Category — Favorite Photo Friday
For a multitude of reasons, one of which involves adoption, another of which has to do with taking my boards, today has been a rough day so far, so instead of constantly screaming”SERENITY NOW,” I decided to post a few pictures that are calming to me. I’ve been to my Motherland several times, but the most recent visit was the day after I took my Step 1 boards, second year of medical school (damn, blood pressure just shot up again. “Serenity now, serenity now.”). Travis and I met up with my sister and Yiayia in Northern Greece, where we are from, for a week, then headed down to the islands to meet up with our best friends, Brad and Mel. This was pre Jackson and pre Ashlyn, and we had a blast! If you know me, you know I’m a die hard seafood lover, and grilled octopus, Greek-style, is one of my all-time favorite dishes. Seeing this everywhere was my own personal paradise:
As in love with the mountains as I have fallen, I will always be a HUGE beach lover as well. I don’t think you have to be a beach or mountain person, just like you can love cats and dogs (even though I would call myself a “dog person”). The beaches are so pristine, and of course if you’re into nudity, Greece is your spot! I’ll never forget my first memorable experience at one of Greece’s nudest beaches. I was probably 12 years old and with my sister. We’d gotten so used to speaking English and having no one understand us, so I didn’t think twice about saying something to my sister while wading in the ocean when an obese nude dude snorkeled by. I made some totally obscene comment having to do with the discovery that “it” floats, and for my sister to check out the tiny floating part passing by with her own mask and snorkel (yes, I was quite the perv)…or something along those lines. The nude dude then stood up (we were in shallow water) and greeted us with his Australian accent. I don’t think there’s a deeper shade of red than the one my face turned!! Anyway, here’s a ocean along Paros, quite possibly my favorite island. There’s just nothing like the Mediterranean.
Don’t worry, we’re clothed;)
And then there are those domes and churches for which my Motherland is famous:
November 30, 2007 14 Comments
Note to family and close friends: our phone company went out of business, which is why we currently do not have a land line (phew, I just thought we’d forgotten to pay our phone bill, yet again!). Also, my cell phone is in 2 pieces…again. Oops! So, the only way to reach me is via Trav’s phone or email until I get a new one, which may take awhile because if I haven’t mentioned it already, we’re broke:)
This is one of my all-time favorite pictures, though it doesn’t do this place justice. It’s a temple in Angkor Wat, called Ta Prohm. Angkor Wat houses the remains of the capitals of the Khmer Empire (9th - 15th Centuries), which stretched from Burma in the West to Vietnam in the East, and China in the North. The entire archaeological site is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Ta Prohm is what’s left of an Angkor temple that has intentionally not been preserved; it’s an incredible combination of a man-made structure totally overridden by natural growth.
I took this picture in 7/02:
August 10, 2007 5 Comments
Yesterday marked 4 years since Travis and I were married at sunrise on the beach in St. Augustine, FL. We are high school sweethearts, and had dated 8+ years prior to that morning, but our wedding day was more incredible than we had even imagined. I think our friends and family hated us for it and they were definitely cursing us that morning (our wedding started at 6am), but when they were sitting facing the water and the dolphins appeared, as they often do on that beach at sunrise, hopefully it was worth it for them too! The dolphins, btw, were not planned! Oh, and how cool of an anniversary present is Jackson taking his first real steps?!
This has to go down as one of my all-time favorite pictures; it’s the view from our little bungalow where Travis proposed to me! It was on a very remote, tough to reach island, called Koh Nang Yuan, off the coast of Thailand in the Gulf of Thailand. We took a longtail boat (glorified canoe with a motor) from Koh Tao (another island) to get there. For $300, we stayed 3 nights in an incredible bungalow up in the rocks at the top of 1 of 3 landmasses, connected by sandbars at low-tide, that make up Koh Nang Yuan. The money also covered our scuba certifications with all gear and dives included!! There were only a handfull of other guests staying at the island’s very small resort and dive shop.
