Thursday, September 28, 2006

check this out:

(this is the june 2006 issue of the bulletin from the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air highlighting the project i described below co-sponsored by USAID and Winrock.
We heard from rogerio!!

(you may recall he is affiliated with winrock and aprovecho. i located a presentation (june 06) of his on the bioenergy list detailing a study he applied in a community in peru, Inkawasi, and also in bangladesh. in regards to the peruvian community, he surveyed 130 some households where he found 100% of the indigenous farmers used unventilated firepits for cooking. additionally he found they were not aware of the health impacts, or of ways to reduce the danger. overall he reported in peru there are 8 million mostly indigenous people/subsistence farmers, living in the andes who predominantly use "biomass,"ie., firewood in open unventilated firepits. URI (ie., upper respiratory illness) has been identified as the leading cause of death (2000), and that indigenous children suffer 2x the death rate of the national average. he has photos of a "rocket" stove made by local trained potters that are now being used in this community. he provides an excellent model that seemed to me could be applied in sipascancha... )

and, given what we aim to do, to hear from him is thrilling!!! we received the call yesterday evening, i think from brazil, but actually i was sooo excited, i forgot to ask. (i had been waiting almost a week and feared my letters straight up suggesting what he had put together looked and sounded as if an equal model/study be applied in sipascancha, and that steve and i would happily do everything we could to coordinate it, had sounded too pushy...)

so, gratefully, he did not think me nuts to have made the suggestions, in fact he seemed thrilled to have contact with someone who knew firsthand of the environments the campesinos live in, and that to bring more communities the technology was his dream, and he said he would be happy to collaborate with us!!!!!!

otherwise, we chatted briefly as he was preparing for a 6 week trip. he mentioned indoor air pollution was a personal interest of the wife of el Presidente Garcia and that concepts of improved stove technology are being actively promoted at the national level. like NOW. interesting!! and, that a conference is slated about this topic for sometime in december in lima. he asked if i could attend! (god, i would love to. steve didn't think it possible. but, honestly, it seems one of us should go, so to get this off on the right foot and utilize what is already in place...) anyway, he asked what kind of funding money we had. well, i had to tell him none, right at the moment....but that we were applying for assistance, once i had a clear plan to present. and that contacting him was part of it. and that it remains to be seen if it would be approved. he indicated there may be other organizations out there...interesting! we'll hear from a colleague of his within the next week, lisa. she, as we speak, is returning from a stove project somewhere in peru!

i have not heard from pave in a couple weeks now, but today will write her of this. i'm still waiting for something via snail mail from her about a stove she's aware of there. (perhaps the same??) with respect to her, and the villagers she represents, i want to keep her posted on everything. we need to be sensitive to their ideas about all of this as well. i am totally committed to that. however i think she will be thrilled, as i, to know there are pilots underway, and perhaps more support than either she or i was aware of in pulling this off!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

it's fall. it rained buckets last night maybe 5 minutes after i scooted home on my bike from work. very, very loud! the cats all looked out the windoww to see what was happening! it settled down and was perfect sleeping weather. and now i'm awake, it's like 1 PM. and cool and cloudy outside. tomato splitting weather for sure.

i will miss summer.

we visited aprovecho yesterday! the stove research all takes place in a large storage unit in creswell. we arrived and met nardica and dean. on the shelves were stoves from all over the world where they test them for efficiency and carbon monoxide production. they were preparing to go to india where they have a grant from the shell foundation to make something like 5 million stoves. also many of the stoves will be for larger scale use in monasteries and restaurants. WOW. we had a few minutes to talk. there was a prototype of the rocket stove. there are many variations but all using the same principles. 1.) to insulate the fire with lightweight materials. 2.) having a insulated short chimney above the fire. 3.) to heat and burn the sticks at the tips as they enter the fire. 4.) to make high or low heat depends on the number of sticks placed in the fire. 5.) the importance of maintaining a good fast draft. 6.) that excess charcoal and smoke is because of too little draft. 7.) apparently the chimney, the opening into the fire and the sizes of the spaces should all be the same size to create the most effective transfer of heat. 8.)one should use a grate under the fire. 9.) by insulating the heat flow path, one can more quickly and efficiently heat the pot. 10.) the right sized gap will tranfer the heat where you want it. too small can cause a reduction in the draft or too large the heat won't reach the desired cooking surface.

