Our story continues . . .
A couple days before I was to leave for China, Stephen came to the base for another visit. We were all very busy trying to get everything done that needed to be done before we left: packing and scrubbing, wrapping up last minute details of what we would be leaving behind and finishing up travel plans for where we were going. The night before we left, all of our monstrous bags, that we were supposed to be able to carry all over China, were piling up in the main building. I had never packed a trekking backpack before and I definitely couldn't even pick up my bag. Stephen came up next to me and plopped down. He started emptying out my bag - to my relief - to show me how to pack it. You see Stephen was and is an expert in this area. He is an Eagle Scout and spent a lot of time backpacking and camping growing up. Now as he was going through my bag he also had a lot of opinions on what I had packed - " WHY are you taking hair gel to a third world country" :P SO after he had gotten rid of a third of my stuff, I got a tutorial on how to pack it ( did anyone else out there know there is a whole scientific way to pack those things?! - don't answer that). When he was done I am proud to say I was one of the only ones that could lift my bag. The next day we headed to Denver to fly out. We all said our goodbyes, including Stephen and I. I was focused on the adventure ahead and excited. A few hours later we were all surprised to see Stephen and another friend, Seth driving next to us. Stephen leaned out the window ( on the interstate, in a snowstorm) and said " hey, you forgot your cookies" as he held out a bag of cookies my mom had made. :D No, he didn't come all that way because of me but because he and Seth were bored and were feeling a little left behind while we were off on our adventure. They followed us into the city and we had dinner before going to the airport. Then we said our goodbyes in DIA at the gate. I hugged him and was off to spend the next two months out of country.
to be continued . . . . .