Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
now I am here in Dubai and I still see the picture of Friday night when we said good by in this ugly noisy street and you went away, your head down, not looking back. I felt very sad and at this moment and stood there for al longer time in that street. I knew that you are definetly one of my most valuable (do you say so?) and important man I met on my trip. Maybe it sounds strange ... but I really miss you, Jam.
Thanks for the good time we spend together and thanks for the good conversations.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Side note ::
The last 24 hrs have been extremely exhausting - I have spent most of it in meetings planning for next year's trip. Meeting with Program Directors, Directors of ??, Staff and local community leaders... I got alot of information about I am quite excited, but I am truly exhausted and relieved that it is all over - now to process these meetings on paper and submit it for a proposal to the Toronto NGO for approval.
Now this is the hard part and I made a promise to have it ALL done in the next 4 days!!! - my last proposal in Nov was 30 pages...
How the heck am I going to do this in 3 days? Me and my big mouth [as they say in Trini...]
One of the cool pluses that happened today was meeting a German writer who overhead our NGO meeting - we spent a while chatting after and he wants to include me in include me in his new NGO book! He loves the unique trips that I run and is willing to fly over after he finishes his next book to interview me.... it all sounds really exciting and I would love to connect him to some other people I know that do some AMAZING work - my head has a huge list.
Weird day - but then this is me...
peace in fear [sounds weird]
Monday, August 27, 2007
The "book" in 1st John 4 > that I should shun fear and choose love instead.
Rent [the musical] > Main theme is to "give into love or live in fear"
I don't have a clue what buddha thinks...
Now I am off to face it - in the face of a terrifying phone call.
Sidenote :: I don't want to be in Kathmandu [this is not part of the fear] - I rather not be here at all, but I am planning out a trip for a Toronto NGO next year and so here I am here sitting at the computer - look at schedules, reports and planning out some future events. Tomorrow I meet with the NGO director and then take a sample tour of the community. I requested to do this undercover - so know one knows who I am... this is all going to be fun and in theory ALL of this should be fun - but instead I wish I was in Lhasa learning tibetan and smiling with people... that country got me.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
This is starting to show and the big city of Nepal is slowly getting to me ::
A couple nites ago someone offered my some drugs [which is a normal thing in backpacker hippie areas] I usually put up my hand or just walk away - but then the offer came for a women and then a kid and that irked me. I asked him again just to make sure... and he repeated it - we had a quick exchange of words that were more unpleasant on his side... so I grabbed his shirt and pushed him up against the car.
"No - don't ever ask me that again, or I will kick your ass - do you hear me?"
"I am not scared of you - what can you do?"
Then suddenly I am surrounded by 5 + men [all short young Nepalis]
His words became unpleasant and then i realized that he was completely drugged out... but I didn't back down and then I mentioned some police, NGO groups that work with children and some other crazy things in my perfect Cdn accent. I was starting to get scared inside but at the same time I was totally upset - and for some reason I kinda felt time stood still..
One of the other men came up to me and clearly said that he didn't want any trouble...and then I slowly backed off...told him to NEVER ask me that again.
It's funny because I haven't seen that group since in the past two days and i am quite relieved about it....because I don't know what I would do if I did.... this is the world and it's a bit frightening...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I went with 3 other people that I meet on my trip to Lhasa - a german who is biking around the world, an amazing spaniard [that has done EVERYTHING under the sun], and an Egyptian Londoner who just finished a stint of traditionally tribal hut building in Kashmir .... all together we represented the UN and we had a shit load of laughs and fun.
I immediately fell in love with the yaks - they are amazing creatures that keep chewing while giving milk + they can win any ultimate starring competition. In the pic you can see how beautifully they are dressed and the owners treat them with the ultimate respect.
During the trek I realized how out of shape I was... especially on the 2nd day after our 9hr hike + 1 litre of water + 5000m up [the highest I have ever been] = one really sick jam. The third day was ultimately better, but with the views and amazingly clean air I couldn't stay sick for long...
By day 4 all was normal the altitude adjustment was already in my blood - it's kinda funny that I could bike for hrs at 3000m with no problems but going uphill I just get breathless and feel really dizzy...
My Lhasa friend and I are heading to a lesser known nunnery this weekend with some hotsprings and I am excited...but not excited to leave Lhasa I love it here ALOT.
This is my hotel - it has a unique spot in Lhasa as it used to be the home of "the man's" teacher, it's got a cool vibe, solar power on the roof, a cool library and the staff are ridiculously super friendly... I am in love with this place.
This is my ASS bike - I got it for $15 [and later found out I payed $5 tooo much] however it's cheaper than renting a bike for $3 a day. It has a basket, a bell and squeaky brakes but I love it dearly and when I left for my 5 day trek I gave it to my Lhasa friend [who is 1/2 way through her 6 month stint] and now she LOVES biking in Lhasa.
I love encouraging people to bike!
This is my classroom at the university. I signed up for Tibetan classes for a couple hrs a day [the alphabet is DAMN hard] - the clock is my teacher's - he is an artist and is quite funny!
