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My computer hard drive crashed about a week and a half ago.  The IT guy at work miraculously brought it back to life in exchange for a kiss.  But some things have taken a turn for the surreal.

Imagine taking my entire music library, which was organized in folders according to artist and album.  Imagine taking all those files and putting them in a blender.  All the folders are buried inside each other, out of order, and mostly renamed as Beatles or John Mayer albums. On top of that, many of the music files won’t play, or are pieces of other songs.
I’m upset…but this is so absurd, it’s almost entertaining.  I’m discovering all kinds of things that I apparently had, but never previously heard.  (Korean-Thai hip-hop? what is this??)

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It was a frustrating stressful day at work.  It seems as though I get nowhere on the million humongous projects that are supposed to be done before I go home for Christmas in less than two weeks.  Then, it started raining and the power was cut for the whole neighborhood.  I stopped to buy a chocolate bar on the way back to my house, as consolation for being wet, unsuccessful at work, and so far from home.

When I got home, the power was still out, and would continue to be until the next morning.  The chocolate bar was so disgustingly stale, that even I threw it out.  There was nothing to do.

I decided to make Thanksgiving dinner from scratch.  No recipes, no light, no special shopping trip.  I dug through the freezer for the three last slices of bread, found some cashews on top of the cabinet, and added to that the more than year-old dried black mushrooms that smelled like smoke and had at least one feather in them.  (There are certain advantages to cooking in the dark.)  I had green beans and potatoes, and a collection of assorted powdered soups.

In the end, it was all edible!  The texture for the mashed potatoes was off, and the gravy too salty.  The green bean casserole had too many mushrooms in it and tasted strange, but the whole wheat-cashew-mushroom stuffing was fantastic.  After that, I called my family, and went to bed happy.

Life really is what you make it.

And even on the worst days, I’m more blessed than I’ll ever know.

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

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pillage/the/village turned 2 today!

A lot has happened in two years…

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This cutie stole my heart.

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Tavy

At night, on the road to Mahajanga, we passed through a place named something that my friends tell me is loosely translated as “hell.”  Here, they practice tavy, or slash-and-burn method of farming.  It was surreal.  The black hills were highlighted in a demonic orange glow, and lines of fire like lava streamed out as far as I could see.  The destruction was terrible, and at the same time, one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

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markscherz:

buzzfeed:

Real World: Calvin and Hobbes. 

This is really well done.

The world just became a bit more magical.

Source: BuzzFeed
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After all that traveling, I came back to Madagascar! 

Home again.

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Vientiane, Laos

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Luang Prabang, Laos

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Lao food is amazing.