Monday, November 21, 2011

You can't evict an idea whose time has come

Hey guys. Well its finally hear. Eviction issued for OccupyOttawa at 11:59pm tonight

I'm informing you of the situation as it stands now, not how it will stand later. I know you would like for me to not partake in this movement because of what could happen. But it is because of what "could" happen that I participate in this movement.

Systematically our rights and freedoms as individuals to enjoy this world are being stripped away, and we are forced to work until we can not work any longer. I don't want to see people look for reasons to have to escape the circumstances of their life. Pay close attention to the words "reality escape" when you see them advertised. Reality shouldn't have to be something u escape from, it should be enjoyed every moment of everyday. If its not, then somethings not right. I refuse to lay down and do nothing while this way of life continues to strip people of their voice and their freedoms. The actions of the government lately with bill c-10, and c-18 demonstrate that we are of no consequence to our government. "We" meaning humans. They are currently trying to shut down all the occupys across Canada. 3 or 4 of them all at once, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and  Ottawa.

The system is not our "friend" The system is a structure of control. Why control tho? Because we each hold inside of us the beauty and potential of.. well ...eternity. and yes, God, or the omnipresent energy of the universe. That power, when used can accomplish anything. That singular Spark of an idea creating from seemingly nothing has the potential and growth incomprehensible to achieve anything.  The power of Positive energy will always create. The power of negativity does nothing but destroy and poison us. Its time we all "wake up" to the idea that when we work together, and combine our own individual abilities to spark creation in whatever we do, then the unachievable is achievable. Know that all it takes is that starting action, and it'll be set free to run and continue its wonderful path of creation within all who encounter that energy.

Currently our system is mainly negativity fueled. From the mainstreams media reporting of murders and criminals, lying, fraud, and human suffering, is what is preventing humanity from really shining. The negativity broadcast on the television, especially thru shows where an individual is judged for entertainment. That it is okay to judge ppl for money and entertainment purposes. The fact that ppl have to go on these shows and sell themselves to this scrutiny for money, is taking advantage of a persons want and desire to express their inner most selves. to shine.

When they receive a bad judgment you can see the crushing disappointing in their heart thru their eyes. To me this is wrong, to do that to a person. Like my Disney interview where I was told that I couldn't be as good an artist to work for disney feature. and I should stay where I was, put me thru a loop. After searching for 2 years to re-find that passion for my art that I once had, and finding it, and then being told it wasn't good enough, was soul crushing. But I said no when I felt that disappointment, and I say no now.

I say no to all of it. Do what you love, love what you do. Everyone deserves this. Having your work performance criticized and scrutinized with reports is not beneficial. If letter grades were removed from schools, the fear of failure would end, and the beginning of learning for the enjoyment of just having that knowledge could begin. This is why the schools are on board with occupy. and why the occupy movement is soon to be starting free seminars and teach-ins from professors and intellectuals. Knowledge should never be limited to those who can pay for it. It should be shared equally for the betterment of humanity.

I don't want to see any of you have to work until your bones and bodies can't physically take it anymore, Dad I know you already suffer greatly because of this. I'm not against hard work. I'm against the abuse that one has to endure because a government says they do. and it no longer becomes a choice, but a certainty.

Tthis is humanities fight, it has no borders but those placed by countries to divide. The ppl in the occupies are fighting for humanity to finally unite and realize that we are all on this one world.  Like the Berlin wall coming down, so must the metaphorical walls that seperate us.

All the problems in the world, are all our problems, we all contribute to them and allow them to continue.

The occupies are a manifestation of our hearts desire to stop this suffering. Because even if you don't think it affects you today, It certainly wont be long before it does.

I love you all. Cheers to a better world happening now

Sarah

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You may say that I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one

Historical films and true life stories of how nazi soldiers by the end of the WW2 saw its futililty and started letting ppl go or not turning ppl in. They realized that all the orders they were given and everything was pointless and unjust. The police have this same problem, and despite the fact that ppl are standing for human rights, that they were told everyday to be proud of, the police hide behind "orders" and "I'm just doing my job", because they can't lose their job, they have families to feed and support. So money in all this is suppressing our rights and morels. WE HAVE TO CHOOSE between whats morel and survival. I get so depressed sometimes because everywhere I turn is another thing to entrap us and screw us over financially. From a 1h max parking sign at a pay meter next to a flat rate 14 dollar a day parking lot. to government websites constructed for only 1 type of mind set- the left in my oppinon- The continuation of treating banking like a bussiness and pushing out credit unions, to closing down social programs for rehabilitation and building privatetized prisons, whose soul purpose is more prisoners more profit.

