The library is about to close, so here are some pictures until I can write more.


Leaving Home, Part Two

This was always meant to be a two-part series...
Getting out of the country this second time was a much smoother experience. My ride's car didn't suffer from bad battery and a flat tire, nothing really bad happened to me the night before leaving, and although I've been a little anxious since I haven't had any time to think about this trip, I have been rather calm since we left.
After a long flight, we got to Frankfurt and succesfully navigated the S-Bahn here to get to Friedrichsdorf, the city the temple is actually in. However, we had no idea where in Friedrichsdorf the temple was, so we just started walking. I navigated the best I could with my incredible memory of Google Maps, and a half hour later we arrived at the harder-than-it-should-have-been-to-find temple. It's incredible to see this one in real life.
Today has been the big day for many who came. We've had endowments and sealings for these couples, and it's truly been an incredible feeling. A lot of people have come, including the Lusho family, Brother and Sister Cunaj, Brother and Sister Rrokaj, the Isufi family (including all three kids!) and many others from Tirana and Durres.
We're here at the temple for another 3 days, and I really hope that my friends take advantage of the opportunity they have.
Last night, a friend of ours that lives in Frankfurt came and picked us up and took us around the city at night. It was beautiful...quite incredible. Saturday we plan on leaving to Berlin, but who really knows? We'll keep you updated.


Up and Away!

So, I will come out and apologize right away for not having any pictures. I somehow decided not to bring my camera cables...anyway...we're having a blast!
Yesterday was our last day in Moralillos for our project. I don't think I've become attached to a people as quickly as this village, except perhaps Albania. They were the most accepting and loving people, and they were happy! We did our work and got so close to them. As my job was to document it, I tried to get as involved with the people (because people are what good documentaries are about) and the children were fantastic. I still see their smiling faces as I struggled to pull my spanish out of the bag and communicate with them. They were great.
Before we got on our plane in Iquitos, we took a boat ride on the Amazon. Absolutely fantastic. That's all that can describe it! After a 5 hour weather delay in Lima, we finally made it 12,000 feet higher in Cuzco, which has also been fantastic.
I will write more details when I get home...we're going to Machu Picchu tomorrow at 5.30a, so I better hit the hay.
Hope you are all well, and know that I'm safe and feel safe (which are two different things, of course) and that the people are great.


Leaving Home, Part One

Well, finals have come and gone (and actually went quite well in their own right), and in less than 11 hours I will be in the air making my way to Peru. I'm absolutely thrilled, but I just wanted to reflect on how this past week has gone and some feelings I've had.
First of all, without too much commentary, I was lucky to find donors to pay for my whole end of the project, which was quite the blessing. We are also going to Machu Picchu, so we had to pay for that portion of the trip. Unfortunately, the preparatory medical costs for this trip (vaccinations, prescriptions, etc.) cost about the same amount as the Machu Picchu trip. So, that was a heart-wrenching reach for the wallet this week. But at least I will be healthy, right?
Second, as I was preparing and packing today, I was testing all of my electronics and I plugged in my Vixia to charge it up, and it wasn't charging. I was not at all happy, but soon figured out that a little pin in the charging jack on the camera was pushed through, effectively crippling the charging abilities of the camera. No bueno, since I'm in charge of documenting this project. So I spent three hours meticulously opening the camera to see if it was something I could jury-rig, knowing that the warranty wouldn't get me a camera in time for the trip. I did as much as I could, and I thought I had fixed it, but to no avail. So now if my warranty doesn't hold through, I'll eventually have a $1000 brick on my desk. But at least it still records fine, right?

I had three sound projects due on Wednesday...I had somehow misplaced my CF card with all the project files on it, so I didn't get that turned in this week. Luckily I found the card today, too bad I leave tomorrow and have no time to turn it in. But at least Steve's a nice guy and will work with me, right?
So many other things are going wrong right now, it's made me really wonder why I do what I do. Why am I risking myself and my equipment going to build toilets for a village? Why am I strangling myself fiscally to visit some of my best friends in Frankfurt? Why do I take 19 credit hours and work 25+ hours every week? Sometimes it all seems so silly to me. What is it that drives me? What's the point?
And yet, I think that's why I insist on it. I couldn't handle *NOT* pushing myself to my physical, mental, fiscal, and spiritual limits. I learn more in two weeks abroad than in years of school and work. I experience so much; so many feelings race through my heart that sometimes I wonder if this is the only way left to experience the gamut of emotion in a world that is turning benign.
Maybe that's it...maybe I just want to feel...

Anyway, airport at 9. See you all later.