I had a wonderful weekend in Los Angeles. I got to spend time with many great people. Yesterday I saw my cousin Jared – an inspirational guy, as a twenty-one year old cancer survivor, he has made it through a lot more than most and still manages to keep his head up. We had lunch on a patio right by the ocean, with a beautiful view. It was the perfect way to enjoy some LA sunshine. We spent the evening with my grandparents and some of their friends, people they’ve known since they were kids in the boarding school in Sweden during the Holocaust. The stories they tell are the kinds people make movies about. Yesterday they talked about how their letters were censored by the Nazis during the war. Their boarding school had them write letters to family members every single week, but when they were returned or when they received responses, the letters had black ink covering up many sections. My grandfather said that he took some of these letters to a police station in LA once and a special department examined them to see if they could read what was underneath the black inked out sections. It turned out that the Nazis actually chemically erased what was underneath, it wasn’t just black ink covering the words, there was nothing left under the ink to retrieve. Just one more thing lost and stolen from that time in history.
Today I went to the coolest and fanciest movie theater I’ve ever been to. Buffalo is not known for wild movie theaters, I promise, so this was a real treat. They had waiters and real food, blankets and pillows, and extremely comfortable reclining seats. It was awesome. I got to see American Sniper, which was an incredible movie and super intense. I’m really glad I was able to watch it and experience it in the theater.
Check out these seats!
And this menu:
I know I get easily amused and excited by the small things, but this was too awesome not to post.
Tomorrow is the big day – I’m leaving bright and early for Cambodia! I’m definitely nervous to take such a huge trip on my own, but I feel so fortunate to be able to go. So many people have asked me why I would want to go to Cambodia. Why wouldn’t I want to? I think the better question is why now. My college roommate Emily, one of my closest friends, took the brave step of signing up for the Peace Corps after she graduated from university. I got to be one of her references and the process was intense. She didn’t know where she was being sent until basically a few weeks before leaving. When she found out where she was going, I promised her I would visit because I’m probably one of the only friends she has who would be crazy enough to go on such an adventure. She has been teaching English in a village in Cambodia for about a year and a half. I’m so so so excited to see her again! I feel so lucky to have an opportunity to go to such a unique and far away place with someone I know well who happens to know her way around and enough of the language to get by – it can’t get better than that.
Tomorrow is going to be nuts – 3 flights, 3 countries, 20 hours flight time – it’s going to be intense but amazing. I will write when I can and I can’t wait to share all of my experiences along the way!