Friday, August 15, 2014

There was one day in Bangladesh when I was walking home from the vegetable market.  Hot and sweaty as usual, carrying sacks of vegetables down a dirty, stinky alley way and wishing so much that I was standing on a mountain again.
There aren't many places that feel like home- even here- the place where I grew up.  But there is just something about being in the mountains again that just.. brings me back.  I love it.  It's where I grew up loving to be.
Yesterday my cousins and I drove up to the local ski resort to pick huckleberries. We pulled up to the place and my cousin exclaims, "We can't pick huckleberries when there's a bear right there!" And, sure enough, there was a bear... but we just chased it off and picked berries anyways. ;)
Today we hiked up to Mystic Lake.  Which is a place we've been going for as long as I can remember.  I made it up to the lake first and had a good 15-20 minutes just sitting there on a rock by the lake, alone, eating my cliff bar, watching fish jump and just sitting in the sunshine taking it all in...  It was amazing. The jagged mountain peaks and blue, clear water....  I was just so happy and peaceful my element I guess. 
It's just the kind of place that makes it difficult not to be really thankful and happy. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hannah read this to me this morning... I found myself agreeing A LOT. Interesting and refreshing perspective.

Monday, August 11, 2014

As I sit out here in the quiet and the sunshine, it's difficult to believe that my brother's wedding day has come and gone already. It was so beautiful, and I could not be happier for them. I can not imagine not being there, it meant so much being a part of their wedding. And now I have gained a sister and a friend. And life is forever changed.. but in a good way. :) Standing up there with them I couldn't help but think on how unexpected life can be. I never saw them coming.. but it's so good, and they are beautiful together. My brother is awesome, and so is the girl he married. And, maybe it a little selfish.. but I love how much they include me. ;) It meant the world to have John come up and put his arm around me at his wedding.
I just love those guys, and I am so excited and happy for them as they start their lives together.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It feels wonderful to be home.  I feel so.. happy and peaceful.  I don't think I can remember a time in Bangaldesh where I ever really felt quiet, restful or peaceful.  Now that I've stepped out of that world I can see it more clearly.  I can see how hard it really was.  And I am so thankful now to be back home and for all the little things I keep seeing and realizing I haven't had for the past year.  It's so nice to look up and see my beautiful nieces sitting there beside me.  To be surrounded by people I love.  To go crawl into bed and actually sleep well.  To wake up and be excited for the day.  To get my Bible and a cup of coffee and a warm blanket and feel quiet and peaceful.  To be able to walk outside and go for a run when I want to.  To feel sun on my skin.  To be able to drive.  To go to church and be able to understand it!  To feel cold!  Hot showers and dishwashers and nice smelling soap, salads and good food, independence and freedom, american clothes and how it feels not to be different anymore.  Yeah, I'm really glad to be home. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This morning I got up in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Its funny to think about how Dhaka seemed like the end of the world when we first got there, now it seems so...normal. I ate in disgusting restaurants, ate off of the street, walked through dirt and trash and filth, heard that  the bathroom was full of cockroaches, brushed my teeth in the tap water and thought nothing of it. I wear my three-piece, carefully keeping my orna on, as i walk past thousands and thousands of people. Not even the crowds and noise and business is strange to me anymore. And even  Dhaka seems like re-entering civilization compared to Coxs Bazaar! As I walked around I even wondered why everything about Bangladesh had ever really seemed so strange, because it has become so normal and familiar to me. It's just not shocking anymore. 
This morning as we flew away from the familiar landscape of Bangladesh, I tried to take it all in. The crumbling buildings all crowded together, muddy rivers, vivid green trees and grass and the red dirt. It felt strange to leave. And to leave so changed.
The real shock came though, when we entered the Mumbai airport. I think my mouth was hanging open. Seriously. I saw a stand selling Lindt chocolates and I actually skipped and giggled. I know.. but seriously, I can't believe this place. I just sat down and stated and tried to wrap my mind around this and could have cried. This is normal? Instead of feeling like coming home, like I expected. I feel so confused! The cleanliness, no one is watching me, everything smells like perfume, everything is shining. I went from being treated like royalty to actually being too embarrassed to go into these shops. I feel.. embarrassed and uncomfortable, shabby and poor and uncertain.  I feel people looking down on me. 
It is all so strange. It feels like I have stepped out of time and out of the world and then suddenly stepped back in. Like I have been to the moon- and nobody here knows, or could possibly understand. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

We are just wrapping up our final day here in Cox's.  It feels pretty strange...  cleaning, shopping, packing, laundry, goodbyes.  I keep having these "duh moments" where I'm like, "OH MY GOSH. We are getting on a plane and flying away from here!!"  haha.. I don't know.. it's just a really bizarre feeling!
Yesterday we went to the beach, played volleyball went swimming, ate jhal muri, had bengali food for dinner....  It was a really nice day.  I wonder what the things are that I will miss when I'm gone. And I wonder what things I will see totally different in the States now.
We leave for Dhaka tomorrow night so today and tomorrow are going to be packed... but I'm excited.  I can't wait to be home!! :D