The week before winter break we had an Open House. This next semester we are really hoping to make our name and our mission known in the community so we hosted a get together to show people what we are doing and how we are living. In preparation for our Open House Allison and I embarked on an art project. We wanted to fill some of our bare walls with pictures that we (all of the community members) had all taken during our various adventures. After deciding on sizes and how many we were going to order I went to the photo counter at Walgreens to pick up the prints. The man helping me said that he had looked though some of the pictures and wondered where they were taken. I was immediately taken aback because it was the first time all day I had an opportunity to reflect on what I had been doing. Engulfed in the project all afternoon, I never stopped to think about where the pictures were taken. As I started to answer the man’s question I realized the ludicrous reply: Spain—Barcelona, Toledo, Madrid, Italy—Milan, Cinque Terre, Spoleto, Siena, Florence, Lake Como, England—London, Bridlington, Hull, Flamborough, Sewerby, York, Canada—Calgary, Banff, France—Paris, Giverny, Chicago, San Francisco, Grand Cayman, Israel—Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Turkey—Istanbul , Jordan—Petra.
I immediately had to justify that the pictures were a collection from five girls over a few years, but still this made me think about the reasons we have all traveled abroad. Traveling abroad is, in my opinion, one of best things a person can do. I studied abroad in Italy and I not only learned the course material, but I now have a better understanding for Italian culture. It was an amazing experience and I would go aboard again in a second.
Other exciting Ruka events included our community dinner with Professor Kendra Hotz and her spouse Dr. Matthew Mathews. We shared a wonderful conversation about the books that they have written and the ones they are working on over a scrumptious spread of chicken kabobs, homemade hummus, organic guacamole, and fresh mixed salad. The pair is closely involved with the Church Health Center and is writing a series of books that discuss elements of the relationship between health, wealth, and faith. It was so nice to have Around them over and I really enjoyed learning about their work outside of the classroom.