Atkinson Adventure - Emily's Blog
 
So the other day we got this huge box from my Aunt Donna, who is amazing and thoughtful and sweeter than the fruit punch drink mix that they have here. It had Altoids and a couple of shirts for Max and a scarf and a shirt for me and Altoids for my parents and basically it was Christmas in the middle of a really stressful week.
I think the best part about mail here is that it never shows up when you expect but it always shows up wen you need it most. She sent that package weeks ago, and it happened to get here on the most stressful and crazy week that we have had here.
I'm not saying that it was perfect timing, but it was totally perfect timing.
So a huge thank you out to Aunt Donna and Uncle Randy for sending us a super awesome package!
Oh yeah! Did I mention the soap and the bug spray? Oh my gosh. Bug spray is so important. My legs look very.... spotted.
-Emily
 
So lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking and school and television show watching. I'll give you a summary.
So Downton Abbey season 3 is over and that made me sad. Not sad enough to cry, but sad. I have been learning the ins and outs of expeditionary learning and micro greens, which are both green and micro as the name implies. I've read a Nathanial Hawthorn book, which I don't ever want to do again. I went to Haiti. I went to the local Young Life camp. I cooked and baked several things. I went to a dance and tried to do the Dominican dances, but- eh you get the idea. I went to the beach, got a sunburn and got a tan from the sunburn. I played a lot of card games and Dominican dominoes. I read a good book that made me cry (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, review to come) and made some collages with a magazine and cardboard. I also wrote this blog post. Hey, look. We caught up to the present
And that's the last 4 weeks of my life in 1 paragraph.
And Happy Easter!
-Emily
 
Ok. So here we are, settling in. I've spent most of the weekend cleaning our nice and new apartment. The 24-7 scrubbing started on Friday when we moved in and hasn't really stopped. That is until last night.
Because last night was the Super Bowl.
Because last night was the first night of Carnival.
And mostly because last night was the premier of Downton Abbey, season three, episode six.
It was pretty eventful.
I actually didn’t watch the Super Bowl. I was to busy crying my eyes-
yeah, if you watched Downton you know.
It's really pretty cool. Some of the teachers slash staff here at Doulos have a little Downton Club and they get together and eat and watch and laugh at Dame Maggie Smith.  It's a good time.
Anyway, as i mentioned before, Carnival started last night. Up here in small town, DR, it isn't as wild, but that doesn't mean that the music wasn't way louder then normal or traffic was easy. The entire Avanida (main road) was blocked off and let me tell you right now, the Avanida is a really, really busy road. Pretty much everyone has to drive or walk on it to get anywhere and its the only way to get into town besides this scary dirt road that's only big enough for one car. Yeah. But that's the way everyone had to go. I didn't really go farther than down the street last night but pretty much everyone I've talked to had a (or multiple) near-death experience in the traffic last night. No one is actually even hurt but there are three more Sundays before Carnival is over.
Thanks for reading!
Emily
 
In some ways it never happened. In some ways those two weeks have completely faded into oblivion. The mosquito bites and the tan faded. I took a shower and it actually made me cleaner.
In other ways those two weeks were everything and the marks of them are everywhere. The bracelet my new friend made me. The henna tattoo. The nail polish on my toes.

I like to think that a year or two from now I will go back to Brazil and it will be like nothing at all has changed. The kids will still ask for candy. The food will still be rice and beans and mystery meat. Because it's absolutely perfect that way.
The only difference should be me. I should know Portuguese and break down that pesky language barrier. I will be more prepared and will come home with the satisfaction of knowing lives were changed. Not that that didn't happen this time. It will just happen again on a larger scale. A much larger scale.
 
The Brazil trip was kind of amazing. I think its probably one of the better desicions I've mad. Going, that is. The Davis Lar Orphanage is a wonderful place. The kids are adorable and cute and sassy and full of life and joy. It's pretty awesome.
Really, we got to witness how God is changing lives. And we learned how to say stuff in Portuguese. That was fun.
The kids were the highlight of the trip. And the view.....
 
