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Lana Bump
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Miyajima Island is worth the detour!

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We only had a few hours to spend on Miyajima, but it was definitely worth the detour!

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March 12th! Seen on my horrible awful no good run today.
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Do this

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We loved Kyoto Station, and not just for the cute cat posters or the awesome 1:100 Lego model of the building.

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Snow monkeys in Japan:

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The last few months have been nutso, but we're finally talking about our trip to Japan again.

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Every year I bake cookie plates for the holidays, donating the ingredients and time and making them for friends and family and coworkers for a $20 donation. It's a way to spread holiday cheer and donate more money and raise awareness for the causes I love than I could afford to donate on my own. Last year I raised $1200, which I was super proud of.

This year was tough. I had to decide the night after Dad died whether I wanted to call the whole thing off. Ultimately I decided that it would keep me busy and that Dad loved cookies, so doing it as a way to honor him seemed like a good idea. I didn't raise as much money as last year, but I know I did as much baking as I was mentally and physically able to so I am ok with that. This year I raised $800 and baked about 1000 cookies. Dad was always proud of me but I think he would have been impressed by that.

If you're interested in the charities I sponsor, they are:
1) Centre ValBio, run by Stonybrook University in Madagascar. We fell deeply in love with the lemurs we met in the Ranamofana area. Right now the slashing and burning of land for agriculture is making the situation for lemurs a critical one. These are such interesting mammals, who don't live and thrive anywhere in the world but this island, this region, this very forest.
http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/centre-valbio/

2) The Dragonfly Association, the charity associated with a restaurant in Siem Reap (near the amazing temples of Angkor Wat) called Haven. Haven trains kids who "age out" of the orphanages there in how to work in a restaurant, use computers, cook in a professional kitchen. We've seen firsthand that they're doing good work, and where the money donated goes. http://www.havencambodia.com/en/about-haven/
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12/22/16
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