i asked , so do people really use the stove?? and dean laughed. apparently what has been most successful is to meet with the women. then to let them use the stove and to let them guide what is constructed but with still using the same principles. and it depends on just what they cook. for instance, tortillas, require a certain surface and temperature. (however peruvians don't cook tortillas.)

they gave me some contacts. apparently there is someone in brazil who has worked with peruvians in providing this technology with consideration to their resources. exciting!!

i left somewhat overwhelmed. i explained to steve that the women in this particular community are very timid. very timid. they don't seem to think they have anything to offer. one can barely get them to look directly at you. (however i remember a few being more outspoken.) to get a conversation going about what they would want in a stove maybe a challenge in itself! and seeing the little parts like a grate, or what one would set the pots on, or in making lightweight bricks out of mud and sawdust. (yikes do they even have sawdust??) how will we figure out the cost if we don't know what we'll use?? we will have 3 months!! thankfully steve does not see the technical side is as being a big deal!

so, i'm going to write the contacts nardica gave me. and i have a spanish copy introducing all these principles/ construction/ etc. to send to pavela. i need to talk to pave about whether cristo de los andes is an ngo, (i believe it is...) , then to write to CMMB.

more later, time to get ready for work.

Friday, September 15, 2006

happy birthday to me!! 51 today!!

so i'm happy to have gotten posted the news from peru. (peruse down to the previous post) i am getting the sense this could take off. very very exciting!!! on monday we visit aprovecho!!! lots has to come together, (namely $$$$!!) and we'll do it one step at a time.

so until then i will be celebrating my birthday. we're going to the coast, sylvia beach hotel. i've never been there but understand it's quite nice, on a bluff overlooking the ocean, with each room focused on a particular author. no phones. no tv. (!!!) we have the oscar wilde room tonite and emily dickinson tomorrow night! just walking, and exploring. ummm. and sushi!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

what with summer, gardens, vacations and getting back to work, i haven't had a chance to post much about the news from Peru'. steve and i have been talking about going there for a few months in april!! throught the course of the conversations, what we'd love to do is volunteer down there. (YEAH) he's aware of a local organization, aprovecho, that has plans for a type of stove (rocket stove) for cooking that uses less fuel and cooks more efficiently than the fire pits many have in their homes. and because their homes don't have chimneys or a way for the smoke to exit, what they use now adds to the respiratory illnesses so many of the children have. (and of course i would want to bring medicines, vitamins, and clothing, while we were at it!) anyway i wrote to pavela about whether she has heard of these. so i'll post the news from sipascancha alta rough translations will follow. as i look back on them, i can't remember where i left off, so we'll start here:

Gracias amiga:
Un abrazo grande para ti aqui te mencionamos como nuestra amiga de norteamerica, yo inagure el mercado el 27 de mayo y venimos trabajando por eso en turnos para vender y tratar de atraer turismo a nuestra puerta , hemos vendido algo o mejor dicho nuestros amigos de Sipas han vendido como mil soles en ese mes y ellos estan muy contentos, yo camino tras los guias de turismo buscando amigos para que nos traigan turistas. Todos los niños del comedor te mandan besos y cariño la otra semana lleve una camioneta de comida, y les recorde tu amistad y les dije que nosotras siempre nos tenemos presente la una a la otra y que pronto me comunicaria contigo, ayer 4 era mi cumpleaños y tu mail me alegra mucho y las papas de tu verano también .
Aqui seguimos luchando por el colegio que por fin el alcalde de Colquepata decidio construir junto a nuestros queridos amigos de Sipas quienes en faenas estan levantando junto a los cuartos donde tu dormias te acuerdas, sabemos que piensas en nosotros dentro de tu felicidad y yo también te pienso con gran cariño pero tu verano aqui es invierno y de los más crudos y duros de los ultimos años. Tratare de mandarte otras fotos del mercado artesanal se que te gustará. Nuestros niños van creciendo y tenemos 280 niños en el comedor y por milagro aún podemos darles sopa. Los invernaderos estan cada día mas viejos pero seguimos insistiendo en poner verduras.Algunas todavia dan.