Oour media is owned by corporations, that's obvious, and they have to keep making a profit to support this merry-go round GDP and economy. that continuously chooses money over human well being. including our health industry. It's scary. IF we're healthy, they can't turn a profit, doctors and nurses are fired, they can't generate enough money to run the hospitals. So medicinal test results are manipulated to release drugs that harm and not heal, to keep ppl sick. The problem that we see and feel everyday in our work places, to seeing it at the stores we shop at, is why ppl are becoming more and more depressed, because they don't have time to do anything worth while and for themselves. They don't have time to create, to learn new things. And mainly question our current structure and the fact that its not okay.

A couple weeks ago Harper said at a press conference- "The Canadian economy is doing fine, we're coming out better then most countries!", and ppl believed it. But what no one is admitting on the news is that the world. THE WORLD. EARTH . A PLANET. is in debt. And now economists are coming out with the truth, a depression is coming, but it should be after christmas. People go on the news saying, "I'm not gunna stop shopping", or "I'm starting early to take advantage of the sales". Spending all their savings and then the depression comes. EVERYONE is screwed, and the ppl telling these occupiers to get a job, end up losing their jobs and security and benifits, and then who are they gunna ask for help? there are 25 MILLION ppl unemployed in America right now. Its not about jobs, its about circumstances. if the shoes were on the other foot, it would suck, and you'd need help. Well. I'm here to help. and so are ppl participating at these occupations. Standing up for what we ourselves built, the parks, the buildings. w/e. We did it (ppl, not me, but working class human beings.) and then those creations are marketing and sold, and we're told we can't have them or use them, and we're trespassing.

Everything is such hypocrisy... this is why mental illness is so high. Everything is a double standard. from cops that ticket for speeding while speeding to ticket you, to running stops signs, and ticketing you for the same. By others doing these things, it leaves the window open for others to follow. Humans were trained to follow. Follow our leaders.Trust them. and slowly die as that trust is time and time again betrayed. Because of pointless outdated policies.. The ground is shaking to wake us up.  We gotta help eachother.Thats that.  I said before I didn't want children. This is why. Why would I want to bring a child into a world where at every turn the structure of it seeks to crush your soul and put you to work.  We can't all just run off and be self sufficient in the forest, we need to work together to help everyone realize this dream. to stop living recklessly and to stop putting a price on life and our right to live it.

Everyday, I see more and more ppl making the right choice to speak up against these injustices, like google with the transparency report. Governments all over are no longer in the citizens best interests. Its becoming clear.

Human beings created the system, so human beings can dismantle it. It is an empiric battle we are facing. But its not right, and needs to be correcting so we can begin to heal our war torn lands, start using the new energies science has created to get off fossil fuels NOW, and get back to not being afraid and learn how to live with each other in this new global movement that spread thru the mere concept of a shared feeling of anguish and disgust for what we helplessly watched happen.

Cairo occupation sent this letter to Oakville in the last couple days, and it expresses beautifully and articulately how I think all involved or aware this feel. And shows that we ARE all connected. And together we CAN change the world. I don't think any of us are prepared to stop until we see the oppression and enslavement and lies end. It's time we each stand up and start looking honestly at ourselves, what is being said, and having open discussions on the issues instead of letting someone else fix it. Because that sure as shit didn't work..

excusez mon français

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's with this whole Occupy movment? I'll tell you!


"Maybe these protesters should get a job"

Seems to be the general consensus among people only informed by the mass media.

I'd say it has a lot more to do with exposing corruption and creating a new transparent all inclusive system, so corporations can stop manipulating the badgered overworked and underpaid populations desperate for any money they can get. in when the middle class get squeezed more and more forced to only find part time jobs because companies lose money with more full time employees, and god knows they don't want them to make it to retirement, or qualify for benefits that would cost the company more money. So people are forced to work MULTIPLE jobs, creating a dynamic in which more and more jobs are being taken by single individuals, so the job creation numbers need to double, which creates less and less happiness and more overworked ppl who at the end of the day wanna drink and forget the fact that they are FORCED to work jobs with no real benifit to progress and actually creates de-progress because of the disparity for numbers on a paper as job creations instead of looking at this all as a bigger picture.

