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Nervous Wreck

I have about fifteen minutes before I need to get back to work, but I wanted to pop in and say hi. I’m not going to bother editing this after I write it, which is something I have not ever done on this website ever. Not once. Please forgive the grammar, language, spelling, or other resulting ridiculousness.

We are very busy getting ready to leave for Bolivia – we leave exactly one month from today. I am nervous. Incredibly nervous. We haven’t done much training since Mount Wilson. I’ve practiced yoga a few times and we’ve been running three times, but that is not adequate training for a three week adventure in one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Then there’s that. We’re about to spend three weeks in one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m all pissed off right now because we can’t afford health care, but you know what we do have? Two bathrooms. Air conditioning. Indoor plumbing. Paved streets. Weekly trash collection. Urgent Care clinics on nearly every block. We’re going to be staying in “hotels” in towns with fewer than six hundred residents and dirt floors. And none of us speak Spanish. Which actually doesn’t matter, because these Bolivians don’t speak Spanish either. They speak Aymara. Ironically, we’ve been advised not to talk to anyone who approaches us speaking English because they are most definitely a criminal who will take you to a pretend Official Looking Building where pretend police officers then force you to hand over your wallet, your passport, everything but the clothes on your back. Then they let you go.

We could have gone to Peru instead, but then we found out that in Peru, they don’t let you go. They cut your throat instead.

Anyway, I’m a little nervous. The good news is that the crimes happen in cities, not in the Andes, which is where we’ll be. We’ll stay in La Paz for a few days, but these crimes generally happen to people who are traveling alone. There are three of us, we will not ever separate (seriously, Mike is planning to accompany me even when I have to go to the bathroom – we’ll have reached a new and unfortunate level of intimacy after this trip) and because we are aware that these (and other) schemes occur, we’ll be more likely to avoid them.

I’m lucky that I’ll be traveling with two tall, strong, smart, careful men. I say “tall” and “strong” first because sometimes burly strength is more important than smarts. Sometimes.

Anyway, I’ll say it again. I’m nervous. I’m nervous about crime, I’m nervous about the altitude, I’m nervous I won’t have trained enough, I’m nervous about leaving work for three weeks. Ohemgee I am nervous about leaving work. That singular thought alone turns my stomach upside down. I’m a bit of a nervous wreck. How many more times do you think I can say nervous in this paragraph? Nervous. Nervous! NERVOUS. Ner-vous.

And…. that’s enough. Thanks for listening. I’m going to go do a couple of sun salutations.

Hiker Geek

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! Three cheers for our country’s heroes. Let’s take a minute to reflect on this country of ours and thank the men and women who helped it become what it is. You may say it is ¬†flawed ¬†and I would agree, but it is still a great country and we are lucky to live here. We’d be even luckier if we all had access to health care and jobs, but still.

This post was written on Friday, May 27, 2011. I’m only mentioning it because I think it matters. That sounds kind of weird but I don’t mean it to.

***

Today we got all our vaccines. This was, so far, the most expensive part of our trip. We have been saving up for this trip for a whole year, so it wasn’t a big deal, but still. I hate spending money in large doses.

The good news is we are now vaccinated against yellow fever, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus*, hepatitis A, and after we take the live virus pills in our refrigerator, typhoid fever. Isn’t that reassuring?

I was really nervous about the shots because I hate needles, but I kept it together. I kept it together so well that Michael treated me to lunch afterwards. It was awesome. Then we went shopping!

Only not for seedlings or pots at the Garden Center. Instead we went to R.E.I. for their gigantor anniversary sale and we bought the most expensive clothing I have ever owned in my entire life. Not because we were trying to be fancy, but because everything is meant for the utmost comfort while carrying gear amounting to a third of your bodyweight in a backpack on your back while walking uphill for ten hours a day. I let Mike pick everything out and you guys, he picked the cutest stuff. I mean, it’s as cute as convertible hiking pants, merino wool under layers, and fleece hoodies can be, but it’s super cute. He picked colors that look great on me and every.thing.was.on.sale. Also? It’s all really high quality clothing that will keep me comfortable on the trail, and that’s really what counts. I was going to do a little fashion show and post pictures of all my new outfits and everything, but you’re going to be seeing a lot of these clothes for the next couple of months, so I decided against it. But you guys? I am totally hiker chic.

This Sunday we will hike Mount Wilson. I don’t even know what Mount Wilson is, but Mike had me read a yelp review about it (read the fourth one down – it’s hysterical) and it sounds pretty serious. It’s six miles and will take between five and six hours. And it is almost entirely uphill. This is going to be a six hour walk, friends. Six hours, uphill, in the California heat. But I have a brand new, really cute and unbelievably comfortable outfit to wear (I am so excited about these clothes it is ridiculous) and we’ll be hiking a real trail in a real national park, instead of just the empty lots behind fancy houses we’ve been hiking.

It’s funny that I had that complete melt down last weekend, and now I’m so excited to hike this weekend. It’s just that I finally remembered why I decided to go on this trip. I didn’t want to miss sharing this with my husband. The John Muir Trail was such a hugely positive experience for him and I was really sorry I chose not to go. I didn’t want to miss another one. Besides, I’d rather be miserable in a field of stickery thorny waist-high weeds with him, then miserable in the comfort of our apartment without him.

And now a photo of a hairy wiener:

needsSLR

Mama needs an SLR

*Have you had your tetanus booster? Because it’s really important to. Apparenty you don’t only get tetanus from a rusty nail. Tetanus lives in the soil everywhere in the world, including where you live, and tetanus is a terrible way to die. GET YOUR TETANUS BOOSTER.