Check out several of my travel diary posts that never made it to EEEtheWorld but are now available for your reading pleasure at EEEtheWorld.postach.io
Some are quite personal and unedited.
Guest post by Andre Roux, Director of 25 Farms, My CSA go to and Chef of Hunger, Faith & Food Conference…
…and it’s going to change everyday. In the past, I’ve been overly concerned about having a perfect theme for this blog paired with perfect posts.
I’ve had so many ideas floating through my head that never come to fruition on this keyboard due to my fear of the literature not being just right.
Well 2016 is the year of mistakes… that is right… I am not afraid to just go for it. Trial and error = progress.
There are so many quotes that run through my head coinciding with this theme like Thomas Edison’s 100 or so attempts at creating the lightbulb and Michael Jordan not making his high school basketball team. A mentor of mine and past executive at SB, John Stoiber, runs a blog titled King of Failure “Failure is a moment – Success is a Lifetime”. That’s what I am going for. You get this gist? Mark Cuban even declares that no one will remember your failures as soon as you achieve success.
And what does success look like for EEEtheWorld this year? Consistent writing. Period.
1 year ago today I buckled myself into my flight to Bangkok.
I traveled from Chicago, Ohare Intl –>Naratia, Japan –> Bangkok, Thailand –> Chiang Rai, Thailand (OCT/NOV) –>Hong Kong (1 week DEC) –> Bali (1 week DEC) –> Back to Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand with the fam –(2 weeks DEC) –> Home (Wisconsin JAN) for Xmas and to finish applying to Grad School –>Back through Bangkok (FEB 24 hrs) –> Pakse, Laos ( FEB jungle trek for 1 week) –> Vientienne, Laos –> Hanoi, Vietnam (FEB1 week)–> HaLong Bay, Vietnam (FEB3 days) –>Phnom Penh, Cambodia (MARCH3 weeks) –> SIem Reap, Cambodia (MARCH 1 week) –>Siahnoukville & Koh Rong, Cambodia (MARCH 3 days and not enough time!!) –> Krabi Thailand and Railey Beach & a couple “KOH’s” (islands)!! (MARCH 5 more days cuz I can never get enough of Thailand)–> Through Malaysia airport–> Singapore, Singapore ( MARCH 2 days) –> New Dehli, India –> Rishikesh, India (APRIL 1 month @ vinyasa yoga school) –> Kathmandu, Nepal (earthquake survivor) (MAY 1 week)–> Pokhara, Nepal (earthquake disaster relief) (MAY 4 days)–> Home sweet home.
I also had the opportunity to catch up with friends in Chicago, (MAY) Indianapolis (JUNE), and Evansville (JULY).
One of my favorite trips was the 10 hour drive from Mke, WI to Midway, KY where the LFA Headquarters is (JULY). The southern hospitality here is alive and well. I could not be more grateful to work towards the mission of advocating for local food enterprises.
But most of the summer was spent between Mequon, WI and Elkorn, WI (The Lake!) Home sweet Home to settle in with Dil the Pup.. Run by the river, or jump off the dock!
In AUG, I had the pleasure of driving across country with my parents and 2 dogs to start my new chapter in Denver, CO.
We stopped just outside of Des Moines, Iowa and a small mining town 2 hours east of Denver called (??). Traveling to my new home, across the US was extraordinary!
Now in Denver, CO, where I have settled just south of DU’s campus in the cutest Kokopelli Kottage ever, I am enjoying getting to know my neighborhood and surrounding hoods (Cap Hill, LoDo, Highlands, Union Station, Cherry Creek) and Boulder and THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS!!! Rocky Mountain High is Real!
Incontestably the past year is the most traveled and transformative 365 days of my life.The marvelous aspect is the adventure does not stop if you commit to a lifetime of open mindedness, empathy, and learning.
The connections I’ve made with citizens across our globe are completely relevant to my physical, spiritual, mental and educational well being.
Now, as a Master’s Candidate at DU’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies in international development concentrating on global health and food security, I am embarking on a lifelong journey to make a career out of the compassion I lived everyday on the road.
If you’re thinking about letting go. LET GO.
LET IT BE LET IT GO!
Let go of security
Immerse yourself out of your comfort zone
Experience perspectives from the opposite side of the planet
Never take for granted the support system back home
Believe in yourself
Accept that everything may happen for a reason- but you have to figure out what that reason is for yourself
PICS COMING SOON!
Update from DIL: my wife Madhu and I went to the village to distributing cash.
Here are some pictures of our last cash distribution to Widow women and school. Its great that they have this support. Support to school means every ones get benefited in the village and widow women are the most needy ones as they have very difficult life, due to our bad though in the society, people think their husband died because the wives have bad sprite so they are counted as second hand women and no one can get married again. For example Nire on picture 0087 with light yellow dress with shawl around her was married when she was 16 years old and her husband died when she was 24 that was 5 years ago, she has 4 kids and have to live her whole life alone taking care of her kids. on Picture 0089 with short white hair women is oldest here 93 years old and she lived her 63 years without husband as her husband died when she was 30. With these stories, people can have ears on their eyes about how difficult life can be for some people.
But its good that we could help them.
In life there are moments that you do not understand; And in life there are moments that you do.
It’s all a balance.
Like a wave washing you a new, something happens in your life, and what you could not justify or reason before, suddenly makes sense and becomes shockingly clear. The seething hurt or loss you experienced, in retrospect, is now commensurate with understanding. In this clarifying culmination of events you realize that all the heartbreak is worth it; death and disaster part of this wave of life. For without that past darkness, the light now shining in front of you would not be so blazingly bright and beautiful.
Time is an outrageous perspective getter.
Love is a magical healer.
