Monday, July 25, 2011

Making Plans

I ventured out from beneath the covers at 6:30.  It was 43 degrees in my room.  I did my exercises and dressed.

There was a huge toad in the bathroom this morning.  He was sitting quietly in the corner.  I told John it was either a frog or a coiled up snake.  He checked it out and reported back that it was a toad.  It's still there, so evidently John did not remove him.
A toad in the bathroom.
I got to talk on Skype with Mom, Molly, Travis, Ken, Ashlyn, Zac, and Braeden.  It was good to see them all.  They all look great.  I got to see Ashlyn's newly re-decorated room.  It looks like a NYC apartment.  Very sophisticated!  It has the NYC skyline on one wall.

We fed six trees today.  That gave me plenty of exercise shoveling and pushing the wheel barrows.  We planted two new trees today, too.
Planting the stone, fertilizer, and compost in the hole.

I watered the baby tomatoes and lettuces in the six packs.  There are 54 baby tomato plants!  Where are we going to plant them, I wonder?

Lunch was papaya, custard apple, avocado, banana, coconut, and passion fruit.  After lunch, I spread out the tarp and sunbathed for an hour.  Hopefully, the tarp will keep the ticks away.  Karen sunbathed a little while, too.  Today is her third day of fasting.

Consultations at 2:00.  My tick bites on my head still hurt.  There are two big knots similar to what you get when you are hit on the head with a bat.  Shell back ticks pack a whollop.

I got my reservation switched to the right week at the Sydney Central Hostel.  I had my weeks mixed up when I originally booked.   I talked to John's travel agent about my flights.  He can get me all four flights for a little over $600.00 total.

Supper was 3 lettuce leaves from the garden, tomato, 1/2 avocado, cucumber, sauerkraut, pecans and two dates.  John asked me, "Where would you live if you could live anywhere you wanted?"  That's a good question.  I would like to live outside of the gated community... with 2-5 acres... a little further south...with a smaller house that we could pay cash for...but still close enough to HSV to take flute lessons and maybe get good enough to play in New Horizons Band (or hope against hope, flute ensemble)...not any further from Molly's family or Mom...close enough to go to church.  So where would this ideal place be?

I practiced flute, studied pediatrics lesson, and read.  My mind is troubled tonight worrying about things at home.

Talking to Mom on Skype.


  1. My first thought when I saw that huge frog was what big good frog legs he would make, but I guess I need to have a different attitude and thought process. It is very late at night and I am hungry, trying not to eat. It's no wonder I want to fry up the frog's legs.
    I have a different subject that came to my mind today. What happens to any of the food that you have, such as what is purchased on the weekly trip to market, and what you slice and cannot eat at each meal? Is there a problem with flies or knats flying around the food? Do you have containers or something, or do you just not keep any food on the tables or counters? It is such a different way of managing food, I am trying to get a picture in my mind.
    I also wanted to encourage you to be aware of some phases of culture shock/homesickness that I noticed usually happened about six weeks into the visits of students who lived in my house. I know you don't do this, but some of them would withdraw for a while and want their homeland so much. When we studied abroad at UALR, we were also taught about it and to understand that it is a normal process even though each of worked hard to go abroad and to be there. Still culture shock a few weeks into a long-term visit is real and a valid experience. But it passes soon enough. I have never had the opportunity (except when I was small) to stay abroad that long because I returned home about the time it hit very hard. My time was up. But for those whose time allows them to stay beyond that period, I always witnessed something magnificent in each of them after they came through it. They began to embrace their environment more like a native, like a resident, and merged into the culture in a way that allowed them to become something different. I hope that someday soon I am able to stay abroad in broad for a longer period of time in order to experience past that deep longing for my country, my home, my family. I was a grown woman when I studied abroad, but I cried myself sick for a few days. But it passes. Nobody stays in that phase. You will be very odd if that does not happen to you. Maybe it won't. But if it does, just know that it's normal and it will pass very soon. It's a blessing to be where you are. But important things like this are extremely difficult. I know. Like when I took Carmen and moved to Philadelphia alone with no money. So difficult. I am so proud of you for all that you are accomplishing. Your blog is magnificent. You are taking advantage of everything just the way you should. I hope your worries go away quickly. I pray for you daily. I love you with all my heart, and I hope your family is staying busy and not worrying about you either. I can't tell you strongly enough how proud I am of you. Have you thought of doing anything creative lately? Have you ever thought of painting?

  2. Thank you, Sheila, for your encouraging words. I have been here for 5 weeks and 4 days, so I should know soon if I am going to hit the homesick place you have described. I was missing my home more at the beginning than I am now, because of having to adjust to living without the luxuries I have learned to take for granted. I hope I do go into the next phase and experience things like a native. I actually feel like I am already doing that to an extent. Thank you for your prayers and the way you have been in my corner through it all. And no, I don't think I will paint. I just want to garden and play the flute. Much love....