Friday, February 26, 2010
Melissa Harrington has been passionate about food for as long as she can remember; whether it was to eat or prepare, to be healthy or homemade. Mike Harrington as well has always been passionate about the consumption of food and has become increasingly passionate about food and where it comes from as he's learned about dumpster diving and watched movies such as Food Inc. With these things in mind and a desire to support the local community, the Harrington's have committed themselves to only purchasing food items from Laramie's Big Hollow Food Co-op and Whole Earth Grainery until Easter. One of the greatest facets of this committment is that the Harrington's are not only eating wholesome, local foods, but they also are receiving the joy of drinking milk from a glass bottle. For the Harrington's, these are the good ole days.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The chances of Mr. Harrington donning a hat, mask, red bandana and other such Lone Ranger garb is 112.5%. He will definitely be getting in the water. The question is only: How far? That question will remain unanswered until jump day. However, Mr. Harrington did hint to the fact that the more donations he gets, the more likely he will be to fully submerge himself in the frigid waters of Huck Finn pond. In his jump group, Mr. Harrington stands at a disappointing #3 in the rankings in terms of fundraising. Any normal person would be excited to be in that position. However, Mr. Harrington is not a normal person. He has allowed his competitiveness to get to him, and wants to go for the gold. Perhaps he will even create a gold medal for himself in the spirit of the Winter Olympics...but first, he must get the gold!
The race is on, the fundraising is for a worthy cause! Only days left to determine what medal Mr. Harrington will fasten to himself after his jump, and how far he will submerge himself in the frigid waters. To give, please visit his giving homepage at: http://www.firstgiving.com/michaelharrington2 and click "Give now". Please help Mr. Harrington's icy dip feel worthwhile! You can also use the application on the right:
Disclaimer: Mr. Harrington in no way wants you to give under compulsion--only for the satisfactory reason of giving to a worthy cause: The Wyoming Special Olympics.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
It seems to me, the preparing mentally may be the hardest to describe, but I'll give it my best shot. I'll begin by bringing in some overlapping preparation 'techniques' from our talk on preparing physically. In our post regarding physical preparation I discussed our commitment to reading books, blogs and other online resources in a manner of preparing where our physical bodies will rest and what adventures they will enjoy. For obvious reasons, reading is also a crucial step in preparing ourselves mentally for our travels. By spending time reading about traveling in general to reading about our specific cultural destinations we are able to prepare our minds for any challenges or celebratory moments that may present themselves.
A couple of examples: Mike in particular has done much reading in regards to the types of adventures available to those travelling the Garden Route of South Africa. These have included such things as diving with sharks, bungee jumping, tearing down a mountain on a mountain bike, walking among cheetahs and putting elephants to bed. Each of these has, especially for myself, some need of mental preparation. I find myself asking: "Can I REALLY handle bungee jumping off of a bridge? What will I think of myself if I don't participate in such-and-such crazy adventure? Will I be able to stand my ground and say 'no' to some of these activities which I'm not excited about?" And so, the mental preparation continues in due course.
Because our travels have us ending in an Asian nation to teach English as a Foreign Language, mental preparation has also included completing online coursework to receive a TEFL certificate - offering us the mental process of examining our own language and becoming even more accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of our native language.
Beyond these manifestations of preparing mentally, we must constantly keep all our preperations in check. This becomes a mental, emotional and spiritual process of keeping ourselves in the current moment, not allowing fear of potential travel crises to gain a firm grip on our emotions but rather allowing them to move us forward in preparation, seeking out wisdom in regards to travel safety and so much more.
Join us again next week as the Harrington's offer their readers some insight as to how they've gone about preparing for their travels on an emotional front.
The Harrington's had the great joy of hosting a loving, gentle, generous and beautiful woman this past Tuesday evening. Having read that there guest had an interest in intentional communities the Harrington's eagerly invited their dear friend Mark, who is also interested in intentional communities, over to enjoy a dinner of Pancakes with homemade Strawberry-Apple Syrup followed by Chips and Salsa with a Guiness. By the time they were enjoying the chips and salsa course, they had also been joined by another dear friend, Mike N., recently returned from Malawi as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Pancakes were provided by the Harrington's in celebration of Mardi Gras while their Surfer offered chips and salsa as a pleasant salty addition to the evenings eating enjoyment. However, it was not the food that made the meal memorable, it was rather, the conversations of the night.
