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the first leg

Kamas, United States

had a super quick but laugh-a-minute visit with cousins cassie & ken in Kamas, utah. we left their home only to break down on the side of a mountain on highway 20 in rural southern utah. after smoke billowed from our dash (strike two), we were towed to ruby's inn, at the entrance of bryce canyon natl park. we would have taken photos, but we were too preoccupied with getting back on the road. i highly recommend visiting...only under better circumstances. by the way, you should always, always, always buy tow insurance. it's cheap, and you never know when you might break down hours from the nearest tow shop.

permalink written by  ouramericanlife on October 11, 2007 from Kamas, United States
from the travel blog: hittin' the road
tagged Family and Friends

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Stay in "Prienai woodcuters" workshop

Prienai, Lithuania

I spend here two unmemorieble days in Prienai woodcuters workshhop. That place situated in a suburb ot the town near river. I visit my host Arunas here and really enjoy that stay here....
Thatnks Man,
I really aprisiate that you host me...

permalink written by  Andrius a.k.a NomadicSoul on May 17, 2008 from Prienai, Lithuania
from the travel blog: "Piligrimage " To Friends
tagged Friends, Prienai, PiligrimageToFriends and PrienaiWoodcuters

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Moving Days...

Tokyo, Japan

My friend and amazingly hardworking removalist Stephen Watson cleaned up the house, while I gave a small amount of assistance. Lane and Jon were also valuable in this process, thanks for your help boys! Much appreciated... I also had the chance during this time to say goodbye to some very important people in my life. They know who they are... Thankyou very much for being so important to me...

permalink written by  Big_T on August 18, 2008 from Tokyo, Japan
from the travel blog: Big_T's Travel Blog
tagged Friends, Moving, Stephen and Legend

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Karlstad, Sweden

Our friends showed up and it is soooo great to see them kinda unexplanitory. Boo and I had been noticing how much easier it is to to talk with them than with our swedish friends so we have just been having a blast. We have been learning alot of new juggle tricks kinda limited on the ones I can do but still fun. We had a big pizza party yesterday and on wednesday we and the team are throwing sam a bday party, she'll be 21! Oh and tonight we are going to take pics of our younger teammates going to there prom. Im excited to see them all dressed up, like a proud lil mamma. HOpe all is well back home keeping it short and sweet this week gotta go entertain!

permalink written by  katieandboo on June 9, 2009 from Karlstad, Sweden
from the travel blog: sweden adventures
tagged Friends

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healthcare/social life

Douala, Cameroon

even this small clinic, with quoted hopes to serve the underpriveledged, does not quite have what i think is preferential option for the poor. the ones i thought i came to serve can't afford the 1000frs (2 dollar) admission fee to see the doctor. they cannot pay the few hundred frs fee for the taxi. they are in villages who've known few doctors and little medicine. those who watch loved ones toil to their graves, their early graves made from deaths caused by treatable, preventable diseases like malaria, TB, and typhoid. those are the ones i came for. ..and i'm not sure where they are really. i was hoping someone would show me, especially here in a foreign country. i'd go myself to find them...
but i'm a nurse. i need a doctor. i need supplies.
otherwise what do i have to offer people but a caring hand...a hand that holds them as they die from causes i know to be nonexistant or rare in the luxuries of the US...the hoard of most of the world's finances.
hmm...i know they're out there.

there's so much blame in the world put on the poor for being responsible for their own circumstances. i find myself repulsed by this especially when it comes from a healthcare provider. DESPITE all the structural injustices, i know too personally the ease by which a person can make choices harmful to themselves as a result of difficult circumstances in life. what i dont' know is what it would be like to have no choice. to be born into poverty, where at times it seems the only escape is through one immoral decision or another, whether it be drug use or prostitution or crime. where healthcare is inaccessible or unaffordable and you know the rest of the world is turning a blind eye while you die. how can a person born into one of the wealthiest families of the world, who's never known hunger or thirst, who's never lacked...how can i judge them? ignore them? forget them?

"rats and roaches live by competition under the law of supply and demand; it is the priviledge of human beings to live under laws of justice and mercy."
-wendell berry

at work i've been making posters. so far i've made four. while i'm slightly enjoying being able to express a bit of creativity, i'm very uncontent with the work. especially when i see patients (what few that we have) go behind the doctors door and recieve medications that i could administer myself. i'm very displeased with the responsibility of the nurses, which mostly has been writing down a patients name and carrying water...until now....now i'm making posters.


i've discussed with the doctor my ideas of sending two of us nurses out to the community to do a sort of door to door education program. this isn't what i really would love to do, but i'm sort of desperate to do something...and i feel better walking about this town speaking with strangers rather than sitting in a mostly empty clinic all day. even when it's not empty i feel there's not much point to me being there. it doesn't seem the doctor trusts her nurses to do so much as an IM shot, much less start one of the few IV administrations she's ordered. anyways...there's always excuses about why something won't work, can't work...and if there's no excuses then my prodding seems to typically be ignored. and my mother will tell you how well i feel to being ignored.

