and how different food is across our country. One of my freshman year dormmates had never had or heard of fried okra. After about the third time I talked about, she asked where I got the whale. Yeah…thought I was talking about fried orca.

I Only Speak English…

February 17th, 2009

adoption phrase in Korean

I must be looking pretty FOB lately. This past week, I’ve had multiple Asians talking to me in their native languages. From my eight months in Asia, I at least have an idea of what they’re saying (”You’re Korean?” or “Thank you!”), but I have completely forgotten what to say in response.

However, because I keep buying kimchi from the same Korean bodega, I know I might have to bust out the “I was adopted by an American family” line again. I pulled out my little phrase sheet to refresh my memory. It’s kind of annoying how quickly I’ve forgotten all that I learned while I was traveling. I’m still racking my brain to remember how to say, “I was raised by a family other than my own” in Thai.

But I don’t think I’m going to pull out my Mandarin handbook any time soon. My Chinese accent sucks.

Oh, God, What Did I Do???

February 10th, 2009

What am I thinking?

How can I have joined the dark side??? Please…be nice…no tagging of unflattering photos please.