Well, today is the last day at home for a month! Tomorrow I’ll be leaving Vista around 4 or 5 AM to catch a flight to Atlanta and then onto Quito after a short layover. The last couple days have been crazy between trying to spend time or talk with everyone before I go, handling last minute plan changes and reservations, and getting all my stuff put in my backpack, not to mention getting as much time in on Josie and Lad as possible. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Judy this summer, I’ve learned so much about training and horse psychology. Josie is well on her way to learning how to canter and follow her riders commands, and speedy Lad has learned to slow down and run the barrels like the distinguished older gentleman that he is (example video here). Lydia and I, in between running to REI and the sporting goods store to pick up last minute stuff for the trip, managed to get Seungwoo on a horse multiple times (the guy is a natural!).
On Thursday, I got my last rabies shot from Dr. Schulman (best travel doc around, folks. Go see him if you’re headed somewhere far off, his sense of humor makes the shots not hurt so bad, or maybe he is just that good). I brought Lydia along to document the experience. I think she was hoping for a little more pain (or for me to start foaming at the mouth). No, that isn’t Kool-Aid. The rabies shots are bright purple. Gross.
Last night was the last movie night of summer at Zach’s house. It goes without saying that seeing everyone before taking off was great. I think I’ll have to hug Zach for a few days at everyone’s request before I can give him a hug from myself! Leo managed to get ahold of half a tuna fish caught that morning or the previous day, so we enjoyed fresh tuna prepared a variety of ways. Being with my family 1.5 makes me even more excited to see Zach than I already was! After over two months apart with limited internet and no voice contact whatsoever, I don’t know whether to be more nervous or excited. I guess I’ll know in two days when we meet in Quito! In the meantime, go check out his blog! It is certainly worth a read (if you haven’t read it yet, go make some popcorn before you start. Yeah, the tales are that good).
On the way there I had a good chat with Brooke (very necessary before such a trip). It’s so great hearing about how the program is going and seeing her keeping her spirits high in spite of the challenges and pitfalls (often created by lack of communication and organization between professors in the program). Like Paige in her last email, Brooke told me “remember to breathe,” probably the piece of advice I will need most tomorrow as I am stepping off a plane into another country. Relaying her own experience, she told me that she realized a while ago that sometimes when we forget to breathe it is because we are afraid we won’t get that breath back. We are the similar in this: sometimes it’s hard to let go of the control and just let things be as they will. I hope to work on that while I’m away by taking the possibilities as they come without stressing what is coming next or what has already occurred. I can’t wait to hear about her placement and her work with the kiddos (we realized yesterday that she may have some of my kiddos from last year in her class this year! I hope I can go visit sometime). Knowing that Brooke, Jayme, Esther, Dani, and Sheela will all be in Santa Cruz upon our return makes me almost as excited to come home as to go, and finding out today that Zack and Theadora will not be far off makes it that much more exciting!
In the meantime, I’ll be off island hopping, ziplining, and adventuring. To those I didn’t get a chance to touch base with: I’m sorry, but lets catch up when I get back! To all: take care, be well, and remember to breathe! Big love to all of you. -T