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.