Watching: Borgen about a woman who becomes the Prime Minister of Denmark, aka the Danish “The West Wing.” All the speaking is in Danish, so it’s a lot of work to watch and read sub-titles in English. If you’re a fan of the “The West Wing”, though, you’ll enjoy this.

Anticipating: My big trip in just a couple of weeks!! Most of me can’t believe that my job at CHAI is ending so soon, but the rest of me is downright giddy at the prospect of my trip. In case you missed it I’ll be going to India, Nepal and Bhutan for about a week each, then back to Lesotho for a few days then on to Copenhagen via Cape Town where I’ll be seeing THIS and then visiting my sister and her family for Christmas.

Listening/Reading: I am literally obsessed with the original Broadway cast recording of “Hamilton” – a hip-hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton. It’s one of those things that was in my pop culture sphere, and when I finally got around to checking it out couldn’t imagine my life without it. I dare you to watch this performance by Lin-Manuel Miranda performing what would eventually become the opening number of the musical and NOT be completely bowled over by his genius. (Literally, he was just awarded with the MacArthur “genius” award.)

Eating and drinking up the food and booze in my house! It’s time for me to go through all my “food storage” given my travels and that I then don’t know how much longer I’ll be in Lesotho. I don’t have as much “food storage” as my Mormon upbringing might bring to mind, but there’s enough non-perishables on my shelves that I really only need to shop for meat and veggies in the short term. I was even good and kept myself from stock piling on a recent trip to Bloem and Woolworths food.

Working On: Getting ready to hand over my duties in just a few weeks time. The closer my departure gets the more I realise how much information is stored in my head that I am going to have to get out in one way or another. It’s madness.

Loving: That I will be seeing another “generation” of Lesotho friends at the wedding in India later this month. Basically I will get to see almost all of my most favourite people who I met in Lesotho in a 3-month period. So much fun.

Playing: Monument Valley for a 2nd time. After I upgraded to a new iPhone recently I had more space to add games and I rediscovered this gem. Loved it once, loving it twice.

So, I have some news and now that it’s out of the bag at work I figure that it’s time to tell the world that …

… I’ll be leaving my job at CHAI in November. I haven’t figured out what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be next. In the meantime I’ll be doing some traveling and then staying in Lesotho a little longer until I do (or winter comes around again, whatever comes first …)

There. I thought that writing this for the world to know would make it feel more real. It does not. I am both sad and excited, but right now mostly sad. If I think about leaving what has been my home for the last 6 years I get weepy. At the same time I know that there’s a great opportunity out there for me, now I just have to find it. It’s a very strange feeling.

As I mentioned above I plan travel a bunch after my last day with CHAI as it happens to correspond to a return trip to India for the wedding of more friends. (Yes, my third wedding in an 8 month period. All friends who I met in Lesotho, 4 of whom met their partners in Lesotho.) I all of a sudden realised that I had free time to travel and then couldn’t stop thinking about it. Then there was decision paralysis when the number of options started to overwhelm me. In the end I decided to tack on a trip to Nepal and Bhutan at the end of my time in India. It will be a little chilly, but no worse than Lesotho in winter. Altogether it is going to be the longest trip I’ve ever been on and the longest time I’ve spent traveling by myself. It’s going to be pretty awesome.

In the meantime I am very actively looking for my next opportunity. So, people, shoot me an email if you know of anything! I would love to find something in South Africa but am pretty flexible geographically as long as the job is challenging.

I’ll leave you with some cheesy sayings that I pinned on Pinterest awhile ago but that have even more meaning to me at this phase in my life. There will be a lot to process in the coming weeks so I imagine that I’ll be writing here more than usual. Stay tuned :)

26973-how-lucky-i-am-to-have-something-that-makes-saying-goodbye-somondayquotebegginingsss 2015-10-09 18.34.49


Watching: Season 1 of “Mr Robot” (Whoa.) and old seasons of “The Wire.” After “Breaking Bad” ended I started saying that it was the best television show EVER because it went out on a high note while Season 5 of “The Wire” is the worst of the bunch. I’m reconsidering this assertion now that I have started on my third time watching the entire series of “The Wire.” I’m not sure I could go back and re-watch “Breaking Bad” but, man, do I love “The Wire.” Let’s just call it a tie.

Anticipating: So many exciting things happening this month! The Lesotho Wine & Craft Festival is this weekend (aka the social event of the season). Later I get to see the Alvin Ailey dance company perform in Joburg and then I’m off to Jon and Emma’s wedding at the end of the month. Yay for reuniting with Lesotho friends!! I’m also eagerly anticipating the arrival of my first grown-up piece of furniture, a couch I ordered and that should be delivered this week or next. Exciting month ahead!!

Listening/Reading: I just finished “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” as an audiobook and cannot wait to start the next one in the trilogy. It left me wondering, “What the f*** is going on?” in the best way possible.

Eating: Lots of salads (my fave: chopped up broccoli, red onion, cucumber, red pepper plus chick peas and canned corn) but it’s almost time to break out the gas grill.

Working On: The future.

Loving: Spring in Lesotho! The peach trees are in bloom and the whole country is pink. Love it.

Wanting: This bullet journal

Watching: Season 3 of “Orphan Black” (Tatiayana Maslany FTW at the Emmy’s by the way … What she does on the show is pretty incredible) and Season 1 of “Madam Secretary” (Their depiction of the King of Swaziland and his wives was SO OFF. The actors and the clothes they were wearing all looked more West African than Southern.)

Anticipating: Being at home for the month of August. I have no trips planned and I’m looking forward to it. Starting in September I have either work or personal trips planned (or both) at least once a month every month to the end of the year. While I can’t imagine my life without travel, it’s nice being home for long stints too.

