19 days ago, we sat in HQ at Val’s house, writing on our blog and attempting to pull our lives together post-graduation. Here we sit again at HQ, on the other side of the trip, updating the blog once more. Our lives are not necessarily more pulled together than before, but shaken up by the ideas and examples that we have seen, talked to, and thought about.

Along the way, we have learned a number of valuable, albeit incidental, things. Dirt weighs a lot, especially when placed in a shovel. Living on English muffin-and-cheese sandwiches and trail mix is neither possible nor advisable for more than two days at a time. Pancakes cooked over an open fire taste superb. Warped front car roters make driving down mountains unpleasant. Gas money can be stretched really far by not running the air conditioner (even if it does reach 80 degrees outside!). Shouting, “Stop!” from the backseat while the driver is attempting to merge does not provide adequate guidance as to what one wishes the driver to not do.

Someplace along the line, between shoveling dirt and sharing pancakes, we learned so much more. Life issues–whether big or small–are best dealt with by gaining perspective. Stepping back from a problem in order to see it differently can be an invaluable action. We have witnessed hospitality across the country, each time in a different way than the last. There are no cookie-cutter life journeys. Each is unique and subject to change. This is both exciting and scary, especially since we’re not entirely sure where we’re headed right now. We got a lot more than we bargained for on this trip, in a good way. Ideas, hopes, dreams, and questions came at us as quickly as our hosts along the way offered us cookies (we ate a lot of cookies and turned down offers for a lot more. Trust us–it was a lot!).

Thanks for reading the blog and keeping up with our travels. However, we must apologize for its incompleteness. We really can’t fully document everything that we’ve experienced. Words and snapshots are a poor substitute for what goes on in the human brain. The four of us have shared common adventures, but have gone through them and understood them in our own ways. Please, help us to continue to process this trip by asking us about our travels and by reminding us of what we’ve learned during this time.

We have started out many days by saying to each other, “We’re all over this day, yo!” Now, we say to you, “We’re all over this LIFE, yo!”

Love and prayers to all,
Faith, Val, Megan, and Kelly (in absentia)