Catherine - It has been 2.5 months since Kathryn and I sold our condo, quit our jobs and started this adventure of taking a year off to travel, explore the US and Canada and meet people. We have volunteered at a few events, seen many cities and met a lot of great people. I mean that! Everyone we have met has been open, gracious and wonderful. While philosophically the people we meet may have different views on politics, world peace, if cats are better than dogs, in the end, people are good. That is the joy of Christmas, that we are kind to one another, enjoy one a others company and believe in a better tomorrow. May peace be with all of you.
Kathryn - Texas looks nothing like Texas. The Texas I had imagined looked a lot more like Alberta with grasslands, grain farming, cattle grazing, and oil wells dotting the landscape. In fact, the Texas we have seen so far (Austin and directly west to New Mexico) has been pretty heavily wooded. Even the desert was quite shrubby, there is a lot more than just cacti growing in that desert!
This is the beauty and necessity of travel. The world that we create in our minds may not look anything like the world that actually exists. This is true of landscape, but equally true of culture. We create pictures in our minds about other people and what they are like, usually those ideas are based on limited knowledge and are often misconceptions. On this trip I want to be open to learning what I can about other people, and try to turn my misconceptions into validated, experience based opinion. This is why in the video above you find two lesbians in Cowboy Church.
Narnia - I don't know why everyone is sooo excited to see this cold, wet, white stuff on the ground. They make me wear this stupid sweater thing then want to go out walking in that wet mess. Have you ever been laughed at by a squirrel? Once I warm up I am going to find one of those little nut stashers and think about chasing him up the Christmas tree.
Catherine – Balmorhea is another success story brought together under Franklin D Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to get pride back in to Americans after the devastation of the Great Depression. FDR’s promise was to create an Emergency Conservation Work Act which was known as the Civilian Conservation Corp. Within 37 days of FDR taking office, the first CCC enrollee was inducted (www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1586.html) in to this public relief work program. The CCC employed single, young, male US citizens for six month stints to work at building trails, lodges, reforestation projects, and did work in over 800 parks nationwide. The CCC got young men back working again, increasing their confidence, physical fitness and morale. Over the course of its nine year history over 3 million young men participated (Wikipedia).