I am now home for the rest of the summer working at the Lehigh Bookstore again. It is sort of weird to be back; I was really getting used to constant change of scenery and exploring new places. I definitely miss it.
Here are some updates from the rest of the road trip: After the farm in Oregon, we headed to Portland and stayed with Clark for a few days. Our car almost decided to give up on us there. But in the end it was only a loose vacuum and we were on our way again soon. The farm in washington did not work out though, as the farmer was leaving for a week while we were supposed to be going there. So instead we headed to the Pacific Ocean to touch its frigid waters and then meander our way back home. We were able to find another farm to stop at in Minnesota last minute.
Kara Kahl Farms in Houston, Minnesota (pernounced as the town in Texas, not 'house-ton') was a goat farm. It was a wonderful last stop to our trip because it was so different from any of the other farms. The owners raised and breeded goats. They had a small garden and were trying to start planting grapes as a side hobby. So Kevin and I helped to set up trellises for the grapes as our main project. We also got to help out with chores for the goats everyday. We even got to make goat cheese!
After a little less than a week there we were on the last leg of our trip. We had a quick stop in Chicago and then finally came back home. Overall the road trip was awesome. I learned so much more about the work it really takes to get food from the ground to your plate. I also decided that it is something I want to be more aware of. I think my favorite part of the trip was the food. Having fresh eggs, milk, and vegetables at each stop along the way was amazing. Eventually when I do settle down I know that I want to find a local farmer that I can get all of these things from.
Now I am looking forward to my trip. In about one month I will leave for staging in Philadelphia and then to Cameroon! I feel like I have not really started to prepare myself at all yet. My stuff is all still packed from when I thought I was leaving for Mauritania. So I need to re-evaluate the things I have packed and repack.
In the mean time, I have finished Rosetta Stone french; but I need to make sure that I keep practicing so that I can pick up on french quickly while in Cameroon. So I am going to start trying to watch french movies and reading the news in french.
I am also keeping myself busy by training for the Lehigh Valley Marathon that is on September 13 (about 3 days before I leave)!
And finally I am going to sit in on a few classes at Lehigh for the first 3 weeks. So I have lots to do on top of trying to make second rounds of goodbyes to everyone. Hopefully I will make it up to Ithaca for a weekend or too as well to see Kevin a few times. I have come to realize that I am slightly jealous that he is going to grad school. I already miss school and it has only been a summer. I guess that means I will be going back to school when I get back from Cameroon. That is another thing to put on my list of things to do: research grad programs that I want to apply for in 2012.
It is quite weird to be planning for things so far away. But I almost feel like my life here will be put on hold for the 2 years that I am gone. Kevin and I have a list of things to do for when I get back in a little over 2 years. For example: go scuba diving (possibly in french polynesia) and go to a penn state football game.
Everything with Cameroon is finally starting to feel like it will really happen. So I need to starting getting everything together and get mentally prepared for this long journey. It is hard to believe that I will be finally leaving Lehigh; this place has been my home for the past four years and the valley has been my home as long as I have been alive. And now I am moving, not just to another state, or even just another country, rather I am moving to a new continent!