Saturday, October 31, 2009

You're Human

We had several hundred students tour the farm yesterday. While answering their questions, one boy said, "How did those pioneers do their dishes?"

I pointed out, "THOSE pioneers were OUR ancestors. We ALL had ancestors that lived without electricity and running water."

The boy shook his head and said, "not me. MY ancestors were animals."

I thought he was joking. He repeated himself, "my ancestors weren't people, they were animals."

Another boy piped up, "They EVOLVED!"...

A look must have crossed over my face, as the teacher wrapped her arms around him protectively and explained to the boy, "not everyone shares the same beliefs..."

I looked into the boy's eyes, wondering what I saw... Sadness? Emptiness? I couldn't figure it out.

Restoring the boy's dignity, I replied, "your ancestors were HUMAN."

Ignoring the look of the teacher, I said more firmly to the boy, "YOUR ANCESTORS WERE HUMAN!"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wild Watermelons

While doing our morning walks, we've noticed this watermelon patch growing wild along the creek.

Each time, I'm tempted to dig one up and take it home to replant. The last time the City came out to mow the area, I held my breath. This is what survived. I would have dug one up sooner, but I'm not sure a plant can survive a transplant that's already gone to fruit...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dreams DO Come True

It was an odd dream. I was sleeping at a strange hotel in a foreign country. Rows of bunks lined the wall.

I woke up and mentioned the dream to Alan. He said hotels existed like that. They were called HOSTELS. How strange. The first time I ever heard of one was in my dream.

As I research the itinerary on my upcoming trip -- the more I learn about hostels, the better I like the idea. A hostel can run between $6 to $20 a night.

I was very amazed at how many hostels are located throughout the Middle East. Checking locally, there's even a nice hostel in Austin. I learn something every day.

To keep up with my travel plans, I've started a new section on my blog called, TRAVEL DIARY.

This is where I'll keep updates.

Right now, I'm currently trying to decide whether I want to fly open-jaw or round trip.

An open-jaw ticket is where you fly into one city and leave by another. My family had done this once when we had flown to Los Angeles and returned home from Las Vegas. Renting a car, we drove from California to Nevada.

My plans are to fly into Cairo, and leave by Tel Aviv. This way we won't waste any time backtracking. But the catch is price. We're talking about $300-$400 difference in airline tickets. Doing the math, I'm trying to determine if I break even on that return bus ride, and possible overnight.

My other concern is returning back to Egypt. From what I've learned, flying into Cairo I can acquire our visa's from the airport. Trying to get an Egyptian visa from the Israeli border is another matter. So many details I need to look into.

Half the fun is planning though!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Boots and Backpacks

My daughter and I have been reading the book, Material World, for her geography lessons. Each chapter focuses on several countries representing each continent. We've learned how much the family earns a year, where they live, and what they consider important.

It was very eye-opening to see how many families got by on very little, yet they were very happy.
It was in the midst of our geography lessons that the thought crossed my mind for the first time -- Why don't Pamela and I travel overseas to see for ourselves?

Although we had discussed travel overseas many times, we were always daunted at the high costs of packaged tours. The possibilities seemed promising to do our own research, study up on geography, languages, and history. My husband, who does a lot of travel for his job, gave his blessings, and A few weeks later, our passports arrived!
Our backpacks are purchased, but not packed yet, as we're leaving March. I've been researching for hours our itinerary. We'll be flying into Cairo, and staying a few days before catching either a bus to Eilat Israel, or finding a ride into Jordan to see the lost city of Petra. After we cross the Allenby Bridge into Israel we'll be headed for Jerusalem.

So many things to research and learn before we go, making this the ultimate lesson in geography, math, history, social studies, and languages. We need to brush up on our Hebrew, learn Arabic, locate our embassies, make copies of our passports, extra visa photo's, learn our currencies and exchange... As anxious as I am to go now, I see the wisdom in waiting a few more months. We have so much to do.

So many decisions... Should I bring my laptop? Will everything get through airport security? After all, we're boarding the plane with just our boots and backpacks.

I've had many people express an interest in going with us! We plan to stay in hostels, eat street food, and ride the bus. It's not a vacation, but a trip. I haven't made up my mind how long we'll be gone. Two weeks, three, a month? Tickets won't be purchased till after Christmas, giving me time to plan our route. If I can find cheaper fare, I'd like to fly into Cairo and leave by Tel Aviv...

More later...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello Dolly!

Here's my newest creation - Miniature stuffed doll necklaces. Upon a search on the web, I do believe I'm the only one doing this. These are 100% hand sewn, and only 6" long.

My daughter and I are both sewing these for the Pioneer General Store at the living history museum where we volunteer.

We're having a lot of fun designing these!