Archive for Theresa Ripley

Fulbright 1979

Did it help that I took a year of Swedish before going to Lund University in Sweden. Not really, but it made me feel I tried.

Hur mår du? Hej! God morgon! God middag! Välkommen!

The main thing that happened was I met a Swedish international student who was studying at the University of Oregon and assisting with the language class. That was 1978. We are still friends in 2017. Jan last visited me on July 4, 2016, in Eugene. A selfie to prove same.

In summer 2017 I am reviewing an experience of almost 40 years ago. I am on a journey to see what remains of these events now long ago. It will be a good exercise on hot summer days. The first thing I did was look at the pictures I took while there. Not many, as it turns out, as compared to today when people take pictures almost daily. I reviewed the pictures, selected a few, and made this 1 minute video to start jogging my mind.

 

That turned out good enough I thought I would try to track down some of my favorite contacts while at Lund. Would old emails still work? I tried. I sent the video to two email addresses, one bounced back, but the other did not. Bingo…maybe. Next day a response to the video and that it would be forwarded on to the little 7-year-old boy in the video.

I started going through old hard copy files; getting out travel journals; reviewing past web pages; walking around the house and determining what remained from that experience of 40 years ago. As it turns out, quite a bit. Quite a bit. Nice.

Old Files

The highlights from reading the old files including reading my sabbatical proposal–my what self importance and earnestness for the project which was about studying leisure in Sweden no less. Well, someone had to do it. I got nominated. Who was this person who wrote this? The resume included with the proposal looked impressive enough, and not overblown in my view almost 40 years later, no stretching of professional experience or publications or activities.

Another file revealed correspondence with the Fulbright Commission and congratulatory notes from the President of UOregon, our two U.S. Senators, State Representative, and paper clippings, including the one where I was called “he.” Treasures included letters from friends while I was in Lund in a very sparse environment with little entertainment. The letters were a savored then, and certainly now as well.

Travel Journals

The journaling had several components. Since I was traveling alone, the journal(s) became a big part of the trip. Friends we could say, both for reflection and to keep me organized in moving forward.

In the Keep-Me-Organized category there is one little book with addresses gathered before the trip. Then addresses of people met during the trip. Expenses were listed in the little book as well. And business cards gathered enroute. Via that process I am now looking up people on LinkedIn and trying to track down an Iranian doctor who was a radiologist at the time of his stay in Lund. If I can have a Bingo with the video, can LinkedIn or Facebook be far behind. It’s the chase, it’s always the chase.

There was the journal I kept with me every day of the trip and wrote in faithfully. It was a gift from a graduate student of mine at the time. It was rather big and bulky, but she gave it to me so warmly with best travel wishes. I knew it would be the journal to be with me all the time. It was. Last, there was the narrative I wrote, some while there and I think some after I came back, all in long hand. It is 126 pages on paper the standard European size, meaning longer than 8 1/2″ x 11″ U.S. size.

Web pages

In 2010 I started a project of revisiting the Fulbright experience in Sweden. I did exactly what I have done this time of gathering all the materials and reading them. I then started building web pages of the long narrative written in hand. I got as far as April 25, 1979, in recalling the experience. Then my life changed in March 2010 and 2 1/2 weeks after my husband was diagnosed with cancer, he died. Priorities changed; almost everything changed. It was not the time to look back; it was trying to decide how to move forward.

The project, not completed, is here.

http://thinkpint2.com/iweb/Journey/Fulbright.html

Daily Memories

A walk around the house revealed ways I do remember this experience. This picture is in the bath hallway. I looked and looked at this poster when I was riding my Eurorail around Sweden. Finally on one of my last trips I asked the conductor if I could have the poster. He took it out of the slot, rolled it up, and gave it to me. It got home and framed and has had many moves.

I have a couple of prints of the village and cathedral. Here is one depicting the time of 1700. It is in the bedroom.

Last, but not least, as it took the most time, I made a Swedish rya rug after I got home. Doing a little research right now, I think this might have some value. It certainly has value to me. It took a long time, but it to has many journeys since it was made in the winter of 1979. I also had a sauna built into my home after I came back from Sweden. I remodeled a second bedroom into a master bath with a wonderful cedar sauna installed. That, unfortunately, has not traveled around with me since, but I am sure the various owners of that home have much enjoyed it.

 

Updates As They Happen

I shall post this now, but continue to update if I make new, old connections with this experience. What fun!

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South America 1978

First international trip, if we don’t count going over the border with my parents as a child to eat apple pie in Canada, was to South America in 1978. I was 33 and an assistant professor at the University of Oregon. The trip was labeled as Andes Holiday and trekked to Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru.

Columbia

Journal entry from first day in Bogata reads, “July 14–Went through old and new parts of the city and into smaller towns. Lots of Holsteins!….First impressions, some classy dressed women in the streets, lots of old buses, lots of crummy signs, not a particularly pretty city, but pretty, green countryside.” Next day went to the Gold Museum, pictured, after a trip to the top of the city, journal states, “great warnings about our purses being taken.”

