this spring i went to tanzania. it is a beautiful, unspoiled country which relies largely on tourism to fuel its economy. we traveled in open-air jeeps and sat on the roofs to take in the scenery. as we passed small villages, children would run out to the road, shouting and waving hello. at times it felt like we were on a parade route.

these children had almost nothing materially.  their clothing was dirty, stained. most went barefoot. we saw one kid happily towing his “toy,”  an aluminum can tied to a rope. others asked to be photographed, then excitedly leaned in to see their images on our digital cameras. those we spoke with aspired to become tour guides when they grew up.

what struck me was not just the poverty, but how happy they seemed despite these circumstances, how delighted they were by the simplest things.


“this time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
- ralph waldo emerson

i’ve never been someone who has had a lot of hobbies. at least not the ones that i can tell people about. now i’m faced with three months off with no immediate plans or responsibilities. this poses two problems: 1) wasted time makes me grumpy and 2) the amount of free time i have is directly proportional to how much i shop; too much can have dire financial ramifications.

i’ve come up with a list of goals and to-do’s to keep me busy. for example, i’ve always wanted to make jewelry (and since discovering etsy have thought about setting up a shop). so far i’ve excelled at buying materials to make jewelry…the production part, not so much. it’s disheartening to see stuff in stores that looks better and costs less than what i can make on my own.

wing has been, unsurprisingly, totally supportive of this new obsession. he didn’t even flinch when i told him about the $150 strand of gemstones i bought and, as the weeks passed and my supplies piled up, never questioned when i was going to actually make something.

after weeks of feverish supply shopping, i realized i no longer had an excuse. i laid out my tray, mat and beads to start my first project. wing poked his head in the room, saw what i was attempting and beaming, exclaimed “i’m so proud of you for getting a hobby!” five minutes after that, he came running back into the room with his camera and started snapping away.

i think this is a sign i need more hobbies.


i’ve been playing around with the look of my blog for a few weeks now. i’m hindered by my rudimentary html skills and the fact that this was initially set up by my tech savvy husband, whose current talk of dreamhost, ftp and unzipping files is reminiscent of my finance professor explaining how and why to unlever a beta – some things just don’t take.

this theme seems okay with the exception of the kentucky derby inspired header. disclaimer: i haven’t developed a love of horses, although i did once win $40 at a racetrack when i was in the fifth-grade. that was a lot of money to a ten-year-old.

in honor of graduation season, i recently read through commencement addresses from this and yesteryear. a few of my favorites: