Tuesday, December 30, 2008
But I love having my sister here. I realized that I miss our family conversations and dreaming sessions.
So in order to spend more time with her we are heading to an island of the coast of Cambodia for some one on one family time. Really excited!!
Will show you pics.
BTW> MUCHO love to everyone for the packages. I didn't open all at once because I was overwhelmed with new amazing stuff. So the Xmas packages will be gradually open when I get back to my semi-charmed life over the next several months. I have to make amazing gifts like this last!!
Friday, December 19, 2008
This was one of the highlights of last year. I spent over 6 months living with these youth several years ago and now they are my friends and some of us are all over the globe right now. Miss ya crazy partypants!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Thanks for the amazing response on the top 5. I was shocked. At one point I got a letter from my old prof/amazing journalist telling me that I was amazing writer. I didn't know what to say and still haven't found the words to respond to him. So as promised the adventure continues.
Fave Places and moments that have made the last year super duper:
Well this year I found myself in a similar situation. While arranging the second honeymoon for one of those 24 members, we found ourselves in Bandipur -Nepal. Bandipur is basically home of the Gods, the mountain range and beautiful people. While the mooners were off gawking at the moon. I sat out alone in the square with a bottle of wine, a full moon and a lamp and soaked it all up.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
It's that season again. Can you believe that a year has past since my last top 5? At the request of friends I continually get emails > When are you coming home? And how come you don't share “real” stories about your trips? Well hopefully this rant will bridge some gaps in the past year.
On some other cool news I got offered a position to stay in Cambodia until May? My job is to guide a couple trips, do a little fundraising, and hopefully I get to read some stories to some kids [in Khmer!]. It’s a pretty cool job and I am really blessed to be a part of it. I miss Toronto and my friends terribly but this path is what I feel destined to do.
I am extremely nervous about sharing this Top 5 – more than the norm. This post has been sitting on my desktop for at least 3 months. My hands are shaking as I type this - so I hope you enjoy it as I bare part of my soul.
So let’s start the journey.
It's been a boring year for traveling: with no illegal border crossings, no avoiding army check points, no sneaking into UN refugee camps and I didn’t get robbed once [okay well that just happened a couple weeks ago] But it’s been a season of a deeper travels instead, this year I have had to wrestle closets demons and end seasons in my life. This season has shown me more about my personal life, dreams and of course living on an empty wallet [yeah that got stolen as well]. It’s all lead to a deeper peace about my calling in life.
So after 10 years of travel I realized that I am not eternal and that one day that bus will flip over, that plane will crash or some punk kid will get lucky and get more than my wallet.
Life is too short to dwell on those possibilities but I am peaceful regardless of any outcome.
1. Sue + Biking = Cambodia?
Last year's random meetup with Sue at a Queen West Art show in Toronto got me thinking about biking, especially after my adventures in Tibet. Sue’s a hardcore city biker and after a cup of coffee I was willing to face the fear of city biking.
I purchased Chuck Norris an electric bike similar to what I rented in Cambodia 2 years earlier. Unfortunately Chuck Norris was too ahead of his time for Toronto, but he did make ALOT of friends [once a cop stopped traffic to ask me what I was riding and then told off an angry driver to let me pass] Chuck had to be chucked due to constant repair but I was hooked-line-and-chain.
Soon after Jackie Chan entered my life, unfortunately 3 weeks later in repair he got sidekicked and lost more than a couple balls. During my escapades with the Chan, he whispered that I should apply for an internship with a biking NGO in Cambodia.
Next came Jet Li, he was a little too swift for the west side and while rockin out to the Go! Team - his skinny hipster tires fit right into a drain and I flipped over the handle bars. After a while in the x-ray dept, I knew that I fell in love with city biking.
Cambodia is the craziest/coolest place to city bike - your life hangs in the balance on every bike ride. One minute you are talking to the person next to you and the next second their [or your] ass is on the asphalt as they just got run over by a motorcycle… but then again you can do anything in the world you want to do on a Cambodian road as long as you do it slowly.
I heart it here and I bike a lot in the city.
2. I am way tooo young to feel and see this shit...
You are cool – I like you. You are also quite quick. You created the earth, my future wife and gummi bears in less than 6 days! You and Jack Bauer should chat sometime, I thought he had long days. So did you really rest on the seventh day or was there an eternal “plan” to show me the shit I witnessed in March?
I understand that 10 years ago you wanted me to work in a children’s home in the Carribean. You guided me through some intense relationships with them and I was blessed to watch them grow up from the cradle to the cricket pitch. Kinda like a Cain and Abel thing but without any annoying animal sacrifices.
Seven years later you decided that the path would change and you sent me to Momma T’s in Kolkata. Eternally grateful, that path rocked my world.
So I was quite excited to save up my pennies and make the return journey to see my kids. I was even hinting to you that I wanted to go back to the home and work.
I know you are the master of micro managing since you apparently had a hand in creating every blade of grass, so I knew that things would evolve in Trinidad – little did I know what evolution meant.
I didn’t expect more than half of my kids to be out of the system, a couple on the verge of a mental homeless breakdown, and one living on the street with HIV. You shocked me with your work on that one. Many will defend you to the death for this - including the one with HIV, but it’s obvious that he will soon visit you – especially since you don’t believe in condoms and sexual education.
Yes that’s harsh.
My view on development and you shifted completely, and for more than a month I found myself staring out the window thinking about your “will” and my kids. It drove me to the point of tears sometimes in the middle of a class presentation.
Why God? Why? Was it the fact that more than $100,000 was spent on each kid over 10 years? Was that too much? Did that make you angry? Was it the fact that I would spend every spare time working with those kids instead of reading Leviticus? You got me double thinking at one point – what if I stayed and didn’t follow your path to India? Is this my fault? Because I completely feel like it’s my fault. And 8 months later I am still wrestling the “choices” I made.
I don’t hate you – I just hate your hate.
Wait let… me better rephrase that… You are obviously a God of love and you have blessed me with a spoilt life. I just don’t understand this charity/development work that people do in your name. So it’s not your hate that I hate but your followers hate.
Ah! Christ [sorry for the pun about your son]
Well God please save me from your “followers” then and their endless devotion to religion, doctrine and old school ideoligies. Let them think about your children.
Your lifetime partner,
P.S. Thanks for Obama.
P.P.S Can you make the leafs win the stanely cup or is that one beyond your power :>
I know your not really a hater or a player. It’s moment like this that I know you struggle with development, this man made idea of “religion”, and life. After 10 years on the road, life moments like this will surely creep into your moral fiber. I know you feel alone and separated from rocks that were constant. Seriously - you should just chill out, go to a beach and grab a Guiness.
Your eternal lifetime partner,
P.S. Your faith is quite cool – other people should check it out.
P.S.S. The leafs will never win the stanely cup. I don’t have that sort of power, but I can check into it.
3. Posh Living | Loft Living | Couch Surfing | Dog | Artist
The life of a nomad is fun. I move a lot – every 4 months for the past 3 years? And every 9 months for the past 10 years. Life is definitely not boring, but this year I had some pretty cool living arrangements in the past 9 months.
On my return from Tibet last year I managed to rent a small space in my friends swanky apartment in Toronto. No one had kids, everyone owned posh dogs, and the building oozed of uber hottness. Every elevator ride was fun.
After that brief stint of HDtv - I moved to what is now the trendy/ghetto area of Toronto > Bloor and Lansdowne. I lived with a sculptor in this amazing bohmenian loft - no tv, massive ceilings, and a ground shaking soundsystem. The winters were full of loft drafts, feist, candles, tea and some damn fun chocolate fountain parties.
To save money for my future trips - several months later I couched crash with my old Canadian participant. She had two dogs who constantly sleep with me and I became a dog lover again, it was nice to finally “stay” in the Annex and live like my folks in the 70’s. At some point in your life if you are Torontotian you have either lived or were planning on Palmerston.
A Full-Time Couch Surfing Rules of Engagement:
- Always leave the place exactly the way you found it and occasionally “tip” their couch full of loose change.
- Always clean up and occasional clean more than your share including places that never ever get cleaned – which includes that back spot in the fridge.
- Let the house beat you occasionally at halo 3 – this is the key in letting them think that “book” smarts is way cooler than “bananas in pajamas”
- Occasionally pop by with cool food and mucho alcohol - stuff that your friends love.
- Most important rule! Love your friends and love their couch and they will love you in return.
Nomad life is pretty exhausting for me right now and for some reason I crave a little bit of stability for myself. It’s kinda weird because I have it down to the science in terms of logisitics of moving and can feel comfortable in almost every environment in minutes.