Se que contamos contigo al menos el amor que nos proyectas es el calido cariño que necesitamos. El hogar que estamos construyendo en Quiquijana estara al 50% de sus intalaciones para inagurar en febrero. Te esperare siempre para que el verano lo traigas en tu maleta y las papas sean dulces, sabes que cuando brotan flores hay que aporcar (echarle tierra a los costados formando una pequeña montaña de tierra alrededodr de los tallos trabajo que se realiza con cuidado extremo) bueno seguro que si, Si tienes alguna idea para poder ayudarnos ahora comentala por favor amiga siempre te necesitamos pero nuestra amistad es grande y eso es el mejor regalo siempre.

Saludos a tus hijos quienes tienen un gran mamá.
Contestame te necesito para cpmentar nuestro proyecto.
Tu amiga Pave.. un abrazo muy grande

(very) roughly translated pave tells me that they refer to me as their north american friend. they opened a market where tourists can come that's in between Pisac and Cusco. (part of their project in the village) the villagers take turns selling their artesania (weavings, etc). they are trying to attract the tourists by way of getting the various guides to bring groups of tourists to their door. she says our friends from sipascancha have made over a 1,000 soles (300$ or so) and they are very content. [makes me smile...} and the children send their kisses and love. last week a truck arrived full of food (i had sent some money to buy food, not much, like 300$) and they all remembered my friendliness and that we always brought something (to eat) when we came. and she is happy that i wrote back so quickly as it was her birthday recently. she adds she is also happy to hear about the potatoes i planted (blue peruvian) they are building a new school, as finally the mayor of the nearest town, Colquepata, has agreed to help with the cost. our dear friends, the villagers are building it next to where i had my room, where the teachers and i stayed throughout the week.) she knows that i hold them all in my heart and she as well. while it is summer here, it is winter there and in the last few years the winters have been very hard. she will try to mail pictures of the market. she goes on to tell me "our" children are growing and now there are 280 they feed daily and it is a miracle they can give them soup. the greenhouses are old but they continue to plant vegetables. they are building an orphanage in quiquijana (another town they are working in.) she adds that they want to tell me the love we share is what they need. she hopes the summer brings good things to me, and that my potatoes are sweet. she then advises me when the plants flower to make sure i have plenty of dirt around the roots, like a hill! she asks me to let her know of an ideas that may help them as i know they are always in need. but our friendship is always the biggest gift. she signs off saying hello to my sons, who have this special mother. and again to let her know if i have additional ideas about their projects.

Querida Laurie
Estoy muy contenta or haber recibido tu mensaje, nunca creo que tu estes mal ni que la pases mal porque siempre te pienso bien, y si estas feliz yo tambien lo estoy, creo que estas viviendo un momento muy especial de los podemos contar y expresar tanta felicidad como yo persivo en tus palabras que nosotros quisieramos tener Lauritas en nuestros días tambien es muy importante yo tambien te pienso mucho y recuerdo las fotos de tus hijos y el carro rojo de tus padres que me gusto mucho y como eran ustedes una familia de productores de vino crees que no recuerdo las fotos como muy idilicas,bueno a nosotros nos va un porco mejor en las ventas en el mercado y te agradezco mucho el dinero lo esperare como la vez pasada, nos va servir un monton. Espero poder verte en Perú aunque no este en tus planes, pasala bien amiga yo a veces estoy preocupada porque tengo problemas familiares pero espero poder nadar a la orilla y salir con mas fuerza soy una sobreviviente siempre y se nadar muy bien y al saber que este momento estas muy feliz y con muchos amigos figuro que yo también tendre pronto eso que tu tienes , lo he tenido varias veces pero llegan epocas ... no importa solo se que en el fondo soy muy feliz porque se quien soy y como amo a los demás y que...
Seamos siempre amigas si ...
Un abrazo Pave................

