Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nepali Mission

I apologize for the horrible layout...this computer is so slow if I don't just throw them on here I'll never get a post up!!

did I say "Ni-Hao"?! I meant Kanichiwah!! oops! these Japanese people were very nice considering the insult of saying Hi to them in Chinese!!! :/

The bull on our hotel front porch every morning..
Napali women at the end of the day

Everest, Nuptse and I forget the 3rd peak.
Me and Mindi out front of Hotel Herati, Kathmandu, Nepal

quickly before my computer crashes: The airport and road to the small village of Khandbari is shut down...for whatever reason, we don't know. We have thousands of dollars of medical supplies waiting to be put to good use and a team of volunteers anxiously waiting to help the local people. There is need every where we look but we can't just set up triage on the streets of Kathmandu and start practicing. The process to find a clinic that can use our team on such short notice is a bit like trying to catch a baby pig during a rainstorm. We have been working withe the US embassy in Kathmandu to try and find placement (Thank you Jason for all your efforts!!). We flew to Pokhara yesterday and are fairly certain we will start with a local hospital here in 2 days (such is life in a 3rd world country).
IN the meantime I am enjoying just being with the local people. I was given a motorcycle tour by my new (and dear) friend Niraj. He and I have decided we are twins...He is an amazing man with a heart of gold! I am really captivated by the culture and the customs. life here is so different than anything I could prepare myself for. I am including a photo documentary for the time being. I'll send updates as soon as we get more news. I am also including a video of the traffic situation...I thought China was full of crazy drivers. I think it's far more chaotic here!!
Much love to you all, thank you for your support while I'm here!

so apparently the streets are two ways; bikes, scooters and people, chickens and stray dogs also welcome :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm an awareness ninja and should have a medal or a park named after me.

In everyone woman's life, there comes a time when you must choose in a split second, "do I stand by and do nothing, or risk getting shot..." -jenny's attic*

The weekend was already exciting and eventful. My main ooly-doolie was in Baltimore for a conference, so I headed up to Fells Point to hang out with her and two other friends of ours from college. I had the cutest little red jetta (thank you Zip Car) and really enjoyed driving it with the windows down and sunroof open...okay sorry, too much extraneous detail! I dropped Mindi off at BWI and came back to DC. I stopped in at the Exxon on Bladensburg Road and New York Ave on my way back to Chinatown never expecting for my Sunday to get so intense so early in the morning.
It's about 9:45am, I pulled up to the far right pump on the far right side of the station. I got out and "ohhh mannn, the tank's on the other side"...I get back in the car to turn the car around so the tank's on the correct side to fill up. As I shut my door, a blue car pulled up right on the other side of my pump. The car came to an abrupt stop and the car was clearly hurriedly thrown into park. I saw the two late teens/early 20's boys in the car and my initial thoughts were "this guys a moron, not only did he just take the spot I was going to move, but he is parked so far away from the pump (6' at least) he'll never get the nozzle that far over there to fill up...and why is he in such a hurry?!! Idiot"... (sad to say, I really was annoyed and the name calling were really my initial thoughts). I then realized that the driver side guy had quickly jumped out of his car and crouched down. Before I realized what was happening I thought he could possibly be looking for something under his car because of the way he immediately got down. I then realized he was running in a crouched position (impressively strong leg muscles) to the car parked on the right side of the pump to our left (I hope the positioning I'm referring to makes sense, I don't have time to draw a model...maybe later).

Before I go any further, I have to tell you, this whole scene played out in under 2 minutes, so the thoughts and events I am sharing with you happened (obviously) very quickly. the woman/driver of that car was fiddling with her card at the pump and didn't look behind her when the "idiot driver" pulled up. By now the boy has reached up and grabbed the door handle to her car; it was unlocked and he started to get in. My thoughts from here forward for this incident were like a rapid fire rocket attack from my cerebrum.
My thoughts in order were this
  1. "HOLY CRAP!! He's getting in the back of her car to attack her when she gets in! Wait, that only happens at night, right?!"

  2. "He's going to steal her stuff! turn around lady!!"


  4. "I can't, they'll shoot me!!"

  5. "SCREW THIS! I can't just sit here with my mouth open and do nothing!"

Keep in mind also, the guy in the passenger seat and I have had direct eye contact...he watched my thoughts invade my mind and you could see the look on his face turn from "I'm a thug" to a slight panic when my decision to do something finally registered on my face with a look of determination.

Not really knowing what to do, I threw my car into drive and whipped around the pump to block his car all while yelling out my window "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING, GET OUT OF HER CAR!!!" and literally laying on the horn.
By now the lady pumping her gas turns around and starts screaming on repeat "WHAT THE %#@&" because she A. is so confused, and B. can't think of anything else to say.