4. Because we are your friends:
At the traditional new year’s morning breakfast – we toasted the year of 2008 being the “year of friends” – well that toast didn’t disappoint. Soon after in Feb it was impossible for me not to open a magazine, watch tv or read my fave blog without seeing one of my friends on it.
Most of us at some point decided that we would work for more from than the 9-5. So we followed the dreams that few understood and it meant fewer pay. We knew that we were destined to live life a different way – must respect! So after years and years of toiling in the shadows our jobs now just kick ass.
My toast for 2009 is that I get to buy illegal bootleg copies of their work in Cambodia.
5. Kid + beach + math = 94 percent Mentoring Mondays:
For the past couple of years Monday nites have emerged into a regular routine. The pattern has emerged from the “24” nite to Monday nite cupcakes with LL to last year’s mentoring Mondays.
The mentoring chats this year, reminds me that the “kid” is no longer 15 and I am not 22 year. It’s scarry how fast they grow up.
We meet every monday nite which is major commitment for a commitment phobia man like myself and we shared out thoughts, I felt at several points that he was mentoring me… most times I walked away from the night thinking WHO is this amazing kid??
I stated several years ago to him that he has more potential in his pinky finger that I do in my whole body and well 7 years later it’s definitely true.
Several months later on a Monday we found ourselves on a beach in tobago with some friends - sharing our bday together and staring at one of my fave beaches in the world.
At one point he starts drawing math equations… I couldn’t help but smile - this pic is strange…
Go Kid Go!
About 3 1/2 weeks ago we had a chat about my role in Cambodia and that I didn’t think I was coming home anytime soon. It felt like the end of an era [but it really wasn’t]
I got really emotional and there was complete silence on the phone on both ends– what do you tell someone that knows everything about you - whom you have the utmost respect and trust that you aren’t coming back?
Well I hope you enjoyed this year's top 5. I will be posting #6 - #10 on my blog for anyone's amusement over the next week.
Peace and Blessings to you all.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
There is a girl sitting across from me at mercury espresso who is
wearing the same shoes, black shirt, blue jeans, drinking the same
coffee and we have the same laptop
I am tooo scared to go say hi...
will the universe collide?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It's a short update. Just seven lines. But as soon as I opened it up I knew it was going to sound cool.
have suitcases and it looks like they are waiting for the 3:30am bus to the airport. I am one of em'
Okay should go - I have been kicked out of this area already tonite and right now 2 security guards are walking towards me.
Run OJ RUN.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
People at the conference keep asking me if I am a student from Malaysia or they think I am a radically activist.
One reason I keep getting stared at is because 9 out of 10 people are wearing suits at this conference and I completely not dressed to impress... I was informed before I left that I should dress business casual - for me that means shaving and a non faded black shirt. So the first day of the conference I just felt soooo uncomfortable and sat at the back.
Back to the towers - the base is a glorified mall with uber posh stores - the view from the bridge is impressive and the design is quite phenonmenal. The best part was sitting in the park staring at it surrounded by green grass, public pools, happy families and good weather.
I love the public free ad space.
Well tomorrow I get to sit back in conferences - tomorrow we get to examine cases studies of ethical tourism. EXCITED!
Monday, November 17, 2008
A book that every fundraiser, aid worker and donor should read. I have been in positions similar to this - but this is extreme and it makes me feel totally uncomfortable in my field of work.
The old cliché says: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. That is, the best of intentions often result in the worst of consequences. Yet, although everyone would certainly agree that feeding starving children is one of the best intentions that anyone could have, few would ever imagine that such noble humanitarianism could have disastrous consequences.
The Road to Hell, by Michael Maren, is a brutal indictment of the whole business of humanitarian intervention and the industry of aid. And for most of the participants it is just that: a business. Just as war is big business for defense contractors, the purveyors of food to starving children likewise gorge themselves at the public trough.
Maren is well qualified to make such an indictment, having spent much of the last 20 years in Africa both as an aid worker and a journalist. And just as Maren has written for Harper’s, The Village Voice, and The New Republic—not exactly known for their advocacy of free markets and limited government—so The Road to Hell is not a polemic against the welfare state and foreign aid. But therein lies the strength of the book. It is a brutally honest personal account of what the book’s subtitle calls the ravaging effects of foreign aid and international charity.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
- I finally left India
- Hospitalized for Dengue + Malaria
- Moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to start an internship
- Saw the most horried/terrifying concept of development. It shocked the SHIT of me. I cried alot and didn't sleep for a week.
