Some of you may recall that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I would be taking Nigel and Aidan to the Grand Canyon when I go to visit them during their two-month stay at their dad’s house. Some of you may also recall that in April I mentioned that I would be going to Nepal this summer with Knowledge for People to do an autism educational volunteer program. And some of you may be as excited as I am when I tell you that I am doing both trips!
Friday morning I fly to LA, and I’ll spend the 4th with my extended family members who live there – Dad, brother and sister-in-law, and my sister. (In case you’re curious – I’m actually from LA. I moved up to Oregon to go to college and ended up staying. It’s that beautiful. Funny thing, Nigel and Aidan’s dad is also from LA, but we met and married in Oregon. Just a little Tanya Trivia for you.) Anywaaaayyy, then I am renting a car and picking up the boys to go to the Grand Canyon for a few days. This will be my fourth time there, and the first for them. I’m looking forward to sharing it with them, but really, I just can’t wait to see them and hug them. I’ve missed them so much already.
After I return Nigel and Aidan to their dad’s house, I will fly out of LAX for Nepal. I’ve spent the last week preparing two presentations I’ll be giving – one on sensory issues, and the other on my parenting experience. I’m the only parent of an autistic child on the team going to Nepal, and I feel so humbled to be speaking to these parents and teachers (through an interpreter). How can I talk about the challenges of raising a child with autism, when I have no idea how challenging their lives already are? Who am I to talk to them about challenges?! They are in a country with no resources for their child! But we are hoping to help with that, and I am honored to be a part of this. I prepared outlines of my presentations and sent them to the director of Knowledge for People, and she will forward them to the founders of the newly-formed autism center in Kathmandu who, I hope, will have the outlines translated prior to our arrival. That way the parents will have something to refer to while the interpreter and I are speaking to them, and they’ll have some written material to take home with them.
And in case I sound all nonchalant as I’m mentioning that I’ll be traveling to Nepal and speaking to a group of people and having my words translated and all, don’t let the casual tone of my writing fool you. I can’t believe I’m doing this!!! I can’t believe, after months of planning and preparation and thinking can I really do this?, that the time has come and I am doing it!! Talk about taking a leap! I’m a little nervous, but fortunately my excitement seems to be overriding my butterflies.
So, my friends, the blog will be quiet for a while. We’re supposed to have internet access in one of the places we’re staying, but I am laptopless, so I’m not planning on posting during my absence. That just means I’ll have plenty to post about when I return! (And I’ll be swamped with work to catch up on, but we won’t talk about that now.) I’ll be back in Oregon on July 28, and I promise I’ll post as soon as my jetlag fog clears. Namaste!
*photo courtesy Wikipedia