There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed.

We have been back in Houston for two weeks but have made three State-side trips since we’ve been here. We seem destined to live life on the move. After a four month hiatus I expected some improvement in the horrible Houston freeway construction traffic. Unfortunately it hasn’t changed that much. What has changed is me. I’m suffering from intense reverse culture shock. Everything in America looks so big and everybody here sounds so loud!

Our poor neglected Houston abode remains, outside of a trailer in the middle of the Bolivian jungle, the worst place we've stayed in. Motel 6 is more luxurious and better maintained. But more importantly, every time I look out the window I see the same thing.

I’m hopelessly addicted to global roving. The more places I go, the more places I discover that I want to go to. The world is still filled with unexpected, surprising, wonderfully unique places. And you just never know what you are going to find out there.

I know I'll often stop and think about them.

Walking on the Top of the World

Norway: When they tied us together in a rope chain, handed us our ice picks and strapped the crampons on our boots we knew we were in for an adventure. But we had no idea our glacier trek would include a 1,200 foot climb and leaps over almost bottomless crevices. We had somehow joined the advanced hikers’ trek instead of the novice group or even the sub-novice group where we belonged. The part mountain goat Norwegians made it look easy but not so for a South Texas gal who’s only other experience with traversing ice was (once) at the rink in the Galleria. The ice landscape with eerie blue color (covered with a thin layer of blown-in dirt in places), precipices and small streams of VERY COLD, clear water was one of ‘those’ moments. When Chris dropped a lens cap in the fast running stream on top of the glacier, he could have saved it, but he would have dragged all 12 of us tied to him down! Instead we bit our tongues and just watched it float off.

School House Rock

Chad: Located in central Africa Chad is the third poorest country on the planet. Part of our assignment there was to shoot scenes of the local culture. Culture? These people lived in grass huts and bathed in ditches. I could never have predicted the scene in this one-room school house or my reaction to it. They sang songs for us and proudly showed off their lesson in English – written on old-timey chalk slates.

The Orient Express it Ain’t

We love the sights of colorful India. But travel in-country can be difficult for the unininitiated. Even on our third trip there we were astounded by the time-warp that was the Mumbia train station. You could have filmed an Indiana Jones movie there without changing a thing. Fascinating!

All these places have their meanings.

Goodness gracious – Great Wall of China!

After seeing the incredible Great Wall and the Xian Terracotta Warriors in China, Chris and I ventured WAY off the beaten path when we hired a local fisherman to pole us down the Li River for a day. We ate the fresh fruit he offered, peed in the pig sty (unbelievable!) and were stared at like we were alien space creatures in the tiny villages we stopped in. We shocked several local farmers by hiking through their fields on our way back.

You had to be there
On a rare day without language class, architects or bureaucracy we played tourist in our adopted town of Acqui Terme. Everyone else on the bus was Italian. On the way back this hysterically funny old man commandeered the mic to tell jokes and sing.

In my life, I’ve loved them all.

I can’t wait to see what happens next!
More later down the road.