- Did my first 200km weekend bike trip - Yeah!
- Wallet got pinched - bank card is gone - ate alot of pb&j sandwiches that week and still do.
- Moved again to Siem Reap
- Pinched a nerve/threw my back - could barely move for a week
- Got bite by a dog - my worst fear while travelling [seriously: I laugh at people when they hold me up]
- Evicted from an apartment that I actually liked
- had a really funny mental breakdown for 5 days
- I really love my job and the work they do.
- I also love the office peeps and meeting new expats is fun.
- Can't get use to this new touristy town called Siem Reap, over 2 million tourist are expected here in the next 3 months and less than 100,000 locals live here - but the food and coffee is amazing.
- Angkor Wat is an amazing place to bike - especially when it's in your backyard.
- Every week I take Khmer classes with my monk at the temple and it's surrounded by butterflies, pagodas and good karma. It's really fun.
- Feel in love with a great Bono Book.
- Next week I get to go a great conference in Malaysia.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
In other news:
Still apartment hunting.
Dog bite has healed but I still have 2 more shots to get in the next 3 weeks.
The back was good because I could finally afford to get a 2 hrs back massage and just spendtime walking.
In other words the bad luck of last week is slowly leaving!! Excited.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
To top it off the next morning while biking in the pain - my neighbours dog came out and bite me on the foot - it was quite deep.
Now that hurts with pain, plus I have to get a couple of rabies shots and they are expensive here like $50 a piece!! That is insane.
I heard that pain comes in threes? I hope to break that curse soon with some good old fashion tea and late nite work. If you folks are the meditating type please meditate for me since I kinda need a little moral booster.
Friday, October 24, 2008
But guess what I got in the mail recently? A small package from Little Lisa!! LL is my old school monday nite cupcake buddy and when I am overseas she sends me fantastic packages...
She wrote this letter in the East End Dark Horse Cafe' which immediately sent a wave of coffee anixety and old school neighbourhood memories. There are currently 3 other Canadians in the office and when I showed them the Maple leaf we all kinda stood there in awe - ohhhhhh a slice of home.
My fellow Canucks suggested that I laminate the leaf and pic - so I rushed out to do that and well it's a perfect coaster/reminder of Canada. Thanks LL! you rock.
Speaking about mail. I found this old letterbox in our old office. I snuck it on the moving truck to Phnom Penh and bam! One week later it's my desk organizer.
It's kinda cool - I can't wait to see it evolve.
The bottle on the right is part of my return to sender package - going with the "message in a bottle theme"
P.S> Chuck Klosterman kicks ass.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
by the river in a very small town when I am old.
It's a simple goal that I could potentially have.
The good news is that this pic is the daily life at our school.
It's not part of my job to read to the kids - but hopefully my goal next week is to :
- sneak off unnoticed from my desk
- bike 65 km to our nearest school
- sit under the tree
- whistle out loud to attract the kiddies [and nearby animals]
- and read/act out a story.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Dan associates winter coats with Jam - how bizarre.
I am currently trying to work out those coming-back-home details right now.
I love the work that I am currently doing and the NGO that I work for seriously kicks ass... so a definite answer should happen by the end of the week.
Plus the end of Oct is nearing - it's time for that top something. You can check out the old one here...
Thanks for the concern + love
miss you all
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I wish there were something close to this in Phnom Penh...but there's not... 3xj have the best time doing this...
Just looking at the map today made me smile... I kinda miss my old hood.
But this morning thinking about Toronto I snuck into an old abandoned French house, found a old chair and sat down overlooking the temples and just read a book... it was soooo peacefully I didn't want to leave.
Friday, October 10, 2008
If you are having girl problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 Red Ballons but my bling isn't one...
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
September 3, 2008 · No Comments
In all the discussion of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy and what this does to her mother’s nomination I feel like there’s one figure who has been overlooked. Bristol’s fiancee and baby-daddy, Levi got a raw deal. I mean the 18 year-old grew up in a state where the governor didn’t believe in sex education aside from telling kids not to do it. Levi, if you’d only grown up somewhere that there was an acceptance that, no matter parents said, teens were going to mess around so they’d better have some idea what they were getting themselves into. Now you’re stuck though, staring down the barrel of shotgun wedding at the behest of a woman who likes guns.
