little sarah Big World

Tag: peace

A Little (More) Walt for Your Wednesday

 

(from Whitman’s “Song of Myself”)

Leaves of Black and White Grass

 

Quiet mornings spent reading are what I need right now. Maybe some tea, and a good hug. The world around me is full of possibilities, and beauty, and I am trying to take it all in, to bloom where I’m planted, no matter how many times I uproot myself.

not dew, but rain

And in some ways, things are looking up. But in other ways, it’s not so clear. Working with special needs kids is something I never thought I’d do, or be good at, but here I am, and the kids love me, and already they’ve made such an impression on me.

But there are other things to take into consideration, other jobs, and writing, and relationships, and it can (and does) all feel a bit overwhelming at times.

Sometimes more than a bit. Sometimes it seems like an insurmountable problem.

But, in the end, I know that I must figure it out for myself. And that I can. (I think).

Climb that hill, one step at a time

snapping photos on my phone like an iPro

 

Home Stay

~OR~

I Could Not Have Danced All Night

As I mentioned, I was sick and bummed out on Amantani, during our home-stay. But it wasn’t all a bust, Friends! It was also very peaceful and relaxing at times.

Moreover, it was really cool to get to meet this family that I wouldn’t otherwise have met–Catalina and her 4-year-old son, Anderson (her older daughter and husband were away on errands for the weekend)–stay in their home and eat meals with them.

That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and for that I’m grateful to have braved extreme exhaustion, lung tremors, and cultural commodification.

Oh, and did I mention…the food?!

This was honestly the best I ate the entire time in South America. Lunch was a brothy quinoa soup (with quinoa they’d grown in their own yard–I’d never seen that!) followed by roasted corn and root vegetables (including a variety of potato that was sweet yet hard, like a carrot) with fried goat cheese. We washed it all down with fresh lemon-balm tea made with whole, recently harvested herbs.

It was just what the doctor ordered. Dinner was a similar soup, followed by starch-on-starch crime–pasta and potatoes with a side of white rice. Still, though, it was home-cooked meal, and very satisfying.

I spent most of the time trying to get to know our hosts, though Anderson was shy and Catalina was having none of it. She seemed very used to having guests in her home (she’s been doing it nearly 10 years) but kept interaction to a minimum. I wanted to know, more than anything, how she felt about this experience, as to me it was such a unique clash of cultures.

But to Catalina (as I finally managed to ascertain), it’s just an easy second job, which means that she doesn’t have to work outside of the home. They host two guests, once a week, and the ends meet. Simple as that.

Then the rest of the time she can knit, talk with friends or family, and farm.

And I suppose she likes it like that? I don’t know. I spent less than 24 hours with her, and I’m reluctant to generalize (though I’m sure I already have). I guess what I mean to say is that I hope she’s happy with the arrangement. And I think it will be interesting to see the impact the constant influx of foreigners has on Anderson. For now, he seems pleased. And shy.

Real Life Stumble Upon

So when I said in my last post that we explored a peace garden, I left out the part about it being completely unplanned and unintentional. More like we fell into it, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. One minute we were riding along the Jordan River Parkway, asking each other “What’s that to the left? A mini-golf place?” And then we found ourselves here:

…at the International Peace Gardens, Salt Lake City. Who knew? Lots of people apparently, and it’s even connected to a park that I’ve visited before, but we had no idea. What a treat, Friends! And now I will share it with you.

 

 

 

 

Each garden represents a country, and most of them were donated by their home countries, or by US foundations that represented foreign countries. Honestly, some of the countries’ gardens looked an awful lot like holes on a mini-golf course. But it was neat to see how each country had chosen to represent themselves, and peace. We liked the east asian gardens the best, but the experience of walking through the entire park was surreal and pleasant.

I want to say that you should check it out sometime, but maybe that wouldn’t be as cool as just coming across something so calm and magical and cheesy. So I will say that you should keep yourself open to exploring what’s around the corner, or down that path. Let what’s out there come to you. Go now, in peace.