Saturday, April 29, 2006

India...India...India....ah how do I count love?

So a couple days ago I went back to work at Kalighat. This place has a special home in my heart after spending over 5 months here in the past 3 years - I have matured in my experiences here..

Andy [a loooong term volunteer] welcomed me right away and so did the nuns - they were very happy to see me and I had a really good time just sitting and talking with them. It's low season for volunteers so the place is busy with silent work, but it means that you can have great time for one on one discussion with the nuns and long term volunteers. Kalighat had this same feeling to me that it hard 3 years ago. People work in the presence.

And the presence was felt. Along with sorrow....

I walked up to number 38 and it was the same sweet old man that I would exercise daily last year. Such sorrow in my head... I stopped and wanted to cry - here I was this young arrogant, stupid man travelling all over this hellish planet in the 14 months and this man hasn't moved more than 30 feet in the past year.

It's simple not fair....
God why do you this? God why do I do this? What lesson is there to learn from this?
And if this is to teach me and others a lesson then pardon my french but this is fucked up....


Friday, April 28, 2006

Back in India?

I am back here again, it's been 4+days already > really what I am thinking? Didn't I learn my lesson last time from my trip in May 2005. This is definitely my black hole for travelling as I have been to India 4 times in the past 4 years...
This time I don't know how long I initially spend to stay but it did feel very welcoming to get out the taxi in Sudder Street - people starting to wave at me and some shouted out "Welcome Back Jam"
It felt like home.

I have some friends coming to visit, so it should be excited...
One of them is a former participant [a tdotter!] on my last contract - and is coming to India next week.  I am going to get her oriented at Mother Teresa's before doing my own thing.

Speaking on own thing - I volunteered to extend the orientation posters that I started 2 years ago, Sister Karina was quite ecstatic about the whole idea and so we are both going to be working updating the info on the posters together and translating them into 6 different languages. Do I even speak 1 language properly?

I am so excited about this work - the last time the posters were very effective and over 10,000 people have used them...

Off to volunteer!
Peace and Blessings

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

left Pai....very very sad....

Life at the bamboo hut ended... I miss the yellow bike, the community centre and the people.
Off to the next adventure and will send some sort of update sometime next week.
On a simple note>>> I left my uber [new word for the month] black glasses outside and the dogs came and chewed them up! The arms are really gone and lense has a good cracking dog bite.  4 Years of friendship down the tube.  True to form I am still wearing them and looking very nerdy...and I still can't get rid of the ragged old black commi hat - I look like a  travellor in need. 

Does anybody wanna sponsor a travellor :>
Peace and Blessings
BTW>>Respect about the comments regarding the last pic!

Friday, April 21, 2006


Updated all the pics on my site...very impressed by some of the;'s been a couple years in the making and well the network I am using makes life easier...

This is my fave pic out of all of em' - I love camels... and my big toe... :>

Peace and Blessings

Globilization + Money = Travilization

April 14th 2006
Chang Mai Hill, Thailand
Sitting here by the river watching Tribal kids bathe in the water with  - an Irish bloke and 2 Swedes - while listening to the Stars and reading the South Pole Adventure "The Worst Journey in the World" .  All while drinking a coke in the middle of the nowhere....
Anybody can do Anything....with money and this sucks...where is the real adventure - the non beaten path...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back on the web...but in a bamboo hut!

I was planning on taking a break from all forms of technology [including email] until the 24th of April to give me some time to be distraction free from life.

I am currently staying in a bamboo hut right next to a river in the rural north of Thailand, as luck would have it my next door neighbour is a French-Canadian he's and an Internet entrepreneur who creates websites and works out of his hut. He onced had the #3 website in North America a couple years ago and is taking a break from it all...4 months here...
He lent me a G4 Powerbook [apple :>] and gave me access to the wireless network - so much for rural living. [but I still get to wash my socks out of the village well]

So connecting to the net again and responding to the over 50 pieces of mail will be fun in the next couple days.

Life has been very slow lately, just pondering about it all... it's been peacefully and scarry to think this much, butI am very gratefully for this opportunity.

Just finished: Couch World
Now reading: The Templar Revelation
Man... I have a bizarre reading pattern...

Listening to Sarah Harmer because her voice reminds me of the trickle of the river... pics coming soon....

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A funny moment for me.

A friend works for Harlequin designing covers and it's quite cool to glance by a store and try to guess if he did any of those books.
Today I was sitting in the internet cafe and I found this link he posted on a message board.

I laughed out LOUD at cafe... when I saw the cover - it was a pic of one of our friends RJ holding a stiletto.
It totally caught me by surprise and that pose looks so much like him in serious mode.

Good work man. I am impressed.

I will go to sleep tonite laughing about that...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Everbody loves a good drought

March 24th 2006: Sri Lanka
The Risky climb of Ratnapandi
Ramnad [Tamil Nadu]: Ratnapandi Nadar has what must rank as one of the the toughest jobs in the world.  He climbs fifty date palms trees daily, some of them trice a day to tap juice for panaivellam [date palm jaggery].  That could mean 150 trips -up and down-trees that migh be ttwenty feet in height.  His work begins at 3 in the morning and lasts up to sixteen hours.  He earns as little as five to eight rupees a day
Taken from : Everybody loves a good drought
It's amazing how reading 8 lines in a book can have such an effect on me... I read this and closed the book. It went untouched for several days
What was really scarry is that two days later while I went for a 4 hr walk on the cliff hills of Mirissa -  I spotted a man who was climbing coconut trees.  I sat down and watched him for 15 minutes - moving from tree to tree with only a rope around his feet and a machete tucked into his trousers just picking coconuts.  Everything that I read in the book was now a visible movie but this man was older and the traps of poverty clearly had a control on his life.  The tears started in my heart and then moved to my eyes. I tried to do North American ignorance - justify his existence and abandon any hope that I could possible help...
Whatever I told myself worked because later that evening I was sitting on the beach eating fried calamari, chips and drinking beer.
Still sad about it - but the evils of ignorance are growning or I could be just too tired to really care. 
Man what have I become?