After acquiring all the formal information regarding livlihoods, travel routes, weather etc. the Harrington's and guests were fortunate to hear Julia refer to her sense that Wyoming was a 'Yes', Nebraska was a 'No'. The fortune of this moment lies primarily in the mutual realizations of Mark and Melissa that these phrases are part of a most beloved song, "Oh Yes! Wyoming!" The dinner party enjoyed a good laugh and prepared to watch the video presenting this gem of a sing-a-long.
The evening continued late into the evening with conversations surrounding food production, healthy food habits, the government and the corruption of America, tire houses and desires for future gardens and intentional living. All who were present were filled with joy in their having come together and having the opportunity to share life for one short yet full-of-life night.
In the morning, the Harrington's enjoyed a breakfast of polenta, topped with black-beans, salsa and eggs prepared by Julia before heading off to work and sending Julia on her way back to California after a few years out east studying and practicing art.
Chalk that up for one more positive experience for Mike and Melissa via couchsurfing.org.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
To begin our physical preparation there has been our long standing practice of eating in a Freegan manner - meaning we have enjoyed the joy of dumpster diving and eating dumpster gourmet for over a year now. While it may seem silly to many, we have always joked that by eating food items that are on their 'last leg' we are strengthening our immune and digestive systems which will surely pay off when eating various foods around the world. Obviously, we have no true sense of whether or not this is true, but continue to view it as one small way we have prepared for world travel in a physical sense.
Beyond eating discarded food items we have also done some reading. Mike especially has been immersed in various Travel Guides, online travel sources and Nelson Mandela's autobiography. These readings have helped us to book hostels, consider various adventure outings while in various locations and to begin to get a feel for the cultures and people we will be visiting. As St. Augustine says about travel: "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only page." And as we feel about books, by reading more than one page, we are better equipped and prepared to travel.
Other than reading and booking places to lay our weary physical bodies during our days of travel we also take physical precautions, such as vaccinations. We are often checking and conversing about which vaccinations we have, that which we need, and what prescriptions we may need. We are up to date on our Hepatitis series, looking at our Tetanus records, Typhoid records and considering Yellow Fever. We know that we will need a prescription for anti-Malaria pills and that we will be wise to have had our teeth cleaned and eyes checked prior to boarding the plane.
The last way in which we prepare physically is also a way in which we prepare materialistically. We spend many conversations discussing what to do with our belongings and of course how to pack for a years worth of travel. Being that we are still young in our marriage and careers, we have few belongings of deep value, so we plan to sell lots of our belongings. However, we also have conversations with friends and family, asking whether or not they are willing to help us by storing and keeping things until we return, we are blessed to often hear that they are willing and even happy to help us. We've also received advice on things to take and ways to ensure we can bring souvenirs back home.
So we move forward, preparing physically to leave this home and set up home throughout the world, recognizing that it is not in our possessions that we find happiness or fulfillment but that it is in experiencing love and grace, compassion and joy. This is what we look forward to seeing in our travels.
We are always open to suggestions, advice, questions etc. So, if you are well-versed in travel or have picked up some valuable tips in your lifetime- please comment or contact us, we don't go about these travel plans alone. Thank you.
The Harrington Times will continue with this series next week as we take a look into how the Harrington's are preparing for thier trip in a mental capacity. Until then, safe travels.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Soon, the evening was under way. A growler of brew purchased and a dish of Sesame Noodles with Purple Kale prepared, the Harrington's enjoyed an evening meal with their guest while devising plans for the next 48 hours or so. Melissa had a meeting to attend so it was decided that Mark and some other friends would be invited over to play a game or two of Settlers of Catan with our European guest. By this time in the evening, it was also decided that Mike would wake up with such a sickness that he would have only one possible remedy, to take our guest snowshoeing. These things being decided upon, the evening continued, Catan was played and finally we all reached our pillows.
The next morning, Thierry and Mike slept in until about ten before making their way into the Snowy Mountain Range for a day of snowshoeing fun. They both made it home for another exciting Laramie evening. Mike accompanied our guest to the University of Wyoming Cowboys basketball game whie Melissa attended yet another meeting. The game was followed up with a short and insightful scavenging trip which yielded pizza, angel food cake, cookies and a few hot-dogs amongst other things. With these adventures under his belt, Thierry made his way once again to the hide-a-bed only to be leaving the Harrington household at 1:30 in la manana for the faithful Greyhound bus, continuing on his Cross-Country-soon-to-be-West-Coast-America tour.