View from the Beach

We are loosening our grip on home with a trip to Washington and Oregon, preparing for our daughter’s wedding and enjoying some space from packing, packing, packing. It is helpful to have the space from our work and travel preparations. We are so blessed to be able to travel before the Big Trip. Yesterday we drove from Walla Walla, Washington to Seaside, Oregon, driving through the Columbia River Gorge and Portland. I was in a drowsy state of mind for the drive; a little uninspired. Perhaps it was the grey weather, perhaps the recovery from all the travel and the wedding planning. Not that I’m a central figure in the planning. At any rate, I was inspired once I could see and hear the beach. And while the air was cold and the sky was grey, the sight of it all has been awakening. This morning we woke to a calm and clearing sky. The blue is increasing and the grey receding. I am sitting with a birds eye view on the sand and surf, along the promenade of Seaside.
What a great view it is.
While I am enjoying the time away from the planning and prep for our upcoming trip, I continue to reflect on the details as well as the mysteries of our journey. We have done our best to nail down the details of our travel; the basics of flight, lodging and other transportation. But the realities of life in Nepal remain a mystery This is despite the reading and conversations we have had with experienced travelers and our Nepali hosts. No matter how much we think and talk about our trip, it won’t be unveiled until we are there. Then we will “know” what Nepali life entails. Life is like that isn’t it? We spend hours speculating about some endeavor or project, only to truly figure it out when we are in the thick of it. I’ve experienced this at work on project as simple as wiring a camera. I can either spend the morning poking my head in ceilings, looking for the best location or what might be, or simply get to work. Granted there is value to thinking ahead but too often it is overdone; a great tool of avoidance.
Now… back to speculating. We are now 2 months from our scheduled flight from St. Louis to London, the first leg of our trip to Kathmandu. While I have at least 30 days of work to do when I return, my main job will be pulling together the items that will be my living kit for the duration of my trip. A set of clothes; shirts, underwear, socks, shoes, jackets, hats. These items need to be versatile and capable of an easy wash. While I intend to limit the number of items that I bring (I don’t need to impress anyone), these need to be appropriate for work in the monastery, comfortable and useful in a variety of settings. In addition to clothing, I will bring camera equipment that will allow me to tell the story of our journey and experience. I would like to give my family and friends some idea of our daily life; a little window into the world of Nepal. As I have found in my research, even the Internet of pictures and stories doesn’t adequately paint a picture of our destination much less our work. I am hoping to chronicle our life there and give a sense of the people and our relationship to them. Accomplishing this is more easily said that done I expect, since there are the practicalities of employing my camera, video and or microphones at the right time and in a way that doesn’t get in the way of our relationships. This is difficult around family and it will probably be a similar challenge in our Nepali community. I don’t anticipate that I will want to record extensive segments of life in Chobhar but snippets of sound and sights. Choosing the most appropriate equipment (not too much or too little) to accomplish this will be the trick. Storage will of course play a role as will methods for moving, editing and sharing the data. I will want the best lenses for the places we visit. Flexibility, durability, useablity are key.