It began on a hot summer day. The Atkinson clan was traveling along the road from Tucson to Camp Buckner, when suddenly, Dad realizes something is wrong.
Quickly pulling off to the side of the relatively busy highway with smoke coming from somewhere on the great monsterous bus we call our home.
We stayed there for four hours. 
Luckily, my dad can fix anything. 
Picture
Something was wrong with a part and there was heat involved and things melted and got gross and dirty. All next to a busy highway.
That little part was the source of our troubles. Thankfully, Dad could make a quick repair with a bic pen and two hose clamps. Unfortunatly, this wouldnt last forever. We had to make a stop in Pecos, Texas, and wait for the new part to be shipped to us.
While Pecos is the home of the first rodeo and is mentioned in every western movie ever made, there isn't much to do there. I Googled "Things to do in Pecos, Texas." Number one is a museum about the first rodeo. Number four was Dairy Queen. 
Upon further inspection, we discovered that this Dairy Queen was new and very nice.
We spent a lot of our time at the hardware store and Sonic.  
Picture
Even Nutmeg got bored.
We got out safely, and arrived at camp on time. But for anyone looking to vacation in Texas, I would suggest steering clear of Pecos, unless, of course there is a rodeo.
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And if you're going to be fixing a bus on the side of the road in West Texas, you will get dirty. So dirty.
 
Now I know that you have been on an airplane before. If not, you'll get there someday. 
A few weeks ago, I went to Azerbaijan, for those of you who don't know where that is here is a map.
Picture
In order to get there my mother and i flew from Tucson, AZ  to Charlotte, NC to Chicago IL to Istanbul, Turkey to Baku Azerbaijan. If i counted correctly thats four planes and 24 plus hours of travel. The flight from Chicago to Istanbul was twelve hours. TWELVE!!! Do you know what twelve hours in a chair feels like? It feels bad. 
In order to help myself survive, I compiled a list of  helpful tips.
1. DRINK WATER. if you dont drink water you get dehydrated and you get a headache and everything is worse when a small dwarf army is pounding hammers in your head.
2. BRING A BOOK. If your like me and you can't sleep in any place but a bed, you need stuff to do. I did sleep on th plane but only after I had been awake for twenty two straight hours. I read my book at our seven hour layover in Turkey.
3. PRAY FOR PERSONAL MEDIA PLAYERS. Most airlines have these for overseas flights. they are attached to the headrest in front of you and mine littereally saved me from going crazy. I watched movies the whole way there.
4. DON"T ACCEPT FOOD FROM THE CREEPY GUY NEXT TO YOU. Ok this did happen to me. He kept asking me where i was from and how many languages I spoke and how old i was. Then he brought out his roasted chicken and flatbread (how did he get that past the TSAs?) and offered it to me, which was very kind of him, but also made me think he may have escaped from the asylum.
5. WHEN IN DOUBT, IPOD OUT. Your iPod will be your best friend. Use it to ward of people like the one mentioned above.
6. DON'T LOSE YOUR PASSPORT. If you lose your passport, bad things happen. i gave mine to my mom and that was nice because I didn't have to worry about it.
7. IF YOU DON'T SCREAM, THEY UNDERSTAND BETTER. Don't shout at the poor people, they are doing their jobs. Vent about it later to someone who speaks the same language as you.
ANd thats about it, sorry i haven't posted in so long, I was out of the country and the RV parks had terrible internet connection.
-Emily
 
Now I know that you have been on an airplane before. If not, you'll get there someday. 
A few weeks ago, I went to Azerbaijan, for those of you who don't know where that is here is a map.
Picture
In order to get there my mother and i flew from Tucson, AZ  to Charlotte, NC to Chicago IL to Istanbul, Turkey to Baku Azerbaijan. If i counted correctly thats four planes and 24 plus hours of travel. The flight from Chicago to Istanbul was twelve hours. TWELVE!!! Do you know what twelve hours in a chair feels like? It feels bad. 
In order to help myself survive, I compiled a list of  helpful tips.
1. DRINK WATER. if you dont drink water you get dehydrated and you get a headache and everything is worse when a small dwarf army is pounding hammers in your head.
2. BRING A BOOK. If your like me and you can't sleep in any place but a bed, you need stuff to do. I did sleep on th plane but only after I had been awake for twenty two straight hours. I read my book at our seven hour layover in Turkey.
3. PRAY FOR PERSONAL MEDIA PLAYERS. Most airlines have these for overseas flights. they are attached to the headrest in front of you and mine littereally saved me from going crazy. I watched movies the whole way there.
4. DON"T ACCEPT FOOD FROM THE CREEPY GUY NEXT TO YOU. Ok this did happen to me. He kept asking me where i was from and how many languages I spoke and how old i was. Then he brought out his roasted chicken and flatbread (how did he get that past the TSAs?) and offered it to me, which was very kind of him, but also made me think he may have escaped from the asylum.
5. WHEN IN DOUBT, IPOD OUT. Your iPod will be your best friend. Use it to ward of people like the one mentioned above.
6. DON'T LOSE YOUR PASSPORT. If you lose your passport, bad things happen. i gave mine to my mom and that was nice because I didn't have to worry about it.
7. IF YOU DON'T SCREAM, THEY UNDERSTAND BETTER. Don't shout at the poor people, they are doing their jobs. Vent about it later to someone who speaks the same language as you.
ANd thats about it, sorry i haven't posted in so long, I was out of the country and the RV parks had terrible internet connection.
-Emily
 
