Thursday, January 9, 2014

Journal Entry: No Sleep!

When you think you're tough, that you're going to be fine because you have to since you can't take medicine for acclimatization, you may be in for a surprise. I have been. Two nights of very restless sleep and only a slight increase in altitude while everyone else snoozed away. While I probably need another day of hiking up then back down, I think we need to start heading out today. It should be a short walk of just a few hours.

Later that day...
How am I going to do this? The walk started out fine and flat along a riverbed, but later became a lot more difficult than I thought it would be starting out. Little Girl is doing well getting used to her horse--still trying to figure out how to self-correct when the saddle is slipping from side to side and how to hold on during uphill and downhill times. Our campsite is idyllic with a little stream running through our patch of trees--the dinging bells of animals in the distance. The kids are so excited to sleep in the tent for the first night. No mosquitoes, tasty first camp meal. I hope tonight will bring better sleep.

Journal Entry: Departure Day

Two days ago we left from our capital city to the town where we would fly to our starting point. We began to practice hiking up to some altitude, but the heat made it miserable. Not my favorite journey and not the best attitude, I must say. Thankfully a great opportunity for team building. Today, we reached the small airport, dropped off a pile of bags, and waited atop the airport to watch several small planes take off, hoping the winds would stay calm enough for us to fly, too. Every 30-40 minutes another little plane took off or returned. Finally, it was our turn.

It was the tiniest plane I had ever been in. No luxury here--except huge handfuls of candy for the kids. Just canvas seats barely padded to break some of the jostling as you bump along the ground. We flew into some of the most incredible mountain sights you've ever seen, wings appearing to be only inches (in reality, feet, I hope) from jagged snowy peaks, all signs of life having disappeared under a blanket of snow and ice. Minutes later we landed in the town with its own little mountain charm. We'll spend two nights here if we all adjust to the altitude okay.


You might wonder why things are so often silent on our blog. It's partly just the distractions of life and partly that sometimes I think our life is so ordinary no one would want to read about it. I mean, the kids and I do homeschool every day together, eat lunch, have rest times (they do...never for mom), eat dinner, and go to bed. The life of a stay-at-home mom overseas is not that much different than that of one anywhere else in the world really. Maybe you would like to know about our daily lives, but sometimes I think no one would want to read about that.

So, to break into the silence, I've been preparing to write about our first family trip to the project area this past fall. I have been waiting to write about it largely because I needed to do some unpacking and debriefing in my head lest I shed a negative light on the place and people we deeply care for. Over the next few weeks, I'll share the results of some of that unpacking, including some entries from my journal as we progressed through the trip. I know my superman of a husband has made this trip numerous times, but doing it alongside him made me realize how incredibly hard it is, even for a fit person. Hope you enjoy reading about it as we unpack. During this process, P.J. has already begun preparing for the next trip in a few months.