What to Pack for Delhi

What to Pack for Delhi India

For me, the thought of packing for our relocation to Delhi in 2009 was the recipe for nightmares!

I scoured the internet and found new blogging friends to help with my packing list.  I created spreadsheets and lists galore in an effort to be organized (I’ll share those later).

This is a difficult post to construct as your situation may differ from mine.  Your shipment allotment may be larger than ours, or you may have a smaller budget for your move.  Your company (or the government) may dictate what you can and can’t bring with you.

My best advice to you is to start laying out the suitcases and boxes early on in your adventure and plan for lots of changes to their contents along the way.

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India Unplugged by Aurelia Zoss

When you scour the bookstore or internet for books on India, you typically find either thick guidebooks, language assistance books or novels about the author’s path to spiritual enlightenment. Sometimes you will find a guidebook for women traveling alone to India and in a rare case, you might happen upon books that discuss culture differences and how to overcome them while traveling. Enter, India Unplugged by Aurelia Zoss

India Unplugged by Aurelia Zoss

I just read Aurelia Voss’ book titled, India Unplugged and it was a breath of fresh air, seeing as though Aurelia LIVED in India for three years! It is a glimpse into her life there while working and living in a country that is often misinterpreted and where few stories of a long-term assignment have been written down and shared with the masses. To get to know Aurelia a bit better, I asked Aurelia some questions about her time in India, as well as her thoughts on travel in general.

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I wouldn’t wish Chikungunya on my worst enemy

As much as I wish this wasn’t the case, chikungunya is in the news AGAIN this week as a disease that has found its way to the United States. When I first drafted this post, (May of 2014) I had typed “making its way to the United States” and now it’s here, just a few months later.

I have my own personal story with this nasty mosquito-borne disease and if telling my tale means just a few people will spray themselves down when going outside, it will be worth telling.

The word chikungunya is thought to derive from a description in the Makonde language (Tanzania), meaning “that which bends up” and describes the often contorted position that you find your limbs when afflicted with chikungunya. It was first discovered, named and discussed in 1955 following an outbreak in Tanzania. Chikungunya is spread when an infected mosquito bites a healthy person. A mosquito can also become infected with the disease when biting someone who already has the disease and spread it that way.

If you can believe it, chikungunya was one of more than a dozen agents the United States researched as potential biological weapons before the nation suspended its biological weapons program (source: Wikipedia).

The incubation period of chikungunya is between one day to just over one week. Symptoms will vary from patient to patient, but I’ll tell you MY story.

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The roots of friendship

We are preparing to say goodbye soon to another handful of friends. This won’t be the first time we’ve done this as the Leavers … who knows how many times we’ve done it as the Leavees. There is always the period of time we all pretend it isn’t happening, and then the period of time when it is all of a sudden. When we all start processing the fact that once again – left behind are some amazing women, friendships and relationships. 

How do you begin to come to terms with leaving amazing relationships? 

How do you lift up your roots of friendship time and time again without causing permanent damage?

Roots of Friendship Rick Waalders
Image Credit : Rick Waalders 

I have always dabbled in gardening, and had big dreams of having a large, expansive garden one day in the future. After growing up with a massive garden in the middle of Nebraska and over the recent years of messing around with mini-gardens, I’ve learned a bit about roots and the importance of firmly providing a solid foundation for those roots in order for gorgeous blooms to result or to ensure the plants bear fruit, etc.

Some plants require a certain type of soil: sandy or the type that has been cultivated with compost or boosted with mulch. Others aren’t particular at all and take to most any situation. There are also very picky plants, like asparagus, that only flourish in the most specific of equations. 

I have been TRULY blessed by my friendships.  I am fortunate to have friends all over the country, the world actually, and I don’t take any of them for granted. 

As I start to say goodbye to my friends in the land of palm trees and afternoon thunderstorms, I am again sad and melancholy – just as I was when I left the midwest, the South, the snowglobe, India and Singapore.  I am once again frustrated by the lack of time I devoted to fostering new friendships and mourning the opportunity to have MORE time with those women that I did connect with on a more intimate level.

The roots of friendship between women are strong, and sometimes twisted and tangled. 

We attempt to maintain friendships with other women in the middle of raising children, fostering our relationships with our spouses and just “living life.” Some women bloom literally wherever they are planted. Others require a bit more tenacity when it comes to ensuring they blossom in their surroundings. There are women who have rough edges and sharp, prickly points who need heat and drama and trials in order to function. There are sweet, delicate and gentle souls that need to be sheltered from the searing wind and another whole set of friends who take over (ahem, mint plants?) and dictate what will happen next, who will befriend who and who is hosting the next dinner party.


I am looking forward to continuing to nourish – once again – the roots of my friendships – via the internet.  I am a bit sad to know that some of them won’t flourish.  Some of them will become memories and some won’t continue to grow.

I am hopeful that with the addition of new friends to my circle, as we move again, that we all take some time … or rather MAKE some time … to ensure our communication and sharing stays strong!

We all have so much to learn from each other.  When we honestly share our struggles and frustrations with each other, we are offering an opportunity to learn, to grow and to be better women.

When we – as women – take the time to open up to another woman … we are presenting a gift to each other … letting each other know that we are not alone in our attempts to live this life to the fullest.

Each of you – my dear friends and tribe – has touched me and enriched my life!  We have different reasons that we connected, different circumstances for each one of our friendships.  Regardless of how much time we spent together, or how we met originally – I have learned from you and appreciate the time you invested in our relationship.

Make the time to share more … encourage more … appreciate more …

A great friend is truly hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget.