This summer has brought some wonderful additions to our church family and young group circle.. girls from the Midwest coming to Oregon to work. Between old ties and new, I am loving the chance to get to know some new sisters-in-Christ and taking advantage of these days (weeks?) that I’m not working (yet.. hopefully!). Some of the other girls—both local and not—are in the same boat and so we decided to capitalize on our situations and take a day trip. Destination of choice: (well, after it was forecasted to rain at the coast): Portland!
While I love the city and my close proximity to it, I seem to forget how stressful the driving is. I’m not a huge fan of one-ways (even though I have had a semi-decent amount of experience with them), but my biggest fear is driving over the max lines… how do you know if you are allowed to drive on the tracks or not??! I’ll admit that today I did drive on one and then freak out because I saw the train coming: after haphazardly pulling a U-turn in the middle of the road, I sped in the opposite direction to avoid collision–only to realize that it was perfectly acceptable to drive on the tracks. It still weirds me out though. I feel like max-driving-etiquette is something we should be taught in drivers ed. Plus, I was so glad I was not driving stick today on the city hills!!
But when we weren’t freaking out over the driving conditions (did I mention we got squeezed by 2 buses when I might have been [illegally] driving in the bus lane?!), we had a great walk through the Rose Gardens— beautiful today!!– and ride on the aerial tram. Though the clouds didn’t burn off as I hoped, the city was still fun to see and the weather warm. After a lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory downtown, we moseyed by a local (but very posh–everything was vegan or gluten-free or fancy) farmers market underneath the new riverfront condos and I rekindled my dream of living downtown. Seeing the city at night, having a gorgeous loft, being so close to everything, walking the river with a coffee in hand…what fun. (Sigh.) Maybe when I am mature and rich. We then headed home and I took a lazy afternoon (and evening) swim with the ladies en mi casa. There is nothing better than floating on your back, watching the clouds, and feeling the sun on your face (getting a tan? not likely, but I can hope!). So blessed to be ALIVE and trying to appreciate my non-working status! .. though I did hear from OHSU today and I can attend orientation (though it looks like another week till I can actually start working).
Sometimes I need an outlet for my creativity and adventurousness and obsession with aesthetics and (related) love of photography. The result: a sister duo (with the wonderful and like-minded Kyla) taking over the kitchen to try some culinary creations. Namely, from Pinterest. That I have been wanting to try for the past year in the dorms and could not. The joy of cooking when parents are gone (or at least very flexible!) is that you can alter and mess up internet recipes as much as you want and they will likely turn out good and no one will no the difference because they have never had the dish before! Or if you happen to start a recipe and then realize you don’t have 5 key ingredients… that may have happened as well. But the cooking has gone wonderfully. Especially considering I am the most non-kitchen-oriented girl you will know (seriously I’ve never cooked meat before), but I enjoy artful presentation and especially photographing such presentations with the Nikon that my fingers have sorely missed using. Photography has always been a sort of hobby of mine after I took several photography classes in high school, but one that has went to the wayside in the past two years as academics rushed to front and center. But, with the aforementioned free time this summer I have decided to pick it up again with zeal. Starting with (hopefully delicious) snapshots of the summer cooking (save for the quinoa.. I tried, but it is not a very artful dish to photograph especially when under a time crunch to eat it!).
I will admit, this desire to try cooking comes with another motive. In the past year while at college, I became intrigued with more things health related and especially vegetarian. As someone who enjoys meat but isn’t crazy about it (I will choose pasta over steak, every time), I knew cutting back on my meat consumption wouldn’t be too hard. It would be more efficient ecologically–rather than growing grains to feed animals and eating the animals (of which only 10% of the energy passes each time), why not just eat the grains? It would be cheaper. It would be easier for a certain someone to cook (yes, me). It would be healthier. I’m not advocating or even thinking I could do a cold-turkey sort of thing, but I’ve thought about being a 1 day or 2 day or 5 day vegetarian, and eating meat the other days. So while that has yet to be set definitively (but I do eat less meat), I decided to introduce my family (and myself) to some new foods in the vegetarian/vegan world. I haven’t gotten far in this pursuit, but Kyla and I have tried quinoa–a grain/seed alternative to rice–with success. We made it in a Thai chicken dish (I know it has meat in it but this seemed the best introductory dish for quinoa, knowing my family!).