another rough transation: she write telling me she thinks i am never not positive and that she is very happy to hear from me. she is also happy, feeling that we are sharing a special time together where we can share our happiness. they need more lauritas. (!) she recalls the photos i shared with them of my sons and a picture of my father in his bright red old car. she wonders how they all are and if they are making wine. (i shared with her once that was what we did when i was young!) the market apparently is doing better. and she thanks me again for the money as it helped alot. she wants to see me again in peru, but fears this is not in my plans (she knows now it is!) she is apparently having some family problems but trying to rise above it all...stating she is a survivor, kind of like a sink or swim thing. she then imagines me quite happy with all my friends, hoping i consider her one as well. she is alone but this is not important because deep down she's happy and thats what important. in closing, "always friends" , pave-

querida Laurita espero me tengas paciencia, yo estuve pasando algo muy fuerte, tu recuerdas la casa donde vivo pue parece que me tengo que ir pronto luego de vivir 12 años en esa direcciòn y tuve un mal entendido cn mi mamá y ella se puso muy de malas y me dijo hasta lo que nunca debio decir y me dluele aún mucho este problema, etoy buscando un pequeño lugar donde comprarme un terreno para hacerme una pequeña casa. Eso es lo que me atormenta estos días y llore mucho porque siempre pense que mi mamá me adoraba pero parece que soy una especie de oveja negra de la familia por ser tan diferente. La casa donde vivo es de ella y ahora me voy porque a veces es mejor quererse más y luchar por salir adelante tu lo comprendes perfectamente. Las ideas que tu tienes son muy buenas y muchas gracias , lo del humo de las estufas es verdad, tengo dos ideas que te las mandare por correo, y tambien haré una lista de costos y materiales, he visto algunas de adobe ( esa tierra de las que estan hechas las casas), pero lo mejor serìa unas chimeneas de hojas de zinc. La escuela tiene ahora 08 computadoras pero siempre falta pienso.Lo que me dices es muy bueno las medicinas, tu visita, todo espero que se pueda concretar y recuerda ese tiempo es de lluvias. Sigamos hablando de este tema que me parece muy bueno y te vere y podremos hablar mucho.Saludos a Steve. Lo del dinero mil gracias mandalo a mis datos Pavela Giuliana Jimenez Figueroa DNI 23827338 dirección Mesón de la Estrella No. 180 Cusco Perú y retorna el número de transferencia en Wenster Unión.por mail. Espero ahora estar más calmada pero a veces me desespero por preguntarme mucho donde podre vivir en paz. pero estos días encontre un lugar que espero te guste cuendo vengas. es un poco lejos del centro pero tiene muhos arboles y tendre um pequeño jardín si Dio quiere y de ahí nadie me echara hasta algún día te quedarás te va gustar.
Amiga con tu mail me diste mucha fuerza, te quiero mucho y que sigas viajando saludo y abrazos a Shelley.
Tu amiga Pave.

in this letter, she explains the family problems are with her mother, and that she is like the black sheep of the family! (i told her i was too!) and because of this she will have to move from her mother's house. she has been there the last 12 years. she wants to have her own place and later says that when steve and i come, that she hopes she will have it and we will like it! but that it will likely be out of town. she simply wants to live in peace. more seriously, it breaks her heart to be having this problem with her mother as she thought her mother adored her. she goes on to say she thinks our ideas about the stoves are excellent and it is so true how much problems they cause for the children. she will send me more information and figure out the costs. she understands the best stoves are contructed with sheets of zinc. (i am looking into this.) they wouldn't mind another computer, as they amazingly have a few which the 200+ children share. i am not sure if its hooked up to the internet, it seems in a photo she sent me there was something that looked like to old dial up type connection/ modem thing. and of course medicines are always helpful. she goes on to give me some information i needed to send more money. i give her strength and that she cares for me, and wishes me a good trip (i told her i was going to the mountains.)

y finalmente, la ultima....

Amiga yo sospechaba que tu tenias esa extraña sangre de oveja negra pero siempre tenemos algo especial. Laurita gracias por tener esa visión de tranquilidad siempre.
Lo de las chimeneas creo que deben ser una especie de chimeneas de adobe y palo que ellos deben poner de su parte, y tu proyecto debe poner chimenea de hojas de zinc, y planchas de fierro para cocinar en vez de las hornillas de barro. El tema es de cuanto nos sal son aprox. 120 o más familias cuantas debemos cubrir? e ahi la pregunta en esta semana ire a ver el costa de unidad y luego vemos. Ellos deben poner en todo proyecto 20% del costo total en materiales del lugar y mano de obra. Gracias por lo del dinero, en cuanto llegue subire con comida y coordinare´lo de las cartas de los niños y los materiales que de urgencia se necesitan .Pronto tendrás las cartas y fotos lo que te pido las edades aproximadamente de los niños que quieren ayudar los mayores los de primaria nose ustedes decidan.
Ya tengo mejor animo pero algo me queda, pero se que seguiremos y eso me hace feliz.
Un abrazo para Tí y tu guapos hijos y Steve, creo que la vamos a pasar bien cuando vengan.

