Thursday, December 29, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
This card might technically be a savanna but what Jessica wrote about was living in a desert! She was getting ready to leave for a long break in the US and wrote "when I was plotting this card I was about as stressed as possible and in fire fighting/crisis mode" Sounds like a place devoid of life to me! Don't worry about our heroine though, she went on to reflect about having made a lot of progress in one year living in Ghana. She added that December often makes her nostalgic. I agree, being with family makes memories surface and winter makes us stay inside and slow down. Both add to the recipe for warm feelings of nostalgia.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Her students, however, were perfectly in sync. Apparently, sophomores wore jeans, while seniors (too cool for school or, in this instance, to get dressed) wore sweats, specifically PINK by Victoria's Secret only. I think we are both glad we missed this trend, although it may be that we were never great at keeping in step in the first place.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Sad news for those of us who love the taste of envelope glue.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
You see, the problem with our love affair with snail mail is that everyone else has moved on. They are blasting things to the world, while we are still sending targeted updates to each other. For us, this joint FB account/pen pal arrangement is the best of both worlds. Lynn gets my news and can spy on the world, while I am updated by Lynn (albeit more slowly). Unfortunately, the one hitch is that if Lynn has news the larger world may miss it. Yes, privacy prevails.
The card, by the way, is cut from a watercolor painting. It did not scan well, but I can vouch for the fact that it is way more beautiful in real life. Come to Ghana and you can see for yourself. :-)
Monday, December 5, 2011
Her card also mentions a visit to a tea house serving 'flowering tea' - a dried flower that blooms as it steeps in boiling water. I have a feeling this is not an extreme rarity, but I have not seen it before so I immediately googled it and came up with this.
Seems like a perfect drink to have when you are locked your office catching up from a holiday - or preparing for one!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
She also reported that she was a member of a book club at long last. They had just finished The Help by Katheryn Stockett, which just happens to be in the theater this month, and were about to read the The Elegance of a Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. A choice that Lynn was hesitant about because she had just read, and not particularly enjoyed, Muriel's earlier book, Gourmet Rhapsody.
It is funny to read this again now because The Elegance of a Hedgehog came up in discussion last week. A friend and I were chatting about recent/favorite reads and our reading addictions. I was lamenting that I was having a reading dry spell. For more than a year, I had been taking months to get through a single book, reading only a few pages a night. This is not at all like me at all, I had exclaimed, I am usually a binge reader. It was then that I remembered that The Elegance of a Hedgehog was the last book that I had read cover to cover in a single night. I had planned to read a couple chapters before bed but the sun was threatening to come up before I finished the last page. I only caught a few moments of sleep before work. Not particularly responsible, but perhaps not the worst pleasure to indulge. Lynn, I cannot remember your final review. Did you end up liking the book? What are you reading now?
(Note - I'm in Michigan and have yet to conquer the family scanner so this postcard is especially mini, sorry Pal!) .
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
A recent Foreign Policy photo series by Elizabeth Dickerson Postcards from Hell, 2011 takes a stab at this. The combination of striking pictures with short narratives make the series seem postcard-like in an ironic way. Worth a glance, since it is unlikely you are going to find these in a mailbox near you.
Monday, September 26, 2011
This card has a summery image of a starfish but really Jessica drew it in the fall. She wrote about missing seasons in Ghana, and how the Indian summer and leaves changing color were some of her thoughts of autumn. Oddly enough with all her talk of the fall, Jessica spent hers in South Africa where it was actually spring. She wrote about feeling like a new beginning was happening with the blooms and the energy. It is fall now, again, and for me back to school always makes me feel a renewal. What about you, do you think of fall as starting again (new things like supplies and new faces, kind of like when you were a kid with back to school) or is it just spring that makes you feel energized and like starting fresh (maybe cleaning and waking up after a long winter)?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
On the back, Lynn wrote, "And here is the only fun doodle I found in my sketch book. I like to think of phones like these. We had a rotary phone when I was in elementary school - and now kids have crickets/cellphones! Remember how cell phones exploded after Junior year? Sometimes it even amazes me that you can call me from Ghana. I guess I sound like an eighty year old with all this babble about 'the old days'."
Oh pal, you are my favorite Luddite. And, yes, I owe you a call.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Jessica was a big runner in college when we were roommates. (I may have written here about how I often was dragged on runs/went along willingly only to end up breathlessly in pain after a few minutes). Jessica had this wonderful running log. She would write about runs she took and after each date just jot something memorable about that day. I imagine she started writing in that again, and while running inside meant she wouldn't have to make notes about running past African scenery, she would have ways to remember non-work events.