After class I usually bike the nunnery [I really miss any nuns..] they have a really nice restaurant and for 50cents I get and endless supply of tea and some momo's. The Tibetans that eat there are really super friendly and sometimes I spend an hr or 2 just chatting with em...recapping my Tibetan lessons, talking about hidden places to visit - while they secretly make fun of my long Indian nose.
Then I usually spend an hr or two biking around every nook of Lhasa trying to catch up on sites and hotels for a possible trip next year. It's really fun work. During an out of the way bike ride I found this potential amazing bookshelf...Another day I biked to monastery in which monks debate in public about monk "stuff"...
After I usually end the day with friends that I meet in Lhasa or on my trek - these days it's been a mixture of Tibetans [yesterday I drank 2 litres of sweet tea just chatting with em' and felt ill] and some local NGO workers which are quite amazing...
I have been really blessed to be able to spend 3 weeks in Lhasa and actually get to know people and places personally. I kinda wish my Visa wasn't for a month otherwise I would be extremely tempted to stay here for a very long time...
Too me it's really a slice of heaven.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I thinka I heard a feist?
Will be posting alot of stories and pics today... so excited to share about the past week it's been adventurous and fun!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
I am actually quite sad to leave Lhasa - I seriously don't want to go - there is sooo much things to do...
Today I biked to Sera Monastery - it's a monastery where monks debate and it's quite and intense site to see monks shouting at each other - I don't know if it is real or staged but regardless it's a crazily amazing site to witness...
I got lost on the way to the monastery and spent 2 hrs biking in the wrong direction - I saw alot of army trucks and even a tank that was stopping vehicles on a 45 minute circular route...At one point the tank stopped when it spotted me and I ducked into a store for some quick tea and decided I must be heading in the wrong direction...so I just turned around...and quickly headed back...
On the way back I picked up a school kid who jumped on the back of my bike for 10 mins as we went a crazy speed downhill...he just kept laughing and I just repeated Hindi phrases to pass off as an India tourist.
All of this is quite fun and really a good distraction from some crazy moments that I face daily in my life...
BTW>>> Someone asked me recently "What is your favourite song"
The answer is "Will I lose my dignity?" by Jonathon Larson - it's from the musical Rent and the back story of it is amazing...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_I%3F --- check it out ---
Monday, August 06, 2007
The hotel that I am staying at use to belong to the Dala Lamai's old teacher and has the historic feeling to it - in fact there is no locks on the inside just old wooden slates that slide across...
There is a brown cat that I kinda feel in love with - [I nicknamed it panchen :>]
Free Laundry and amazing guest from around the world and tibet....
A couple days ago I purchased [that's right!] a kick ass bike [with a bell and basket] and now I bicycle everywhere around Lhasa. I love winding through the old corridors + the HUGE bike lanes [hurray China Urban planning!}
I usually eat lunch at a nunnery which consist of a flask of tea, some momos and again endless conversation. Most people think that I Nepali and they just LOVE to engage me in conversation, when they find out that I am not...
So the group trip is over and some of us still hang out for dinner and the occasionally good meal. My hotel has a kitchen which is quite amazing and so last nite I made a wicked salad, the German philiopshy cooked a yak steak, the Egyptian and Mexican brought fruits and some cheap ass wine - all on the roof of my hotel...
Then the most amazing thing happened :: the skies went cloudy to the east... a double rainbow appeared which turned the green hills to white with snow and then the light show appeared...
A digital camera and my storytelling abilities doesn't do it justice...
So I hope this pic [please firewall Chinese Government show this pic...] Taken by Brendan on our group trip - with his kick ass camera...
Will try to post more pics and stories - if this blog goes through...
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Just getting to Tibet was quite fun - I signed up for a massive group tour [something that I RARELY EVER do], it's the cheapest way to get into the country [flying is double the cost and half the fun] and then I found out that I was travelling with 36 people for 8 days....ummm...I was not impressed but then after meeting the folks - they TOTALLY ROCK.
There are two germans who are biking around the world for charity - http://triparoundtheworld.de/
Australian - DJ and games master - we did some really cool group games
A couple girls from Krakow poland - my next fave destination in the EU - I have to go there...
An Egyptian Londoner who reminds me of an old friend I dearly miss...
A frenchie doing his PHD in Tibetan Meditation
And even a Marxist from the West end in Toronto....
And sooo much more...
It's funny because I don't think we all like the big group thingy and sitting on a tourist bus high above everyone is not my thing - I like taking local transport and connecting with people along the way... That was the only pet peeve I had about the trip.
So it was amazing just to connect with these folks and I learnt sooooooooo much...it was actually quite fun, unpredictable and amazingly insightful - I don't regret it for a second and was totally happy to be proven wrong.
There is sooo much to talk about and I will write more about my experiences over the next couple days...
I just found out 2 days ago that I didn't get into school for the fall....it's kinda funny since I gave up the dream job in Uganda to go back to school - honestly thinking that I would get in...so this is kinda unexpected for me and now I kinda have to figure out the fall situation....so I am going to spend a couple days on the internet sorting out stuff...they also have skype here so expect a call or two.
Little Lisa you are very hard person to get a whole off...