Archive for the 'Animals' Category

Now off to Austria with You, Go On Now

Then I took a job teaching English in Austria.  I met some amazing people (teachers come from Budapest and Berlin) and hung out with some really amazing kids.  Three different weeks in three very different small towns.  Photos soon I promise!

Zistersdorf

Bad Gastein

Tulln

May Day and Clouds in the Park

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Beautiful Blues

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Marrakesh to Essouaira

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Marrakesh

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The Desert

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After our sleepless night on the bus the surreal quality of the desert was only intensified.  We freshened up and sat drinking tea, playing more Rummy, and taking it all in.

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Then it was time to ride our camels into the desert.  I had a lot of trouble getting my turban on but, my Sister it turns out was quite the pro.

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That night we ate tagine and listened to the guides play drums and sing.  After the other guests went to bed we wondered out into the dunes to lay on the sand, watch the occasional night traveler (when the moon is full or close to full they go in the night to avoid the wind and heat of the day), and tell/translate jokes using our common knowledge of a little French, Spanish, and Italian mixed with English.

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Our tent complete with candle surrounded by rugs and sticks.

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Our guide Ibrahim posing proudly with one of the camels, he was explaining to us how important it is to respect and be kind to them which was nice to hear.

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In every photo I have of this camel he looks like he’s flashing his best smile, really he’s chewing his cud but we’ll pretend.

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The photo just doesn’t do it justice.  I’m not a big fan of super hot climates and sandy beaches (more of a mountains and lakes kind of girl) but I was blown away by how wonderful I felt there.  It was disorienting in a really calming way.

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The next day we didn’t really have anything planned, and since we didn’t have a car (like most of the Spaniards there) we just tried to be comfortable with just relaxing.  We played a lot of cards, read, drank a lot of mint tea, and while my Sister napped I had a little conversation with my camera.

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Scarab and camomile from a walk in the dunes.

As it turns out most of the action happens in the evening, after enjoying another wonderful dinner these men of the Nowa tribe of Sudan came to play.  After a while the staff joined in and then everyone was on their feet.  After dancing and jumping for hours Sister and I cartwheeled out to our tent, grabbed a blanket and enjoyed a gorgeous view of the stars. We might have slept out there if our star gazing hadn’t been interupted by some of the staff guys who kept asking if they could visit us in America.  When I look back on it I’m sure I’ll omit the cheesey lines and just remember the view but, if you’re going to visit don’t expect all peace and quiet- even in the desert.

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Fire pit outside our tents.

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Sand in my bed.

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Hooray desert! Thanks for the wonderful visit!

Sundays

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Museum fur Naturkunde Berlin

I kept going back to this post to finish writing it, saving the draft after writing a few sentences and adding a few photos, then coming back a few days later to find that my thoughts had completely changed.  It started as a post about feeling stuck and rather lazy but then I was going through my photos and I realized I’ve been doing a lot of amazing things.  I suppose I paid more attention to the couple days of guilt ridden laziness than I did to the weeks of work and exploring the city.

The Natural History Museum was fabulous, as Natural History Museums almost always are.  My favorite is the Specola Museum in Florence and of course you can’t go wrong with the NHM in New York.  This one in Berlin holds the record for the tallest mounted dinosaur skeleton though,the Brachiosaurus brancai measuring in at 43 ft 6 in high.  And they had a great Darwin exhibit up.

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Artwork with Matchbooks from the Scala Opening

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View from the second floor of the AA Studio

La Festa e La Gattina

The Au Pair job was turning shady and I soon realized the offer was indeed to good to be true.  Everything had seemed great, they sent a contract through the agency and when I checked with the agency they said it sounded legit.  But then I started asking more questions, wanted some photos, some back round, etc.  That’s when I stopped getting answers and was urged to fly to London as soon as possible.  We’ll buy you the ticket, just fill out this Visa application.  Shady.  Sketchy. No go. I found some reassuring words here though.

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So it was decided for me in a way, Berlin it would be.  Now I just had to get together the courage to leave my Sisters comfy apartment, jump not knowing if I’d land on my feet.

