I can shop. Very well. I was trained pretty much from birth. I have expensive tastes, and the patience to pursue those tastes in thrift and charity shops. Clearly the dilemma before me is, ALL of this must go in there. Everything that I have amassed in eight weeks has to fit into by duffle, and still remain under 50 pounds (35 kg). Because I am an experienced and well trained traveller, I do have an empty bag in my duffle, which can be filled should the situation arise, however, that will incur baggage fees.
The solution? Leave it behind. Now it will also be no surprise that I had planned to do that very thing. There are clothes that came with me that I intended to leave here on Iona. That is actually very common, in fact, in my living area we have an entire closet (cupboard) devoted to left behind clothing. It is called the Vollie (volunteer) cupboard, and it contains all the left behind clothing. Volunteers have either intentionally or accidentally left behind clothing which remains in the closet until claimed by those that follow. I have claimed two t-shirts, one long and one short sleeved. At the end of the season they will actually be put in a jumble (garage) sale, as a fund raiser. So to make room for my purchases, and collections, I will leave behind trousers and t-shirts for the Vollie cupboard.
Books will not be making up weight in my bag; I have only purchased 2 books, but am bringing back 3. A friend of mine who was here earlier in the season bartered for a book, and I am the carrier of the trade. I do, of course, have a frighteningly large collection of glass and pottery which will have to go somewhere, and that trade off may be my boots. While new when I arrived, they are well worn now. I have walked about 7 miles a day, and have developed a split in the toe of one of the boots, allowing both water and wee stones in.
What can't go in the duffle, but that which I must carry on my own is how I have come to love these people? How in such a short time, some as long as 8 weeks others as short as one, do people come to be so close to your heart? Through shared experiences, both humorous and sad, through shared life of what we may or may not want to eat, and through shared living, of who may or may not be snoring, these dear people have grown into my heart and reshaped me -- yet again.