What I Appreciate About The USA

“Live, adventure, bless, travel and don’t be sorry.”

Everytime I leave Oregon I learn to appreciate it more. Where else can you ski, cycle, fish, sail, and run all in the same day? It is a beautiful state with wonderful people, and through my travels I have grown proud to call it home. Here is a list of things I appreciate about Oregon and the USA in general.

-We have free education. Sure, our university system (and prices) is in desperate need of a reform, but we still have more than most.

-We as women have rights. You gals have no idea how lucky you are to be raised in a society where you are treated equally, where you have the same right to an education and a job as a man, and where you can walk around without fear for your safety. And most importantly, where you are not considered second class. These things, which I have always taken for granted, now seem like priceless gifts.

-We can drink from the tap! In most countries clean drinking water does not magically appear from the faucet.

-Dependable electricity. Even here in Kathmandu, a large and modern city, the electricity cuts out for eight hours everyday. I actually think this is a good thing, but many people see it an an inconvenience.

-Though I have become accustomed to cold bucket showers, I do miss hot water. I often find myself dreading (or even postponing) a shower, something that wouldn’t happen back home if it were hot.

-Access to everything. Medicines, clothes, any food you could imagine.. You can buy absolutely anything in a store or online back in the States, whereas here, that is not at all the case, especially not in the villages.

-Garbage cans. I never thought I would appreciate something so simple (or smelly!) but it hurts my soul a bit every time I see someone throw their trash onto the street or into a river, a dreadful daily (more like hourly) occurrence.

-We don’t have a mandatory army service (unlike the Israelis who all travel after finishing their two or three year contract. Seriously, Hebrew is practically the second international language after English in many tourist destinations).

-We have mountains, rivers, lakes, trees and an absolutely beautiful environment all around us. Well, at least us Oregonians do!

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