Pictures from my walk today (Joubertina)

Two paths diverged…
There is beauty all around.
Nothing fancy here, this bird sounds awful and doesn’t stop honking.
Going and leaving home through this would guarantee that your day is good.
Basically a weed.
$10 worth of food? Why yes, I do accept
Can you tell it is Africa yet?
If you look at the hill closely. Very closely. You will see it doesn’t just have a J for Joubertina…

Well, this was my adventure today. I couldn’t find a sweater to ward off the cold. Or any of my usual souvenirs (being without a bracelet in a country makes me uncomfortable now) but it is what it is. I did see a full market street, I wanted to take a picture but I thought it’d be a little rude when I was the only white person on the street…

Anyways, things get better every day. Just have to find the right outlook.


All sorts of roles

As a paper conservator I will get to do different things such as:

Rub eraser shavings on paper
Mend torn paper with supplies
Wash paper
Dry paper
Stick paper into an alkaline treatment to deacidify paper
Stick paper back into water
Stick paper into acid that I make less acidic by adding ammonia to it
Put the paper in more water
Put the paper into another alkaline treatment
Take all of that and put it into a sizing liquid (real quick like)


RMWDSSSPPTD is the daily life of a conservator. Yes the glorious RMWDSSSPPTD it really is the highlight of the day.

Disregard the research into the object you are required to do. The hours and hours of (actually fun) tedious research.

Disregard the fact that not a single one of your friends will know what you do, but inevitably ask you to fix their broken scriptures or hymn books (seriously people… go buy a new set, mark those up. Love them, cherish them, then get a new set and start again!).

You live for the RMWDSSSPPTD…

In other words, today I:

Rubbed eraser shavings on paper (it’s all done now)
Washed paper (the paper REALLY REALLY liked the peroxide treatment)
Stuck paper into acid that I made less acidic by adding ammonia to it
Put the paper in more water

So basically I’m there folks, I’m so close I can almost taste it!

I have pictures and such. Mostly of the work I’ve been doing… I haven’t been doing much of anything else, I’ll probably walk to Joubertina on Saturday though.

Bless bless,

Weekends are rough, but then I get to work again!

Ok, everyone loves the weekend. I’m no exception I promise, but currently they are hard on me as I am trying to figure out what I can do here, what I can’t, and eventually I will meet some folks and have some fun.

Not saying reading at home alone after sitting in silence for 8 hours while I softly rub eraser shavings in a circle on top of some art isn’t fun (Kohleen, if you read this, I really REALLY don’t like dry cleaning on the physical art surface. The verso, sure. the negative space, absolutely. The art itself? Not so sure about that one), because it is!

It’d just be nice to figure out stuff. Ya know?

So what fills my passion now? Repairing paper! Tomorrow I get to do my first aqueous treatment (washing, then deacidification, then bleaching, then sizing? Maybe)! I’m excited because this means actual instruction! And water!

I was told today that I am a teaching type. I really do enjoy helping others learn what I have learned… Anyone know of any jobs that do that?

Kidding, mostly, but not fully… I love paper conservation, and I love book repair, and I love travel and tourism, and I really really really love Ultimate Frisbee. Teaching is starting to make that list, I just don’t really know how to break into that kind of thing.

Anyways I hope you all have a great day! It is still a relatively new one so make the most of it! (Even if it is a Monday)

Patrick (a book binder abroad)

Picture post!

The view on my walk.

The view from the house my mother should buy… I really actually like the house a lot.

The house, hidden by more view of what is by the house…

And the only picture of food I’ll take for you guys! Unless I make it myself.

I am starting to wish I invested in a better camera, so my phone will have to suffice. It just doesn’t capture the landscape well enough.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday is that one day…

I am in the middle of nowhere. Seriously. Search for the Belfry Kitchen, go to street view. From there, turn it around and look for the cottage on the right, It’s white. That’s mine. Now zoooooooooooooooooom out. Turns our I’m 2 hours away from Port Elizabeth, and Knysna.