haha, she suspected i had this black blood of a black sheep, like her! but that we are something special! she thanks me for how i am...tranquilidad siempre. she discusses the stoves. apparently the ones she knows off are contructed of adobe (thats good) and utilize sheets of zinc and plates of iron, where the pots can be set. she asks how many as there are now 120 families in sipascancha! she wants to look at the cost. she believes the villagers can come up with 20% of the cost (impressive). she thanks for the money i was about to send telling me it will be used for food and other things the kids need urgently. and she will begin coordinating an idea i had asked her about, (an idea that E. and i discussed) about kids from a school here in the states establishing contact where children here can write, practice spanish and send pencils to the kids there. and the kids there can then practice their spanish and send drawings, photos, etc back. she asks me the ages of kids here so she can match them up with ages of children down there. i have given her more energy, so to say, more spirit, to carry on and this makes her happy. and she ends with, hugs to my handsome sons and to steve! and that she hopes all is going well still allowing us to come.

Monday, September 11, 2006

hey, there's more about my vacation that was simply fantastic. heading back home, i picked up steve at the bus station. i was excited all the way from astoria! seemed silly to be my age and feel nearly beside myself at the thought of seeing him at the greyhound station!! but i did...

we had tickets to a 2-day show, featuring many, but namely michael hurley and vashti bunyan...
this thing i have about michael hurley is thanks to steve. he's an old guy, folksinger and actually i had never heard of him until steve played his music for me. somehow we discovered that he had to live next door to some old friends of mine in astoria, over by the river in alderbrook. (steve had ordered some cd's from him and had written him there.) so over the course of the last 8 or 9 months on visiting claudia and brigido, i told them they has a famous person living nearly across the street and i secretly hoped he would come out so i could talk to him. he's a bit reclusive, or on tour. claudia would walk her dog and hear him singing. she met him once or twice, but not a surprise, he's not what you would call "friendly" more like reserved. as steve says he probably just wants his space and who wouldn't there on that street in front of the columbia river. its beautiful! so, i got to see him and even talk to him the night of the show. (and yes, my experience was equivalent to claudia's.) it did not help that i went nearly tongue tied when i finally was standing there next to him.

i will tell you he brought tears to my eyes when he sang about the fishermen who leave for rougher waters, like in the bering sea to make a living and how some of them don't come back. (more to it than that, i am bad at remembering lyrics and its not on any of the cd's i bought.) when i lived in astoria i was in love once with a fisherman. (actually dated quite a few....) but i could've married dave. i met him while renting his house and at the time he was fishing on the bering sea. the deal i had made with his mother was that when he returned he could stay in the room in the basement. so over the course of a few years, he was my kept man so to speak. my friends all thought it funny that i had one down there. he was a doll, wore his heart on his sleeve. a devoted dad to his two children and sort of like a mr. rogers to everyone else's kids, including mine. unfortunately he was not the greatest fisherman. he had this totally romantic notion of what it meant to him to fish for a living. he was very proud of his life on the water. he had a boat called the western. an old wooden one. and in bad shape. but he loved that boat. once he went high and dry on the youngs bay and had to be pulled out by the coast guard....anyway, he sold the western at one point and went back to school. he was trying to be a more normal dad and work and live closer to his kids. so he took a friends boat out off of newport with a crew of 2, for one last trip, aiming to make the quick money (every fisherman i knew always felt that could fill their hold and make a bunch, but the truth is not many do.) so one night while out he was on watch (ie., turns are taken where one person stays awake while others sleep), and he disappeared. the crew woke up to find him gone. complete with his survival suit. he drowned and they found his body after the memorial. at that point i was living in eugene and he had been in corvallis. he had come down a couple months before and thrilled the kids with his"fishboat pancake recipe". he had wanted me to move up there, of course thinking better late than never, however i felt it was too late to try it again. so he had met someone and was really happy and i was happy for him too. and there would be this one last trip...but he died.

