I'm thrilled that your homestay went so well. Your email got me all teary. Happy teary, but emotional all the same. I can tell how much and how quickly you came to love these people. It's touching and awesome, and I love that you don't sound homesick anymore. It's a relief. I can't wait to see your yukata. And I'm curious... In your two days with your host family did you learn to tie an obi? :)
L— volunteered to climb Santaquin on Friday night. I'd been getting angsty, dealing with stupid stuff with the opposite sex and personal crap, and climbing seemed the only way to deal with it. I happened upon a break in the weather (Mountain weather, that it. It's been hotter than hell here on the valley floor, while most of the rain and thunderstorms have been hovering over all my proposed peaks.) and decided to jump on the opportunity while my foot was doing better. L— and I have been spending a ton of time together anyway; we spent Friday evening shooting pics on Center Street and it was a blast. When I told her I was planning to climb she started asking how it would compare to Squaw. I had stats, elevations and distances, but not much more. And honestly it isn't a difficult trail, but it is BUTTS long—almost 12 miles. I warned her, but she seemed all for it, so we geared up for two, shopping for supplies and stuffing our packs Friday night. Saturday morning, 7 a.m., we got up and drove to the Nebo Loop. L— was pumped for the first three miles, and then her blood sugar dropped and so did her morale. I was as patient as I could be, but I could tell she wanted to go back. We munched on an early lunch, I gave her some ibuprofen, and gave her the Red Bull that I always bring for the summit. She was weak and tired, but asked if we could say a prayer. I did my best to really tune in to what the Spirit had to say about the matter as L— prayed. What I got was that going slow and just going a little bit forward at a time would be okay. And so we'd walk another 1/2 mile and evaluate the trail and where we thought we were headed. We ran into a group of old men coming off of Loafer Mountain, which is adjacent to Santaquin, and asked them what they knew about the trail. At this point we were across a small valley cirque from Santaquin, at least two more miles from our destination, but having the voice of experience to guide us perked her up and she was the more positive of the two of us about bagging the peak, so on we went. It took us 5 1/2 hrs to summit, and 9 1/2 total roundtrip, but we made it, and I think it did wonders for L—'s self esteem. "I can do hard things," she said all the way down.
We actually went to church today. I'm not sure how we pulled it off. L— is sunburnt and my body is aching, but we did that too. More hard things. I've been asleep most of the time since I got home, so I'm sorry if you get this before you need it. E— says he'd like a sword, or weapons. Not sure that can be done with TSA, but I asked. L— is jewelry/clothing/kawaii focused, as you know. I love paper and boxes. You know B and I think you'll be a good judge of choosing for him. I think your dad emailed you on his own because I asked and he went in his room and didn't really tell me.
I'm looking forward to Thursday morning, though I'm sure at this point you could stay another half month and not feel badly. If I could have one wish it would be that you get to go back, for a longer stay, and that you can do it soon. First, however, you must come home and watch Despicable Me 2 with me, because I'm struggling with the wait. ;)
I love you, my amazing girl. You too, can do hard things.
hitomi and yumiko told me to look up youtube videos on how to put on a kimono, and obi on yukata are easier to do than kimono ones, i think. it has a ropey thing on it and you wrap it around and tie it tight then attach a pre-tied bow!!
i am so proud of you and l—. of course she can do hard things! she's amazing and talented and cute and she can do anything. i'm glad you went to church even when it is hard. i'm not allowed to get real weapons because of TSA, but i'm going to look for a model sword because one of the boys got a model in asakusa. i hope there are more somewhere!! D: i got b— some toy weapons from zenkoji temple and i've got a bunch of small things for everyone but i'm a bit nervous i won't run into the right things now... :(
i'm SO EXCITED to come home, actually, minus the summer homework part! running around all day every day has been exhausting and i'm sunburned and have mosquito bites. i was officially initiated into the Mosquito Bite Club earlier today (i am the only one who knows about the club).
i really want to see despicable me 2 with you. i'm reminded of it every time we see something cute in a store and everyone says "IT'S SO CUTE (fluffy) I'M GONNA DIE!!!" i miss watching movies with you all the time!!! i love movies. i want to hug everyone! the one picture i have on my camera of family is of e— making a huge funny smile and it keeps me going every day because ethan is awesome.
i need to clean my stuff and go to bed because i have to get up early tomorrow, so i'm going to cut this off here. i love you so much!! i'm excited to come home.
SO MUCH LOVE I CANNNOT CONTAI N IT,