Now Levi, I know you called yourself a “fucking redneck” on myspace. I guess that makes you sound tough. I hope, for your sake, that you are. See, your new father-in-law has a drinking problem and your new mother-in-law has no compunction about using her office to pursue personal vendettas. Watch out for these people, Levi, first Mrs. Palin made sure you didn’t hear about condoms and now she’ll make sure you lose your job if you screw up.
Looks just like it
Looks just like the sun
Looks just like it
He looks just like the sun
Looks just like it
But a breathing, thinking one
I sang this for hrs last weekend when I went biking on the Cambodian coast.
At one point I made a 20km dash to hit a well known creep-troll-robbing-bridge before the sunset, because two weeks before a friend was beaten and robbed to a bloody pulp.
I didn't end up making it and had to hoop on a tuk tuk half holding my bike outside until I pass clear of the spot.
I finally managed to pedal the rest of the way and biked straight to the pub.
A billion points and a pint for anyone that guesses where those lyrics are from?
Monday, September 08, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
It's a bit more complicated for a mac user like me.
But then this pic came up and I was like wow - LTK you have a side project?
In other news [which 3xj] would love... I gave away my mac to an NGO in Kolkata a couple weeks ago so it's weird to be without for the first time in 7 years + The one that I have been given in the office is an old PC Toshiba laptop. At the end of the day I shouldn't complain because it is a basic working computer.
But since I have time to complain - This PC not even close to my old friendly mac... windows love to make simple things more complicated + they love to mess with your mind and with all the complications they create this dependency shit so you have to rely on them for any future help.
Now I have blurred the line between my childhood and my new computer.
Damn I hate when I do things like this.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
honest conversations between him and another journalist he's known since the 80's.
Well this book is literally kickin my ass - spiritually and emotionally.
There are some stories about his thoughts that shake me - and I usually have to come back to the book a week later - pick up my broken pieces and walk on again.
A little section about his 3 week stint in Ethopia, sleeping in a tent with his wife and working at an orphange/camp during the famine. This was in 1985 after the First Live Aid Concert.
Were people from the outside threating to loot the camp?
No I don't remmeber any feeling of aggression. The barbed wire was precautionary. I do remmeber a man coming to me with his child - his son. He was so clearly proud of his son. Giving me his son, and saying to me: "Please, take my boy, because if he stays with me, he will surely die. If he goes with you, he will live" Having to say no and having to turn him away, is a very... very, very, very, very, hard thing to do. One part of me did and, you know, one part of me didn't. That's they part of me that still goes back there. It's a more than uneasy feeling. If you just put it into your own world, and think about your own child, and it took for that man to say that it's...bewildering....
You did this right after Live Aid right?
Yes having got caught in Live Aid, I said to Ali: "I just can't get these people I'm seeing on television out of my head. We have to try and do something. In a quiet way. We didn't tell anyone we were going. We just went out, as it wer under the radar.
These experiences have clearly altered the course of your life. Everything you've been talking about, all the presidents, all the Popes, all the arguments, I finally realize that it all comes down to this.
I don't think I can talk about this anyore. Let's change the subject.
Powerful Shit. Especially for an NGO worker like myself - it makes your re-examine the reason why you do the work you do and it takes you back to the heart. It also made me realize that I need to share more about the personal stories that have really touched my heart. Otherwise they could be lost? Or should they even be shared in the first place?
Another reason I can blame Bono is that while reading this book I realized that I almost missed my bus and hopped on the wrong one back to Phnom Penh - after an hr - I clearly realized I was in the middle of nowwhere.
I rushed off the bus to find a crap load of Cambodians just laughing at my stupidity.
Also found out that I am stuck in the middle of nowwhere for the next 3 hrs waiting for the next long bus back home...
I still can't find out the name of this town but was I damn surprised to find an internet cafe and a cool pint.
Cheers to you Bono
Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
It's the summer.
I am in Cambodia.
I am adjusting to everything here. In fact a little bit too quickly. It's scarry.
Tomorrow is a brand new day.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
just got back from turkey (another retreat!) then with family in montenegro.. beautiful place, weird people.
back in london now and for the foreseeable future, need to do some work! been off all summer.. and feeling useless.
please keep in touch
the travelling world is weird - sometimes when you describe trips to another travellor - less is more when you know the person. Nev - my Egyptain Londoner friend is just like that... i love it.
P.S. Nev thanks for saving my life last year when I got AMS in the Tibet last year - I owe you a proper pint.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I lost about 15lbs and finally yesterday I ate my first full meal - a steak - since July 23rd.
