Beginnings and Endings


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August 18th 2008
Published: August 18th 2008
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Once upon a time, in a land far, far, far away, four travelers set out on a journey. Each traveler had their own personal reasons for joining the group. Some wanted to find direction. Others wanted to face their fears and doubts. When the journey started they had no idea of the obstacles and triumphs that would stand before them.

The beginning of their trip was filled with high spirits and innocence of those who feel the world is so vast. They soon discovered that the word poverty in how they once knew it would forever be altered. As would the meaning of hard work and simple living. They would meet people who, with little effort, would leave an imprint on each of them. Stories of sadness, desperation, hope and pride would remain equally as powerful throughout their tour.

The heart of their journey would include fears being vanquished one by one.

The completion of their quest would be just the beginning. Lessons of bargaining and being able to identify gender by one's adams apple were put to the test. The discussions of culture verses human nature would transpire many late night evenings. In the end, each one found what they were looking for, and more.

This traveler wanted to find out more about herself and the person she truly was when put to the test. Although she was disppointed in herself many times, she did come to many conclusions. She realized how often she uses her silence as a way to make sense of her emotions. She has learned how important it is to do right by those who love you and those who you love. Above all else, she has learned that regardless of your "status" in society, all people want the same thing in life, no matter what country you come from. We are all so much more alike, then we are different, even when our senses tell us otherwise.

And so, when these four travelers set off for home tomorrow evening, they will be arriving quite different from when you last saw them. Their eyes are wider, their ears sharper, their hearts stronger, and their pockets emptied. This journey is not over. In fact, it is far from over. It's really just the beginning...

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18th August 2008

I'm sure that is all true. Have a safe trip home! I know EVERYONE is looking forward to seeing you all. Be safe, and have a nice (long) flight home. Thanks again for doing these blogs...they have been a joy to read each time!
18th August 2008

Kristin, You really should consider writing a book. You are an excellent writer. I will be so happy, along with everyone else, when I hear you are safe and at home. Be careful and have a safe flight. God bless. Love, Carol
18th August 2008

Come on home!
After all the stories are told, you will have so many memories of all the great times exploring the world. I am envious of your travels and stories, but I am happy that I know someone like you that dares to test her own fears. Safe Flight. And thanks for letting me travel with you.
18th August 2008

Thank you!
thank you for sharing your trip with everyone who has logged onto your blog and couldn't wait for the next episode! I am so happy for all of you that took part in this wonderful journey and I hope you'll continue with your writing - I know I'm not the only one who has gotten a a very small but enlightening glimpse into a world where we've never been. thank you so very much - safe journey home.
18th August 2008

Be safe
I think you missed your calling Kristen. You're blogs put together would make quite the short story and I bet there's a novel in there if you include all the details I'm sure were left out. I'm glad you found what you were looking for and have a safe trip home!!
18th August 2008

How smart you are!
You are wise beyond your years!!!! Have journey back!!!! Debbie
18th August 2008

Many Thanks
I commend the four of you for your goals and many accomplishmnets. It has been our pleasure , thank you for allowing us a window into your adventure, and into your hearts. I am so proud of you! Be safe!
18th August 2008

Congratulations!
Seems as though you have learned so much in just six weeks. You are wiser then you realize. That's for sure. You make me proud to hold the title "Kristin Howell's sister!" Enjoy the rest of your time there and your journey home. You will be here before you know it. I can't waaaaaaaaaait, this last week has been the toughest for me. Knowing you are so much closer to coming home and all. Be safe and God Bless. Love and miss you so much! P.S. Anne is dropping your dress off to me today, it's black and halter. Not even the dress Momma and I had thought she got, the one we suggested had a whole in it or something!?!? But it's also a way bigger size then we suggested so I'm sure you'll need to take it in. I'll fill you in on the rest when you get home. Poor Anne, not what you want to be doing the week of your wedding, reordering every dress and your own gown! YIKES!
18th August 2008

Welcome Back
Welcome back! Right now you are probably on your long flight home! I hope your flight is great. Miss you lots, I am off Thursday and Friday! Hope to talk to you soon!
18th August 2008

