Sunday, January 30, 2011

2,240 calories 88 grams of fat

Goals are an interesting thing. What sparks us to want to accomplish that one specific thing? What happens when we don't accomplish it? And in this situation what happens when we do accomplish it? Why do we find marking a little X next to a list of wishes and wants so rewarding? To be frank i haven't got a clue as to why i thought that this..this of all things , would be a good idea and something worth accomplishing.

Somewhere along the line in the last few weeks I decided that I needed to be able to say that i had eaten a whole pizza once in my life. I mentioned this "grand" idea to my friend Fuzz (yes, its a peculiar nickname). He seemed to get obsessed with it and was convinced that this 5 ft 5 girl couldn't possibly finish it. Think again! I don't like failure and despite the fact that i probably gained a few pounds last night I DID IT. Yes i did look like i was four months pregnant after, and a few of you did get a nice little photo sent via text late last night. Yes i did down my whole days worth of caloric intake in one siting. Yes i did have a few vomit burps. Yes your right i probably will never eat pizza again. Yes i think that my body could possibly shut down in the next few hours, and yes i am quite hungry for breakfast. So there fuzzy wuzzy. So there little list of things, I get to take another one of you out. So there ..... flat stomach, you are soooo there now

Thursday, January 27, 2011

TRIBAL ELECTRICITY

From about 9 am to 6pm the Rickety House (aka my home) was left without electricity. It was funny to see how completely helpless we felt without electricity. Microwaves, toasters, fridges, freezers, stoves, and TVs were all out of business for the day. I kept thinking how utterly pathetic i was for how much my life depends on electricity. I kept giving talia "what if" scenarios and without hesitation i would answer my own question hoping to convince myself that i had any kind of common survival skills.
"What if our power never turned back on?"
"We would all move into the same room together and cook diner over a fire in the drive way...and we would eat canned food..(oh wait our can opener is electric)... what would all the old people do if their power went out.. thats scary, maybe we could sleep in Ryans bunk bed....what if...."
Talia merely looked at me and said.."Or we would just get a hotel". That girl right there is smart. so much for my survival skills.

This experience got me thinking about my travels. Which frankly feels like a dream, perhaps a good movie, or an interesting book by this point. But it made me think about the rest of the world out there and how not every child plays video games all day, not every person has an Iphone and apps that can tell you what kind of animal tracks you are following, not everyone has an opportunity for education, and not everyone even has a a roof over their head.

This summer i volunteered in a small village in the hillside of northern Thailand. Two to three times a week i would hop in the back of a rusty old pick up truck and drive 30 minutes through the city, around florescent green rice fields, and up up up to the small village of Ban Apat. The people of this village live in bamboo huts and children play it dusty streets, pigs and chickens walk around the village (Akha people believe that animals have spirits and they treat them as family). I have never worked harder than i worked in that village. We helped build a natural medicine clinic and built the villages first stove! Most of the villagers use open fires in their homes which can be very detrimental to their health. In fact it is the third leading cause of death in third world countries. They had really big hearts in this village but very little materialistic items. A stove for the community was a huge deal. The village elders helped me along the whole way with the project and the first use of the stove was for their festival! Anyway, be grateful for electricity and the ease of the American life. We sure have a lot here and sometimes its easy to forget.


Here a few videos of what its like to live the Akha life.



video video

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

END OF THE WORLD




Recently i have begun contemplating 2012. It seems that most of the world has forgotten that we all only have one more year left to live. I ask myself, why are we in school? Shouldn't we be building bomb shelters, taking life survival classes, and perhaps..perhaps trying to instigate a little world peace. I mean really wouldn't that be grand if the whole world decided, hey, we might all implode on ourselves in less than 11 months why don't we try getting along for once. If we can't manage any of that the least we should do is go crazy, spend all our money and make the best of what we got, right? Well as for myself i am a bit perturbed about the doomsday date that the Mayans assigned. December 21, 2012. That means i officially will be having the worst birthday of my life, considering that my birthday is the tomorrow of the end of the world.. December 22... shucks i always thought 22 would be a good year for me. Instead i will be spending it fighting off pestilence, encroaching famine, and at least 3 different packs of wild animals. Maybe now would be the best time in my life to let it all go, maybe run away to some foreign land, maybe i'll dable in learning the dark arts(who knows maybe we all are muggles and Voldemort is making his comback, at least i'll be on his side), maybe i'll try to break a world record, maybe i'll finally learn how to play an instrument, maybe i'll write a poem that means something to you, maybe i'll eat the worlds most decadent things, maybe i'll make a difference, maybe i'll forget about what's good for me and just do what sounds good to me, maybe i'll stop caring about the future and live for today, maybe just maybe i'll do all of this, get away with it, and live to see my 22nd birthday!

Monday, January 24, 2011

WORDS

Below is a short video about words. Pay attention to how the scenes melt and morph from one word to the next. Really a great video created by NPR.

Side note: I try to pick up some new vocab every week to expand my persona of being an "intellectual" . The words I liked/picked up this week from a couple of my professors were...
ignoramus=fool (now aren't you curious what i was learning about)
superlative=exceeding all else

WORDS

Sunday, January 23, 2011

a testament to travel... after being caged

Well its been a number of months since i have written. In lue of the name of my blog " A Testament to Travel" i felt as though writing while merely sitting up in Logan would be a crime. However i have just recently come to the conclusion (mind you Beethoven is playing and the climax of the song just happened to make this light bulb moment even more pertinent ) that my lack of traveling can also be a testament as to why travel is so perfect, amazing, titillating, and what i seem to live for.

If i could for a brief moment explain to you the dreariness of logan and the monotony of daily life up here i am assured that just about anyone would pity me and instantly throw me a wad of cash (if you do happen to have this urge i am sure you can write it as a 501 c3 tax deductible donation). My daily life currently consists of sleeping in until 8 where i am awoken by the sighing and ho humfing that my 3rd roomate, Koda, the puppy likes to make because no one will indulge him in a wrestling match. On the days that he is not walking around like a put out Stepford wife he is lapping at my face until it is soaked in tuna fish saliva.

I then eat my golden puffs cereal with nearly expired wal-mart milk and get dressed in the dark. Classes run by fairly smoothly but i constantly seem to be berating myself for wandering mind. Sometimes i sketch pictures of my professors in their animorph form (ex:half man have mouse). My day continues with what i have assured myself to be as the best sandwich(wheat toast, mayonnaise, avocado, pepper, mesquite turkey, sauteed mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and another piece of wheat toast). The perfected sandwich is then followed by perhaps another bowl of cereal or something sweet which has become a rather poor habit instilled in me from my family. " No meal is complete unless it is capped off with a little sweet treat". Grandpa always insists that if there isn't room for desert than you must simply stand, give your belly a nice little shake, and a couple good pats. This seems to be one of the small tid bits of wisdom that has literally stuck with/to me. My evening is then finished off after a bit of chit chat with roommates and a quick browse through my assigned readings, finally ending the day with a nice cathartic meeting with Gossip Girl.
Now if you haven't actually watched Gossip Girl you might not think anything particular about it or make any rash judgments about my character...but you can basically break the television show into 3 parts which circle around a cast of upper eastsiders in New York. 1. there is a circle of friends who seem to swap sexual partners like horny high school students swap spit 2. friends backstabbing eachother with rumors spread through the omnipotent Gossip Girl 3. and a whole lotta of posh parties. ... in fact it is reaching that time and my partner in crime is here (Ryan Snow).. so here goes Gossip Girl episode 10.

Until next time
xoxo
Ryleigh