A whole day of blogging!

Going to spend almost the whole day on the net - actually in between trips to the dentist.
Replying to the almost 60+ pieces of mail from the last week, some admin banking [work never ends], updating the blogs, website and pics...

But seriously the trips to the dentist are really needed, this morning I had my teeth cleaned and in the afternoon I am going to get some fillings and teeth capped. Thailand is cheap for dentist and the whole thing will cost me around $150 Cdn for about 3 visits. It's a really good deal and long overdue.
So while my teeth are feeling fresh and looking pearly white. I hope you enjoy some of my blogs that I have been writing in my journal.

Peace and Blessings

Friday, April 07, 2006

Apple and my ipod - I can guess what's next!

April 6th 2006
For those in the world that no one or two things about me :> is that I am an apple freak. AND I admit it - such a freak that while my posts have been regularly about coconuts, short travel tidbits, life etc my mind is sometimes thinking of apple..
I love simple devices and that's exactly what the ipod is - I have every major accessory for my ipod but then for Xmas I got the craziest one - A solo charger for my ipod that also works with my phone. I realize that I might be lost in the desert or my plane can crash on an island but the hard case that I have for my eletronic and with the solar charger I can be plugging away for years.
What's next for the ipod.
Well it's going to be the next personal computer - the next mac mini...
Imagine plugging your ipod into that small dock then grabbing your wireless keyboard and mouse - everything will be on a TV screen and you start working away - doing all your Word processing, Music, editing your movies etc
With the ipods wheel interface all you would be able to do is view all your word doc, spreadsheets, movies, notes but you can't change anything.
It's really the next computer and I like the way it works because it's simple and easy to use - with a camera, wireless bluetooth and built in recorder it will be the next simple PDA for everyone.
Oh! I read recently that everyone is shocked that you can now install XP on a Mac. I see this as a challenging move by Apple because soon you will be able to buy OSX for any PC. They just opened the door first so they look less threatening - to stay on top of innovation you need to start creating Window products as well i.e. ITunes.
I have to admit this switch from G5 to Intel and the whole transition was almost unheard last year and they are doing this very smoothly while mainting a dominate position in the music and film industry. So much for the little man.
And thanks for reading my Geek post.
These views are an expression of love - one cannot write the future of a billion dollar software company while sitting in an internet cafe in Thailand that also doubles as a laundry mat.

I love the 3xj! a shameless plug

3xj is the man who is behind the network that I am currently using for the website.
It allows me to plug my digital camera and upload the pics right away and change content on my site in minutes - I love this tech savvy shit.
So simple and easy to use - he just added podcasting to the mix so in my next update you will be hearing some more exciting noises in the background.

April 2006 :. The Lowdown .:

So what am I doing now?
Well it seems that I have some time on my hands and alot more than I actually know what to do...but in my past week of thinking i came up with these really alarming stats...
I have worked in 4 different cultures and travelled to more than 6 countries in the past year.
I haven't been in Toronto [my home?] for more than 10 summers.
I haven't lived in one house, city or country for more than 9 months in the past 7 years.
Really I have done alot but how did I ever maintain this?
It's now time for reflection...reflection on what I have achieved in my life and what areas I need to grow - Do I want to keep travelling and working? Do I actually want to settle down? Where is my faith? Where is my life heading? etc etc
I know that those are big life long questions - but I surprisingly have the time and right now I am meeting the right people to help me on my journey. 
A couple years I unknowingly did the first 3 chapters of "The Alchemist" and escaped my comfy and lush position in the UK to eventually worked my way down to Morrocco. Hardly anybody knew where I was and while spending two months soul searching, I found myself in the Sahara tempted to do the illegal border crossing into Algeria.
Faith, the mother of all Sandstorms and the military stopped the journey but the lesson was harshly learnt and it provided the strength to carry on for the next couple of years.
Jon Krakauer from "Into the Wild"  a book I just found and consumed recently sums it up best:
It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it.  When I decided to go to Alask that April, like Chris McCandles, I was a raw youth who mistook passion for insight and acted according to an obscure, gap-ridden logic.  I thought climbing the Devils Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life.  In the end, of course it changed almost nothing.  But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams. And I lived to tell my tale.
What is the spectacle of my dreams? I am being dillusioning that travelling will help me solve my problems, should I just come home and face the fear of it all?
So many questions and probably their is an easy solution, but in the meantime I am here...
I usually get some daily feedback from my blog ... so while I am physically travelling solo - lets do some of the jounrey together - write me your thoughts/feedback and I will try my best to respond.
Blessings to all and I really hope to hear from you all soon.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Thailand - for the backpackers convention :>

My Visa for Sri Lanka was going to expire at the end of the week - but I knew that I couldn't go home. It just wasn't possible in my state of right now I am sitting in Bangkok at and internet cafe and I already don't like the scene. I arrived here this morning and this place looks so clean compared to Sri Lanka, BUT - this is where ALL the backpackers hang out - I am sure there is a backpapers convention of conference happening and I simply don't know about it.
Staying for a day to check out some temples and too see if it would grow on me.
Then I am heading to the mountains for some meditation and thinking time.
Will only be checking email once a week, but I will be audio blogging a bit more.
Blessings to all in the land of good smelling Pad Thai

23:07 :.

That's the amount of time it took for a phone call conversation that put some more focus and confusing questions into my life. 
It's amazing how one can take more time to think about the actual events than they are worth.
Peace to everyone