The Adventure Begins


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

30 thoughts on “The Adventure Begins

  1. Casdok

    Yes wow! Am very excited for you. And very much looking forward to hearing all about it.
    Its hard to imagine what it would be like with no resources and we moan about the ones we have.
    You have much to offer and im sure will make a huge difference.
    Good luck!

  2. Sheri

    “Wow” is definitely the word of choice! I can’t even imagine what you’ve been thinking preparing for this adventure but I am sure you will be a blessing to all those you meet and what an absolutely fantastic “what I did on my summer vacation” story you’ll have to tell us all!

  3. Paulene Angela

    Wow !!!
    That is going to be an amazing experience two fold.

    Nepal, mostly Hindu religion followed by Buddism. I am so excited to see how they accept Autism and their forms of therapy. Would they not confront this “difference” spiritually rather than medically?

    Wishing you and the team lots of joy and laughs for your adventure.

    Paulene x

  4. Meg

    Oh my word, I’m so excited for you on both accounts! To see your boys and enjoy exploring with them. And then to explore the world as an Autism ambassador! You are my super hero, enjoy your month, you will come back a changed woman!

  5. Cheryl

    I know you will have a wonderful month of adventure with all that you have planned! Hugs to you and the boys, and know that we’ll be thinking about you all. Prayers for a safe journey! I’ll miss not getting to read your blogs for a whole month, but will have lots to look forward to when you return! Namaste’!

  6. Natalie

    You are so brave! Hannah got her shirt from Nigel by the way and LOVES it! She never wants to take it off. We’re working on getting a thank you note written so hopefully that will arrive at some point while you are gone and be there for Nigel when he gets home from his dad’s house. Have a great trip and tell Nigel that Hannah loves the shirt he made.

  7. Tera

    Oh Tanya, Awesome! I don’t remember hearing of the Nepal trip, but the Grand Canyon with the boys will be terrific! They are at the perfect age for such a journey. And as for Nepal, I can’t even imagine. All the luck in the world during your presentation and in helping yet more parents out there in this great big world. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Have fun!

  8. Holly

    Oh this is so great you! And I can’t wait to hear all about it. I think it’s great and a chance of a lifetime… perhaps even an ongoing thing!!?

    Good luck and try to post pictures of your trips… Would love to get to LA one day–and the grand canyon to say the least!! My aunt and cousins are out in LA… and I still haven’t been! Have fun with the boys!

  9. Tom Ferris

    Hey Tanya, sounds like a great opportunity, and I hope you have a lot of fun, good luck!

  10. Cathy

    OMG–that’s so exciting!!! What a wonderful oppurtunity–I can’t wait to hear more about it!! so cool to be helping folks in countries with NO resources for autism!

  11. dynamite girl

    I hope you have an absolutely wonderful time. Dylan got home from scout camp and LOVES his shirt. He has clothes sensory issues and the shirt is so soft he doesn’t want to take it off. I am going to do my post about the tie dye project today, if you miss it look for it when you get home! Safe travels, and thank you for spreading the autism word!

  12. kyra

    that is SO FANTASTIC!!! i am thrilled for you! what a magical, fascinating, exhilerating and daunting trip! i know it will be phenomenal. safe travels! can’t wait to hear about it!

  13. Tanya Savko Post author

    Everyone, thank you so much for your well-wishes. I appreciate you tremendously.

    Natalie – So glad Hannah likes the shirt! Nigel will be happy to hear that.

    Dynamite girl – Yay! Glad Dylan likes his shirt too! I’ll show Nigel your post when he gets home. 🙂

  14. M

    Well, I hope the holiday was fun.

    And I’m excited for you. The Nepal trip will be amazing. I’m so glad that you’re one of the people going. They needed a Tanya along…someone smart, empathetic, who understands the issues. And, as demonstrated by your writing, you’re a terrific communicator. That’s going to be so helpful as you give you presentations.

    I’ll be curious to hear all of the details you can share with us. Details, many of them. How people react, what sort of questions they ask. What sort of food they eat in Nepal. Whether or not you felt nervous when presenting. The list of M curiosity goes on.

  15. Macrina

    I hope you have a great time and that you’re able to help/connect with many parents in Nepal, even if it’s just with the understanding look in your eyes that you can give them, to help them know they’re not alone.

    And I hope this is the start of many adventures for you!

  16. M

    I was down with this trip initially, but now I’m just resenting Nepal for keeping you so long. I’ve never resented a country before. So yeah…watch it Nepal. Your on my list. M needs regular Tanya posting.

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