Needless to say I won’t be able to go to church easily.

So, that’s a thing. Hmmm, today I went on a walk. Found a house my mom should buy, because it is for sale and I liked the view. Tossed a disc around and helped someone learn how to throw all the throws I could. I also finished a book, and had a 4 course lunch.

Whew, not too shabby a day.

But you people like pictures, so here’s on of some peppermint crunch chocolate I ate.


And tomorrow I’ll get up the pictures of the view from my walk, and the house my mother should buy.




Hmm, it is warm outside, it’s my weekend. So let’s curl up inside and read.

Or in other words, exactly what I did today.

So long story short. My stomach hurts/I don’t know anyone.

And when last night you were told from people you can’t quite catch the sarcasm in that someone has been stabbed and your house occasionally gets broken into but Twee Riviere (pronounced Twee Ri-fear) is safe is REALLY REALLY comforting…


I did manage to find an ATM (took out one big sum of Rand and hopefully that will last me a while) and took a selfie so you know it is still me taking the pictures and I am alive.

So without further adieu here is a picture of me, a scene of the country side. Enjoy!

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First time seeing the mountains, warm, and nasty water

Hey Everybody,

Today I finally got to start doing some conservation work. I am hoping to see if I can get them to release me from the internship early… Mostly because it is who I am, and secondly I can go back towards civilization!

Haha, kidding, I just will work hard enough that I can get all my pieces done before i need to leave.

IT WAS WARM TODAY! Like the sun and everything! It is so nice to finally feel warm again. Though tomorrow will be interesting…

It is officially my weekend, and the place I normally eat is closed so I went to the market and spent nearly $10 on groceries. hopefully that will feed me for the day, and some of tomorrow… Honestly I don’t really have many options for food, so I can just bite the budget bullet right? Ugh

Right, you need to see something of where I am, so…

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But this, this is nasty, and it smells weird, and I bathe in it. So there is that.


Anyways I came upon a revelation today, every single person is made to travel! No matter what each personality type has a strength and a weakness. It’s all about knowing where to go so that your weaknesses can be hidden by the people around you!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Friday!


Trials and Growth

No pictures today, sorry… It was raining all day today and I’m honestly not feeling too well. The cold plus the lack of warm clothing is starting to equal a loss of energy and spirits.

It is supposed to get warmer and stuff but for now I’m  just going to sleep a lot…

Cool things to note!

  1. I am drinking rain water. Like from the sky, untouched.
  2. I am making progress in the paper conservation. Honestly I think that they are having issues keeping up with me!
  3. I didn’t scream or panic as that giant spider came out of the hole in the side of the tub, and had enough presence of mind to figure out where it came from so that i didn’t spend the rest of the day worrying about the magically disappearing spider! (I still of yet to see it since, so yeah.)
  4. I am trying to spend less time/money on the food, currently spending about $7 a day on 3 meals, and would really like to get that down to $5.
  5. The South African Rand is gaining strength so good for them! (Bad for me…)
  6. I did see the sun today! Didn’t warm up much but it was there!
  7. I am in Africa, I mean, if i don’t note that someone (me) might forget!

I’m trying to stay upbeat and positive, but it is hard when you feel trapped by circumstances. I will try to continue to make people smile even though all i want right now is to curl up into a ball and sleep until it is actually warm outside.

I truly hope each and every one of you have a fantastic day, and that you succeed in what ever you do!

Bless, bless

P.S. and then they brought me a steak. Today was a good day.

In which I show you Henry’s house.

Monday, October 12 2015

I got picked up from the airport in P.E. by Henry Newman. He is the nicest man ever and didn’t even charge me for breakfast or dinner!

His house is amazing and I truly loved my stay with him. I should mention that he used his own proof of residence to help me get a sim card…
Either way I had an amazing dinner with him and his swiss friend. It was such a nice experience that I would definitely go stay with him again.
Also… His house.

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Just stunning.