so michael hurley sang this song and it made me cry and i thought of dave. i told him that but never asked if he had written it there, (oh...tongue tied-me!!) up in astoria, where i had lived and loved for a those years.


and vashti bunyan, a beautiful woman from scotland. years and years ago she put out a couple albums. folky, sweet, and her voice like an angel. so she skips off and lives her life, raising goats on a farm in scotland. years later, she first uses the internet and does what most of us do, look up our own name. and she finds people are still listening and how rare the albums are...well long story short, this was her first show in the US in 35 years. and she was on stage with a little mini chamber orchestra. and she was so genuinely moved by the crowd, so genuinely shy and shakey, humble, and her voice, still like an angel. i thought it cool that she would share what moved her to write this song or that, and that oftentimes it was her children, and how the majority of people listening could have fit the bill.

i loved it! (even if i did climb 3 flights of stairs repeatedly with my bum knee to hear as many bands as we could and then sat on the floor for many of the performances...yup, thought i left all that at the wallowas!) thanks honey it was really fantastic.....xxxooo

Sunday, September 10, 2006

aaargh. first night back to work. a few posts ago i wrote about how it is for me working in an ICU. but, i failed to mention one thing. i think. nurses in general are incredibly judgemental, competitive, and many times impossible to work with together as a team. and not that they can't be friendly. however, many think their way is the one way to do something. however i remember a nurse i worked with once saying and i quote, "there is more than way to skin a cat." i think whether a nurse likes it or not, while they are gone, someone is doing their job the best way they can, based upon the circumstances at the time. for god's sake it seems simple to perhaps think what you may, but none the less be respectful and civil and trust you would appreciate the same consideration.

enough said. it's off my chest.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

sara, i had no idea you were reading this!!! send me your email address!!! i miss you too.

ahhh, the mountains!!! reporting back on the absolutely fantastic 2006 backpacking trip in the wallowas. shelley, karla, diane and i. we had a great trip to joseph, over 8 hours driving time! and what wind through the columbia gorge! the scenery was beautiful, especially when reaching wallowa county. we spent the night at the "Indian Lodge Motel" (is that name legal??!!) we arrived a bit late. on asking the attendant if there was a restaurant that delivered food, she laughed. not even anything open. so dinner was peaches. we relished in the shower for one last night and decided we would be leisurely about our pace in the morning as far as getting started. we were hiking in a day earlier than k. and d. thankfully, i bought a walking stick the next morning. normally willing to just grab a stick on the trail, but because of my knee, i decided to actually buy a real walking stick. (i must be getting older!) so, after breakfast, stopping to pick up the stick and a few other necessities, we hit the trail. after our usual "start of the trail" photo, s. was on her knees and found she could not get up!!! uh oh...

i've never been good at estimating miles. shelley either. so thinking we had to have walked at least 5 miles, we consulted our meager map. ( note to self: always, always have a real trail map!) well, we hadn't even passed the junction at ice lake trail. good god. and that was at 2.8 miles!! its amazing what carrying a 40 pound pack can do to your speed! we walked on and reached the six mile meadow. poor shelley already had blisters! thankfully my knee was fine. so we decided to camp there at about 4:30. lovely campsite, little fire, courtesy of pyro shelley. and it was cold. we took our characteristic position, back to back, and pushed against each others back beside the fire. (oh, i love shelley.) al taught us this very cool way to massage and stretch each others backs! it felt sooo good! so to bed it was. a few minutes later, we hear hoofs or something. shelley tapped on my hip. "yup," i say, "it's animals." (shelley always is concerned about bears, but the food was tied up, also in our characteristic manner, ie., no saying how many times we throw the little bear bag rope thing over various trees, so to secure our food, without knocking each other out because we can't aim.) I was trying to go to sleep and shelley was still listening. more hoofs. tap tap. i then say, "shelley, pleeeeze, as long as its not a person, i'm totally OK with wild animals."