Now, I don't exactly know where i'm going with this blog. But we'll name it ramblings and see where it goes.
Now at this exact moment, I'm watching American Idol. Before I go any further, this is the first year that I've accutally sorta kinda acctually followed the show (I like Casey and Lauren and Scotty. Ok, I like pretty much all of them, except for that one Jacob dude, he's weird). Before this year, I only watched TV on the weekends. (Oh, the Black Eyes Peas just came on. Can we say autotune?). American Idol is pretty much devoted to the whole fame and fortune thing. Anyway that got me thinking about fame and all the different ways that people become famous.
People get famous for singing really good and singing really badly. And they get famous for doing what I'm doing right now. Blogging. And Vloging (you know, video blogging). Yeah, I thought about though about doing a video blog, but I'm sick and don't exactly look my best.
(You know, this is the first time I've gotten sick since going on the road. It's making me crazy)     
Anyway, Vlogging. Do you know how many there are? Pretty much every other person on the internet is a vlogger (or knows a vlogger). Anyway (have you noticed that I use that word all the time?), I don't know, I feel as though I like the blogging slash vlogging society a little more than the tv slash film crowd. I don' get why, its probably because I'm part of the blogging slash vlogging crowd and not the tv slash film crowd. But I feel that the bloggin slash vlogging crowd is a bit more personal. I mean the Pioneer Woman was famous for being the Pioneer Woman, and Daniel Radcliff is famous for being Harry Potter. I don't know, Thats the way i see it.
Well, I'm a bit tired and the good people of America have voted Karen off of American Idol. 
The opposite of earlier to the alligators of the world 
Get it? 
Its like later gators, but more prestigious.(
Its funnier with a british accent
Oh, forget it-
Sincerely,
Emily 
 
Since begining this journey, i feel as though i have matured somewhat. Ok. i probably havent matured at all. i probably have lost countless IQ points and quite a bit of maturity. But I do know things now that i didn't know then. Like when RV people talk about the honeypot, they are not talking about the storage place for Winnie the Pooh's favorite snack. They are talking about black water. Which, in actuallity is brown and not very watery. Trust me, you have not lived untill you have seen Buster take a dump.
But I have gotten a little off topic here. 
I came across a facebook group that stated "remember when we were kids and Pluto was still a planet?" Well, random facebook user, yes I do remember. Good times. I look on those memories with fondness. 
Like the time I got silly putty in my hair. Or got a head injury going down a metal slide, or the time i fell off my bike or the time I nearly cut my tongue in half while falling out of a tree (I still have the scar). Or the time I neary drowned or the time I got my fingers stuck in the car window. 
Let's just say I was accident prone and leave me with what little dignaty I have left. 
Actually, scratch that, I still am accident prone. A certain ankle spraining in California comes to mind.
All I'm saying is I don't really think of myself as an adult yet. A lot of people my age want to be treated as adults. To that I say, no thank you. Seriously, to the 14 year olds out there, do you really want a 9 to 5? I am legally a child, so a child I shall be. Bring on the coloring books and Dora the Explorer and the chicken fingers and the ice cream only after you have finished all you dinner. I deserve to be immature at some point so why not now? 
Now don't get me wrong, I am preparing myself for the future. I will not always be a kid, but I will remember those days with fondness and comemerate them with Disney movie marathons and colering books the size of encyclopedias. And maybe I will become slightly less clumsy as a grow up. Just kidding, I'll proably trip over my own feet till the day I die
-Emily