I took this picture in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand 7/02:
The funny thing is that when I was in Costa Rica with a group of med student 7/04, I found a poster with this exact picture on it for sale. The seller claimed it was a picture taken in Costa Rica! I had to buy it, even though he was lying!
I can’t tell you all the details of our engagement (believe me, you don’t want to know;) But the part that led up to it was pretty romantic too…we’d been diving that day with sea turtles, squid, gorgeous reef fish, and after dinner, we had to cross the little landmass that connected our bungalow’s land to the area where the dive shop/restaurant were (the middle landmass in the picture above). The tide had rolled in, so we hiked up our clothes, and waded across the water. Ok, I’ll have to end there:) I don’t even remember the exact date of our engagement, but we sent an email to our families a few days later telling them we were ready to make our lifelong commitment to each other official through marriage.
July 6, 2007 15 Comments
This is a picture of my father-in-law while we were hiking through the Peruvian Andes in 2004.
That was our first of many trips to a Quechua speaking community, Cachiccata, in rural Peru. We had become involved with several development projects, initiated by the Youth Association for the Development of Cachiccata. Travis and I established a non-profit, called Extreme Giving, through which we hoped to compete with for-profit, US based, adventure travel companies who frequently send trekking groups on the classic “Inca Trail to Machu Piccu.” This trekking route has become so overburdened by tourists that land erosion is a severe and worsening problem. Additionally, most for-profit operators reap the financial rewards for sending groups that erode the land, without putting a dime of their profits back into the communities or environments their tourism is impacting. Our goal was to offer treks at the same prices as these operators, but to plug all profits into development projects that would benefit the communities in which most Inca Trail porters live, and our thus most affected by tourism. Additionally, we would promote a new trekking circuit to help divert the burden of hikers from the classic trail. The community of Cachiccata hoped to be the site of the new circuit so that they could charge a fee for use of their land, provide a camping site at a charge, and provide meals to campers that would be cooked using produce/meat grown in the community, thereby benefiting people of Cachiccata on many levels.
On our first trip to Cachiccata, the community leaders had us trek the new circuit and begin advertising it. A large adventure travel outfitter, called Adventure Life, decided to pick up the circuit and market this as an alternative trek to its clients as well. They contacted us requesting pictures for advertising purposes, so we sent them our photos from the trip. This photo has been featured in Men’s Health magazine, and can be found in the back of every Outside Magazine - check it out in the advert section next time you’re in the grocery store. Since we subscribe to it, we get a chuckle everytime we look in the back and see our photo!
Our projects in Peru have changed over the past few years based on Cachiccata’s needs. This summer we will spend 6 weeks working at a new birthing clinic that serves the women in Cachiccata, as well as several other rural communities. We will be doing needs assessments to see what medical services are needed in the rural communities and how those needs can best be met through outreach medical services and the clinic itself. We’re very excited about it, and have many friends in Peru we love going down to visit.
On a different note…check out the videos tab at the top of my blog - I posted a funny one of Jackson’s weird right foot grass aversion. It’s pretty cute.
May 4, 2007 7 Comments
Happy Friday the 13th! Mrwa hahaha.
I thought I’d spin off the popular “Photo Flashback Friday” blogging theme. Don’t know if I’ll remember to do this every week, but here it is this week.
I just love this picture because, to me, it represents our lives before little Jaxman came along. It’s not like we’re all-of-the-sudden different people or anything, nor do we plan on taming our lives into adventure-free existences. I just don’t know if we’ll be jumping off any 25ft. bridges into a large, rushing, muddy river anytime soon (deep sighs from our parents;).
This picture was taken with our camera by an observer standing on the bank of the Nam Xong River (feeds into the Mekong) in Vang Viang, Laos 8/02:
Speaking of Jackson entering our lives, today marks our 4 month anniversary as a family. Thank you, God, for our son, and please bless his birth family.
April 13, 2007 6 Comments