Friday, August 7, 2009


ah, looks as though it has been a long time since i wrote last. i seem to always think of things to write about but it is not when i am sitting in front of the computer! major events in the past 5 months have been moving to Virginia, J returning home, starting work as a mental health therapist, a fantastic trip to Iceland, and the birth of a new nephew! we're thoroughly enjoying life on the east coast. here's a picture of J at Lake Myvatn-Dimmuborgir. now try and pronounce that one!

Friday, February 20, 2009

slumdog millionaire...

we're finally going to see this today. i've waited so long to see it. my sis A told me she saw it last weekend and thought it was simply a phenomenal movie. she said it reminded her of parts of her trip to india. i've had some people say that india is a country you either love or hate. i simply loved it, chaos and all with an assault of the senses at every corner. a review of the movie to come later.

Slumdog Millionaire trailer

الجزيرة نت

during my time in the middle east a couple weeks ago i found myself watching Al Jazeera. despite it's controversy in various parts of the world, it was more refreshing to watch than the news that is portrayed here in the united states. in a new six part series the author and journalist Phil Rees traveled to south asia, the middle east and the americas to explore the debate and meaning of the word "terrorism". looks like a really interesting series as it not only focuses on terrorism in the middle east but elsewhere such as the FARC from Colombia.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


every day when i take pabu for a walk we usually end up on the university campus. we sneak our way in the large auditorium building and he gets to run around like crazy in the lobby. he absolutely loves it. along the walls in the lobby there is a beautiful watercolor set in several large sequence panels. the work is by Gary Buhler. Gary's watercolors portray Northwest scenes of rivers, riverbanks, waterfalls and surrounding landscapes painted in rich blues, greens, and golds with bright white representing the rippling and splashing water. his unique paintings reveal hidden salmon and trout darting in and out of the water scenes. it truly is a beautiful watercolor. here is one of his pieces titled Little North Santiam.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

soldiers of conscience...

when is it right to kill? in the midst of war, is it right to refuse? eight U.S. soldiers, some whom have killed and some who have said no, reveal their inner moral dilemmas in Soldiers of Conscience. made with official permission of the U.S. Army, the film transcends politics to explore the tension between spiritual values and military orders. this is something that would be interesting to explore a bit more. i saw on the PBS website they display a suicide hotline number. this along with other forms of encouraging veterans to seek counseling, is great to see. the high rate of PTSD upon service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is astounding.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a day in pdx...

today i went to portland to visit N and we had to peek in at The Hip Hound, which is definitely a hip place to shop for all your dogs needs. they carry really good holistic dog food as well as raw food, which i hear more people are using these days. we looked at some pretty cute clothing items but i wasn't ready to plop down $56 for a trendy looking sweater!

we had fun though and pabu got lots of attention. i got him some great frozen treats, despite it being winter, and some cranberry powder. he's on antibiotics for a urinary infection, so after he is off this i'm going to use this natural cranberry powder. after checking out the doggie shop and a wonderful japanese antique shop we headed to grandma's for lunch. lots of fun!

Monday, February 16, 2009

downward dog...

i went to yoga the other night and there was a different instructor. it caught me off guard for a bit and for some reason i didn't feel totally balanced. she was fine but you just get used to what is familiar to you. then there were tons of people packed in the room which left little room for any form of relaxation. oh well... :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

home again!

back to the real world of studying as i complete a research proposal this evening. it is nice to be home though in a clean bed with clean sheets and clean towels. naturally, it is great to be around 'the beast' once again. this picture was taken in Petra walking up the 800 steps to The High Place. more pictures to come on my Picassa Album.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

the crossing...

i finally made it early this evening after 4 hours of interrogation. :) welcome! i'm tired and headed to bed. more stories to come!

Monday, February 2, 2009

leaving aqaba...

i'm heading out tomorrow back to amman and then on to the border crossing with israel the next day. i'll be crossing just a little north of the Dead Sea. i have thoroughly enjoyed the warm weather of Aqaba yet it's time to leave. in other news, there sure are some cute pictures of Pabu here! looks as though he is having a ball!

Saturday, January 31, 2009


i will spend the next few days here in Aqaba. they describe this area in the winter as having balmy weather. i am really feeling it! what a change from Wadi Musa, which is where Petra is located. i'm thoroughly going to enjoy the sun and warm weather.