My blood palatte count was suppose to be around 110,000? but apparently it got as low as 20,000 it was kinda scarry and I was pretty week
I slept today until 6pm after going to see "The Dark Knight" the movie + 3hrs of walking actually exhausted me...
I sent most of my clothes to wash before the hospital and now they are lost - my really cool black shirt and travel trousers from my swedish friends that have been around for like 7 years...
I shaved after a month and got new clotesh last nite along with a carrier bike bag so I don't look like a gunatanamo deatainee anymore...
Okay off to the last Dr. Appointment and hopefully I can leave this country!!
Friday, August 08, 2008
I have been making these series of videos with funny tidbits since June from the mountains of Nepal to Kolkata - kinda bummed about it.
Abe I still love ya mate and will have to think of something even more creative and impressive.
mucho love on this special day.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Well it seems that 6 hrs after writing that last post I found myself shivering to the point in the hotel room that I just lost control of everthing : bowels, headache and things unimaginable...
I managed to call the ambulance and they drove me straight to the hospital. The final prognosis was NOT typhoid and that I was taking the wrong meds.
Well they gave me alot of other meds to flush out the system and hooked in the IV - I have given several IV's before but never had one - it was sooooo cool to final see it on me.
I found out that night that I had malaria and I had it quite bad.
The next morning I found out I also had dengue fever and that the normal palette count was 110,000 - my count was at 20,000.
I was told several things like I couldn't brush my teeth for fear of losing blood, that I should really move because if I fell - well that could mean very bad things...
The hospital was kick ass - I got let go today - and I am trying my best to recover - I have to go back to the hospital for another series of test in the couple days. In the meantime I am a bit slow so forgive me for the long email responses.
I took a 15 min shower and had to rest for 1 1/2hr after.
Again mucho thanks for the meditation - it really did kick ass.
+ my family really rocked for just calling me - it sucks to be alone when things like this happen.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
To be honest I don't remember how I got from Darjeeling to Bangkok but I am going to do a quick recap:
Darjeeling - I wanted to leave that afternoon but a Gorkha women was shot, I watched a house burn up, cars on fire and my fave bakery gleanaries get smashed... - a slight fever happened so I drank alot of ice tea. Finally managed to post alot of letters to my friends and families [please send you address so I can post more!]
2nd Day - I had a very bad bad fever - and severe vomiting etc... I couldn't leave my bed so I didn't make it to the ticket office.
3rd day - protest are still continuing from that women who got shot - it took me over an hr to walk down the hill because I was so sick to pick up the tickets - the door was closed the owner was outside looking nervous I was quickly ushered inside - with the doors locked behind me and given my ticket. I was sooo ill I had to take a cab up the hill...
it was the most awkward feeling to hit by the Myst and chilling clouds only to be sweating profusely from a fever. weird.
the train to kolkata was hard and I had a plastic bag wrapped around my hand because I just wanted to vomit all the time and I thought it was best to use a bag...
it sucks being sick alone - severely sick as well. I wouldn't recommend it...
getting to kolkata was amazing because I knew that lovely couple was around and they would probably help me... Unfortunately when I arrived at 6:30am on sudder street all the hotels were quite bizarrely full - all the ones with air con that I needed to check in because I sweating and I thought I had malaria...
I decided to check in a posh hotel because I needed a good sleep and I had an early flight at 3:30am
After a 45min visit to my fave Dr. - he told me that I didn't have malaria but instead typhoid and it's going to hurt like one MF for the next 2 weeks...
I got back to my hotel - the 102 F started and this time I had a thermometer to check - so gratefully that Anne Marie and Kyle stayed with me in the hotel room and took care of it was really nice - they got me food, medicine and extra stuff that I needed for the journey.
After the flight from hell - with coughing, stomach ache and fever I landed in Bangkok checked into a shitty hotel and went straight to the hospital - [that my dr from Kolkata recommend] where I sat in amazement - it looked better than the UN headquarters in New York - in fact it was more diverse with sutlans on phones in white robes, really poshed politians, expats and spoilt millionaire brats. I quickly wanted to leave and find a hospital for normal people like me - unfortunately I was so sick it wasn't possible.
I do have to admit the hospital was efficient and in less than 2 hrs I saw a doctor and in less than 4 had results for a blood test and the whole works it was incredible - unfortunately typhoid takes alot of me...
