I realized recently that I’ve mentioned a lot of people in my blog, and perhaps introductions to those frequently mentioned are in order.
2015 California & Mexico
In July-August of 2015, in typical snow-ball-Amy-traveling style, I am spending a month traveling in California and Mexico, which includes a week backpacking the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National Park with these two buds, Molly and Sam. Molly and Sam are people I like well enough that I’m willing to spend an inordinate amount of time with them nonstop in potentially exhausting, cranky situations. How’s that for friendship?
Molly works in development here in D.C. and Sam does database work for liberal nonprofits. As Random Dude we met on a backpacking trip in West Virginia commented, we “all have very D.C. jobs.” Sam is just with us for the High Sierra Trail, but Molly and I have a few days book ending that trip in San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Mexico City together.
I live with Mamta (sometimes misspelled as Mumta) and her twin boys (January – April 2011) in Faridabad, India – a large city just south of New Delhi. Mamta is a widow in her early to mid thirties and her twin boys are nine years old. The twin boys are somewhat like having nine year old brothers again, complete with obnoxious noises at odd hours, having toys hit me while I’m at the kitchen table, and them opening the door of my room without knocking, inadvertently seeing more of my body than they should be. Mumta is very friendly, a good cook, and I’m helping her improve her English – the current project is reading Matilda together. In exchange, she is teaching me how to cook Indian food and make proper chai. (More information on my host family & my extended host family in this entry.)
My first roommate was Wendy, a recent retiree from upstate New York. She and I shared a room from January until early March 2011. She is reallyoutgoing and doing simple errands with her often involves random stops for tea with people on the street she pulls into conversations. She has a gift for people and making friends that truly is amazing – I hope to some day reach that level of outgoingness (that’s a word, I swear).
I traveled to Varanasi with a bunch of fellow volunteers, one of whom was Nathalie.
Nathalie is about my sister’s age and from Denmark. She and I then traveled together to Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Dharmasala (January – March 2011). Obviously, I like her or I wouldn’t choose to throw the stress of traveling together into the mix. She appreciates the value of a lazy afternoon that isn’t spent running around from tourist site to tourist site, which is a nice compliment to my own style. (I still like to *do* stuff, but I need to alternate it with laziness, reading, and tea.)
A volunteer that joined Wendy and me for most of February 2011 was Katherine from the UK. She’s also about my sister’s age and on her gap year before she attends Oxford for her undergraduate (in history!) in the fall. She and I have mutual history nerd moments like going into Delhi specifically to see the Ashoka Pillar.
The latest edition to the cast of volunteers is Betsy, a retired lawyer, mother, and recent divorcée who is traveling and volunteering around South Asia for the next few months. She, like Wendy, is also very outgoing and friendly. She provides beer frequently, which we consume clandestinely, out of tin cups in our bedroom like high schoolers. (March – April 2011)
One of my best friends, Candace meet me in Dublin in late May 2011 for the Ireland leg of of my South Asia-Europe trip. She and I met about halfway through freshman year of college and have been friends since (so, over eight years now). She graduated with a degree in Women’s Studies and is at the beginning of her library science degree. We’re both book nerds and nerds in general. She and I have a long history of coffee shop days, knitting, and tv marathons. She also came to visit me for a little over a week when I was living in Brighton (April 2012).
My mother, aka Mom, née Nancy has not had a vacation in way too long due largely because of a need to put everyone else before herself (something I see way too often in women of her generation). When she’s not helping my disabled brother and managing the household, she’s at Wegmans, where she works in the cheese shop. She bicycled around Ireland when she was about my age, and was talking wistfully about meeting Candace and me in Ireland when I threw out the idea of her meeting me for a jaunt around Scotland and France.
Scotland, because I knew she wanted to go (castles! puffins!), and France because I wanted to go and I figured it wouldn’t be hard to convince her to pay $70 for the flight to another part of Europe while she’s over there. Having accomplished the goal of getting her to take a vacation, the next goal is to get her to relax.
Scotland is where the scotch comes from, eh? (June 2011)
Luke, my ex-boyfriend. He and I drove up to Canada together in early September 2011 to visit a friend of mine Montreal, and then we traipsed around Greece together over Christmas 2011. The eight hour time difference (he moved to San Francisco while I was living in the United Kingdom) took its toll and we ended things in March 2012.