We cannot create an economy based on the current system of over-consumption because it is depleting our water, forest, polluting our ground water thru UN-ethical means of attaining money and jobs, filling our landfills with useless products because nothing is built to last anymore because it wont make money. businesses wont last in the long run.

This whole system of working ppl to the bone so they can simply eat and have shelter is making us sick, and negligent to our ethics and moral guidelines. But the more sick we are, the more health care jobs they can create in the long run, because they'll need to pay workers to build new hospitals, then pay nurses to staff the hospitals and doctors, which helps the education system pump out more ppl to add to this already faltering system, but job creation isn't moving fast enough for the amount of ppl going thru these post secondary institutes, so ppl are left with thousands of dollars of loans. and its not like most of these ppl can get hired after school because everyone wants 2 yrs + min experience. they They get stuck working for the corporations like McDonalds who thru over farming of cattle have forced the farmers to resort to unethical mass farming and pesticide use to turn out more crops to feed the cows that add to our growing carbon emission problems, and most of the meat is wasted anyway because it isn't used in time

Seems like our system is working JUST fine your right. add a couple jobs to the docket and we'll be saved. I'm sure this will last forevour, and we're all just wining for the sake of wining.

The numbers don't lie, everyday more and more people are joining these occupies because This isn't living. and it isn't even necessary to live this way. all wee need to do is change the system. so money stops influence sheer ethics. Don't cry when we start wining when theirs no more oil to find, no more farm-able land, and no more drinking water. We as a SPECIES cannot afford the days of turning the other cheek anymore.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Whats to come?

In my bones,
I feel it.

With my eyes,
I see it.

All around me,
People discuss it.


But will you do something about it?

This isn't the ROYAL "It" I am referring to. This "it", represents EVERYTHING that you can possibly think of, that is wrong. The day to day bitching you do at home after the day is through. Your wants, hopes, and dreams for you life.

Listening tonight to people discuss respectively and equally without bias and polite joy in their eyes, how to assemble for the fight we've been building towards for 2000 years I'd say. Since those early days when Governments first were grouped, and it was decided that they would get to make the decisions for everyone. This idea has spread worse the rate of people who are diagnosed with cancer and disease daily.

I'm not just referring to Governments totalitarian motives. I'm referring to those who also have accumulated so much wealth through dishonourable dealings that they themselves are convinced that they have done no wrong.

The wall street employees laugh from balconies sipping expensive wines, overlooking the swarms of outraged citizens pass by below like ants. Most likely imagining they have laser-beam eyes and pick out targets to destroy after every sip, but it's all in good fun.

Inside my blood boils, and I find it near impossible to focus on work as it begins to slowly produce bubbles.

In a way I feel I've been leading myself here, preparing for the last 5 years. Messages/Ideas of pre, present and post revolutions fire from my fingertips, thru my pencil, and onto any surface. It seems I am incapable of escape. I've done a lot of self sacrificing to get here, but without regret. Killing dillusional ideals should never be followed by regret. But I'm not gunna lie, of course I had moments of regret. But I never held onto these thoughts for long once they attempted to infect my mind. Why? Exactly. Why would I? Time is always moving foreward (unless CERN and OPERA prove otherwise in the next year) All those decisions DID bring me to this day, and who I HAVE CHOSEN to be on this day. No longer will I run uncontrolled. I will choose. I will decide.

Ghandi said " Be the change you want to see in the world" which I recently heard was a mistranslation, and he actually said "Become the change you want to see in the world". A much more action oriented wording


Since the day just over a year ago when I made the decision to reclaim myself and decided from then on who I was going to be would be my choice. I have encountered nothing but AWESOME-ness. I have faced fears. Learned to listen to my body and really feel it and what it needed more. I'm still no expert. Learn to live more simply, traveled to 5 different countries and across an ocean twice. While traveling, you can be sure I took my observational nature with me.

What did I observe?

Humans are all the exact same. It doesn't matter from what country, cultural background, race, or language you came from. Fundamental Human wants and desires are all the same. Corporate abuse, is always the same. Everywhere I went, Someone was getting F%$#ed over by someone else. In Guatemala Corporations were more dangerous then Chernoble. Systematically poisioning people who have no knowledge of how unhealthy a pop or some sweets could be. Food is Food and their happy to have it.

