Small Reflections in a Big World


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August 12th 2008
Published: August 12th 2008
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Author's note: If there is going to be one blog you skip, this would be it. I've done nothing but eat dinner since my last blog. There are no pictures. There are no grand adventures. These are just some of my thoughts as I sit here trying to fall asleep.

1) Today is the Queen's birthday and therefore considered Mother's Day. When there is a new queen, there will be a new day to celebrate Mother's Day. Today you were not allowed to publicly drink beer. When we were eating dinner the waiter had Eric keep his beer on the ground because the police could technically give us a hard time because of it. Interesting!

2) Silk shops- they are every where, never gave them a second glance. That is, until Eric showed up in his hand made linen pants. Do you remember when little orphan Annie went to the movies for the first time, running back and forth down the aisle? It was like that. The store was small, maybe your average kitchen size, lined from ceiling to floor with fabrics (wool, cashmere, silk, linen, etc). In the center were three chairs and one table, filled with catalogs (Armani, Versace, etc). All you had to do was pick your fabrics, then design, using the ideas from the catalogs and your own, your own outfit. I went in with two dresses in mind, for two weddings, two weeks apart. I will be leaving the island with 1 winter white knee length wool coat, 1 maroon spring/fall silk lined linen jacket, 2 suit jackets (gray and black), and 1 jean jacket. The total came to, big gulp here, $450! REMEMBER, these new wardobe items were literally deisgned by me and are currently being sewed together to fit my body perfectly. I do feel guilty, hence the writing to purge myself of my sins, but I really think it was well worth it. I'm a saver though, not a spender. I grew up on food stamps, every penny counts to me. The only comfort I have now is knowing that the majority of you probably would have done the exact same thing. Suggestions on how to bring these items home, or even get them off the island in my back pack would be appreciated.

3) 100% of the group is now fully functioning thanks to the help of the local chemist. Who, speaking little english, was able to communicate using hand gestures. Yes, using hand gestures. I dare you to try that one.

4) I didn't come here to be afraid. I came thinking I could leave all my inhabitions behind. Thinking I could do that is like trying to run away from a problem. You can run, but your problem will never be farther than your shadow. So yes, I refused to join in on karaoke, feeling my throat constrict at the thought of my voice (talking or singing) projected out of a microphone. I love dancing. I love music. I find singing in my car a release. It's the being seen part I struggle with. So, I can not, absolutley can not, let the fear of the monstrous ocean prevent me from enjoying the last week of a truly enlightening trip. I was able go in the ocean as far as my hips today, possibly the farthest I've ever been in open water, but I'm certain I'll need to get in deeper than that for snorkeling and scuba diving. I'm going to allow myself to feel afraid, BUT I'm going to push, shove, and kick myself to not hold back.

5) Many of you have already started asking about my plans for next summer. Yes, there will be a trip, not as long, maybe not as far. I would much rather spend time in one place, doing something for the community, then the backpacker 2 night city sleepovers. I'd LOVE to go to Africa and work with people infected with AIDS or a Habitat for Humanity trip. A "good will ambassador trip" is just as much about finding out about yourself as it is about having a slightly better understanding of the world. If you are interested, start saving. Next summer will be here before you know it.

6) Still not really tired, but I just heard something jump or fall into the pond directly behind me and I can't help but to keep looking back, as I am in the dark, outside on a porch right now. It's just a creepy sci fi movie scene waiting to happen.

7) Good night! Thanks for listening...or reading, I should say.

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12th August 2008

Hi Kristin. I love reading everything you write. The insightfulness and emotion is so powerful. I am learning about myself through you (if that makes sense). As for your trip to the Island Boutique don't feel guilty....ever!! (funny coming from me, huh) I can't wait to see your purchases. This may sound stupid....but....... is there a mail or shipping service there? You could maybe ship them home???? Just a thought. Well now for the countdown....1 week.....I can't wait till you are back in the Big Beantown!!!!! Travel safely and enjoy the moments!!!! Love ya. Jane
12th August 2008

Love the BLOGS!
Hi Kristin, I've been reading your blogs everytime you send them and it is so awesome to read about all of your experiences! It has been a pleasure to vicariously live through you and all of your travel adventures! Have a safe trip home and I look forward to hearing more when I see you at the Brooks!! See you soon! Melissa
12th August 2008

Interesting...
I've been wondering where you've been! Glad you posted! I was starting to worry. I can't wait to see the stuff you designed! That sounds like a really cool concept! This might be dumb, but is there anyway you can ship the stuff home through the mail so you don't have to lug it? I'm VERY glad to hear that you will be shortening your trip next summer. I feel like you have been away for too long!
12th August 2008