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The last breakfast in Bogota, the journal notes, “another good cup of Columbian coffee. I even like it black!” And that, I can tell you, is rare. On to Ecuador.

Ecuador

Arrived in Quito at 10 a.m. on July 16, 1978. “Local guide said it was an election day–first in 10 years and everything was closed. Told us not to go out after 6 p.m. People anxious about election. Hotel beautiful!!…Beautiful homes, well secured with broken glass tops on the walls. Got scared by teenagers drawing a knife…Heavy rain, strange because it’s suppose to be the dry season.”

Next day we toured the city, “snow capped mountains in both directions.” Toured the city, “natives all have felt hats, sidewalk vendors…out to equator and took pictures in both hemispheres.”

South America 1978 033

On July 18, 1978, we traveled to Latacunga. “Incredible countryside views–mountains and greenery. Guide told us about high taxes are and how wealthy the military are. Latacunga Market was an incredible sight.”

latacunda_market_4

Peru

Journal entry from July 20 in Lima. “Demonstration outside hotel. The teachers have been on strike since middle of May. They are only paid $100 a month and expenses are high. I don’t see how anybody lives. There were lots of shacks in the city with caved in roofs. Seems poorer than anything we’ve seen.”

The next two days we went to the Amazon jungle, flying first to Iquiotos where I noted “hundreds of birds congregated” and the next day we took a boat ride to the ‘meeting of the waters’ of the Amazon and a tributary. I described the jungle walk as “VERY HOT & STICKY” and that was followed by going to a village where head shrinking was practiced. I hope that was had been, but then again, I’m not sure now 40 years later. I did make one more note that, “I don’t like jungle weather!” So there, I told my journal.

If I didn’t like jungle weather the Andes came quickly. We flew to Cuzco on July 24 which is at a very high altitude. From my journal, “Cuzco is beautiful. In earthquake times Inca foundations did not give but Spanish did. City at 11,500 feet. Was chilly but not that bad for sleeping.”

The highlight of the trip came on July 25 with a 3-hour train trip and then a switchback bus ride to Machu Picchu, and then reverse back to Cuzco. But oh….the time in Machu Picchu. I said at the time, “I wish I would have had more time in Machu Picchu (not spelling it correctly) by myself or one other person. I got camera happy and took whole roll of film. Maybe I can get back some day!” That has not happened, but I did make a short video mostly highlighting Machu Picchu which is one minute long.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypZiou8dxHw

We flew back to Lima and stayed two nights before flying home on July 28. I noted in my journal, “Why am I so privileged that I have the opportunity to do this?” I’m still working on that one 40 years later, but the memories of this trip are burned into me.

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Dear Mom & Dad,

Both my parents died in the summer of 1977. I’m taking up our correspondence again 39 years later.

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A lot has changed since I last wrote in 1977. I was looking through old photographs yesterday to send to your great granddaughter. She completed an analog photography class at college and I told her I use to do my own developing. It was a nice trip down memory lane, and even our own back lane which led to the mailbox. We did send lots of letters back and forth after I left Rt. 66, but not seeing the value in same until too late, I kept very few. I did get better at saving letters with the long time correspondences with both brother Ray and Uncle Don. We often learn a little too late.

There is a lot I would like to tell you of how things are different than when we last wrote, but more important I would like to see if I could channel some of your wisdom about life.

The world seems a bit overwhelming with prospects for the future. I do try to keep up. I do not know if you thought I would do that, but I try. In many respects the life you led, which was one of simplicity, is needed more than ever. Consumption at many levels, though, seems to be the rule of today.

I am still in contact with many people you know, but there are also many new friends and family. The former would enjoy thinking about you again, the latter will have an opportunity to know your life a bit better.

My intention is to write periodically, tell you how things are, and then see if I can concentrate and extract a bit of how you might respond…even if you did not tell others what to do. You led by example.

Until later…love,
Theresa

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The Tale of One ebook Publisher

It started in August 2011. I knew I wanted to publish ebooks, but did not have a clue how to do it. My notes say I started Googling ‘ebooks’ on August 4, 2011. Then the same day I went to the local Barnes & Noble store to ask for a book on how to do ebooks. They said they did not have one. Now it is almost three years later and 25,000 downloads has just been reached.
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This blog will share the story of what I have done. All of this comes as a surprise, even though I have been writing and publishing most of my adult life. My facebook publisher page probably describes best what has happened, this from the ‘about’ section.

I write and publish ebooks. I never meant to become an ebook publisher, I just wanted to leave stories which might remain. Now over 25,000 downloads.

Join me in the conversation.

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Getting Up and Running Or Waddling As the Case May Be

The new website is up and now we are ready to start the challenge of posting. Nothing is easy to start, but we are persisting.

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Scholar Duck was added to the ThinkPint staff last year, and he is registered toy product. When he came to the Pint, though, he was dubbed Scholar Duck, and it stuck. Scholar Duck (SD) has a number of interests, currently fully engaged in the issues of Climate Change and always interested in current events and how they affect all humans and ducks and all living things.

We hope you will read and follow SD and add your comments to his musings if so moved.

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