Sunday, February 8, 2015

Please throw your toilet paper in the basket

"Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them."

This is what we read the morning before we left for Nepal. Both of us were worried.... it's hard not to be. However this passage stayed true.

Getting to a new place is always scary. Constant adjustments are happening while being in motion. New food, new hours, new culture.

8 days is not enough time to be here. However it's taught us more about what we can handle than anywhere thus far. After a travel nightmare that will go down in story telling history we were exhausted and terrified.

That is where we last left you, this is where we are just 6 days later.

Gratitude. All I feel is gratitude. I didn't know a place can teach you so much in such a short amount of time. No, its not that I realized how much we are "blessed"  or for running clean water or any of that.

God is present here.

I feel it.

I see it.

We serve a good and loving God. Not the God of fire and brimstone, but one who sent his son to save our sorry asses.

Yesterday I found myself watching a women walking toward the temple of Vishnu. She touches her hands to her head and her heart and rings a bell to awaken the god within the temple. She does this every day.

God loves her and holds her just as closely as he does me.


As for the food and sickness and all that, So far so good! We have been extra careful though and have learned that Nepali food is secretly DELICIOUS! The basic meal consist of Dal (fried lentil soup) and Bhat (rice). Generally paired with a pickled vegetable (whatever is in season.) We have tried that Dal at various locations and yes, it can be bland. But then you have REAL Dal and oh my goodness.... simply amazing. We have also been eating a lot of veggie currie, yes veggie. That is one of the secrets of not getting sick. Meat here is considered a delicacy and the locals really just eat dal bhat. If the locals don't eat it.... don't eat it.

We would post pictures soon but don't have fast enough internet.
HOWEVER follower our instragram account for almost daily picture updates @jxjworldtour

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The truth about traveling with anxiety

Those who know me well know that I hate nothing more than being sick to my stomach. Don't worry... Im not sick as of now. However this fear of sickness can consume me completely until guess what.... I'm sick.

Those who know me well would tell you I'm afraid of flying. I hate take off, I LOVE landings (cause that means you get to get off the plane). What really freaks me out is the fact that there are barf bags in the seat back pockets. When there are enough vomit incidents that one must have barf bags present I normally say count me out... But before you say Jenna.... why on earth are you doing this let me tell you about the last 52 hours of my life.

We woke up on saturday morning to check in for our afternoon flight only to realize it had already flown. What do you do? Well we payed a hefty fee and rebooked for the next day. We went to the airport for our flight and realized we now have a 10 hour layover in the busiest airport in the world.

We don't sleep

We don't sleep some more

We flip over a million times while continuing not to sleep until we got up at 3AM to make our way over to the gate at the farthest side of the giant airport.

We boarded the plane only to realize that being booked last minute means you end up with two seats next to the isle in the very back of the plane. Let me add that the plane itself is much to small to be considered a long haul airplane.

We took off. It's smooth for a while until a teenage american mission tripper runs to the back of the plane holding in her barf. I'm sorry if any one else out there is grossed out by such things but this story must be told. Also... why the crap would you run out of your seat without a barf bag!! The flight attended made the girl sit on the floor next to my seat while she grabs the dreaded barf bag out of my seat back pocket. You can see where this is going.

2 Hours Later

We started experiencing some cultural differences. The line by the bathroom began to que up about eight people long. That is when the turbulence happened. I'm talking Sahara Desert storm sized turbulence.... and the teenage girl runs to the back of the plane where I'm getting my personal space terribly invaded only to make her way through to inform the flight flight attendant she was going to vomit....


SO all this happens for a long time.... a five hour flight felt like 10 hours of chaos and yet.... I held myself together.

You see I do that. I hold myself together in the moment....

But now that we are here I feel the fear

I feel the exhaustion in my skin and stomach

I feel the turbulence in my bones

and the sickness.... I feel that in my mind.

I feel it so much that I don't want to eat here because I will get sick.

I have a tendency to panic, and I have a tendency not to tell anyone about it.

That is why I'm writing, not to gain your sympathy or pity but to tell you that I am scared. I need you to know. I need you to know because I've been scared that if I tell people, I'm not strong enough.

so here I am, emotionally naked, crying, and exhausted telling you I'm having that moment every says you will have while traveling,

I wan't to go home.

