What can I say about Portland other than it being it incredibly beautiful and inspiring city? As I mentioned to so many friends once I returned, everyone is so nice! I guess my shock heavily stems from the cynicism that the east coast as so beautifully cultivated for me. By the end of the week, we were all saying, "Put it away, Portland!" because it just didn't seem real.
There are two main reasons why Portland has become so endearing to me. One is because for once, I felt like there were so many individuals like me there. Yes, this is a very superficial observation as I was only there for six days. But I guess what I mean is there the common community seemed to be conscious of things that I care deeply about such as nature, taking care of the earth, being kind to strangers, and drinking good beer! But seriously- there was a different, more laid back authentic feel to Portland. As a colleague astutely pointed out to me- I probably encountered a lot of "granolas" insinuation that I am one. I am not going to deny it.
The other reason was that I was able to meet up in this beautiful town with some of the closest friends I will ever have. The last time I saw Corrie and Allyn was two years ago, when we tearfully parted ways in Akron, PA after spending such emotionally intense and wonderful year together in Bolivia. I stayed in Lancaster and they flew back to their homes, Michigan and eventually Oregon. And when we reunited again in Portland, so much had changed in each of our lives but conversation picked up almost as if we had never parted. You don't have the opportunity to have many friends like that in lifetime. We can have deep discussion and light hearted conversation all within 10 minutes. These are two women that I have deep respect for and love dearly and I know we are going to be life long friends.
Corrie and Allyn- Are you ready for reunion 2013 in PA?! This time we are not going to allow two years to go by.
Life in Portland as we knew it (all photos taken by Allyn and Corrie)-