Hi Kristin, So nice to hear from you 2 times in one day. As you know Nicole has invited anyone who wants to come to her house when you come home. Wish I could be there, I know Theresa G. is always up for an adventure with me:) There's too much going on around here so I'm sorry I won't be able to go to Nicole's. You know my thoughts are with you. I just cannot wait until you are home again. Hope you can figure out a way to get those clothes home. I'm glad you bought some things for yourself. You sure deserve it after this adventure. Take care, be safe and God bless. Love ya, Carol
12th August 2008

glad to hear
Glad to hear that you are all fully functioning!!! :-)
12th August 2008

Ok, some of these entries have not made me feel any better about the trip but....As I read about you custom designing your own clothes and for only $450 I began to realize that we are not that different after all!!! And if you still feel guilty think of this, 1. that is a great investment, people pay a lot more money for a lot less clothes and 2. I'm sure you just feed that family for a very long time. p.s. - a tip on how to get them home....wear them all with pride!!!
12th August 2008

Good night!
Well I hope you have fallen asleep by now and are dreaming sweet dreams! And I pray that Nightmare on Elm Street scenario I just pictured didn't happen either. (note #6 on the blog) On thought #5 above, I find it completely humorous you consider Africa "not as far" but I do love the "not as long" part. A lot of civil war in Africa so keep that in mind - did you ever here of the Janjawee (spel?) or see the Last King of Scotland?? If not, we will watch that together - dictators are crazy. Anywho, back to my comment. I love that the #1 here is that Mother = Queen basically. I keep telling Jaclyn she can be a princess but her momma is the queen. :) #3 was a huge sigh of relief, keep referring to the chemists suggestions please. #4 was yet another sigh of relief on the karaoke. Everyone says we sound exactly alike (you poor girl) so thinking of my voice thru a microphone is just hilariously funny. Anyone that knows my voice I'm sure would agree - no further projection necessary, especially my laugh. I'm also deathly afraid of the water? Kristin, how did this happen to us, we had a pool growing up and I'm sure I can find a picture of you with your nose plug on! Quite the fashion statement. Which brings us to #2. I know this may be crazy but can you ship the items home to my house? Am I crazy to think FedEx? UPS? What about a second backpack? An actual suitcase? I'm happy you splurged though and it's more ambition for me to lose the last of the baby weight to maybe borrow some of this stuff. Although your frame is still smaller then mine. Ok, I think that is it. Blog again soon please and thank you! Love and miss you still!
12th August 2008

Okay - don't laugh but I think I might be interested in the trip to Africa! We'll have to have a serious discussion because I am 100% positive that I will be unable to sleep in some of the conditions that you have mentioned! Sounds interesting! Glad you're almost home - I'm sure you'll have much more to share. I agree with the blog for school! I think I might like to start one as well.....let others see it for themselves - since apparently we have it sooo easy!! Yeah right!
12th August 2008

First to comment
I'm only writing really because I will be first to commenyt. I don't have much to say, to be honest. I did get servrd a meal by a movie star yesterday, so that's a worthy comment I think. As for the sea, it's a good job I'm not there because you would definitely be in by now! As for backpacking: you don't have to approach it in the constantly moving way you did on this trip. You can stay in one place for a long time, then move to another you know. See you back in sunny Medford! mike
12th August 2008

Hello from NY
Hey you, we have been anxiously awaiting your next blog. I love your "deep thought" reflections..very powerful. Camille and I are in New York. We have been having an adventure of our own. Maybe not as exotic as Thailand but interesting none the less. The program here is amazing. Really, it has transformed the way I view myself as a teacher. You are coming next year! Camille and I have some news to share with you, but you will have to email me back to find out! Sorry I know this is mean but I miss you and want some one on one time. Seriously though, who are we kidding? You will probably already know what I am going to tell you. We miss you tons. Camille and Karen P.S. Didn't we talk about measurements before you left? Stacey and Clinton are going to be so impressed with your new fall wardrobe.
12th August 2008

Loving Silk
I am sure you can find a post office and send the silk items to my house, I'll be happy to hold them for you! :) I just noticed I spelled throw wrong in my last blog, ugh! I hate that! Listen not to dampen your next summer plans but there are so many Habitats for Humanity in the States, don't you think you could spread all your generosity, caring and good will in the good ol' USA. I would really appreciate it. Now did you ever find out what was in thatpond........
13th August 2008