Friday, January 30, 2009

petra has come and gone...

i made it to petra in one piece, sniffles and all. i found myself taking a lot of pictures to preserve what i was experiencing yet really, a picture cannot even begin to share what it feels like to walk through the rose stone city of Petra which was built in the 3rd century BC by the Nabataeans. the huge sandstone clifs provided the area where they carved palaces, temples, tombs and more. the picture provided is of Al-Deira (the monastery) and proved to be a worthwhile hike through a long rock-cut staircase to it and to a fantastic view of Jebel Haroun. next stop, Aqaba, by the sea or the Gulf of Aqaba.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

in amman

after spending a wonderful week with J in Dubai i headed today to Amman, Jordan. i feel as though i am coming down with a cold so am trying to take it easy. whatever that means! so am heading to petra tomorrow by bus. should be amazing! the hustle and bustle of amman is loud, as i am staying downtown. reminds me a bit of cairo except with hills! next stop, Petra!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


i finally met up with J in dubai and we have had a fantastic time together! dubai has been one of the most unusual places i have traveled to. it really is a mix of the old and the new. the picture to the right is of the Bur Dubai, which is said to be the tallest building in the world. at this time it is not fully completed and they are not disclosing the exact height of the building until it is completely finished. i have never been to a place where construction is at every corner one turns. we saw what we wanted to see, including one-too-many malls, as this is what everyone does here, shop! next stop, Jordan!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


a quick update since it looks as though it's been a long time since i last wrote. i'm heading to some pretty exciting places over the next few weeks to see someone very special to me and to explore some other places in the world i've always wanted to see. fortunately the beast is not coming with me, as that would be a major hassle traveling with him. J's parents are taking him so i'll be looking forward to updates on how he is but more importantly, how they are holding up! :) we do miss our neighbor who used to always take care of pabu as well as having a great playmate for him. have fun in portland pabu while i'm gone! remember to wipe your feet before you come inside too.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Noah Jackson...

my sis A gave my husband and i this lovely photography this christmas. the photographer Noah Jackson is based in Borneo. previous projects involve networks of organic farmers, haitian refugees, forest farmers, and community-based restoration and conservation organizations. Noah has worked with several photographers from National Geographic and numerious NGOs. his work has been exhited in the phillipines, washington d.c., and motana and appeared in several publications. Noah often combines writing with community photography to promote issues of global forest management and building networks of forest and community leaders. the making and production of this image was supported by project donors, a US fulbright fellowship and Hope In Light photography. thank you for the lovely gift A!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

yes we can...

just for something a little different today...
"Yes We Can" is a collage-style music video inspired by a speech delivered by Senator and now President-elect Barack Obama following the 2008 New Hampshire primary, derived from similar union catch cries.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Abby's Legendary Pizza...

we went out to Abby's tonight and after almost 20 years of not having gone there, the pizza was still delicious as ever. aunt dee used to take us there quite often when we were in junior high school. what fun memories! they still had the large glass window to look through as they made the pizzas. thankfully the decor had been updated so it looked quite cozy along with the roaring fire.

Friday, January 2, 2009


because of limited schedules and my parents incredibly busy schedule we had wanted to set aside some 'quality' family time before they leave to paraguay. we decided to have brunch, watch a movie, play games and eat pizza, all in one day. rarely does our whole family get to spend time together so today was the day. our brunch menu included popovers, which has been a family tradition for many years. growing up in the high altitude city of La Paz at over 12,000 feet elevation, there were certain things we could not bake due to the altitude. popovers were one of the baked goods we could not make thus when we vacationed on the peruvian coast in the summers my mom would make popovers. they are quite easy to make as they only contain flour, salt, milk, eggs and butter. the trick is to mix the batter just right to create lovely puffs as well as using room temperature eggs and milk. they are best with lots of butter and honey!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

年賀状 - Happy New Year!

the end of december and the beginning of january are the busiest times for the japanese post offices. the japanese have a custom of sending New Year's Day postcards (年賀状 nengajō) to their friends and relatives. it is similar to the western custom of sending christmas cards. their original purpose was to give your faraway friends and relatives tidings of yourself and your immediate family. in a manner of speaking, this custom existed for people to tell others whom they did not often meet that they were alive and well.

japanese people send these postcards so that they arrive on the 1st of january. the post office guarantees to deliver the greeting postcards by the first of january if they are posted within a time limit, from mid-december to near the end of the month and are marked with the word nengajo. in order to deliver these cards on time, the post office usually hires students part-time to help deliver the letters.

it was fun during my years in japan to receive a nengajo from friends. 2009 is the year of the ox so there are a lot of ox shown on nengajos.