I stupidly decided not to check into the hospital... but instead tough it out in a hotel room in Bangkok with the 100 pills - stupid move - its day 6 today and it sucks like hell. With the 104 F I am sweating in the air con, coughing enough that neighbours knock on my door, and my head hurts everytime I close my eyes - so I have to wait until pure exhaustion until I can sleep and when I do sleep I have pretty bad delusion I thought the CIA was after me after watching Xfiles on TV, the RED's where going to mutilate me after reading my tibet book, and i wrote my will...
With no one to help or check on me it sucks being sick alone - I would never recommend it.
I got 2 more days until I visit the doctor the meds are working - I get sick for shorter periods of the day they are just more intense, but the fact that I can finish this blog is a testament to the meds. I got positive spirit and vibe though and I feel like something good might come of this...
Okay gotta run - if you meditate please meditate for me - I really need it.
peace and blessings
Thursday, July 24, 2008
to finish the last assignment for class - slow internet access means slow research. I am starting to learn a whole new meaning to the word patience.
to send out my top 5 - really excited about this since I haven't sent off a mass email update in a while of sorts...
to go to the bathroom - Kyle and Anne Marie the lovely couple i have been travelling with actually got me to take citricidal grapefruit extract - besides accidental taking more dosage than required plus recovering from the most terrible tasting medicine on the planet - it makes me go to the bathroom with a little bit more ummmfff.
Which is not what you need in Asia.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
I heart fiest + the craziness of Gonzales but this is so weird - feist that suit is ummm different.
Plus really excited that I found a really fast internet cafe in darjeeling...
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I have been trying to upload and reupload this massive 8mb last assignment for the past 1 hr with no luck. I think I am just going to drink some chai, go for a walk in the midst and then try again tomorrow.
DAMN SCHOOL! - I love you but it's hard to still do stuff from India with a team.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
- Taking one participant t the hospital yesterday
- In the midst of trying to juggle a private life with my family on the most important day of the year for Jam clan wedding in Canada with every family in the world in attendance - except me.
- Triple checking to see if that participant actually has medical insurance - even though her insurance told us she doesn't
- Double checking our debrief political situation in Darjeeling
- Booking train tickets for Darjeeling because they are going FAST
- Booking hotels in Darjeeling
- Debating with our current hotel about room rates they are daily trying to cheat us out of some money because they think every white person has money
- Running around the city booking a restaurant for a team members Bday
I heart it all.
I am addicted to stress.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
On the way there my tummy felt a bit ill and I had to stop and jump out the train/jeep to vomit and use the bathroom.
At one point I went to eat the only meal I had in 24hrs at a nearby family restaurant - steam veg. rice - After only eating half a plate I excused myself to head to the competely dark toilet.
I take out my flashlight and soon after my body just exploded with pure vomit and "loose motions" After nearly 15 mins I was drippin from head to toe in complete sweat and exhaustion.
I exit the bathroom to see A ROW OF LOCAL PEOPLE STANDING OUTSIDE THE DOOR.
A rush of blood went straight to my head.
"Is everything okay sir?"
"Did our food make you sick?"
No - I have been sick for a while.
Achha. Okay - with the slight head noddle.
I felt really embrassed so I quickly paid the bill and took off - vowing to not come back to this restaurant of humilation.
Life for me has been pretty sick for the past 4 days and it was bad on the 22 hr train ride that in theory was suppose to be 13 hrs.
Running back and forth between cities, toilets and bed. It's funny though to think that even though I am completely ill that I can't stop workin. If I stop then things don't move right now...
I do have a good co-leader who is quite awesome and she has gotten the balls rollin on stuff...
Quite blessed on that shit.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
But also excited because it means that I have 30 mins off to myself!
Going to ditch the internet and go for a walk.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Exhausted and my body is slowing down from school, Canada and Nepal - I need some time off but it's not going to happen until heaven or hell gets me first....
Scared - Kalighat it shakes me everytime I am here and I haven't gone to visit yet mostly because I have had sooooooooooooo much work to take care off for the past 2 days. Weird excuse.
Tired - This trip is challenging from budget shortfalls, to logisitcal nightmare strikes and paperwork. It's sooo tiring it cool.
Impossible - Even Kolkatans are telling me that finding an apartment with the specs I want is impossible.
But I keep striving because I like challenges.
Okay off to see a nun - I like it when nuns smile.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Did my faith brainwash me?
