Saturday, April 4, 2009

Now We're All Infected

By Louise

When I was a sophomore at university, I needed to escape my five, suddenly insane, sorority-pledging roommates. Rather than take the easy route and switch dorms, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I signed up for a study-abroad program in London. Six months later, I returned home a different person. I had seen a whole new world; none of the pettiness mattered anymore, I had discovered that more important things, such as Indian curry and pints of beer, existed. I had been bitten—quite severely—by the travel bug. Infected, I knew in my heart there was no hope for recovery. I would forever crave the excitement, the unknown, the unexpected challenges one faces when visiting a place for the first time.

My infection lay dormant for a short while. I knew it would return when the circumstances were right; I could feel it in my blood. And then I met Andrew. He was highly contagious. Feverish, in fact, and I was immediately re-infected. The next thing I knew I was making tea out of the back of an old Land Rover in the middle of the Zairian jungle. Since then, we’ve both suffered numerous outbreaks. After each episode, we would return home happy, yet wondering when the next fever would hit.

Without even realizing it, Andrew and I found ourselves planning for this latest trip. We would pull the kids from school and travel for five months. The rest, as you all know, is documented on this blog. Now, 12 hours before we board a plane home, I sit here wondering what we have done to our children. We pulled them away from all that was familiar, we tried to make them speak a foreign language, we fed them rodents and insects. Will they be all right? Will they be able to return to life as they knew it, or will they be constantly wondering when the fever will return?

10 Things We're Really Glad We Did

By Louise

1. Buenos Aires. Love this city.
2. Patagonia: glaciers, mountains, whales, and half a million penguins.
3. Dancing until 3am on New Year’s Eve.
4. Ecuador.
5. Zip lining it over a gorge: Louise defying her fear of heights.
6. Going on a night hike in the Cuyabano rainforest in the Amazon basin.
7. Eating cuy asado (roasted guinea pig), lemon ants, and termites.
8. Seeing boulders fly down Volcan Arenal in Costa Rica.
9. Spotting a pair of bare-necked umbrella birds.
10. Changing our itinerary to come to South Africa and spend time with Malcolm.