the next day we woke up early. oatmeal, filter water, pack up. we left a note for d. and k., saying something to the effect that we went this way, ie., heading toward frazier lake. (more on this as it was the wrong way. one should have a good map, but truthfully, shelley and i can get lost even with a map.) we found a bridge out crossing the river. so after scrambing around some, we got on the other side. it was lovely. rock formations that reminded me of inca walls, beautiful flowers, asters, indian paintbrush, little huckleberry bushes minus huckleberries. trees, mountains, and a rushing river beside us. and blisters! we passed a couple who said, "oh, yes, this is the way to frazier lake," where we supposed to meet d. and k. well we walked on and met a man on the trail. because he didn't have his glasses, he wanted help with the map. well, shelley and i adamantly state we are going to frazier. well he thinks he was just at horseshoe lake. uh oh, that would be the other end of the loop. but we're convinced we're heading to frazier....after all he can't see. and off we go leaving him in a state of bewilderment. we walked on. breaktime. the guy walks by us again heading our direction, as if on a mission. an hour or so later he returns and states, ""ladies, i'm sorry to tell you this but that lake is horseshoe." uh oh. again. but thankfully there are two notes showing k. and d. what way we went, even if it was wrong. and no doubt they knew! so another note gets scribbled: "oops. looks like we're headed to horseshoe. a blind man showed us the way. more later. see you all at whatever the hell lake it is." we arrived. beautiful!! we found a campsite giving us a view of the trail behind us. figuring of course we'd perch ourselves there and watch for them. a gorgeous very cold lake. the deep parts looking black and well, deep. fish jumping like crazy. eagle cap in the distance. and yes, down the trail we hear "wooo-hooo"!! the girls arrived complete with hoodoo and mo, the labs. and then a little party, all of us.

we had a leisurely morning. catching up on all the sometimes gory details of life. our kids, our loves, adventures....dipping in and out of the very cold water, warmed by a hit of tequila and then the sun. and shelley saying, " i am so glad to even be here." makes my eyes well up, remembering the last time we were all here, when shelley was waiting to have 2 lumps removed from her breast that turned out to be stage III cancer just a few years ago. we pulled out the real map, looking at where we could day hike. shelley and i opting for a shorter loop, d. and k. for the longer. they are our gazelles. all shelley wants is to not cross a snow field. (we did this before and shelley has never forgiven us! so we all go, seeing moccassin lake and then splitting up where they'll head to minam lake, us on the other loop by crescent, douglas, and lee lakes. they gave us their map! at nearly every junction we stopped to consult it. almost getting lost again!! we are nearly hopeless as far as map skills!! but we found our way and waited for them. almost through our line in but decidng not to, as we had run into a forest ranger and we, of course, without our fishing licenses.

so this was how it went for 5 days. so beautiful, so peaceful. each with our own pace. dusty trail. occasionally we ran into someone. ahhhh. i can't say what it means to me, to be where there is no sound of civilization. time to just think. good friends, laughs. and knowing no matter what, even if we're 80, we'll be back. ( and continuing our photographic essay of the passage of years according to our some lake or stream after our baths, year after year!)

day 3 i twisted my knee. damn damn damn. it was the day i didn't wear my little brace because it was hot. oh well, i could still walk and had the stick! shelley's blister was nearly an ulcer. we went to the meadow and d. and k. went to frazier. shelley and i parked ourselves by a stream, crystal light and rum, a little smoke. no matter what we were able to go with what ever happened. we started rhyming. no poetry slam by any means. (we weren't angry, or out to impress anyone with our cutting description of anything.) we were laughing and drinking a bit (not that much!) me cooling my leg, and shelley her blisters. shelley has one of those laughs from deep down and i just love to laugh with her.

the rhyme, not to be taken entirely literally:

wallowa trip 2006,
boy, do we have quite a mix!
along the trail diana skips, karla follows, laurie and shelley trip,
mo and hoodoo carry their share,
yeah, they're quite a pair--
oh, what seems like 10, turns out to be 3,
uh oh, there goes laurie's knee!
up and down the trail she goes, shelley's heel screaming "NO!"
and having a map is no guarantee, laurie and shelley will be at the scene.
thank god for blind men that can see,
friends like ours, and places like these!
yeah, we drink, we smoke and get high--
we slip, we fall and wonder why?!
but as long as we laugh and do not cry, enjoy our friends, enjoy our ride,
we'll be back for our next quest,
but please, first...
can we have some rest?!

silly i know. but every trip we've ever done for many years now, someone puts it to paper. so when they returned and we finished our meal, headlight on, we read our gift to k. and d.

thank you all for being my friends.

p.s. i had forgotten what a hassle uploading can be.....more pictures later