The weekend is over and I guess I owe you all some big news, huh?
First, let’s rewind back to May of 2008. If you’ve seen my photography page, you can probably put two and two together: I went abroad to Israel, Egypt, and all over Europe. My first experience outside of the country (I don’t count Canada, because I grew up an hour south of the border… besides the change to the metric system, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between Northern MN and Manitoba; I can whip up a Canadian accent like no one’s business). Needless to say, I caught it. The dangerous infection that every mom and dad out there dreads (…sorry mom and dad if you’re reading this!). The TRAVEL bug.
I say dangerous because I didn’t catch your average, run of the mill travel bug. That one is relatively safe, curable. I caught the adventure travel bug. The help people travel bug. The regular travel bug consists of going to sandy beaches, the landmarks of Europe, maybe even Rio. The touristy places. I caught the OTBP bug, the off the beaten path bug. I want to go volunteer in impoverished areas and improve their lives. I have been given every opportunity to grow and succeed, so I have a hard time seeing others not being given that chance.
In September of 2009, I began going to on campus meetings for a number of service trips; Uganda, Tanzania, India & Nepal, etc. India & Nepal caught my attention and I had known a few people who had gone before and raved about the experience they had. The program was a bit pricey, but I decided I would work hard and save up for it (while simultaneously save up to start paying back my school loans in June =S). There was a competitive grant available to do research in Nepal through the AsiaNetwork, so I took my chances, applied and was chosen as one of the five to submit to the AsiaNetwork. Since Linsey’s medical ordeal, I have been banking on getting this grant to go to Nepal and India. You see, I was planning on working hard all spring to save up for the trip; instead I am out in California helping out my sister after her medical ordeal. Which means I wouldn’t be able to afford to go…
Well, on Thursday afternoon I received an email from the director of our India/Nepal trip, congratulating us with the early news… We did it! We, along with 10-14 other groups, beat out the 160 other schools that belong to the Network! The grant is generously provided by the Freeman Foundation. Ahh, I feel like a financial weight has been lifted off of my shoulders! Great news to start a great weekend!
Friday evening, Linsey and I went to Darbar to celebrate. Since I had never ate Indian cuisine, and I now am 100% sure I am going there, it was only fitting. We ate nan, dal and raita. I ordered chicken with creamed spinach. Was not expecting the spinach to be completely blended… but it was delicious none the less! Linsey had some type of cauliflower dish. Neither looked very appetizing when captured on camera, so I’m still decided whether to post them or not!
Saturday morning I woke up hours before the sun began to rise. Approximately 4:30 a.m. Linsey’s friend Rebecca picked me up at 5 and we headed to Berkeley to pick up two more girls. We made it to Sugar Bowl around 9 am and didn’t leave until 4. I had forgotten my goggles back in MN, and thought I’d be fine. Turns out I was wrong. I couldn’t see because it was so white and bright out, it was snowing and slightly windy and so it felt like razors cutting into my eyes. I finally made it down to the lodge and bought the cheapest pair they had at $40. They’re actually pretty nice =). The rest of the day was a blast; the temp was 31 degrees, the sun came out and the snow was perfect! We made it back to SF around 9 and then Linsey and I played Taboo with her roommate and her boyfriend until 1 in the morning – what a long, fun day!
The great thing about snowboarding is that you use all types of different muscles that you didn’t know you had until the next day when they are throbbing in soreness. Like midway up my forearm, my trapezoid muscles and my lower calf (ok, I know I have these muscles, they usually just don’t get that much attention). I woke up Sunday morning feeling good, but sore. Oh the soreness. I don’t know where this next bit of motivation and energy came from, but I ran a total of 6 miles. Without feeling tired! I think I’ve won the uphill battle of not being able to run without my lungs collapsing! I could have ran 6 more (slight over-exaggeration).
And finally today, Monday, I decided to rest. And rest I did; I slept in until noon. =) It was needed after the exhausting weekend!