Here are the more thoughts after I got my car in front of his...

"Get out and you can shut his door, that way he can't get away!"
"HOLY CRAP!! here comes the part when they pull out a gun?!?!"

By now the driver is back in his seat and slams the door shut...he looks up and for a split second both passengers are staring at me with very annoyed and yet puzzled looks on their faces. My thoughts continue...

"DEFINITELY don't get out of the car...they'll run over you!"

"OH LORD, I think he is going to ram into my car...or they are still going to pull a gun and shoot me..."

They put the car in reverse and the driver slams his foot down on the gas without even looking (thank God there is no one walking behind the car). By now I realize they aren't going to run over me and are going to get I did what any moron would do. I got out of my car and chased after them through the parking lot so I could try and get their license plate. As I'm running past the lady's car I yelled at her "they were in your car" and she yelled (there's a lot of yelling going on) back "what do I do?!"...REALLY?! I was somewhat in disbelief that she didn't know what to 911...

I am such a super fast runner that I was able to catch up to them, jump on the hood and hold on while they took the corner out of the parking lot at 50 mph. I then reached around through the open window and grabbed the guy by the dreads and slammed his head into the steering wheel. this caused the airbag to deploy blocking any vision he had of direction... But that didn't matter because I am so strong he was unconscious from the blow to the wheel. We hit a parked car, but my death grip to the hood kept me from flying across the street. The passenger jumped out and started to run. Since I am awesome enough to catch a speeding car, I (naturally) caught up with him and slide tackled him to the ground. he got up and tried to pull a knife, but I jump kicked it out of his hand...did a round house to the face followed by a stunning blow to the gut and finished him off with a head butt. But none of that happened actually and they got away.

So what really happened: I realize now that they still could've shot at me if they had a gun as they were driving away...but they are not typically a good shot standing still let alone driving wildly at high speeds, but neither here nor there...they were gone. I turn around and see the lady standing by her car with 5 other people and no one is on the phone. I had mine in my hand, so I called 911 myself. Conversation as follows:

Dispatcher- "911 fire, police or ambulance"
Me- "Police. Two guys just robbed a woman at the Exxon on the corner of Bladensburg Road and New York Ave."
Dispatcher- "Is that Northwest, Southwest...??"
Me- "It's Northeast! what?! is MPD outsourcing to India?! how do you not know that?! Everyone knows that..." Okay, I didn't say the outsourcing part, but I was thinking it.

The rest of the conversation with her was equally frustrating...but I won't waste anymore of your time with those details. The get away car (unfortunately for the screamer lady) did not have tags and the temp tags on it were not readable. The car was probably stolen anyway. The chaos (aka: my yelling out the window, blowing my horn and the lady screaming WTF on repeat) caused the gas station attendant to hit the emergency shut off valve...the 5 other men (who stood by and did nothing) came over to talk about how the lady should have kept her doors locked and then told her their stories of robberies in the hood...bad things that have happened to them. I really don't think this helped the poor tourist from S.C. that just got EVERYTHING except her credit card stolen from her car. After a good 20 minutes of waiting for the police to FINALLY get there, they took my overly descriptive account of what happened and I was on my way...

The End

PS. Lock your doors at gas stations
PSS. Always strive to be an awareness ninja no matter where you live
The End for Real

* "jenny's attic" = description of the place where my thoughts happen...

Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm technologically radically fabulous...

Disclaimer: My niece is just the most hilarious little kid I know. She is brilliantly persuasive and insightful...and she has an amazing voice...we'll witness all of this in the next few videos.

I have this awesome new phone that allows me to do very cool stuff such as selectively listening to voice mails rather than going through the stupid automated system (this is the only reason I actually listen to vm's now), download apps that allow me to body scan unsuspecting individuals (this isn't actually true) and find a local restaurant in the touch of a button. I can video life events and send to relative and I can teleport in the touch of a button (that part isn't true either). The only down side is that my phone is actually too advanced for me so I can't figure out how to change a video from quicktime to a program everyone can I'm posting videos here on my heavily neglected blog. Please note that I am also not cool enough to figure out how to rotate the if you don't want to turn your laptop/monitor sideways you can just tilt your head. but really, where would the fun in an upright video be?! If you don't think turning your computer or your head sideways is "cool" or remotely "fun" then you're lame and I'm still radically fabulously more technologically advanced than you ;)

PLUG: I also have some really great new stories from the block...a block posting is coming, and it's coming soon!...

Abby performed beautifully for Chris's birthday concert...

Here we see Abby displaying her early improv skills by impersonating a gorilla for about 1.5 minutes :) Her first animals to learn noises for in order 1.Tiger (growl) 2. Owl (whooo whooo)... Now she just loves to "trick" us with the wrong noises...

Okay...I'm out. more later