The owners of coke should be put in Jail for crimes of Humanity. NO JOKE. Mcdonalds too, TIM HORTONS. Profits the game. And our souls are for sale.


The choice is always in your hand. Get informed, Get educated.

What the media says is not even a fraction of the whole truth..
http://nycga.cc/2011/09/30/declaration-of-the-occupation-of-new-york-city/

I don't know what the future holds. But I will fight for a fair and just one that has all the voices of the world heard on an equal level without fear

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paths

I just watched the movie "Cashback". I thought it was just fantastic. Its exactly how I operate. I observe life. I observe peoples daily interactions, their squabbles, their minor frustrations exploding onto unsuspecting parties. Most people walk around like zombies, possessed by their idea of how something should be or the fact it didn't go to their liking. But because of this. people miss what actually happened. and instead of accepting it and going with what they had. they tend to control it to make it something that they think they want. I try not to take peoples frustrations too seriously, because they don't know how to not be frustrated, and to not accept things as they are now, and to go from there with what they are given. Letting go and letting it be as the beatles say, takes practice, like yoga. eventually you learn to release the tension that you hold  onto from your toes to your lips. and it becomes easier to just "be here". Every moment is a moment to change. if you can recognize that you have that power to change yourself.
 
I jumped out of bed today (even tho I felt crappy) because I finally knew the next stage for a painting. All it needed was time to come to me.

The answers are all just waiting for you. you just have to wait till you cross paths with them on your journey

Sarah

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

As such is life

I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breath were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
-ulysses

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Back in the Real world?

Since being back things have been a little weird to say the least. Watching the little bees get on with their busy bee
lives. I walk down the street. I see the hooded the thugs putting on a tough show. I see the hootchies, putting on a hootchie booty walk. I see the children mimicing that which they see the older bunch acting as. We have the runners in their running attire. The Glamour and glitz-a-fied girls just coming from a day of buying at the mall.

Looking at my spending habits before I left, well it was out of control. and not really even at that by most standards. Some of which I just didn't know better for trip shopping. Which I now do. And other buys, well.. needless with behavioral addictions to spending money daily for no reason. Because I have it?

Walking down the streets of Toronto. looking at the people simply move about. Shuffling with the flow, as tho rehearsed their whole lives. So cold. Eyes averted. To come from a place where people may not know your name, but none the less will shoot you a smile and Buenas dias, or hola. To make eye contact with the numb and motivated movers of the City streets seems impractical here. Is impractical really the word tho? Of course not! This is not a way I choose to act. Coming from a small town where my dad would walk down the street and say "Good'ay" to everyone he meets to the "accustomed" behavior of a City amoeba of cold and un-welcomed uncomfortable look away's. Is a truly sad state indeed to see, and one that probably directly relates to the lack of empathy towards our fellow humans in "underprivileged", "deprived" and "underdeveloped" areas of the world that for the most part people poison with their presence. but really most tourist contribute to the problem by association of continued narcissistic tendencies of bringing this life like a disease to their world. A world far closer to any truths we may think we have.

First thing I did once I got back to my apartment at midnight on Sunday February 27th, was get a box, or 2, and some bags... and fill them. With anything that has only materialistic values with no reason or purpose for owning. Some stuff from china town montreal, shirt after shirt and what nots of things I might wear and just couldn't part with before that over flowed my dresser.  "Well this shirt doesn't fit me. but I got it at this.. just can't get rid of it." GONE!! no point. I think I put some shoes in there.

I suppose I'll keep the rest of my stuff till it in invariably ends up in boxes in storage somwhere or sold/donated given to friends.
hopefully not reaching the point in which abondonment for Catastrophic implications are neccessary but always a possibility.

And I suppose I'll bathe regularly as one of the societal requirements. I did miss my straightener tho.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Deep thoughts and the war within

8:23 am

My head has been incredibly foggy for the last 2 days. I've had a lot to ponder. Thinking about all the elements of my life. rearranging them like pieces of a puzzle to see how they all fit together. Feeling like I'm not a "whole" person. Or that who I am isn't really me. I'm just a mirror or self creation of the people in my current surrounding. Adaptable and mold-able. So then when are you a "whole"? Maybe no one is ever really "whole". Our states never stay the same. We're always changing, and growing. So when someone says, "I like who I am". Is it simply a naive statement? Lacking the knowledge of depth of consciousness to truly comprehend. Maybe over thinking this idea is at fault for feeling more lost. Idea's begin to swarm and surround me.

