Friday, June 24, 2005

The Beginning...

It is time to christen this baby. Ok. I am still in the U.S., but I have less than 2 weeks, and am in possession of my plane ticket. I also just finished reading a facebook/info sheet detailing the 411 on all the people who I will be at orientation with for 6 weeks...And I am feeling a little inadequate. Everyone is either deferring gradschool or some other smart-sounding program, and they listed a gazillion activities (I didn't cuz...I just don't like to give out too much information about myself to people I don't know!). Not to mention, they're all at least 2 (or 3) years younger than me. Age is supposedly just a number, but 1) not in Korea, and 2) as socialist as I am, I think hierarchically sometimes when I am trying to find any reason to doubt myself!

***an interruption: if you haven't noticed, I will be as candid as possible, in the year to come, you will read about the real Jackie. You think you know, but you have no idea...If you know where that comes from, I don't watch it, I just heard it once.***

And then...I think of my talks with Kristofer. God knows what He's doing, not to mention, I do too. It was a lesson I learned a long time ago in highschool when I didn't take the advanced U.S. History, when I sucked at Math, and when I loved to go to retreats to pray and not just to meet boys: everyone has and takes their own path. Gosh, I sound incredibly religious again. I have felt so a-religious for so long...I think that will be something I will be figuring out this year, too.

So, remember all the whining we did in college (and maybe still do) when we felt like we hadn't found our "true friends" yet? Or when we were out there protesting or meeting at the Womyn's Center and felt so alone? All those times we felt like we were the "only ones." Well, after reading the other Watson recipients' projects and then about the other Fulbright people I will be in Korea with, I have seen there are other people my age out there who are dedicated or at least interested in some of the same things I am. And yet, instead of saying "finally" I am terrified that I can't match up. How silly, but I figure I will be able to deal with this sooner and more easily if I can just admit it and face it. Which reminds me, check out this fascinating website a good friend showed me: . If you are in a sad mood, I do not recommend it. Save it for a sunny day.

12 days to go. I am going to miss sister...Kristofer's family....:(

Hilary I miss you everyday. Everyday I compose letters to you in my head, but I never make it to the computer or to paper. Well here is something finally. I hope you are enjoying the water. Breathe it in once for me. te quiero!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Now my travels don't begin until the end of this summer, so that gives me a few months to get my mind ready for the crazy ride that's ahead. The closer my departure date gets the more unrealistic my project seems. Traveling to London, Accra, Rio, and Sao Paulo seemed like a better idea six months ago than it does right now. The worst part about the trip is the how incrediably lonely it's going to be. So, in preparation for the loneliness, I've been meditating and self reflecting a lot more latley.

Reading has been a great source for insipiration. I just finished The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which amazingly has a lot to say about traveling. First, I recommend that you read the book before seeing the movie. Secondly, if you plan on traveling or know someone who is...get this book. Not that it has anything specific to say about traveling, but a lot can be learned from the chracters. If anything, you walk away with a mantra: Don't Panic. This is the phrase that is insribed on the guides cover in large friendly letters. It's a good phrase to go by...and I think I'll need it in the next year.

There are two more quotes I think I'll keep close to me while I'm away during the next year. While I was in Cuba in March a close friend shared them with me...and suprisingly it stuck. I find my self thinking about these two quotes over and over again and I thought it would be good to share. The first is "Do all you can with what you have in the time you have in the place you are." It was a quote by a young man called Nkosi Johnson dying of AIDS. Goes to show that wisdom doesn't always come with age, sometimes it comes with experience. The second quote was in spanis and it is "No hay camino. El camino se hace caminando" or in english "There is no path. The path is made by walking."

At this point the expectation and anticipation is the harderest to deal with. So many questions and so many doubts. But there have been many before me who have done more ambitious adventures.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


So we kick this off now. This space will hopefully be a place for three friends to share their stories, thoughts, and adventures from their travels during their year aboard. It is also a place for people to share their thoughts about what we post here. This blog will chronicle stories from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, London, Korea, Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Egypt, and India. Now please excuse the look of the blog, it is still being prepared for the adventures to come. But we hope to have everything in order by the end of this month. We hope that you enjoy reading this throughout the year.

Kris out