Enjoy this colorful card!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
The card is such a classic African image. I love the colored pencil, this one and her next card are just stunning!
Jessica drew this card after a trip to Kenya to see her former host family. She hadn't seen them in a decade, but found other than all being a bit older and further along in their careers it was an easy reconnection. I often wonder about visiting my old host families, but don't live or travel anywhere in their area of the world anymore. Its been 10 years for me too, and I like to image what my host siblings grew up to become. Any people you used to know that you wonder 'where are they now?' This postcard also is a continuation of our recent 'inspiration' theme. Jessica was inspired by an in flight magazine. She wrote to me these are a great resource. So, I think we have finally found the one purpose for this type of reading material- congrats on that Jess people were never sure what those were for until now :-)
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
She went on to write about turning 30- a transition we've both had lately. Apparently, Jessica read that the 20's are now emerging adulthood while 30 means you're truly an adult (this has something to do with the brain). Jessica jokingly says we are both slow to mature, but according to science we're just following normal human development!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Since I haven't had enough time to do pleasure reading lately, I became a bit nostalgic about escape books re-reading this postcard. Sounds like such a luxury! I am afraid that a book portrait of my current state of being would be a bit too serious. Sigh. Somehow I think Lynn might agree.
On the underbelly of this card, Lynn wrote about wrapping up the school year for summer. In addition to saying farewell to some retiring teacher friends, she also hosted the school's girls' club End of the Year Party. Apparently, this meant containing 35 girls with a sugar high for a few hours. Wild from all of the pop they drank, they broke out into playing 'America's Got Talent' for an hour. (Somehow reading this, I assume they were drinking red Faygo... I have no idea why.) I have a feeling this made Lynn especially appreciative of the relative silence that came with summer.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Anyways, she was working a a record breaking speed and feeling recharged by vacation. She had gotten a cool gift from her dad, tiny speakers that plug into her iTouch. These fabulous little speakers came from Singapore, she was impressed by the quality from the small size. Hopefully her music or podcasts helped her to get through the summer where work was doing amazing and interesting projects but keeping her worn out!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Do you think you could live in a place without changes in the seasons? I found it very hard. While I dislike gray and cold weather, I love the blooming of spring and the colors of fall. You?
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Jessica sent me both these cards last April, after traveling for three weeks she was back to her work schedule. Jessica never has much free time with her job, but she was trying to find ways to enjoy what little she had. She wrote about meeting a friend for concert, trying to connect with a potter and spending time drawing in this park. Nkrumah Memorial Park is a typical developing world park from what she described, well maintained, fenced off, and full of interesting people watching. I like the way her sketches are loose and fast while still giving a lot of detail- hope that comes across in the scans of the drawings too.
What are you up to in your free time, making any time for being creative?
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
It was a standard rite of being abroad: a trip to buy a bunch of cards. Stamps had to be bought in tobacconists. Or maybe that was just in France. Then settle into a café to perform two epistolary tasks: the gratification of anxious parents and the annoyance of jealous friends.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
First when you are in a new country, you tend at first to cling to small things you know how to do and can go months without bothering to learn anything new if it isn't essential to your daily life. (As in find out how to send a letter? Not today thanks, I'm good, I'll just keep talking the bus from this stop here and visiting the corner store that doesn't actually sell cereal which I really would like to eat.)
Second, because when I moved recently I felt oddly attached to my post office and library. I secretly went back the ones I no longer lived by because I was a bit sad about leaving them.
Third, I laughed hardest because when I first bought international stamps to start mailing postcards to Jessica in Ghana the post office clerk immediately said "Oh, I know why you want to send letters to Africa. I had a nice young girl in the other day for the same thing, you are sending letters and papers there so you can adopt a baby. You know, she got her baby and then boom! she was pregnant with a baby of her own. You hang in there sweetie!" Shucks, in a manner of minutes I was no longer a customer, but a hopeful adoptive mother with infertility problems. Its one of the reasons, perhaps, I should be glad I got to leave that post office behind. What will she thing when I never come in with an African child?
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I have been thinking a lot about living abroad this week- not only will I host a Japanese teacher in a month- one of my old haunt Egypt has been on the news. Its odd to think of a place I lived being the site of something so real and meaningful. I also think of Jessica, stay safe pal!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
sources Crane and Co., Laura Brown, and calligraphy via ISLY
What about you, are you still writing thank you notes? Also, on a semi-related note this Slate article talks about the trouble we all have coming up with intelligent things to say in such notes, give it a read so you can make a good excuse why you didn't thank anyone this year.