"Not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image."

Tuesday, March 22

STOP...and smell the fish balls!

Time flies when you're having fun! A Christmas trip to Nepal (with some great peeps), several weekend getaways/day trips (to take advantage of some amazing weather), some intense job-hunting, and a 10 day whirlwind adventure with visiting friends has come and gone---and Borneo sits on the horizon (2 more days to be exact!). The last few months have brought endless smiles to my heart and sometimes I need to find the time to sit back, take a breath, and fully appreciate all that I've done.

Mount Everest and the Himalayan mountains greeted our plane on Christmas day and shortly after, Fern and I were enjoying mulled wine with Kerry, Steph, and Dave in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was a beautiful (and unique) way to celebrate Christmas! We received our hiking itinerary that day and all had a good (nervous) laugh about the 6-day adventure that awaited us...including at least 1 day of "straight up". Awesome. --The trekking was great, although a bit exhausting (okay, maybe that's an understatement!) the scenery was amazing, and---, with our group, never a dull moment! Between the 5 of us, we had 3 porters and a guide---so, thankfully, we were only responsible for carrying our day packs!! Don't judge! We arrived to Ghorepani 2 days after we set off and were greeted by the snow-peaked Annapurna mountains against the setting sun---calling it beautiful would be a harsh understatement! Especially after we walked 2 days to get there! For Kerry and I the excitement was short lived and both of us would pay a rough price for making the wrong choice as dinner time. Our itinerary shifted, we hardly moved from bed all day (except to get sick of course), and our nurses (i.e. Fern and Steph) were gracious enough to take frequent breaks from their book reading, site seeing, weather-enjoying day to take care of us sickies! We were back on the trail the next day for what was arguable the most beautiful and real part of the trek. This less traveled track winded us through a local village, over and around rice terraces, through herds of sheep and buffalo and past the local people going about their lives. It was a great day-after-feeling-like-crap trek! All in all, the trip to Nepal was much too short to appreciate all it has to offer but we got a taste of it---especially of the amazing hiking. The end of the trail was bitter sweet and we missed the mountainous surrounds immediately...but our legs...and all that lactic acid thanked us for the break!

After the Christmas holiday, I returned to work to finish out the term with my "graduating" K3's. It was an emotional moment---my first ever K1 class all grown up and leaving K3. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. Although I've been job searching and will continue to search, I've decided, after a good deal/offer from my current employer, that I'll be staying put for now. Next term will offer me a chance to make some changes to the overall curriculum which will be a great chance to gain some experience. As for now, I'm enjoying my time off---but, as always, I'm missing my crazy kids already!

Jose and Alexis have just left and I think I'm still in shock that I ever went to the airport to get them in the first place!! I have to admit that I never really expected the "yeah, I'm thinking of coming to visit" to materialize---so, when I learned that it was...for BOTH of them...I was so excited!! I loved inviting them into my world and showing them around. Lots of laughs (Dearest Scotsman with the Bangkok Belly---squatting toilets are for SQUATTING...not sitting! HA) and good times...and, perhaps for one, a newly ignited fire for travel! You know where to find a travel buddy Jose!

Borneo is next on the list and we head out on Thursday! We'll be traveling our way around Sabah making sure to fit in diving and snorkeling at Mabul and Sipidan islands, river cruising in search of wild animals, visiting the orangutans, and trekking around Mount Kinabalu. Bring on the jungle...bring on the river...bring on the clear blue seas!! Will post pictures when I return in April.