Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feels Like a Home

For the first time, my apartment feels like a home. I love my living room pictures and my dining room decor. Thank you Juliann for the ideas and inspiration, thank you Lindsay for the encouragement and motivation to actually put them up!

Moving In

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cabin 2011

Of all my trips this summer, visiting my Grandpa's cabin was the non-negotiable. It's probably my favorite place in the world. Grandpa says it is some of the most pristine, untouched wilderness in the country, and I'd agree. My friend Lindsay drove up with me from Vegas (and learned how to drive stick shift on the way) and we made quite a road trip of it.

We spent a day in Cody, seeing some of the sights, then we spent the next two days up Wind River at the cabin. We went on four-wheeler rides, explored the old mining town of Kerwin, and kept our soda in the river. Grandpa cut down some dying trees, and Lindsay and I tried our hands at wood splitting.

I was kinda bummed when we didn't see any animals the first day, especially since the people we passed on the road had all seen bears. Then the last afternoon, Lindsay and I were driving on the four-wheeler to close the gate when she starts shrieking and grabbing me--there was a moose right off the side of the road! Wow! Awesome and slightly scary. I was just super excited that we got to see an animal. All in all a very successful cabin trip.

Nature's Refrigerator

Die, Wood, Die!

Africa in My Blood

I absolutely adored my time in Mozambique. Africa reminded me how blessed I am to live where I do. Africa reminded me to be thankful for the opportunities I have. Africa showed me true natural beauty and showed me a simple, yet incredibly rewarding lifestyle. Africa really helped change my outlook on life and my attitude. Africa regrounded me in what is important, and reminded me what kind of person I want to be. I will never be the same.

Now I have Africa in my blood. I can't wait to get back.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Baby Orphanage

My blogging about Africa wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention the baby orphanage. I only got to go a few times, but the volunteer team goes there every morning for an hour. It is an unforgettable experience. When we first walk in, all of the toddlers are out in the yard, and when they see us, they scream and swarm all over us. They just want to be hugged, touched, held. If you sit down, they will swarm your lap, jostling for a position that puts them close to you.

Doesn't this video make you want to get on a plane to Africa right now?

You can also choose to go upstairs to visit the little babies. They are all in cribs side by side in two rooms, one for the 0 - 6 month-olds, one for the 6-12 month-olds. Sometimes we get to help feed them (always the same: oatmeal mush), but more often we just hold them. The first time I went I cried--it broke my heart to see all these babies just sitting alone in their cribs, without stimulation, without one-on-one attention. The workers are the orphanage are incredible, and very caring, but it's hard to invest a lot of time and love into when they're are so many little ones to care for.

This picture shows me trying to get Mateus (Matthew) to smile. He's a hard nut to crack--I played with him 3 days in a row, and I only got him to grin once. The other picture shows me holding, I think his name was Francisco. He's a little mischief maker, climbing into neighboring cribs and such.

The orphanage is right on the beach, so sometimes I would pick up a baby, go stand at the window looking out at the ocean, and softly sing hymns. I loved visiting the baby orphanage.