Monday, September 25, 2006

Ok everyone, here is the post you have all been waiting for. (Well, truthfully, maybe you haven't been waiting for it, but I have, and I like projecting my internal issues on other people.)

In about 6 hours Jessica and I will be boarding our flight to Spain. By tomorrow morning we will be in the land of paella, sangria (mmmmm...) and acceptable lisps. We will be headed up to a small town North West of Madrid called Salamanca for a few days to visit some friends. After that is over, we will be headed South to the coast, across the Mediterranean at the Straits of Gibraltar and into Morocco.

"So, what is it you will be doing?"
Jessica and I have been getting this question a lot lately, and we deserve it. I don't think that we have done a very good job of telling everyone what it is exactly that we will be doing. Some day soon we would like to compile a compact but complete manifesto of our beliefs and activities, but for now this will have to do.

The basic idea is this: to go, live in and learn about communities around the world. Our goal for the "us" that we are defining right now is that we would like to end up doing community development work somewhere in the world. Right now we need to learn how that process works. We need to see community based health care, agriculture, water supplies, business development, micro-enterprise, and social services as they actually work. We need to learn how to address short comings and problems in the systems and then see how solutions are created. This next year is completely about engaging as much as we can while learning as much as we can about our future field of work.

More specifics will follow as we discover them.

- Jake and Jess

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Answers to your questions:

1. how many miles will you have covered by the time the grande tour americana is over?
After tracing the United States up the U.P., down to Colorado, up to Montana, over to Washington, down to L.A., across Utah to North Carolina, up to Washington D.C., and back home, we will have covered close to 13,000 miles!

2. do you guys have "a song"?
I don't think we are much for having "a song" but more less a catalog of favorite music, you could say... Our favorites include: a) The muppet song, "Mahnamahna", b) "Wild Thing," and of course, c) Gnarles Barkley "Crazy".

3. how can i be more like you?
We would be happy to take you under our wings (Cory) when we see you in less than two weeks!

4. have we run over anything yet?
Yes, and it was sad. First week of our marriage Jake ran over an innocent turtle. I've tried to encourage him to take out more human life, but he doesn't seem to be converting to our ideals yet. It's only a matter of time (We're kidding!).

5. If you were going to write an accrostic for "marriage", what would that look like?
I don't think we even have a clue what marriage is yet, let alone write an accrostic... that may have to be for later...

6. After showering is the car pleasant again, or was there too much seepage to rid the car of odor mearly by removing your bodies and cleansing them?
It's absolutly amazing what continuous days of showering can do for not only one's sex life but for the life of the car as well. Our grey beauty (Jake will hate that I'm call her, our car, that) is smelling so fresh and so clean once again. But man, was that ever a harsh couple thousand miles of ingrained body odor.

7. what has worship been like in life on the road?
Different. I think I can speak for the both of us when I say that there is a part of us that misses the weekly worship in a familiar community. Yet, I believe there is also a part of us that is ready to experience and familiarize ourselves with other forms of worship. Worship in the physical touch; Worship in reading out loud to one another; Worship in learning how to work out problems and glorify God at the same time; Worship in learning how to represent and best love one another; and Worship in learning how to love others together.

8. Honey? a great road snack.

9. What has your favorite conversation topic while driving been?
Trying to figure out where to sleep the up-coming night. What we won't do and where we won't go to get a free night of sleep! Other than the usual "travel talk," it's hard to think of conversations we didn't have. From feta cheese to fertilizer, Chacos to smelly arm-pits, conversations were continuous.

10. When are you traveling to Sewa Ashram?
We're anticipating heading down to Sewa-Ashram by March"ish"...

Thanks for the questions... feel free to ask more and we'll keep answering and posting...

Friday, September 15, 2006

A chance to help

Over the next year Jessica and I will be living and working in different communities. One of these communities is Sewa Ashram, a home for the destitute, ill and differently-abled.

Chad, the individual who photographed our wedding, has let us know of an amazing, generous offer. All of the photos that he shot are online, and if you purchase prints from this place, part of the proceedes will directly benefit Sewa Ashram and all of the work they do there.

What to do:
1. Go to:
2. On the left, enter this code into "Photographer ID" - S9ZS29W
3. Enter your email address, click submit.
4. For the password, enter "love" and click submit.
5. Order photos and enjoy the double gift.

Jake and Jess

Monday, September 11, 2006

Thanks to Cory, we have an idea on how to stimulate some comments and conversation on here. We are going to have our first ever Q&A.

Leave us a question in the comments section. Ask any question you like, just remember this is a public information forum, so with the knowledge that we just got married, keep it appropriate please.

Next week, after we have gathered all of the questions, we will answer them in another post.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Our children.
Three years ago I became the Godmother of Carter Clarkin. Two years following his birth I became the Godmother to his younger sister, Maya. Now, through marriage, Jake has taken on the name and responsibility of their Godfather. As you can see, they are having no problem adjusting to this addition to our family.

My amazing husband and Maya relaxing together.

Jake, Carter & I havin' some silly fun together.

Nothin' wrong with some early morning wrestling, Carter's favorite all day, anytime activity.

Thank you Asheley and Doug for allowing us the priviledge of sharing in the love of your children. We are grateful!

While we have time and internet... more picture...

Arches Nat'l Park. Scenic but not all that fun, we thought.

A fellow set of honeymooners following a very similar road trip plan. We bumped into them and had a great latenight conversation, and hundreds of miles away, completely unplanned, we ran into them again.
Jane and Vinny, all luck and blessings.

Robin and her crazy(awesome) children attacking me with a complete ecosystem. A monarch butterfly, sheep and rabbits made up the brunt of the offensive force.
A quick photo update...

If Jake had his way...

A relitavely unknown slot canyon of Escalante which we were told about by a couple on a hike through Bryce. We were told this slot canyon is a local secret, evidenced by no one else hiking the trail besides us and no signs leading to the trailhead... It was a great day...

At the tip of another fellow hiker we were told of this beautiful campgroup in Escalante, Calf Creek. After four+ weeks on the road we decided that with a view like this in our backyard and a six mile hike to a 150+ foot waterfall nearby and free firewood, how could we not stay for two nights and rest...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It is a shameful thing that it takes so long for the word to come out about the condition of our neighbors.

The commissioner confirmed reports from neighbors that the family had been without electricity for at least a month and had been relying on candles for light.
The three-bedroom apartment in the Rogers Park neighborhood had no smoke detectors, he said.

It is an absolute poverty that we allow things like this to happen. While some roll in wealth, others live in destitution. Lives separated and reduced to abstractions. We stop caring about people as soon as we can no longer see their humanity. And when we surround ourselves with people like ourselves we are insulated from the humanizing effects of community.

We are blind to people like this because of our life choices. We need to drop our barriers of comfort and reform into communities of old.