Saturday, July 30, 2011

Camping Fun!

I went camping this weekend with some of my favorite people. I went with my best friend and her family. We had a good time! We went to the Rim and camped in an RV. We stayed up late playing MASH and talked till 2am. I can always talk with Faith. We always end up talking for hours. We ate good food and picked wild flowers! The outdoors and fresh air are wonderful! I had a great time. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trip East, Part 3: Fun with Family!!!

HOME! The trip was great and after New York we didn't do much site seeing. We mostly hung out with family and enjoyed each others company. I love being with my nieces and nephews! They are just all so adorable! We played all kinds of games, saw movies, and went swimming. It was wonderful fun! I had so much fun! I still suffer from the time difference. I'm tired. This post will be short. I have the greatest nieces and nephews and I had a blast just playing with them and hanging out! Enjoy the fun photos that I got with all of them!!!
I am so blessed! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Trip East, Part 2: Niagara Falls to New York City

The trip has been wonderful thus far! Before leaving Palmyra, my family visited the historic Book of Mormon publishing site. It was really wonderful to see the original building (they have some of the original bricks) and how the book was made. I saw a real first edition. They also had some original churchy paintings that I love, like the one of Jesus when he visits the Americas (it's in the BOM)! Palmyra was wonderful. We traveled to Niagara next to get a bit wet! It was beautiful there!!! The falls are loud and large and we rode on the Maid of the Mist (a boat) to get closer look. It was fun to be on the boat and see the falls with my nieces and nephews. They got so excited when we got wet. We got a bit of water on us at first when we past the America falls but we were not close enough to get soaked. We then sailed to the horseshoe falls where we got really wet. It was a lot of fun! And to get even more wet we climbed up next to the falls and all the heavy mists that come off the falls got us and we were finally soaked! Our little ponchos failed us!
Lots and lots of fun in Niagara! And to make the experience of upstate New York even better, we went to Buffalo and had legit Buffalo Wings that were super tasty! I ate 15 and some celery. Very very yummy!
My parents, Margi, and I then split off from the group and went to
NYC for some fun and to do my favorite thing, SHOPPING!!! New York City is a favorite of mine, but we did a lot of walking and my feet got tired! We did ride the subways which is always a nice break from walking, but it made me miss my wonderful light rail back in Mesa!
I ended up getting some fun things while I was there. Some cute new clothes and accessories, including my new favorite pair of sunglasses. We also visited my great aunt. It was fun visiting with her and her husband.
New York is fabulous and I love the picture I got there of this old guy. "The city that never sleeps?" :) Still more fun to come!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trip East, Part 1: Phoenix to Palmyra

My Family (mom, dad, margi, and I) set off for another grand road trip cross country about a week ago. (explains the lack of blogging, sorry) We traveled very quickly across New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, into Virginia. It took us 2 and a half days to get to Virginia and that includes the night we slept in Nashville. It was a lot of driving and it included a near death experience, which is another story. This was the fastest road trip I've been on, but then it slowed down a bit. We picked up my niece and spent the night in Maryland, then we drove up to New York with my family that lives by DC. So, lots of driving. We ended up in Palmyra for the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Before the pageant we went to lake Ontario and had a bit of beach fun. It was hard to enjoy it because it is an extremely smelly lake, but we tried to make the best of it! The pageant was awesome! It's about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the Church of Christ. We also saw a bunch of the awesome church sites in that area. We went to the Smith farm in Palmyra (after seeing the Palmyra Temple that's next to it!) and stood in the room in which the angel Moroni appeared to the boy Joseph. Very cool! We also walked through the near by Sacred Grove where the same boy saw God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ. It was peaceful and comforting to stand in the same woods where God and Christ had appeared. The trees and scenery were beautiful! The other site we went to was an hour away in Fayette. It was the Whitmer farm where the church was organized in 1830. Very awesome! We saw all these sites in one day and to finish it off we climbed to the top of the Hill Cumorah, the hill where the Gold plates were found by Joseph Smith Jr. We saw the behind the scenes for the pageant and the statue of the angel Moroni. So far this trip has been a blast and I have loved hanging out with my older siblings and all my nieces and nephews. They are so cute and we have had so much fun playing with them and watching movies. (except that they all keep asking me when I am going to get married :( no good!)
We celebrated Margi's Birthday in Palmyra and had ice cream.
She's getting old! 20 years old and the baby of the family.
More about the awesome fun will be posted! Keep an eye out for it!!!
P.S. It's my nephews B-day today! Happy Birthday Tai! (He's the little boy in the picture!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Africa People I Love

There are just some people that you can never forget and they are usually people that you fell in love with. There were quite a few of these people in Mozambique for me. The ones I love the most were my orphans. This beautiful girl is Sarah! She was at the baby orphanage and she was my little girl! She always sat on my lap and held my hand! We played with her doll a lot too! I love her!
These two babies were also at the baby orphanage and I love them too! Sebastian and Josepha! My two wonderful little
babies. They had the cutest little laughs!
This next little girl was at the Dondo orphanage. Her name is Rosita and she would call me Tia and amiga! We hunted for flowers and played jump rope and patty cake!

