road trips, weddings, and adventures

This weekend some dear friends are getting married. A few weeks ago, before they began the pre-wedding travels, we had a grand Mario Bros themed party at a local pub for them. That’s them on the left. The two of us on the right are excited be in their wedding, supporting them as they begin a life together.

So… in a couple of hours, Joel and I begin our journey to Charles City, Virginia where we will celebrate in grand (not Mario-themed) fashion with them this weekend. It will be simply elegant, totally them, and wonderfully perfect.

Because such a road trip should include other adventures, we are then headed to the beach to hike six miles and spend two nights camping next to the ocean. I grew up camping on beaches that were not filled with other people, so this touches my soul in a happy place. I promise to share pictures upon our return.

And no, I have not forgotten about the move to Rwanda. The purchase of the last week was the water filter I will use in my home so that I do not have to buy bottled water or boil it daily (annoying, time consuming, and does not equate to good tasting water). Such a simple, not pretty thing, but oh so thrilling. I will have access to safe water that requires little effort.

I hope you have great plans this weekend.

a flower to start the week

These flowers just seemed a beautiful photo to start off this week. I grew up around frangipani trees in Fiji where they were used to make wonderfully fragrant leis. In the evening their fragrance is the strongest – inviting you out to enjoy a perfect island sunset. But, since I have not been back to Fiji for more years than I care to mention, this picture was taken at the Tennessee Aquarium in the butterfly exhibit earlier this year. If you live in the area (Chattanooga, TN), you should carve out some time to visit the aquarium – it makes for a wonderful day when the islands are far away.

i am moving to rwanda

I am moving to Rwanda. The final decision was made last Thursday, and I celebrated with drinks and games (I kid you not – I love board games and card games), and announced it to the world on twitter. I said there would be more details this week, and so here I am getting ready to share a few thoughts.

But, what I really want to do is to go back to that discussion on toilets and dignity. You see, there is this great article titled, “Donor aversion to ‘unsexy’ water projects threatens development goal.” It is all about the sanitation goal to halve the number of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015 and how that goal will not be met because sanitation is not sexy. But, I guess the article is written, and you can read it, so I shall get back to Rwanda. Just know I will return to toilets again in the future.

I will be moving to Rwanda in October to do my current job with Blood:Water Mission while based in Africa. The idea is that this will save me a lot of hop-skipping-and-jumping over that small pond called the Atlantic Ocean. It should also prevent days being lost to jet leg and hopefully I will get to be home (my new home) a bit more on the weekends while getting to be with our amazing African partners even more. For you dear readers, this means more stories and pictures from Africa.

I have started to think about the move. Part of me wants to say much more right now, but I need a chance to think, to process. And then I will share. You see, transitions are not easy. They are hard and difficult and beautiful too. They are stories of living, of goodbyes, of helloes, of the past and of the future. It all gets jumbled up and sometimes it is hard to sort out. And that will very much be where I am for the next while.

Right now, I know that I ordered a some fun bowls and plates to take to Rwanda. Yellow and purple, they are bright and happy, just what I imagine my future kitchen to be.