Monday, September 14, 2009

road to recovery... next and last stop buenos aires

SUMMER 2009

Hi again. Hope everyone had a wonderful summer and is ready for a beautiful fall. This past year has been an amazing time for me. My travels have taught me a lot of life lessons, the most prominent being, of course, life. I am ready to finish up my trip with a few months in Buenos Aires, filled with Spanish, art, dancing, and cafes. Then I am finally settling back down to reality when I move to NYC in the winter.

Thank you all for your wonderful support. It has been great sharing my adventure with you. This will be the last of my emails. I'll be updating my photos when I'm in BA and if you are interested in these updates, please email me back. Otherwise, thanks for listening, and I hope to hear from all of you soon.


Chao,
Sarah

Thursday, June 11, 2009

cochabamba and jersey, don't believe the rumors

JUNE 2009

I've been healing well and slowly being to get back my mobility, which I very much appreciate now. I realized, due to my sudden illness in Cochabamba, I never had a chance to write about how wonderful the city was with (of course) exclusion of the medical system.

*Cochabamba
...a beautiful sunny place (we are talking LA weather here) with fresh juice on every corner (35 cents) and 80 cent cabs that get you anywhere in the city (its just crossing the street that can be a problem).

*Average day
...consisted of morning aerobics, spanish classes, siestas, and volunteering. I volunteered with educar es fiesta (nonviolence with streetkids through the arts) as a videographer documenting their performances (some footage aired on local news), and held a workshop for martadero (a cultural and art museum) where I demonstrated stop-motion techniques to the childrens' program.

*New Jersey
...the beautiful garden state. My time here has been peaceful and I really get a taste of what it must feel like to be retired...pretty great! But reality will hit me soon, so in the meantime, I'm enjoying the leisure with books, movies, walks in the neighborhood, and most of all NO RESPONSIBILITIES.

I plan to travel later this summer as I recover (NYC, Vermont, Boston, and Chicago) and gradually return back to the world as a normal person. Hope to see some of you then.

Take care,
Sarah

Friday, May 22, 2009

back in the usa

MAY 2009

I made it home. After 24 hours of travel, a lot of flights, and a fancy airplane meal (I got to sit in business class for a bit) I landed in LA last night. It was a marathon journey, but a lot of lessons where learned in my two weeks after surgery. First of all, my sister is the strongest and most amazing person in the world for coming to Bolivia and rescuing me. I couldn't have made it without her. Secondly, I have a new appreciation for old age and immobility. Thirdly, arriving to customs in a wheelchair earns a lot of pity points and a hefty cut in line. I might need to invest in a little travel cane for future journeys.

I'll be in la until the 26th, when I head back to NJ for a couple of months for my full recovery. The road to recovery is going to take a while, but I have a book list and a few projects to keep me busy. When I feel better, I am going to head back and finish up my journey, I think in Buenos Aires, for a month or two. My journey isn't over yet, I just needed a little conflict in the plot of the story to make it more interesting.

Thank you everyone for your lovely emails. They meant so much to me, especially when I felt trapped in Bolivia after my surgery. I will let you know when my journey in South America continues in a couple of months. Until then, enjoy the summer and the many lovely activities that come with it.

Cuidate,
Sarah

what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger

APRIL 2009

Many of you have probobably heard by now, but if not, my basic Bolivia story goes like this.

I thought I needed an appendectomy when I was in Bolivia and ran to Hospital 1 in the early morning, where they misdiagnosied me and almost killed me. A week later after much pain, my appendects bursts, I hear when I go back to Hospital 1 and they said they made a mistake. I get in a cab and go to another hospital, Hospital 2, where they are amazed I am still alive and without a fever, rush me to surgury, and save my life. It was by far the scariest thing in my life, and I hope it will stay that way. But I am doing better, I just got home from the hospital, and have a week in Bolivia before returning to the states.

Thank you all for your wishes. It means so much to me. I am alive and getting better, and have one of the best scar stories to prove it.