Next is Emilu! We went to his orphanage in the evening and he was being pouty and grumpy so I teased him. He refused to smile for me, but when we went back he ran to me and we played tag. He remembered me!
This little boy is named Pensa and he was a handicapped child that smiled constantly!
He really wanted to make a backpack so I helped him! He was good at getting the needle through the fabric, but had difficulty getting it back through. So I helped with every stitch! He is so precious!

My orphans are so sweet and I miss them all so much!!!
(This is a video of me and Rosita)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

African Adventures!!!

Here are just a few African Adventures that I Africa!!! :)

Journey to South Africa!
It took 25 hours just on planes to get to Beira, Mozambique! This map shows MOZ and just south of it is South Africa. The plane ride from DC to Johannesburg was 18 hours. My feet were swollen when I walked off the plane. No fun! The world cup had just happen so all the soccer (football) decorations were still everywhere!
We stayed the night there and it was pretty comfortable! That weekend was also Nelson Mandela's birthday celebration and the country celebrated it by having everyone dedicate 67 minutes of service to him as a gift. This is me putting my pledge on the posters that were presented to him on his birthday!Pretty cool I thought!

First Night in Mozambique!

It's safe to assume that the first night I was in MOZ, I was tired. After lots and lots of traveling, I wanted to go to bed. Funny thing is that when I sat on my bed it broke, so I had to wait a few more hours for it to be fixed. Everyone ended waiting up because the drill was so loud! An adventure!

Gorongosa: Wild Life Reserve!

When you visit Africa, it's only right that you would go on a safari! I did and it was awesome!
We arrived Sunday and did an evening tour and came back when it got dark (don't want to be in the bush in an open truck when its dark...scary). We went on another tour the next morning. This time we had a park tour guide and guess what his name was?!? SIMBA! We loved it. This is him with me and Rebecca. He didn't get why we thought his name was so cool.
We got to see a lot of different animals. Let's see if you can tell what animal is in the pictures. I spy...?
This first guy (not the birds) is a dangerous animal so we didn't get to close! He is actually part of the famous Big 5 of Africa!
He is large and I decided that his name should be Walter and if you haven't guessed he is a water buffalo!
Next up is a big guy and another Big 5!
We couldn't get to close to theses guys either because of how dangerous they were! We also had to be very quite. If we startled them, they would have charged us and our truck would have lost. They were grazing and magnificent creatures.
It was exciting to see them in the wild. It was a bit scary, but thrilling at the same time!
This next guy was a bit more friendly and outgoing. He and his buddies actually slept just outside of our bungalows that we stayed in that night.
There were Pumbas all around the main camp site and throughout the park. When we got back from our evening tour it was dark at the camp and Ruthanne got out of the car. There was a Pumba right behind her! When we warned her, she screamed and about jumped into Nate's arms. It was hilarious!
The safari was amazing. And it definitely meant I was in Africa. :)

So, these were just a few of my Amazing African Adventures! More adventures will be posted daily! Tomorrow (July 14th) is the one year anniversary of when I set off to Mozambique, Africa! :) Happy day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Intro to Africa!

I went to Africa with Care For Life as a volunteer. They have a website if anyone is interested. I went with 7 other awesome girls, our amazing team leader Ruthanne and her son, and Nate our guide. We met so many amazing people that we will never forget. This is a picture of us at the baby orphanage. I love those kids. We played with them every morning!
What we did in Africa was awesome. We visited orphanages and played with the kids (best part). We also went to the communities that Care For Life sponsor and we taught the kids how to sew back packs and weave pouches. There were a lot of kids and all so beautiful!
The best parts of the trip were all the little experiences and moments. All life-changing and I hope I'll never forget. I'll tell a few this week in honor of the anniversary of my trip. Here's one: First day in Mozambique! Arrive at the small airport in Beira. Little boy in a red shirt that was so adorable! He waved at us the entire time we were loading the truck and van to go to the compound (home).
Two days later we go back to the airport to pick up Papa, a CFL employee. Our little boy was still there in the same clothes (MOZ is the 6th poorest country in the world, FYI). We all had to get a picture with him because he was the first we fell in love with. So many more kids followed in the same pattern! :)
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