Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas & Blessed New Year!

My dear Friends!

With this card I would like to wish You and Your Beloved Ones a 
Wonderful CHRISTmas and a Blessed New Year!
Thank you for your friendship, support and encouragements you've shown me in 2010, 
please keep this great habit of yours in 2011 as well! :)

(ps. The picture was taken on my birthday; 10th December, 2010. in Northern Norway with the famous Reka Mountain in the background)
ps 2. If you want to read the whole story of my Crazy Birthday Trip above the arctic circle click here.

Immunization fun

One sure sign of traveling to unfamiliar territory is the very existence of this cute little booklet called the Yellow Immunization Card. Not to mention the fact that the first page in mine is almost full...
Yes, the picture is blurry. It was taken right after I got home from the Tropical Diseases Center yesterday. I still feel dizzy when I look at this picture - yesterday it looked sharp to me... :)

I had 3 shots again and just like the last time, they were in me before i could protest. The experience was unpleasant, yet funny. I was waiting in the small waiting room with several well dressed (and pretty annoyed) people. I picked up the form and quickly filled in the necessary details while waiting for my number to be called. 5 years ago I had great difficulties filling in the "country you travel to" line since I knew Doulos would be sailing to a new port every 2-3 weeks. Then I wrote "all around the world", which triggered an angry outburst from the doctor thinking I was joking and wasting their time.

This time I only said Sierra Leone so she knew right away what shots I needed. She looked through carefully my vaccination card and asked me "why can't you sit still on your bum?" :) I tried to explain to her what Mercy Ships was doing and she got very interested. Even though there were several people waiting outside she asked me to sit down and tell her more; she kept on asking me about the ship, the ministry and how to join. At the end I gave her my e-mail address and I hope she will contact me.

It is so nice to spread the vision and you never know who will be interested... :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

The WORST thing about moving...

... is saying Good Bye to your friends who became your family over the years.

I just simply H-A-T-E it and it breaks my heart every single time I hug somebody for the last time.

Yesterday a very dear friend stepped out of my life. :(

It doesn't matter which language you bid farewell, it hurts just as much.

(this picture was taken during a Christmas party
a friend of mine organized before we all fly away for the holidays.)

How attached are you to the things around you?

The time has come to start downsizing my life into 2 suitcases. Even though I don't have much and my apartment is quite small I found it strange that I have so many things around the flat...

Not sure how you guys start such a project, for me the battle started in my head. Naturally I would love to keep everything, but I have to admit, I managed to accumulate quite some junk over the last 2 years in Norway. First I tried to separate everything in 4 piles in the 4 corners of the living room:

The first pile is for the bins. I will need lots of plastic bags... So, this pile should be easy to get rid of, riiiiight?

The second pile is things, clothes, shoes...etc that I will need in Africa. That should be easy, too. Here in Norway the top temperature on a hot (?) summer day was cooler than the coldest days in Sierra Leone. Guess I don't have too many summer clothes here. :) I was told to just buy clothes there - much cheaper and don't have to carry them around the world first. Handy.

The third pile comprises of clothes I would need in Winter Wonderland aka Hungary for 2 weeks (Christmas dinners, new years eve fancy dress, theater-appropriate clothes, winter boots, long underwear...).

The next pile is for give aways. Most of the things in this pile I would want to keep, but figured they could bless others so instead of boxing them up for who knows how long, I rather pass them on to my friends here. As a result lately everybody who dropped by for a quick visit left with a couple of bags. :)

The fifth pile is for things that I want to see again at some point in the future. Mostly little nothings I bought during my travels; silly memories; national dresses from all over the world and such. (good thing the room doesn't have more corners hehe)

So, I assigned the four corners and every once in a while I throw things on each pile. This sorting process made me stop and think about how attached I am to the things around me. It turns out, not too much. :) Last week I was in a hurry and pulled the zipper on my boots too fast and broke it. Normally I would be upset, but knowing that I am leaving in 2 weeks I was quite relaxed about it. I just threw them in the trash thinking it's one less thing I need to worry about. :)

Another challenge I am facing is the massive amounts of food I still have in the freezer. The last 2 weeks I was eating chicken with chicken in soups, grilled, chopped, "cordon bleu style", in goulash (which is "pörkölt" really, but if I say goulash people know what I am talking about), fried some Asian style and I still have some... :)

Still, the question remains. Why are we so attached to certain things?

I could give several acceptable answers, but that wouldn't change the fact that I am still nowhere close to finish packing and time is flying on a jet plane... :)