May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkey’s howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches where storms come and go as lightening clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you---beyond that next turning of the canyon walls. ---Edward Abbey (thanks Trudy Hall)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy New Year-- From a place that lacks Christmas hype

We're in Turkey, listening to the call to prayer instead of Christmas carols. I haven't seen Santa all day.  Today, the 25th, there was a gathering of vegetarian couch surfers at our host's home.  
It was the perfect way to spend tonight: sharing good food, stories and interests--making connections with dance and art and life.  No one was obligated to bring presents, or to buy anything to help someone remember how much we care.  I am full of gratitude for such an authentically giving event on this holiday.  Next year I'll be able to be more grounded in how I celebrate the season, I hope.

More news from our travels soon, but here are my yearly reflections, since I'm not able to do a traditional card to send out.  Enjoy:

Happy 2012 Friends:
Our year long trip half over, and what am I learning?
·      I enjoy “doing:” working, helping, going and connecting.
·      I enjoy opportunities to change my mind: disruptions, sudden travel changes, awareness of unhelpful prejudice, delightful surprises and invitations.
Amidst stunning mountains, colorful seas, soft and jagged deserts, dripping jungles and endless grasslands lay communities of people who celebrate life changes, give ritual to important moments, meet their needs in desperate and clever ways, and extend generous hospitality to us as travelers.  Please peruse my blog ( for glimpses of a Tanzanian wedding, Russian jail, Mongolian gur, Norwegian fjord, Italian mountain farm, French “Palais du Poulet,” Bedouin tent, S. African shark-infested waters, as well as visits to Jordan’s Kings Academy and South Africa’s Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls, and many of the fascinating places to which our couch surfing hosts and new friends have brought us.  Having more conviction than ever to try to reuse what I can and keep consumption down while spending resources on services and basic needs rather than things, I’d like to envision a movement.  A raised fist in South Africa signified a movement to increase “black power.”  What could be a movement symbol to “conserve resources?”  A cupped hand?  

We still will travel S. and Central America, Korea, India/Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, and UK.  We hope to meet you (physically or electronically) along the way.  I miss my friends at EW and am psyched to come back refreshed and energized!

Save.  Spend where it matters.  See you soon!

Love, Sue
Traveling with Les
Grateful that Tarka is in good hands.
Looking forward to reuniting with dear EW faculty/staff and students in the fall.

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