...i'm not really sure how all this is going to work out really.

BESIDES that...
the social life of cameroon is vey busy...well...mine is. the tradition is that if someone invites you out then they buy your drinks AND they feed you...i've been invited out quite a bit by work friends, friends of those friends, and often by complete strangers. please trust that i'm making wise choices and i hope you can believe i only go out with the ones i know...despite the temptation of grilled meat & onions, fish, plantain, boiled egg (all served with a side of a hot pepper mixture), and free beer. i'm really amazed at the generosity, but every time i go to thank them they seem utterly confused.
it's really enjoyable to go out though. i enjoy watching everyone, seeing everyone interact and talk and rest. the people are very free. by free, i mean that they dance, eat, dress and enjoy freely. i love to watch them dance!it seems the music enters their blood and their body responds. i'm amazed that even the babies can move their booties like professionals. it'd take years for me to acquire the skill of some of these three year olds, i'm telling you! but since i only have a few months to learn, i'm trying to make the most of it :) it's not very difficult to let go though, because their music is GREAT! i'm definitely going to have to get some cds....or something!

oh! and if i'm out later than 630 (close to dark) i'm always seen directly home by at least one or two friends. i hope this comforts a few of you :) a girl i met from belgium was telling me about all the different crimes she has heard of since being here, and since that one day at the clinic with the girl who came in who'd been mugged midday i've been properly scared of being out after dark alone...which probably is wise anyways. i just always wish i could be brave...be above all of that crime business... no worries, family. i don't think i'll overcome my fear of the dark anytime soon.

permalink written by  theresa on November 13, 2009 from Douala, Cameroon
from the travel blog: to africa
tagged Healthcare, Friends, Africa and Poverty

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Rat in maze test 4: FAIL!

Lijiang, China

I found the street with restaurants! I made a mental note of where to find the alley that lead to them. Later I suggested to some friends I made at the hostel that we should go for 'barbecue' as that's the local specialty. [Note to US southerners: But do they use vinegar???] They agreed. Two Americans, a Canadian, an Austrian and a Chinese go to dinner. I find the alley that I remember. We walk a ways but don't see any restaurants. We back track to the main alley and continue west. We come to the main square [Market Square complete with a plaque explaining why an odd shaped public space is called a square lest a mathematical object]. Ack! We've gone too far. I was right the first time. We opt to be bold and wander down a new alley that hugs one of the small canals that stripe the city.

We sample deep fried Naxi cheese [it has sugar sprinkled on top], Naxi stewed vegetables, barbecue fish [no vinegar, no tomato based sauce - sacrilege!], Naxi tofu, Naxi crispy yak with mint and other dishes. Apparently here barbecue means salted & dried.

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 3, 2012 from Lijiang, China
from the travel blog: Beijing, 2010 or Liaoning, 2013. They are appear to be mixed up!
tagged Naxi, Canal, Restaurant, Alley, Yak, Friends, Lijiang, Barbecue and Cheese

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Pre-Trip nerves

San Diego, United States

I have 6 days until I leave San Diego and take off to Asia for four months of backpacking. I'm not sure if it is because today is my last day of work or because we just had my going away party the other night, but the reality of my trip then move to Hawaii is starting to sink in finally.
Up until this point I've been making the moves I needed to make to get ready for this, but the actual finality of it didn't seem real. Now I'm started to realize how much I'm going to miss the wonderful friends I have here, get exited to travel and move closer to my sister, and get a little scared of the unknown, and am really having to quiet my fears with faith that I will end up where I should.
I know that this for month backpacking experience will be life changing, and I'm ready for that. Just definitely feeling the anxiety of it finally. Which is probably good. For a while I thought it wouldn't feel real until I got off the plane.
The reality of it is that I've worked extremely hard to get to this point to do this and there is a little of amazement in achieving such a big goal.
So 6 more days of seeing my wonderful friends and then Asia here I come!!

permalink written by  Kirk on August 15, 2012 from San Diego, United States
from the travel blog: Kirk's South East Asia Adventure
tagged Friends and SanDiego

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