Words cannot express how peaceful, and proud, and grateful, and exhilarated I feel about exactly where I am at in my life, and where I am going.
Denver is miraculous, and so many pieces of the puzzle just fit in place here.
I signed a lease on this “KoKopelli Kottage” just blocks away from DU and a big yard for Dil.
I will be living with a young woman in the Korbel program with me, who is brilliant and easygoing, and her favorite band is my favorite band (Paperbird :), and I am hopeful the beginning of a lifelong friendship has commenced.
And I sat around our AirBNB porch upon arrival surrounded by old friends, drinking beer, laughing and smiling at the promise of what the future holds.
And I galavanted through Wash Park overjoyed at how quickly two old pals can reconnect.
And I marched around campus like I was 19 again.
And I hiked the flat-irons overlooking nature’s magnificence.
And I congratulated a dear friend and old colleague now living in Boulder for being recruited by FB.
And I partied with my Bro. And I networked with my Mom.
And I chatted with two cool dudes the entire plane ride home.
I AM INVIGORATED!!!
I am so grateful for everything in my life that has lead up to me being here! I am so thankful to be supported by so many inspiring and loving family, friends, and mentors.
Denver here I come. La vie est belle!
I am going embrace these good vibes, and ride this wave with a smile and lots of enthusiasm as long as i can 🙂
This slideshow includes photos from Jyamrunz, about 1 month after the initial 7.8 earthquake April 25th. Dil’s wife and son, Madhu and Diwash, walked 2 hours on foot to visit with family, old friends, and neighbors and assess the damage.
Now, nearly two months post quake, thanks to your support and Dil’s diligence, tremendous progress to rebuild Jyamrunz has been made.
For me, a slight twinge of accomplishment pulls at my heartstrings when I look at these pictures, but I’m somewhat familiar with these faces (Dil’s family) and these places (in Nepal).
What is it like for you?
My wish is for you to feel that you have helped. With everyone’s generosity, we have raised over $8,000 USD in credit card donations on giving forward and received nearly $750 USD in cash or checks. All the money (less 7.3% for processing) has not only been wired directly to Dil’s bank account, but it has already been spent!
Diligence is an appropriate term to refer to Dil’s name and Dil’s character. Words cannot explain how altruistic this man is. (Hopefully, the gesture of naming my puppy in honor of him portrays my extreme level of admiration for this hero, Dil Sapkota!)
The money has already been spent because Dil worked diligently to provide shelter for his village before Monsoon season. (Which has arrived this week, creating landslides which prevents all transportation to Jyamrunz 🙁 To get to the village is now a 5-6 hour trek on foot). Dil went out of his way to rent a truck, buy zinc roofs directly from a factory.These roofs protect from the fierce rains.
Here is Dil’s direct account of the trip:
“The Zink roof (Tin) is the most important support for the families as monsoon is ahead of them that they are building their simple houses. The Zink roof demand is very high at the moment and we do not have enough production. So, I had to go to the factory as could not find zink in the shops and would have taken so long till I get zink sheets but Saturday I took the bus to low land of Nepal (Narayanghat) and able to buy 405 sheets of Rajesh zink and went to the village with truck. As you see on pictures that was so fantastic to see families getting the roofs now.So far few houses completed and started living, some are half way to finish as they were waiting for roofs and about 17 families are on the process to build. They now need bamboo and woods to complete the building. So, I am giving some cash for that. The next project is to help women who lost their husbands (Windows) who need more then others.I also collecting few hundred dollars from other people too, so we are supporting for 32 families and some widows.”
In all, Dil and his family’s dedication on foot, and your support emotionally and financially, has resulted in the following progress to rebuild the village:
Thank you! Thank you! Dhanyabad! Dil let me know in our last correspondence that the people of Jymarunz are asking how to honor all our donors: YOU.
For me, the experience of surviving this natural disaster has been transformative to say the least. I feel so soo far away and personally struggle with feeling like I am not doing enough to help. If my mother had not brought me Dil (the pup) a week after returning home, I would have flown right back. Perhaps its the martyrdom in me and I am dealing with that in my own way. Now this precious ball of fur has been dubbed “Statesider” and his unconditional love, and adorable face is therapeutic.
Not an hour passes without me thinking of Nepal. The spellbinding peaks. The smiling people. The tragedy and the resilience. My mind flashes back to grandpa shuddering, crying in the cold dirt moments after the first quake; Eshish, the most brilliant young man (seriously MIT keep your eye on this 16yo) and I discussing politics between aftershocks; Trying to calm the terrified stranger grasping my shoulder and screaming as we huddled in the street downtown Kathmandu during the 6.7. There are magical memories too: Paragliding over Pokhara and feeling safe above the trembling earth for the first time in a week; Manisha’s smile as she opened her birthday cards and presents from Lauren, Samed, & me; Indulging in the first protein in 40 days- the excess smoked trout that the german woman downstairs could not sell at the closed market; In the tented sea of 100 nepali neighbors, the man softly sharing jokes making parents chuckle as they swaddle their sleeping babies. Oh the humanness in us all is inspirational!
Sometimes I break down and cry when I am alone- humbled by life itself. Sometimes ebullience explodes in my gut- feeling as though I have been blessed with a second chance in life.
Every breath of my existence is now a breath towards purpose, progress, peace.
My point in writing this is to thank you. Please look at these pictures and know you have helped. Your support has evidently rebuilt a village, but is also helping to rebuild me.
I love you and I appreciate you.
<3 Hallie LouLou
You can also continue to support Dil’s Village here: Re-build Dil’s Village
I’m only writing cuz Dil has finally settled down in my lap. He’s a rambunctious dude… But he’s outrageously cute. I’m so happy Luie is so tender with him!