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While getting together this confidence I distracted myself with more knitting, the gattina (kitten-who I was quickly falling in love with), and a fabulous dinner party for a classmate’s boyfriend.

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Instead of gifts Anthony (above with the fabulous belt buckle) requested everyone bring something they had made that everyone could enjoy.  Being that most of the group is foodies that meant a lot of excellent food, including some wonderful Spring rolls by Jennifer and an delicious Almond cake by my Sister.  I brought my Polaroid and Nikon to document the events and give the Polaroids to Anthony.  Others wrote poems, brought artwork, and one woman performed belly dancing for us.  It was pretty excellent.

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After the dance I stepped outside for a minute, I got to meet Anthony and Rani’s neighbor who works for the Parma Gazette.  He showed me all of his photos and we chatted a bit in Italian.  It was really refreshing to see someone my age working as a photographer in Italy.

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Then, back inside, we all started dancing, even those people who hate dancing, and the apartment seemed to swell with smiles and new friendships (if only for that night).

Now What?

Parma was wonderful but I had nothing to do.  So I rested and tried to catch up on things.  I started emailing people about apartments in Berlin, laying out a map on the floor and reading about ex-Pats advice for getting a German Visa.  I started smoking again and knitting like a maniac.

Some highlights from my Parma trip:

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Snow storm the day after I arrived with huge puffy snowflakes that made my Sister and I say “this snow is crazy” a few more times than necessary.

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The view from my Sisters apartment window, which I know I’ve photographed before and will probably photograph again.  Something about those chimneys and the window that I love but can’t seem to capture quite right.

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This is the beer bar in Parma, Mastiff, where Christiana (the best bar tender ever) jokes with my Sister, Kate, and I.  We went there a few times during my stay and always ended up meeting new people.  I loved it here because I was able to have a beer, get comfortable, and speak Italian.  It was nice to talk to people, tell stories, learn new words, and stop over thinking it long enough to really speak.  We talked about religion, art, love, history, and of course food.

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I took a lot of long walks, catching up on This American Life, and generally going through the cycle of excitement, anxiety, cynicism, astonishment, and butterflies that comes with figuring out my life.dsc_0896 I had an offer from London thrown into the mix, to be an Au Pair for a little girl.  It paid really well, with health insurance, and a place to stay.  I felt like kind of a jerk.  Hadn’t I just felt so wonderful about starting a life in the art world in Berlin? The scent of cash and job security was really making me put all that on hold? Then again it was a great offer, Berlin would still be there in a year.

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In the midst of all this, Jennifer (my Sister’s room mate) found a kitten in the back courtyard of their apartment.  She was limping and cold and even though they aren’t supposed to have animals we took it in for the night.

Wonderful Visits

Well my visit back to the states was quick. I’m already back in Europe and it feels like I just left Italy. Being back in the states was nice, seeing my friends and family was wonderful.

Here are some highlights:

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Whitest Christmas I’ve ever had on Whidbey, and most productive scarf making week of my life.  Turns out being snowed in ain’t so bad.

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Hanging out with Liam, my nephew.  He kept pretending to take my picture then telling me I looked like Mikey Mouse.  It was so great to see him, my niece Annexea and my Brother Leaf.

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My Mom at our family friends for Christmas dinner.  Notice her festive Christmas lights necklace (which is available at Caseys Crafts of course!).

The clouds on my flight to New York were stunning.

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So was the view of the NYC skyline from Alyson and Este’s Apartment.

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Oh America I missed you.

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The best part was seeing all my wonderful friends!

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And of course a big shoutout to Layla and Isabella in Brooklyn and Rosa in Somerville.  I’m really glad my friends own cats.

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Walking around Boston and Cambridge bookstores was also fabulous.  No photos of those though.

And of course playing in the snow with everyone, which seemed to follow me everywhere I went.  First in Washington where it was out of control, then in NY a little bit, and then a snowstorm in Boston out of nowhere.  Wonder what the weather will be like in Germany.

THANKS EVERYBODY!

For more photos of friends and good times check out my facebook or my flickr in a few months when I get around to putting them up.


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