THE GREAT ENLIVENING

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The first thing I notice about Christchurch, New Zealand, is the construction. Everywhere. There are buildings adorned with scaffolding, detours and road closures and various broken and demolished infrastructure nearly everywhere I look. But I guess that’s what happens when the epicenter of a 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes only 10 kilometers from the heart of a city. I don’t have any experience with earthquakes other than a random small one that hit… Read More

I take a wobbly step off of the dock and onto the small boat that will take us back from Playa Blanca, Colombia to Cartagena. It’s a pretty simple boat – a few rows of bench seats and the captain’s chair. Rachel and I are both a little sad to leave our Colombian island paradise, but we’re feeling rested, rejuvenated and ready for the next step in this adventure. The boat ride… Read More

CAVEAT #1: So, I’ve never been one to kiss and tell, and certainly not in a public forum. And the fact that my parents (among others) read this blog makes me quite averse to writing this at all. But in the spirit of authenticity and sharing my heart, here goes: It’s 10:30 p.m in Cartagena, Columbia, and Natalie and I are finishing a nice dinner outside in a plaza just off “Bourbon… Read More

I used to have a blue stone with the word “Peace” printed in black letters on it. I can’t remember who gave it to me, only that it sat on my work desk for many years. When my marriage was unraveling and peace was what I needed more than anything, I would look at that small stone by my keyboard several times a day. And when I felt particularly anguished and like… Read More

“Gracias, buen dia!” I say as I shut the taxi door. I hear his tires roll against the gravel behind me as he heads back down the mountain. “Ok,” I think to myself, “no turning back now!” I look around for a sign or something to mark the trailhead, but there’s nothing. There aren’t any people around either. But that’s when I hear it – the sound of rushing water. There’s a… Read More

Fierce. Blinding. Invigorating. The water rushes over me. I’m under a God-sized shower that has saturated every inch of my body. It’s coming so fast and powerful that I can’t keep my eyes open. But I feel the drops pelting my skin, and I’m smiling from ear to ear. A torrent of water pounds over me unexpectedly and I squeal with delight, laughing, as water fills my mouth. I don’t know if… Read More

I’m sitting in Starbucks. Why Starbucks when there are tons of great coffee places in Buenos Aires? For one simple reason: They have air conditioning. It’s 95 degrees, which means I have about 30 seconds from the time I step outside till I start perspiring. Which after three days, I still dislike but I’m getting used to. Air conditioning is a luxury here and neither the hostel we stayed in the first… Read More

“That’s not a lot of clothes for six months…” I say as I look at the apparel laid out on my bed. And it’s true. When this journey started, I had a hard enough time pairing my clothes down to three suitcases, and one (giant) duffel bag full of shoes! Now, I’m trying to fit everything I need for the next six months into one backpack. Yikes. The Great Enlivening began in October… Read More

“I’m sorry, how many cavities did you say I have?” I ask. Surely I’ve misheard her. “Eight,” she responds with certainty and at the same time a tone of apology. It’s obvious that this Mexican dentist doesn’t want to tell me this any more than I want to hear it. “How is that possible?” I ask incredulously. “I’ve gone to the dentist every six months my entire life and I’ve never had a… Read More

“Ok, was it just me, or were those guys actually cute?” Rachel asked as we stepped outside. “I know! They were good looking, and seemed really nice.” I said with surprise. When we arrived in Mexico, Rachel and I made a discovery – there aren’t many attractive men here. And while I’m sure there are plenty of eligible bachelors in this country, they definitely don’t live in Baja. In fact, the majority… Read More