Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Heading Out

Many sides of my impending adventure excite me. I've been to Canada a few times, but this feels as though it will be a more 'real' international experience.
As a sailor, I am excited to be surrounded by water, especially in a warmer climate. I've gone sailing a few times in Seattle's December chill, and the snow melt has definitely cooled Lake Washington. I am excited to see how the boats of Indonesia compare to the highly uniform racing dinghies I am used to.
As an anthropologist, I await putting to use techniques and knowledge that have been bound to paper to this point.
As a vegetarian, I am excited to go to the birthplace of tempeh. This fermented soy product is and ingredient I have experimented with, but have found minimal success. My interest in nutrition guides me to explore the intertwined culture and cuisine of the area with as open a mind as possible, even if this requires abandoning my meat-free ways at times.
As a biologist, Alfred Russel Wallace's account of his journey through the Malay Archipelago one hundred and fifty years ago has inspired my imagination of what I will see. Wallace independently discovered the theories of evolution popularized by Darwin, and his immense knowledge of the area moved me to purchase a field guide to the mammals of the region. I look forward to seeing the world through the eyes of a naturalist, and will be looking for a field guide for local plants when I arrive. I have studied rhododendron genetics at UW, and anticipate seeing some of the species I have heard about and seen in gardens in their native habitat.
I'm looking forward to keeping my eyes open and soaking in as much as possible from this adventure!

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