Reading: “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson. I’ve loved his other books and this is no exception.

Eating: Conference food since I’ve been in meetings every day but 2 since returning from Utah. In Lesotho, at least, conference food usually means traditional food that I don’t normally eat but love to eat at conferences like polony sandwiches, peas, samp and beans, and dessert that usually involves jello and/or custard. This week I was pleasantly surprised to find what I thought was pap was really mashed potatoes!

Working On: Finishing the colouring pages that I’ve started in three separate books, using a combination of markers and pencils but can’t seem to complete.

Loving: The entertainment I’ve been getting by going back through old entries in my “micro-journaling” app from a couple years ago. I’ve gone through a dry spell recently where I haven’t been writing very frequently (or at all). Looking back through my entries I’m reminded that it works best when I write frequent but quick entries.

Playing: Nothing these days but someone advertised that they are looking for people to play nerdy boardgames with in the local expat email newsletter and the first meet up is in the middle of the month.

In 2013 I received two coloring books (this one and this one) and a set of Prismacolor Premier colored pencils from my mom parents for Christmas. I colored a few pages shortly after receiving the books but once my cleaning lady put the books on my shelf they sat there for the next year and a half. About two months ago on a chilly Lesotho winter evening when I was uninterested in scrapbooking and looking for something else to keep me entertained while watching TV (because who just sits and watches TV these days?) I decided to pull the pencils take another stab at coloring in the books. Right after I started coloring again there was an article in Entertainment Weekly on grown-up coloring books then NPR ran a story about the growing popularity of grown up coloring. Who knew my mom was such a trendsetter? According to this article from mid-July, “adult coloring books occupied as many of eight of the top 20 slots in a spot-check of Amazon’s best-seller list this week.” Whoa.

Shortly after the NPR story ran it came up in conversation with a group of lady friends in Maseru, which led to a ladies night gathering where we drank wine and colored together. After that I decided that I needed to get some more books (and a set of markers) during my visit to the U.S. and now, you could say, I’m officially obsessed. I’m finding it a great alternative to scrapbooking that feeds on my love of pattern and color but let’s me take a break from the computer. Of course because I’m obsessed I thought it would be fun to share the latest additions to my coloring book collection and some thoughts on them:

Natural Wonders a Patrick Hruby Coloring Book: This one is a bit different from the others in my collection. The areas to fill in are bigger with less detailed areas. It’s truly a book where you can turn your mind off while coloring as you don’t have to think too much while filling in the areas. It has nice thick paper and perforated pages making it easy to remove them from the book. Plus the pictures are just fun.

Balance by Angie Grace: Unlike the Patrick Hruby coloring book, this one is all about the detail but it’s also proving to be my favorite. Most of the spaces are so small that I have to use only my very fine tipped markers. What I love about the book is looking up color palettes on Pinterest and then finding the right colors to pull it off. The artist has a new release called “Centered” that is on my future wish list.

Mid-Century Modern Animals by Jenn Ski: Let’s just say that the cats on the cover drew me in and when I saw previews of the rest of the pages I couldn’t resist. This has a good mix of detailed and non-detailed work. This book also has really nice thick paper and perforated pages. When I showed it to my mom she said, “I lived through mid-century modern. Are you going to color it in Avocado and Harvest Gold too?” (Challenge accepted.)

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford: One of the most popular grown up coloring books out there, according to what I’ve read. Also lots of small detailed areas, like Balance. The one thing that is keeping this from being a close runner-up to my most favorite book is coloring ALL THE LEAVES. I get so tired of coloring in just shades of green. That said, the artist has a new book coming out later this year with an ocean theme that I am already coveting.

Watching: The Americans. If you’ve seen it I think you’ll understand that my main question about the show is: where do Elizabeth and Phillip (the main characters) keep all their wigs?

Anticipating: Warm weather in Utah later this month. My flight back includes a 12 hour layover in Paris. I’ve always done that in winter, so I’m also looking forward to Paris in summer even if just for 12 hours.

Listening/Reading: I just finished listening to “Thomas Jefferson the Art of Power” as an audiobook. It was 18+ hours long. I have a couple of books I’ve been reading on my Kindle, but very slowly. My next audiobook will be “Queen of the Tearling”- something a little lighter.

Eating: A recipe that I found on Pinterest for “eggless chocolate chip cookie dough for 2” It’s delicious. I kind of wish that I hadn’t found the recipe ;)

Working On: Staying caught up day to day. Then I’ll move on to staying caught up on my life in general.

Loving: That the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere is behind us. Bring on the sun!

Playing: Elevate on my iPhone. Everyday there is a different combination of games that are meant to keep your brain sharp. My best areas are Writing and Reading. My worst area: Listening. Especially the game where you have to learn names.

Watching: My scrapbook pages scroll across the television screen since I use the jpegs as screen savers for my Apple TV. It’s a fun way to “interact” with my photos.

Anticipating: Not much right now. It’s winter and (per the below) I haven’t figure out my travel plans for the next few months.

Listening/Reading: New music I downloaded after the Bushfire music festival in Swaziland last weekend. New favorite group: The Soil.

Eating: Soup. Lots and lots of soup. A clear sign it’s winter here.

Working On: Travel plans. Namely I’m trying to figure out when I’ll go to the U.S. (summer? winter?) and how to split up everything I want to see in India between two trips for weddings later this year.

Loving: All the cool stuff going on at work these days. The number of people on our team has nearly doubled since the beginning of the year and we’re scoping a project that I think is going to be BIG.

Playing: Plants vs Zombies 2.


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