next steps

This blog began as a place to share with loved ones a piece of my life as it happened in a village in West Africa every summer. It became a year-round blog after my final summer in village when I decided that taking time to write about life was a good practice. It was good because it forced me to see my daily happenings in a good light – to see my coffee shops and research and writing as the beautiful things of my daily living. 

Recently I have struggled with the question of what to share in this space  and what boundaries I should or should not keep. On other people’s websites I enjoy reading humorous and deep anecdotes of friends and strangers alike. I become lost in thought and I laugh out loud. But this provides no insight into what I do here, and so I take this site one step at a time. 

Thus far, each step of this blog has added a piece of what finds its way through my mind on a regular basis. Several things that I have recently been encouraged in will be finding their way onto this space in various shapes and forms in the near future. The first of these is photography, a continual side hobby of mine. Some of my favorite images captured on digital will make their way to the new page I have added. Maybe someday this will become something more. 

Beyond my photos, I will be adding two blog categories: memories and spirituality. How often am I sent back through time to my childhood as I prepare for a camping trip, smell certain foods, prepare to travel, or have one ‘too’ many staying at my house? I love the rich images, smells, and locations these bring through my mind in an instant. Maybe you have seen my eyes daze off as my mind wanders–these will be some of the cause of that. 

Just as memories slip through my mind, so do thoughts on spirituality that start in a wide array of places: magazine articles, books, the Bible, sermons, conversations, and people’s actions. Sometimes they are clear, cohesive thoughts, and sometimes they are scattered and disjointed. Often there is a continual growing of thoughts as patterns emerge and ideas become stronger and more formed over time. Rarely is anything conclusive, awe-inspiring, or life-altering. But, they are a piece of my journey. 

If you are sarcastically wondering when I will get around to these things, time will tell. I plan to return to the practice of writing at least once week as the practice of recorded reflection is good, and one I have missed. I hope that you enjoy these additions and I that they spark thought and conversation with you. 

what do you want?

Last weekend I was up visiting friends in South Bend and was adamantly told by one that I needed to get the book list back up–asap if possible. I promised her that was in the plans, though it might take a different format (maybe this time I’ll tell you if the book is worth reading or warn you if the book was complete beach trash). That’s when I realized that you (the grand plural you that we do not have a word for in English) might have an opinion about something you do or don’t want, or styles that you do or do not like for this website. This is your chance. All I can promise is that I will consider what you suggest, but that I do promise. So if you have a preference, an inkling, or something that always makes you smile, tell me in a comment!

new look

I’m the midst of updating the blog. Eventually there will be other stuff available on the website that might or might not be of interest to you. Please be patient with me as the look and the pages of the blog change. In the mean time, the blogging will continue.

I hope you are well.

where in the world?

Do you remember the book series Where’s Waldo? I am fairly certain that my family never owned one of the books, but I certainly ‘read’ or ‘played’ them with friends. I must have been a book elitist in my early years as I remember being baffled by the concept that this book, which was really a game in my mind, could be called a book. It was like a regression to early reader books where the sentences are short and the pages filled with pictures.

In case you never had a chance to play a Where’s Waldo book, the pages are filled with detailed drawings and Waldo, always dressed in a red and white striped shirt, is hidden somewhere on the page. Waldo gets to cities and famous landmarks across the world, so I guess there is something educational about it.

When I returned from Tanzania this spring a friend told me that she would ask the question, “Where in the world is Pamela C.?” before checking my blog. I wish I could capture the way she told me this as it made me laugh and feel like I was Waldo. If I was, what would be my red and white striped shirt? Maybe my white skin and red hair, or maybe I would be well served to find an iconic shirt to always pack in my travel bag. Let me know if you have a thought on this.

Regardless, this friend has inspired an addition to my blog. ‘where: in the world’ will be updates on the go…little bits and pieces of where I am and what I am up to. If you want, you can pretend that I am in a red and white stripped shirt, or whatever other iconic shirt you so desire.

as promised

Nearly two months ago I promised that the blog would return in a new format. Here it is. Nothing particularly fancy or special, but it will be a piece of where I am and what I am up to. Though the coming months will largely be filled with work as I hope to finish with this stage of my life at the end of December, I am sure there will be enough to smile about that I will have things to share with you. If all goes well, I will update weekly.

a different style…

Thank you for joining me on my travels through Benin. It has been a pleasure to share a piece of my life with you. As this chapter of my life is coming to a close, I plan to work on a little redesign of this blog and will continue to update it in the future. Updates will not be as frequent, but they will happen. The next six months will largely be filled with finishing the dissertation, but then the travels will start up again as I head to East Africa for a couple of months of fun at the end of December. For now, I hope you enjoy the last bundle of posts.