Lessons learned
Kristin, this entry just says it all and is very well said. Great lesson(s) to share with all of us and and teach to many others in the years to come. I know this is only the real beginning for you. Safe travels home and thanks for allowing me to following along with you and everyone else on this journey. See youreal soon, Love Lucille
18th August 2008

the more we travel the less we really know...
You have faced your fears and discovered something beautiful in return. Do you know how lucky you are? Do you realize how many people travel, and how few really "see" the world. You have opened your mind and heart to new experiences and in return you have learned more about yourself than you could have ever imagined. You should feel proud and accomplished. You had tremendous couage on this trip. Not only physical courage, but spiritual as well. It takes courage to expose yourself to others, and you did that in each and every blog. Good for you! I am counting days until you return. I went to school today and started to pack up my classroom. It is much harder than I thought. I need your help! Be safe. I can't wait to see you!
18th August 2008

hi
Have a safe trip home..... cant wait to see you when you get back and settled .... Andrea
18th August 2008

Hey Kristin! I just caught up on your travels. I can’t even imagine what a life experience this must have been!! Safe journey home!
18th August 2008

Once again, commenting although we've never met. Thank you so very much for the special glimpse into this journey - it has been enlightening, touching, thoughtful, as well as quite fun to read! As a bystander, I think it was as interesting to read the comments of your friends and loved ones as it was to read the blog entries themselves. Each of you have so many in your life who love and support you and I can tell that your adventure has made an impact on them in so many ways as well. I am hoping that my own 15 year old daughter has similar journeys in her future....sharing your trip is quite the inspiration for what (hopefully) is to come for her. Thank you again and have a safe and enjoyable trip home! Best, Suzanne (and Gia) (friends of Mike and Eric's)
18th August 2008

Have a safe trip home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so happy for you and your friends. You have done what so many people say they will do, yet never follow through. It is exactly what the graffiti said on the wall in that picture "Live in the moment, or your life will pass you by" or something like that.. but in any case, I can't wait to hear your stories at girls night! Have a safe trip home.. and from reading your blogs, your plane ride may just be the 1st good sleep that you'll have.. rest up and we'll see you soon!!!!!
18th August 2008

that which does not kill us only makes us stronger!"
I envy and admire you so much Kristin. Though I haven't been there with you physically I have been fortunate to be there on your journey in spirit. What a wild ride! You truly are one of the best people I know and I am lucky to know you. May your journey home be as safe as your journey there. I can't wait to see you!
19th August 2008

It's just the beginning
Kristin, You have brought tears and laughter to our days and nights of reading your truly remarkable adventure. As much as I want you home I don't want you to end this journey. I am amazed at myself for the lump in my throat knowing this will be coming to an end. I feel you have brought all your following closer to you and to each other, never even meeting the others. You have given us all a wonderful 6 weeks of summer. I am grateful for learning so much about a culture I never even thought I would care about. I called you a crazy woman right from the beginning, oh you are crazy, crazy for going after that something that none of us would even dream about. We all have our dreams, and thank you for letting me into yours. I truly enjoyed every minute of it..........love you and stay safe. I want a blog as soon as you get home!
19th August 2008

Anne's Wedding
Can I just add one more thing.....can you give us an update on Anne's wedding and the dress issues???? Don't keep us in suspense?
19th August 2008

The Heart Grows Stronger
Well said my friend...and I'm not that big of a pain in the ass! I loved taking this journey with you...and it's true our hearts are stronger! Until next one... love, THAI TEENIE
19th August 2008

Hi Kris, God bless and love you; you are an amazing young woman. How very fortunate your students are to have you for a teacher. I thank you for sharing your adventure and inner most thoughts and emotions. Wishing you a safe journey home. Love you, Phyllis
19th August 2008

Heart and Soul of a Friend
How beautiful and insightful. Reading this blog I felt like I was looking at a soul stripped and exposed for the world....You are so Awesome. Save this Blog for the ending of your book it is just perfect. Thank you. Welcome home my friend. Jane
19th August 2008

See you on the other side
Well, wasn't that special. I am so glad I could be your inspiration ;) (that is an inside joke people, sorry) Thanks for having me along and I hope you aren't planning on any new dress code at our meetings just cuz you got some new clothes! glad it was great!
19th August 2008

Wow, Kristin, you have learned so much this summer. What an amazing experience! You are so lucky to have been able to do this. Thanks for sharing all of your adventures with us!! Have a safe trip home and I can't wait to see you!
19th August 2008

Home Sweet Home
HI, Welcome home. I will miss you explicit blogs. Be sure to add on now that you are home about how you are feeling. Get some well needed rest, See you soon. Love Lucille
19th August 2008

Logan
Hey toots....Jaclyn and I are going to wait in Medford for you to arrive vs. go to the airport. Believe me, this is killing me. But I think with Jaclyn waking up at 7 or later I would never make it to the Bailey's in time. I hope you are having a great flight. You should be landing in San Fran within the next few hrs. Which means USA USA USA! Phew!!! See you in the morning ~ ahhhh~ Love you!!!

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