December 20, 2017
January 2, 2018
Travel always gives me more than I expect it to. I learn more than I thought I would and I always learn things that have nothing to do with the reason I went there in the first place. My sabbatical travels have done that repeatedly.
I am still reeling from the shock of going from 90 degree heat to minus zero temperatures. I am also sorry that I am still living out of a suitcase and I am still not really “home”. Hopefully the movers will deliver my possessions on Thursday to the new house. It is ready. I have already hung the toilet paper and stocked the fridge with iced tea.
One thing I learned was to really appreciate the metric system. The rest of the world uses it and we really should. It makes more sense and is easier to learn than our inches, feet, miles, etc. I also really respect the countries where children are required to have a competency in another language. I was reminded repeatedly of the saying- A person who speaks three languages is tri-lingual. One who speaks two languages is bi-lingual. One who speaks one language is American.
I still have no opinion on which side of the road we should drive on. As far as I can tell it makes no difference in terms of speed, safety, or use of the horn. I have decided I prefer eating with the fork in my left hand and the knife in my right, using the knife to push the food onto the fork.
In addition to all my serendipitous learning, I did glean a lot of information on sacred sites. I hope to find a date to do a presentation for anyone who is interested with more detail. In short I discovered -
· Sacred sites tend to stay sacred even when the predominant religion changes. A huge number of churches, temples, mosques, etc. are built on top of other religious sites.
· Most faith traditions are passed on to the next generation through the arts- music, story, pictures, and dance because so many had no written language and because the arts speak to all ages.
· The faith of most indigenous people was tied directly to their environment. Spirituality was part of life and not considered in any way separate from the rocks, the law, the relationships, the community, the sky, parenting, health, the mountains, animals, food.
· The world is so much larger than we are and everything is based on our ancestors and connected to those who come after us. We have a clear responsibility to those who came before and those who follow. If we fail them we fail the gods.
· All of life, including religion, is to be experienced in the midst of community
· Journey is a spiritual theme
This experienced has changed me and challenged my faith in so many ways. It was the trip of a lifetime and will be part of me for the rest of my life.