I feel "called" and a sense of peace doing Nepal, India and Cambodia this year. A cool sense of peace about it and it's something that I should be doing until the end of Oct. So with that peace I dont feel guilty burning fossil fuels and being a damn crazy polluter - this makes me feel weird since in Toronto I gave up my license to stop driving, cut almost all of my possessions in my life and I live quite light...
I think something is wrong or am I just ignorant about this?
This emerged from a quick comment about gas emissions and flights - it's great to have thoughts emerge.
Friday, June 20, 2008
:get up at 6am everymorning [that is soooo weird -- I feel like my body craves a morning beer with cornflakes]
:answer a question or start speaking in either broken Sinhala, shitty Hindi, weird tibetan and even worse broken Engrish
:keep forgetting what country I am in standing in
:mention tourist sites to visit to my friends that are in another country
:and what currency do I use again?
:and today I got lost - yeah I got lost.... it's weird for me since I can actually find places that I have been at 10 years ago from landmarks but I got lost and it felt weird.
:going to be in 5 different cities in the next 10 days and I feel exhausted thinking about it, but at the same time I love the pressure of it...
:sitting at internet cafe doing homework - yup homework - school is still going on and I envy classmate that just have a laptop, coffee and can sit in a non noisy internet cafe with screaming kids - weird frenchies to finish as assignment due a couple thousand miles away.
Okay back to homework.
Monday, June 16, 2008
The graphic designers and hunky men aka Kyle and I - decided it was Blue and Green.
The girls aka Kyle and Andrea - said that yellow was a primary colour.
This debate lasted two days and we badly needed the colour yellow to spruce up the school.
Now sitting here with Kyle and Anne Marie in Kathmandu - Kyle found this!
Now I don't know what to do - I thought I had kick ass kungfu skillz on the road. It seems that the MBA, Movie Graphic Designer, lifetime wife and Humanitarian are not smarter than a fifth grader.
Now off to plan the lovely couple's flight to Mount Everest in the morning. I love my job! I wish a little bit of funds came with it.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Bhakatpur is quite an awesome place to stay - the heritage, the beautiful people and amazing hotels. I would love to stay here for a month and learn Nepali + more Tibetan.
Sidenote: My life of travelling this year is quite fun, for the past couple of years I have worked with teams from all around the world and as I get older some people travel from those teams. This year I should be meeting more than a dozen people from past trips and I am soooooooooooo excited to see waz up in there life.
Okay off to mountains tomorrow to do some work in a rural schools - really excited.
I love this small team it's quite awesome.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
A video that was shown to us in class. Well done.
In other news:
The family BBQ was yesterday I spent over 2hrs on the grill BBQ meat. I loved it.
My hand hurt like a MF and I ocassionally dropped a wing here and there it was kinda crazy, because I felt sooo guilty...
And on Friday spent some time with friends having a pint saying "see you later". It's been cool to hang out with some peeps and I am trying to eat as many non asian food items as I can.
cheers :: jam
Posted from the Flock Browser - I think it's amazing that I can post a blog from within the browser without ever having to visit any websites...cool.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
This is the new laptop design for 2011 - it's simple kick ass.
Guess who might be working on a side project with them in Cambodia? Yup it's me.
On another random note I meet someone else today who is helping with the educational side of this project. We had a great patio pint this afternoon and shared our ideas/excitement of our future Cambodian adventures...
I can't wait to work start working with him on the field in the fall...
It's amazing how life puts these pieces together - because I have no idea where I would start.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
A couple nites ago my friends and I were debating the whole "burma" disaster and the lack of foreign aid into the country. NGO's are so desperate to help - that they were debating whether or not to drop aid packages from the air.
I immediately held my tongue and silently meditated to put some clearity in my head and then it popped up - where is god in all of this?
At what point does the gracefully one make an appearance?
Is it in diplomacy? politics? weather? or even aid?
Or should I use the universal sunday school answer and say that God has been with Burma from the beginning?
I kept thinking and every day the reports of casualities go up - today the UN estimated 100,000 deaths. With over 1 million + people affected - this is not only a disaster for Burma, but for Bangkok, India, Bhutan, China - the influx of refugees, diseases, slavery...
I don't think I would find an answer to this one anytime soon and my other question is do I even deserve one?
I do think that my travels/solitude/work in the next 5 months might reveal something. Field work and meditating usually reveals some insight.