But we chose the long way. so thats the way we are going to go.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Greek is hard


We are writing from the farm in Korinthos. This is the first Wwoofing stop of a few on our trip. In case you do not know WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms. This means we exchange working on the farm for housing and food. We have been very lucky to find ourselves on this particular farm. This is a family farm that has been in existence for 150 years. sometimes you flip over the dirt and find a piece of history. They grow many vegetables here, broccoli, cabbage, leaks, lettuce, carrots, spring onions, various herbs ect. The cool thing is that it is warm enough to grow all year around. This does not mean it very warm at night. Luckily we have a heated mattress.

The people here are Kostandis, who runs the farm along with Alexandra, Pavlo, and Elias. We are very fortunate because Elias is a wonderful cook. Every meal is served with feta cheese. This is definitely not your typical grocery store feta. Two other wwoofers are here as well. Josh, he is Brittish and is doing a trip around the world as well, except on a bike! Nooria is from Barcelona. She is here visiting Pavlo after they met when she was wwoofing here before. She was working in social work in spain but due to the poor economic cant get enough funding to continue her job. This is unfortunately how a lot of people end up on the farm.

We are learning a lot about Organic principals and the benefits of eating this way. They grow everything organically. The only fertilizer used is chicken poop and all the weeding, planting, and harvesting is done by hand. This is a huge farm so all of these things come with a lot of work. It's very cool to eat food the way that God intended for it to be, straight from the earth.  We hope to be able to learn more about these principals and take them back with us as we learn to live a more sustainable life.

We eat a lot of vegetables. It is amazing what you can cook up using the same ingredients over and over. There is also a lot of trading between farmers here as well. Our chicken we get from exchange as well as almonds, currents, tahini, and eggs. The farm used to be all fruit trees so there are lemons, olives, mandarins, and oranges. We quite enjoy walking into the back yard and eating an orange right off the tree.

There are 15 dogs and 7 cats on the property. We enjoy playing with the four puppies and want very bad to take one with us. The dogs were all strays that the family finds in town and take home to the farm. They are very dirty but we love them.

Being gone from Spain we have realized a few things. The biggest of these is that we were spoiled rotten living in Ryan and Tracys's apartment. It was warm, clean, and had hot water. In case we didn't say it enough, thanks guys!

Thanks everyone for your well wishes and prayers. We will try and write again soon.
We call this one booger
 We call this one Gimpy
 Cleaning out the pool thing

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hasta Luego Madrid

In Madrid time is different. The sun rises at 9am and you get up around 10...ish. Most time here is attached to an ish... We make coffee and have an easy slow start. If we are lucky we are out of the house by noon. This is much different than the mountain life we are used to but was an easy adjustment. After a morning exploring the neighborhoods we have a big lunch, lunch is the big meal here. Even lunch breaks are longer. After lunch is Siesta time. Don't be like me and use this time to wander the streets looking for a cappuccino because a lot of the businesses close down at this time. Its a good practice in my opinion.

Dinner hour isn't until 9 or 10. Let me tell you, dinner is cool, but tapas are cooler. The way it works is if you buy a drink, you get a tapa for free. Generally its something small like potato chips, olives, or nuts. If your a little hungry, you pay a little. If you are more hungry, you pay a little more. You spend the evening feasting on pinchos (little toasts topped with various goodies) and raciones (a larger appetizer for all to share like chorizo or cheese). In Spain it is easy to experience local culture without breaking the bank. 

The food is delicious.  They have perfecting the simple things, cheese, olive oil, bread and jamón... JAMÓN! my goodness. It's everywhere. Every self respected restaurant has pig legs hanging from the  ceiling. It's cut thin and delicious with queso manchego. This is not your American honey baked ham, it's like prosciutto on crack, the epitome of pork products. They say a Spanish boy is not a man until he can properly carve a ham. 

We will miss you Jamón... oh and Spain to.... and Ryan and Tracy....

Now we are off to the farm in Greece.

Hasta Luego Madrid, Kalimera Corinth

Toledo, Spain.

Toledo, Spain

Sintra, Portugal

Sintra, Portugal

Moorish Castle Sintra, Portugal

ME giving Jake a shave at the second oldest barbershop in the world.

The motley crew in Porto, Portugal.