New Wardrobe
HI, You can wear them all home as to not worry about putting them in your backpack. Layers girl layers.... You deserve the clothes even though you are a saver. You will never get the chance to get them again. Rosie and I just met for drinks and we were discussing you and your blog. We are ready for a 3 week or so trek next summer. Let us know. Stay safe and enjoy and savor every last moment of this amazing adventure. See your real soon. Love Lucille
13th August 2008

Kristin you said it best when you said your a saver not a spender. You have the mentality that you need to save every penny and while that is admirable I don't think you need to be upset about spending some money on yourself. You are one of the most decent, humble, selfless people I know and its only right for you to do something for yourself. Kudos to you! I am proud of you that you will not be letting your fear of the ocean impact your decision to snorkel. Remember to relax...the rhythm of breathing comes with relaxing in the water. This weekend we are leaving for Maine. It will not be the same without you but I trust you will be laughing to yourself at various times over the next few days recounting our tales on the wild river and our "only in Maine" encounters. Enjoy your last few days and hurry home safely! Miss you lots!!!!
13th August 2008

africa
hey krisitin! if u r interestedin doing AIDS education I can put u in touch with a girl who has gone several times to help~ she actually reminds me a lot of u, you'll ge along great
13th August 2008

Hi Kris ........ Glad to read that everything is going well for all of you. I, like all your other readers, wait for your next blog. It'ls like reading a fantastic book but you can only get one chapter at a time. You never stop to amaze me. I think this trip has been a learning experience that you will never forget but I must admit that I'm overjoyed to hear that your home sick. See you on the 27th. Love Dad. P.S. Be Safe!
14th August 2008

I miss you!
Hi Thai KHo I wish I gave a quick swim lesson before you went. I owe you one. I hope that you went deeper into the water. You are talking to a swimmer, who does not like going too deep in open water. I can't wait to see you new clothes. Enjoy your last few days.
14th August 2008

from auntie ginger
my mom said to ship them to grammy's ! :) Don't tell said grammy you want to work with Aids victims in Africa if u want her to live!
14th August 2008

Greetings from the Brooks
Dear Mike, Eric, Kristin, Christina, and 'fellow travelers'-- Following all of your trips has been fascinating and educational. I truly feel as if I've learned so much about the world that I would never uncover on my own. Not only are your individual exploits interesting, but your connections, both through meeting up and through discussions of shared experiences, add an incredible depth to the experience. You can't imagine how exciting it is for me that four teachers from my school are out there experiencing the world in ways that most of us will never be brave enough to try. When we say that we like to have teachers who bring different experience and backgrounds to a school, we don't realize what the potential really is. What you're doing this summer adds such an amazing dimension to our community!
14th August 2008

africa trip
Africa sounds much better than where you are...Col is in Timbuktu...will let you know if that is where you could have another adventure...just give me a nice island...in the bahamas and I am at peace...your adventure has given me nightmares...and I will be so happy when you are back on solid ground...God bless you for being such a humanitarian...everyone enjoyed your travels...you are my hero...
14th August 2008

From mice to designer clothes
Well, Kristin you certainly deserve to bring home custom designed clothes made with fabulous fabrics. Consider it a reward for what you have endured for the past 4 weeks. Love, Maureen
15th August 2008

Salem Resident!
Hey K-HO....All moved in, counting the days til your return. Leaving tomorrow for WWR. You will be missed. Stay safe. Nic
15th August 2008

Lucille
Has Rosie been around? I added her, but wasn't sure if she has been checking the blog. Can't believe in two weeks from today it will already be the third day of school!! See you soon.
15th August 2008

Melissa M
Thanks for the info. I tried doing something before through the AIDS Action Committee but at the time I was too young to do the stuff I wanted.
15th August 2008

Steph
No talk about any of this to Gram. Actually, the clothes, yes, everything else, no.
15th August 2008

Michael Simon
If you could only have seen Eric, Christina and I reading your message. I saw it first, ran back to tell everyone, then we all got on the bed and huddled together to read it again from Christina's iPhone. Remind me to tell you the little trick Eric played on us. It involes a "fake" e-mail from you, to him. See you soon! Thanks again for the message.
15th August 2008

Mrs Dugan
Keep me posted on Colleen's adventure. Have you started back at school yet? Excited, anxious, sad?
15th August 2008

Nik
All moved in and now you are away for the weekend!! Enjoy rafting. Don't have fun without me.
17th August 2008

Maureen B
Yes, I thought my new clothes were well deserved. I'm glad you agree because it makes me feel better about buying so much. What was I thinking?

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