Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As Per Angela's Suggestion

As per Angela’s suggestion, I will keep a blog for the next two weeks of my travels. It may have been a smart idea to blog my last two weeks' worth of travels, but you can't change the past. 


For those of you who don't know, I am headed to the Central Pacific, specifically Guam, Iwo Jima, and Peleliu. I am going on a faculty-led study abroad trip to a series of World War II battle sites. As it turns out, I had relatives fight (and receive injuries) on both Iwo Jima and Peleliu. I am also going with the intention of documenting this trip via video. One video project will document Middle Tennessee State University during WWII in a more didactic manner, hopefully to air on the University’s television channel at some point. The other film will document this class as it travels to and explores these sites. That is the film that I am most looking forward to.


I could list a variety of reasons of why I decided to go on this trip (to explore, for the adventure, because this literally is a chance of a lifetime, I'm young) and the reason would be all those things, but more. The trip technically has nothing to do with my thesis. I could argue that as a student studying cultural resource management, this trip benefits me by allowing me to see a variety of historically and culturally significant sites and learn about how they are managed, but that's not why I am going. I could also say that the trip allows me to work with film in a manner (and topic!) that I am interested in. My reason for going exceeds the adventure. More people summit Mt. Everest than Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima, as the island is only open to civilians one day a year. The likelihood that my children’s generation will have this opportunity is very slim. I want to see these sites for myself. Additionally, I lack the ability to say “no” when offered chances to see new places (much to the chagrin of my wallet). I live without regrets, even if it means incorporating ramen into my diet.


It is my intention to load videos and pictures here to share. One of my classmates will also be doing some GIS work and uploading things to Google Earth, so hopefully I will be able to connect to that as well. I should have no problem accessing internet while on Guam, but Peleliu may be another story (we shall see).


Excitement is hard to portray via text. I have been looking forward to this trip since last August. It is hard to believe that I will be on a plane headed for Guam in less than 48 hours. I leave Nashville at 6:00am (Tennessee time) on Friday, March 13th and arrive in Guam at 6:10pm (Guam time) on Saturday, March 14th. I should probably go pack and by “pack,” I mean figure out what is important enough to be included in my airline-allotted 50lbs of checked luggage.


Angela J. Smith said...

Elizabeth, I look forward to your posts, and I have already subscribed to your RSS feed so I can read them as soon as they are posted.

Words and pictures communicate an experience a perfectly as any medium. As your friend, I want to experience this trip through your eyes. Slow down long enough to savor the experience, and take good care of yourself.

Tom said...

Things to remember and check at least hourly:
- Passport and ID cards
- Sunscreen
- Bug spray - the best is the stuff they sell overseas that is banned in the States
- Geckos are good - they eat mosquitos and bugs
- Lizards are bad, they have a tendancy to get mean