Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dear random conThai with glasses (day 67),

Ok maybe I'm the only one that does this...but you know when you are so in the moment that you forget which moment you are actually in...and then you can pull yourself out?

It happened during Thai cooking class today I was so excited to be doing exactly what I love...with people I peace...that my heart was just so absorbed. And then I pulled myself up into the sky and looked down at the scene before me and it hit me all over again: I'm in a SUPER cool place with a SUPER cool life. I have good food in my tummy, beautiful nature around me, and good conversation floating into my now distant ears.

It happened again when I was shopping. I'm bustlin' around speaking as much Thai and I can muster, having so much fun bartering and getting things I super want for my mission...and then I find around to the back side of the shops, asking the score of the soccer game that's on. For one moment, this kid and I's hearts were open to each other...just watchin' the game on his computer. I couldn't stop myself from smiling: life is cool.

My FAVORITE Thai food: 
mango sticky rice (cow-knee-ow-ma-moo-ong)
who knew such a simple dish was so much work?
finding a good market
dicing and juicing the coconut
coconut cream and coconut milk...very different

steaming the rice
massive amounts of dishes

p.s. Thai's can cut mangoes like no one's business.
the far half is my Thai mom's pro skill...the closest one is my sad attempt to be conThai!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dear wannee (day 64),

"today," in Thai, literally translates to "day here"

stop reading this post

life is too short

go do something you love

imago read me a book

maybe spend myself some less time missing people and more time living

easier said then done

i'll see you in four weeks

love you

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dear path (day 62),

I have this new theory. It's that people are just bored. We spend all we earn on toys, alcohol, movies, vacations, dating, schooling, whatever. We're just entertaining ourselves.

I'm reading Poor Economics, a book by Baberjee and Duflo about the logistics of poverty. It's completely changing my ideas of the future. I'm not sure how much is true or how much should be taken with a grain of salt (if you know what I mean)...but it's absolutely brilliant. Chapter 2 already blew up my mind's thinking patterns: how people in poverty buy TVs before they buy food. How we will all spend money on food that tastes good before food that is nutritionally helpful.

I'm not entirely sure what the kids at my orphanage need. I'm no psychologist. I can't speak Thai. I haven't been a parent. I'm only 21 years old and I feel as young as they are sometimes. But I just keep thinking: "All they really want is attention." We are naturally social creatures, and that is by no means a negative aspect....but it's interesting to think that without a purpose, life just becomes a series of entertainments. It is my belief that growth provides the only break in this cycle: whether it be ambition, hope, or challenges.

I know that's a pretty bold statement. And I know I'm still naïve about a lot in life. But these are the ideas in which my concept of the world is framed. And it was really cool today to take a step back and ask myself what I stand for.

"Some nights, I don't know anymore."

can you spot the hidden words?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dear shy hearts and perpetual eyes (day 56),

Today I ALMOST did something that was a really big challenge for me. We had 34 minutes to explore a tiny Hmong village in southern Laos. I knew I would be an intrusion regardless of how I spent my time. I knew they'd be waiting to sell me things. I knew the foreigner-Asian relation would weird no matter what.

But I just couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to stick a camera in their face. I love faces. I love capturing those faces inside the mirrors and through the clicks of my poorly-used DSLR camera. I'm not sure why I even take pictures because no one ever sees them……but I absolutely thrive on it. 

I told myself that I wouldn't do it, and I followed through! I ran around the entire time, trying desperately to get the kids to warm up to me. Tickling only worked on a few of them. Each giggle was a small accomplishment I only craved more of. But mostly they just stared at me.

As the last of us were leaving, about 10 of them followed us down to the boat. In the confusion of chasing and leaving, there was a moment, a brief moment: one small girl shied behind the cloth draped over her forearm, her eyes never leaving me. And right then I knew exactly how she felt. 

It was strange to leave. I looked at my iPhone like it was a foreign object instead of my constant companion. What's even the point, you know? Yeah, I mean, maybe someday I'll look back at this constant stream of pictures and reminisce of what this place means to me. My blog has always been a place for me to come to peace with my world: to reiterate the beauty I'm surrounded by and accept the reality of situations that envelop me………but am I becoming so dependent on what the future will need? Am I forgetting this moment, and in place filling my mind only with how this will someday be important to me? Somedays you need to look at the world without a constant perspective from behind a viewfinder. 

And then I got back on the boat and saw some face-shots my professor had stolen of the old women in town and I about lost it. Absolutely and completely gorgeous. Stolen. What a proper word.

hhmmmm…………now what?

a stolen landscape of my own