Cuidete,
Sarah

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

my journey to bolivia

MARCH 2009

Another month has gone by, and finally I made it to Bolivia. This past month, I have been traveling in Argentina on my way to Bolivia, and am finally here in Cochabamba. Buses take longer than one might think. Some of my stops include:

Wine tasting in Mendoza
(Those Argentines know what they are doing when it comes to wine, and it is so affortable!)

Northern Argentina
(I spent some time in these small Andean villages on the way to Bolivia, and befriended a local artisan who told me about his trade and had lunch with his family.)

Crossing the border to Bolivia
(It was a definite adventure involving finding the border, walking over the border, and trying to get a visa, but after a few hours, hands were shook, money was paid to the Bolivian goverment, and I was on my way to Uyuni.)

Uyuni Salt Flats
(I have never seen so much salt in my life, and in between it all is an island of desert and cacti, it was a strange but beautiful day.)

Cochabamba
(I just got here today and am setting up volunteering, homestay, and spanish lessons for April.)

I am very excited to stop being a tourist for a while, settle down in a place, learn some more spanish, and volunteer in the comunity. I am also excited to get to know Bolivia. Thus far there has been a lot of suprises. I´ll let you know how everything goes and what I end up doing in Cochabamba.

Hope all is well and it is great to hear from you.

Nos vemos, Sarah

patagonia, not just a clothing line

FEBRUARY 2009

Hola amigos.

It has been great hearing from some of you this past month. Sorry for the delay in writing back, internet has been getting more obsolete on my travels. Some highlights of the beautiful region of Patagonia.

Trekking
Glaciers, see them while you can. We got to walk on a glacier in Torres del Paine in Chile and do some ice climbing on Glaciar Grey. That water was the best water I will ever taste in my life. Besides getting soaked for days and having wind almost knock me off a mountain (no joke Chicago has nothing on Patagonia winds) it was an amazing trip. We even saw some flamingos on the bus ride.

Penguins!!
They are the cutest animals ever. We spent a few days in Punta Arenas and took a boat through the Strait of Magellan to an island filled with penguins. They were everywhere and by far, the cutest animal I've seen that close.

Bariloche
After weeks of trekking, camping, and not showering daily, we loved our time here in Bariloche. Besides finding a good Mexican restaurant (they don't exist here so it was very exciting), we also treated ourselves to massages, chocolate (they are know for it here) and a hot tub overlooking the mountains.

Tulca
Wine country, need I say more. This place had hammocks, a pool, bike rentals, and nightly homecooked vegetarian meals and good wine. It was awesome.

I'm in Santiago right now for a bit and will be heading to Bolivia for some more Spanish classes and possibly working on a farm on the way there. Best wishes to everyone.

Chao chao, Sarah

buenos from buenos aires

JANUARY 2009

Hola de Buenos Aires,

I hope everyone has enjoyed the last month. It was great hearing from some of you. And now, for month one highlights...

Tango...
great dance to watch, hard dance to do. i did get some lovely and cheap tango shoes but i think shawn and i are going to stick with salsa for now. it was fun though.

Free Hospitals...
that´s right, i got to check out how the hospital system works here the first weekend in town. i burnt my hand while making tea at 2 am (bad idea) and gave myself a second degree burn all over my hand. it was pretty ugly but guess what, the hospitals are free here and my hand is all healed after three weeks.

Shopping
deals are everywhere! or rather, it is a really expensive city for south america but since we are using us dollars, everything is at least half price. its so great. there are also more fashionable fanny packs than i´ve ever seen. i love when fashion = function. but the clothes are so tiny. i bought a bathing suit here and guess what... a large here is a small in the states. i guess i need to cut out gelato if i want to buy anything else here.

Long days, long nights
people are out until 6 am here. it is crazy. even when i think i might have had a long night and get home at 4 am, that is when the locals are just getting started. but i do love the siestas and the long meals.

All in all, Buenos Aires is an amazing city that has been great for the beginning of the trip. It is easy and comforable. I even took yoga classes. But I´m ready now, after a few weeks of Spanish classes, to really start the journey to the small towns of South America. I´ll keep you updated on our adventures next month in Patagonia. Hope all is well and love to hear how everyone is doing.

Hasta luego,
Sarita