Sunday, March 13, 2011

Maasai Hopscotch

The acacia spiked fence protrudes into the horizon
Cattle sheltered safely within
Hyenas terrorize them just beyond the boma
Lions grunt in the distance
Terrifying tented tourists
But the warrior stands guard
Third sleepless night
Unconcerned by the wild life outside

Their dance reminiscent
Of impalas stotting
In predator's presence
We returned home at sunset
As the warriors practiced
And introduced them
To the wonders of hopscotch

Monday, October 18, 2010

Resuming the blog

Hello anyone who might actually be reading this. I´ve decided to revive my blog because it gives me a good conduit to express my views in a place where others might gather some foods for thought.

So its been a while since I´ve actually written anything and much has come to pass since my last post - not the least of which was gradumicating from college on a cloudy day in Olympia (like most) which I followed with an unemployed summer of transition and reflection, not to mention plenty of cycling, hiking, and yoga.

In August, Allison and I began a new journey together as leaders for a gap-year company that takes students all over the world in an effort to help them find themselves through traveling and volunteering in the (mostly) developing world. I have to say this work has been my most powerful travel experience (though I´m aware I have also said that about Peru / Bolivia) for a variety of reasons. First and foremost it has given me a clear and meaningful goal for my purpose on this trip which makes it quite exciting and fulfilling. We have been working with 12 17-19 year old students from all over the US and I have to say I have been astounded by their collective maturity and eagerness to grow and push their comfort zones. I guess I imagined a bunch of apathetic, cynical, and precocious kids that would be constantly testing our boundaries and rebelling without a cause - not to mention complaining about the primitive conditions of our homestays. Though that has been the case for some past trips in our company´s history, our particular group has been quite different from this description. Instead they have been remarkably receptive to our travel / group dynamic wisdom and have generally sought us as authorities rather than waiting for us to build dictatorial fences that they could then cut holes in or shake violently, like so many cheap-seat soccer fans. We have encouraged this dynamic through being somewhat hands-off in terms of decision making and travel details, in which we are encouraging them to take the lead roles.

The trip itself has been fantastic as well, with a great diversity of homestay experiences including one with no water or electricity, followed by a three week stay in Quetzaltenango, a city of relative luxury for the students. The mixture of homestays, spanish classes, volunteer work, and visits to amazing tourist destinations has made the trip different every single day - leaving little room for boredom or regression to old behavioral patterns.

I´m feeling pretty great thus far about the work we are doing and look forward to the myriad experiences that await us for the remainder of the trip.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Last Peruvian Photos

Here is a link to my final photographic contribution for now.

Thanks for tuning in.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The last hours

So this trip has almost come to an end - I´m heading to the airport in two hours. This journey has been one of the most mind-blowing of my varied adventures. Leaving myself open to the experience as opposed to narrowing my focus to one topic has been ridiculously educational and rewarding. Working as a volunteer for Threads of Peru brought me to some of the highest pueblos in the region where I was able to interact with the interesting people, got offered to be a godfather for a child there (declined), interviewed folks about how they get water, and got to watch a fascinating yarn-dying workshop. My week in the three villages above Ollantaytambo, Peru was one of my most memorable experiences ever. Then we went to the jungle to meet the Machiguenga tribe in the village of Pullentimari. We headed there with a list of people (friends of a man in Chinchero that we met) that might take us into their home and teach us about their culture. We did not find these people, but did get a first-hand look at how the tribe lives on their small reservation north of Quillabamba. Meeting them was certainly a highly educational betrayal of expectations, as they were not in the traditional dress we expected and showed few superficial differences from the majority of the people we have met here. We found that the reservation they lived on was not unlike those of tribes in North America - both groups having suffered immense oppression and battles for the most basic human rights. We left earlier than we had anticipated, as we felt that we were imposing - having subconsciously counted on our white privilege to spell immediate acceptance into a native community. Our last few days have been spent in dialogue about this place and its people as well as about our upcoming jobs as guides for Carpe Diem - an amazing gap year travel company based in Portland ( We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to work for such a reputable and philosophically grounded company and anticipate leaps and bounds of personal growth stemming from our work there. With this excitement about future prospect, it has been somewhat difficult to stay immersed in the moment here, but we have acknowledged this and attempted to focus our attention on our remaining time here.

Now it´s transition time - from South to North and from student to graduate. I can think of no better way to have spent my final quarter at Evergreen and am absolutely grateful for the opportunities I´ve had at this amazing institution. John Dewey has said, "I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living." Having the invaluable option of following my passions, not a prescribed academic track, has made my education at Evergreen a continual process of living and has resulted in my utter engagement with my studies throughout. I cannot thank this college enough for providing me with this gift.

And lastly, I cannot thank all of you enough for your support and love throughout my four years at TESC. I appreciate your readership and look forward to seeing you all soon...

El Puente

Una vida confundida
A veces perdido en la neblina
Mi perspectivo dividido
Una vista distinta
En cada ojo
Uno proviene de la corazón
Con sentimientos sin razón
El otro crece de la mente
Me dice ¨sea analytico puramente¨
Con ojos peleando por sus temas
Grandes de pequeñas se vuelven problemas
Pero intento construir un puente
De conexion para corazón y mente
Ya los dos Adanes andan alejados
Pero con tiempo yo se qu serán juntados
Compartiendo una sola vista
Andaré por la tierra con una gran sonrisa

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back to now...

The brook hurries downhill
Through fragrant Eucalyptus groves
I refuse to match its pace
Instead admiring swaying shadows
Four-winged gliders flutter
Then dash
Staking their claim
Followed by feathered hunters
Seeking sustenance
Chirps emanate from unseen mouths
In all directions
The brook hurries downhill

An ancient path
I walk
An unknown destination
I seek
To be submersed in the moment
I desire
Battling ruminations of then
I struggle
To harness my mind
I will
Enjoy my time
I am
On the precipice of transition

The temptation of speculation
Engulfs me
Daydreaming of tomorrow
Forgetting today
But the hummingbirds invite me
To open my eyes
Uncover my ears
Pay attention
For now
I must follow the brook

If you´re not enjoying now
What makes you think you´ll enjoy ¨then¨

Jungle Bus

Allison´s upchuck
Paints the side of the bus
Like a coffee cascade
The rotten chicken
Takes revenge
On her innards