Friday, December 2, 2011

the ultimate d.i.y. adventure!

i know what you are thinking..... what a fab pair of steel toed work boots! and those sure are some big boots! what gives??? well, those big boots are mine! yeah, i have some big feet (been this size since the 7th grade!) and boots like these don't really hide that fact.... my dad could probably tell you about the many preteen and teenage tear filled moments i had in the jc penney mens' shoe department with him trying to find "cool" shoes like my junior high and high school friends because the ladies' dept didn't carry my size... oh those were the days.... so anyhow, back to these boots.... as you are reading this post, i am en route for the ultimate d.i.y. adventure! i am heading to nepal to meet up with a team from habitat for humanity to help build a house! yep, a HOUSE!
words to live by...

so, this year has been all about challenging myself and really getting out of my comfort zone... beginning with becoming an almost 40 year old intern... heading back to school for some technical design skills... working on challenging diy projects like spending an entire day painting a design on my bedroom wall.. making a brass pendant light...  painting designs on rugs... and i have been so fortunate to have had so many wonderful adventures already (hello nate berkus!) and have been feeling like i really need to give back because i am so very grateful for all that i have.  so, that's where i came up with the idea to go on a volunteer trip through the habitat for humanity global village program.  i have lots of frequent flier miles leftover from my old executive days and i figured i would put them to good use! and then lots of my friends and family donated to my habitat team trip to offset some of the required donation! woo hoo!  if you've been reading my blog for a while you might remember i had originally hoped to visit my former intern bff in australia but it turns out i couldn't get a mileage ticket to do it.  and frankly, this is a really great substitute.

when i told my nonna that i planned to go to nepal she asked where nepal was and i told her it was right near india.... she then said "oh, you're going to-a build a house on that-a show on-a abc with that-a guy?!?! in indiana???" yeah, nonna was a little confused at first.  and i love how she thinks my nate berkus appearance was just the beginning of many more and that i was heading to join ty pennington extreme makeover home edition on this adventure. she cracks me up!  so now that she knows the real deal she's a smidge worried that i am traveling so far away...
a travel hairdryer a friend just lent me...

so, i am really excited to meet my habitat for humanity team when i arrive in nepal.  we've had a couple of conference calls gearing up for the big trip and we have a pretty diverse group... there are a total of 14 of us from all over (australia, canada, usa) and various ages (one of the fellas on the team is 70! how cool is that?).  the gals leading our group are fun and spunky sounding gals from georgia (i have a feeling that i might have to pull a madonna and adopt their cute southern accent while on this trip!)...  who knows what the team thinks of me... on our last conference call everyone was asking lots of questions like "what are the materials we are building with?" (bamboo and cinder blocks) and "do we need to bring our own tools?" (nope, just sturdy work gloves)... well, when i piped in with my question of  "do you guys know if our hotel rooms are equipped with hair dryers because they seem pretty bare bones?"  there was a bit of a longish pause before the team leaders responded with a "no, probably not".... i guess i was the only person that ever asked that question and they didn't know how to respond...  ever since my first time out of the u.s. when i plugged in a hairdryer in a london hotel room socket and said hairdryer proceeded to catch on fire i kinda like to stay away from packing u.s. electrical appliances on international trips... anyhow, in my defense, it is supposed to get really cold there at night and they had just finished telling us how the heat may not be working in our hotel (which is 3 stars by nepal standards... probably the equivalent of a half a star u.s.) so the thought of going to bed with wet hair was not appealing... and also, maybe the slightly shallow gal inside of me was thinking of the possibility that i may just happen to meet a hot guy trekking through nepal during my adventure and i would rather not be sporting icicle filled dreadlocks should the moment arise... yes this trip is 100% about giving back and the cool experience of building a house for a family in need but a gal needs to be prepared for all possibilities... 
a glimpse into some of my necessities packed for the trip...

oh and when i hit my local home depot in search of work gloves i felt like goldilocks looking for the perfect fitting pair.... i learned that a mens large is too large but i am not a ladies medium like i thought (yeah, apparently i have big hands to go along with the big feet!) but a in fact a men's medium and the options were limited in that size... so, manuel, the very helpful home depot employee working with me, suggested that i wrap my knuckles in bandaids prior to putting the gloves on in order to protect them from cinder blocks... so, i have my trusty hello kitty bandaids in the suitcase along with lots of snacks, clothing collected from goodwill (a great spot for buying $5 polar fleece shirts that i don't need here in la), work boots, hiking shoes, stocking caps, purell, and a sleep sack that is guaranteed to keep any creepy crawlies out of my way (best going away gift ever!!!)! and my mind is swirling with anticipation and lots of questions like "can i handle this?" and "what exactly does 20 degrees feel like?" and, of course ... "will i decide to sample some supposedly tasty yak while there?"

thanks to my very generous parents buying me, their very technically challenged daughter, an ipad (for my 40th birthday) i will hopefully be blogging about this big adventure from nepal!  holy cow i am so excited!

for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too! and if my plane has wi-fi i will be pinning away during the very long journey so get ready!!

until next time...

the (formerly almost) 40 year old intern


  1. So very proud of you, Holly! I know you will have a great trip (filled with bunches of hilarious stories!)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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