Ndjerareou Journey

@RailEurope Instagram Challenge #PPDeparture

It all started with an overnight train from Nairobi, Kenya to Mombasa. Our missionary parents went all out with a sleeper car and white gloved diner service knowing it was a trip of a lifetime. Waking to gazelles and zebra as the train lurched and glided into the port city was like being given the keys to unlock a storybook wonderland.
The London Underground, Parisian Metro, the Trans-Siberian Railroad, Chicago El even AmTrak, trains are one of my favorite tools in a travelers arsenal. A map, a paper ticket or a plastic token and you can maneuver through the most daunting territory all while rubbing shoulders with the locals.

At 15, an FFA student- exchange took me to Siberia Russia. We hopped a train from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Carrying nothing but a backpack, a pocket dictionary and the faith that my host sister would feed me, lead me and return me the lumbering giant took us deep into the heart of Russia. Using the tracks as our path we trekked 3 km into no where with only wooden huts and telephone lines to mark the miles. Safe and solitary we lived off of rye bread, tea, canned food and back fat. The innocence of the experience is something I’ll treasure.

At 20, a computer glitch in Heathrow cancelled my direct flight from London to Odessa, Ukraine where our group was teaching English. Hoping a flight from Frankfurt to Krakow and then a two different trains took us from Poland to the Black Sea. We saw Eastern Europe fly by and arrived weary but grateful in time to greet our students.

This past year I discovered I still had my train skills as we took on Bangkok’s seamless Skytrain. Gaining my bearings in a city like Bangkok is like learning to breathe under water. The air conditioning and punctual nature of the trains helps. So did Nate carrying Isaac and stroller up two flights of stairs multiple times a day without complaint. In thanks, I stayed in with the littles one day while Nate and friends took the night train from the historic Hua Hin train station into Bangkok.

In the mood for your own train adventure. Passion Passport.com is teaming up with @RailEurope for an Instagram Challenge. The prize a $500 Rail Europe ticket! All my travels and I’ve never had a Euro Rail pass. Might be time to break out the map again! Come along with me! #PPDeparture

Some day I’ll tell you about the night I slept under a tractor in Russia because my host sister was kidnapped by the local mafia but that’s another story. . .

#neverstopadventuring

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    @RailEurope Instagram Challenge #PPDeparture

    It all started with an overnight train from Nairobi, Kenya to Mombasa. Our missionary parents went all out with a sleeper ...
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The child of missionary parents, writing became a natural was to process my adventures across the world.

Ndjerareou means 'he who builds the road in Ngambai, Nate's tribal language spoken in Chad, Africa.

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My Insta-happenings

  • Thank you 2017. I'll admit we're glad to see you go. We partied hard, there were Cheetos, gummy bears and all kinds of nonsense. This little man is expecting snow tomorrow #texassnowdreams and gave his all with a killer game of hide and seek. He won't let go of his "light saber." Thank you Auntie Minga and Uncle Banga for making special memories with our family. Uno is not for the faint of heart! #2018
  • Family road trip for the last few moments of 2017. Introducing Auntie Minga to Magnolia Market.  Chad, Africa to Waco, TX with all our love along the way. #milestomagnolia #ndjerareoujourney #waco #austinorbust
  • In our house, my husband has created a unique tradition, watching every version of A Christmas Carol we can get our hands on. I’ve been known to roll my eyes at the constant barrage of Bah Humbugs, but this year I see it with new eyes. .  Scrooge’s heart is reshaped when he sees the painful state of the world and the kindness that others have shown him. Christmas becomes a battle cry to care for humanity and accept the love and redemption we don’t deserve. This year more than ever I feel the need to “keep Christmas in my heart.” . .  Unlike other years, I will be looking at any form of holiday celebration as a communal cry for hope. Holiday cups of coffee, middle school concerts, letters to Santa, Christmas jammies, teachers’ gifts, bell ringers and red buckets, overpriced holiday experiences, ugly sweater parties, white elephant gifts, beautiful families smiling from stacks of perfect paper cards, all the things that can make a mother hyperventilate and bring out my inner Grinch. . .  This year I’m cherishing every expression of Christmas. I’m embracing and proclaiming it back into the world. Merry Christmas! .  Click the link in profile to read the full article. . .  Special thanks to @fathom_mag for a great year!Photoby Bob Ricca .  #christmasspirit #merrychristmas #fromourhearttoyours #achristmascarol #deckthehalls #joytotheworld #peaceonearth #goodwilltoall #fathommag #bahhumbug #writersofinstagram
  • Thankful to Nana! Your advocacy for our Alzheimer's & dementia community is inspiring! An inter generational singalong was a great way to kick start the holidays! The Musical Memory Singers is a great cause! #singalong #musicalmemorysingers #alzheimers #dementia #alzeimersawareness
  • "It is a happy talent to know how to play." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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It may have only lasted for 30 minutes but it was delicious to watch him frolic. Thankful for languid  afternoons, family and all the laughter .
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#klydewarren #abilenetx #cousins #freeplayarlington #familyfun
  • No one told me it would require solitude to put pen to paper
And yet my loneliness provides a voice

In the space between wonder and wandering my soul speaks

The margin between exultation and despair is the place I reach out

The prayer to be heard becomes a longing to be understood 
The desire flows into rhythm and story flows out into the world

When the Lord spoke the world into being he created from the void 
From nothing he created life and beauty 
And it was good.

The divine spark of creativity is a gift 
Left over from the beginning of time

Yet the act demands that I enter into the void

The space between belonging and being lost

To listen to the wild call of the soul

To hear it echo in a silent space 
The one that bubbles up with bravery 
To think or dare to place your vision into the sea of life 
A call to from nothing into something

It is the imprint of the creator

Like a prayer we pour our energies into the space of humanity

An offering to the divine 
A reflection of something sacred in the broken reality of our world

May I never loose the hunger to enter the void

Grant me faithfulness to doggedly pursue the gift

To steward to act of creating something from nothing 
Honor the creator 
Build a bridge to my sister

Speak truth in the darkness

Story on the soul

The Lonely Act of Creation - A Poem by S.K. Ndjerareou . .

#poems #writersofinstagram #inspiration #lakecomo #italy #neverstopwriting #explore
  • Here's to wild lands and all the places we've dreamed about. Thank you autumn for your natural inspiration. .
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#fall #wanderlust #inspiration #wildlands #jrrtolkien #autumn #herestoournextadventure #booksquotes #inspiringwords #booksareadventures #
  • From our porch to yours! #happydayofcandy