Our other creations have included apple cinnamon waffles, Aunt Annie’s pretzels, baked oatmeal to-go muffins, banana oatmeal cookies, and herb-garlic pasta with Puttanesca sauce. I would say it has been a successful week and full of laughs, botched measurements, Pandora radio, and tons of fun! But we’re learning… not likely to have another tangy-lemon pasta or cilantro-heavy quinoa dish.. and enjoying our sister time. All recipes and our comments/revisions are on my Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/jaylie19/culinary-adventures-of-jk/
Summer 2013 has started a bit slow. Don’t get me wrong, having a week (or two) of unrestricted sleep-in time and book reading and swimming has been bliss (especially after the last few hectic terms I’ve had of late late nights and a stiff dorm bed!). But my purposeful, active self likes to have a bit more to do. So while I wait on my volunteer approval forms to begin interning at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) (more about this later), I have decided to start the blog I’ve been meaning to start for the past year. To chronicle the personal joys (and changes) in my life for me and whoever cares to know. So here it is.
Up to this point. I am a motivated (let me tell you.. up until 3 am some nights!) student at Oregon State University studying business management and sustainability. I’m excited for the growth of sustainability in businesses, recognizing how important it is (and will be) to responsibly manage resources and outputs for a healthy continued environment as world populations and wastes increase. My mind has changed so many times regarding what industry I’d like to work in, but the top two currently (likely to change, fyi) are hospitality (luxury hotels and resorts) or healthcare. Pretty diverse but who knows at this point?! I keep telling myself (the planner, who likes to have it all figured out) that God knows what He’s doing and He’ll let me know when I need to know. So while sometimes it feels like I’m free falling, I’ll just trust in Him and wait for the plan! I have two years left at OSU so I still have some time to grow up and learn more about the plan anyway.
This summer. So, after many dead ends and closed doors, I have decided to do an unpaid internship at OHSU for experience this summer. When it became clear that I wouldn’t find a paid position in my interests, I chose to embrace my youth and volunteer instead so I could set my own schedule, gain experience, and still join the family on a roadtrip to visit my favorite big sis at the end of the summer. Looking for some venue to gain insight and experience in sustainability, I reached out to a sustainable food programs coordinator at OHSU and it looks like I will be able to intern under her, facilitating the hospital/university farmers market, creating and improving marketing for several programs she runs and would like to start, and optimizing the transfer of local foods to chefs within the hospital. … It all sounds new but exciting and I can’t wait to see how I can help! Plus, OHSU is downtown Portland and on a gorgeous campus (and it’s kind of been my dream to work & live downtown) so I am thrilled for this opportunity.
After summer… the best part! After many, many prayers, a lot of soul-searching, and QUITE a few hours of planning and research, doors have opened to allow me to study abroad in South Caicos this fall. This is something I have always wanted to do–travel abroad–and with my three year graduation plan I didn’t think I could make it work and still graduate on time. Plus there was the problem of finding a program. But one rainy fall afternoon, as I walked across campus with my lime polka dot umbrella, I saw a sign for the study abroad fair in the Memorial Union and decided I couldn’t let my dream die… besides it probably wouldn’t make a difference, so why not just check? After meandering around a few booths touting European programs for all majors, I found a table covered with brochures of amazing photographic quality (of course I was sucked in!). Depicting Kenyan elephants after a jungle rain on the front cover, the brochures described an environmental field study programs in a variety of sensitive global environments through the School for Field Studies (SFS). A glance through the program and I was hooked on the marine resource program in the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI). Specifically set on South Caicos, the program focused on on resource management and habitat conservation options–and their associated social and economic implications especially for constrained island economies, dilemmas I am especially interested in as they apply to the tourism/hospitality industry. The program lasted from September 1st to December 5th, but would allow me to take courses for my sustainability major and conduct research for my honors thesis. Plus, the endless blue skies and seas of the Caribbean seemed like a pretty good place to boost my science/sustainability background!
It is crazy to think that only 3 months after that first wishful hoping I would be accepted by SFS and now, another 5 months later, I would be planning and packing to leave! God has surely brought me over mountains for this and some days I still cannot believe it will be happening!! In just 10 weeks, I will be leaving for a flight to New York, then Miami, then Providenciales (“Provo”, the tourism hub of Turks & Caicos), and then an island-hopper on to South Caicos. I will live in the sand and sunshine for the next 3 months at a sparse– I’ve heard!– field center with 30ish other undergraduate students and 10ish research professors and staff. So you don’t think it’s all vacation… days start at 7am with 4 lectures before lunch and then field work all afternoon, Monday- Saturday (Sundays are the only day off), and we get 1 freshwater shower a week (ahhhh!! I know we’ll be in the water every afternoon for field work on SCUBA/snorkel but still! will take some getting used to). It is a rigorous academic program that is highly structured, but it sounds like there is not much to do on the island anyway: South Caicos, one of the smallest in the Turks & Caicos chain, houses just over 1000 residents. It has one bank that is open one morning a week. We will get our food shipped in every other Tuesday. Wild donkeys and dogs roam loose. But I’m excited for the smallness and the community-feel; SFS tries to integrate with the local islanders– called “Belongers”–as much as possible so I’m sure I’ll get opportunities. Ok, enough about this for now!
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.