So I am now in the little village of Twee Riviere. I haven’t taken any pictures yet but I did start my internship today and I think it is safe to say information overload!

We spent 4 hours on the ethics of conservation and a guideline to keep us safe and stuff. Honestly we could have spent 5 minutes on it but I’m not sure what else we would have done.

Apparently I read fast and, while she was on the phone with someone read through the 4 pages I needed to 4 times, and then 15 extra pages (to break up the monotony, you know how it is).

I honestly love the location, it is stunning and the food is fresh and good! Although I’m sure it is going to add up sometime and make me have to ask my brother for more money… (David, if you are reading this I am not broke! yet…) I’m hoping I can start cooking on my own but I will send a walk through of my house soon. I’m in it alone, there are 3 rooms, a kitchen, a scary food storage area, ants, spiders, a nope area (in my closet, great right?) and a bathroom. I spend most of my time in my room because there is a bed and it is freezing outside! It should not be this cold yet.

Unique experience of the day! I took a bath!

Fooled you!

Wait… No, the water was brown. I took a bath in brown water. It smelled ok so whatever.

Anyways I hope you all are well, and are doing all the things I wish I could be doing there. Like traveling to Africa! (But you can’t stay with me, they told me no to that today… Guess I’ll have my mansion to myself)


A long journey

So this is day 2 of me being here in South Africa. The first day I kinda just slept for 15 hours. It was perfect. But this isn’t supposed to be about me sleeping, Unless you want to hear about me sleeping? Like I’m pretty sure I just lay there and my mind shuts off…


I got on my first plane at 10:00 P.M. and flew to NYC, the best part about that flight was a little girl had switched seats with me and honestly I didn’t care but she was spoiled from the flight attendants and I got a little jealous. I ran into my friend Tyson on that plane ride and we talked for a bit in the JFK airport, I went on a brisk walk outside in the pitch black between terminals and proceeded to just sit, watch people walk back and forth, and listen to music. SUPER entertaining right? Yeah, that’s how I felt too. So i got up and went on a walk. I went outside and just stood outside for 30 minutes in order to watch the sunrise slowly take over the sky. It looked a little something like this:


After realizing it was a little cold out there I went back inside and sat down. As I chose my place to sit down a girl came up and sat next to me, and me being my exhausted self… I started talking to her. She was going to Israel! How much fun is that? So we chatted about life, and school, and work, overall a great time was had by me, and she laughed a lot so maybe she was having fun too? Either way I went through security and got on my next flight.

Wait, something cool happened! As I was in line trying to get my boarding pass the counter representative asked me if i would be willing to arrive 8 hours later fly through Dubai! I wanted to switch my flight because she was authorized to cut me a check for $1300. That much money would have paid for my entire trip… So we were trying to make that happen but I couldn’t get all the ducks in a row and we decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle.

The next flight happened like all 14.5 hour flights happen. I forced myself to sleep, it wasn’t too hard to do but it was absolutely needed. I slept for about half the flight, and being in an isle seat was probably a very big jerk! But once I woke up I was definitely a very nice person again who would unbuckle and stand up whenever I was asked, or wanted, or needed to go to the bathroom. Honestly I took any excuse to just stand up in the isle. I met a nice lady (the lady sitting next to me on the flight) and she offered up her house for my stay in Joberg but only if I fixed her garden for her (I’m pretty sure it the soil composition so I would just make her some raised planters and control the soil that was placed in them). I’m still waiting for her to email me her details. She has 2 sons aged 25, and 21 so that’s pretty much just going to be 4 days of video gaming.

I was picked up in Port Elizabeth by Henry Newman and taken to his house. It is a beautiful house and I will have many stories and pictures concerning his house in a different post (that should be many pictures and a couple stories? maybe no stories. I don’t know. Stop pestering me). Anyways I just wanted to let you all know that the flights were all uneventful and if you ever fly South Africa Airways sometimes it turns into a self service food and beverage flight, probably the most interesting thing I have seen while flying.

Have a wonderful day!