Everything has a solution. But is everything a problem? Our brain attacks any new awareness like a disease that needs to be cured. I thought the solution would be to remove myself from the elements in my life that I didn't want to see, because I couldn't stop them. the constant self absorbed egoistic ramblings of people, who place their beliefs in the external. Never growing, never changing, remaining closed and constant. In an endless re-iteration of the same; from sunrise to sunset.

I feel enraged and tortured, surrounded by this.

This is only the latter problem of my mental maze I've been lost in. The first was dealing with my new awareness of my own consumer driven life up to this point. Which was a lot to handle at first. On its own, seeing the lack of sight for this place. People from all over flock here to do the same thing they do at home. Only, they can do it wearing phony cultural touristic attire. Tho the 2 worlds may be in one place, they will never meet. I've seen 5 worlds while here so far.

1. The free thinking, do gooder types.
2.The tourist luxury vacationers
3. The spiritual life changing path seekers
4. The all for one, non material, non structural, non responsibility runners from all their own shitty home lives.
5.Those who come to give you food and better your lives, if you worship their god.

I'm aware of my cynical tone. I'm in a cynical place. Tho I most related to group 4 because of it's live for yourself aspect, and not answering to anyone or any rule. But don't take that as an irresponsible endeavor. I mean in the way of Following yourself. Being your own guide in life. Not adhering to societal constructs and behaviours. But living true to yourself and your heart. I couldn't run forevour. But the idea of dropping off the map for a bit and just dancing to the rhythm of the earth and going where I shall go, is my am-biotic Jumanji within. And someday I will fullfil this tune. But I've decided for the surcomstances for this will remain light, but can spark at any time. For now I'll grit my teeth and bare my surroundings and envy those who are aligned with this impulse.

8:31pm
Today I got to make the meal for all the community children in La Pinada. I unwrapped individually packaged mini hot dogs and used a knife blade with no handle to cut them up.  Quite a large blade too. A young girl (12-13 yrs old) also used this blade to cut the skin off "poco papa's". They only had 2 knives and a clever. No pairing knives, and not even a peeler. I can't imagine a household in Canada or any industrialized country not having a peeler.  We cooked over a stove. But it wasn't being used properly. The door was open. The chimney seal was non existent. None of the women cooking had a stove in their casa's from what I saw yesturday when Walking around. They made sure to tell me how much they wanted one.

I made a zillion misshaped Tortilla's by hand with Karen, Margarita and some of the other volunteers. I stayed to help for the duration tho. We had a good chuckle back and forth lost in translations, using hand gestures and my 20 words of vocabulary to decipher it all.

Serving lunch was hard today, as the kids came in their hands were checked to see if they were clean and a vitamin was shoved in their mouth and they were monitored to make sure they ate it before they could sit down. I found this rather disturbing. They were all quite willing to eat it. The boys all wanted 2 so they could grow extra big and strong. I saw one girl throw her gum on the floor before going in. I had her pick it up and put it in the "Bano", but saw later she just thru it on the floor in their too.

We sang some christian songs before lunch with the kids. I partook despite my own oppinions and beliefs.

Food portioning then began, the kids helped out with dispensing the vitamin water and bowls.  Near the end we almost were out of rice/papas, so the portioning was getting smaller and smaller. The idea of eating the food prepared for the kids who were trying to take some home for parents was soul shattering. And any desire to eat had vanished as an option. I ate a tortilla a bit later, but it left a taste of bitter taste on my tongue. This was the first time I've skipped a meal by choice I think.

Never in my life has the thought of eating been ripped from my routine.

The kids cleaned up, then we did some art. They all had paper and a pencil in their hand, but waited to be instructed on what to draw. Their names were all neatly placed on the corner as well. Most wanted me to draw something for them. I tried to tell them to just do whatever. Let their creativity flourish and take over.  I drew up some random examples, like a smiling sun, a volcano like the one out their windows. We had crayons, paint and markers for them to experiment with. Needed more brushes tho.

Once they started they became possessed. whipping out picture after picture. I then started putting them up with tape to decorated the newly painting Feeding center we had helped paint the day before. Once they saw their drawings going up on the walls, they were running towards me to have picture after picture put up, more paper! More pictures! The energy and excitement, and pure joy surrounding each of them was awe inspiring. One girl couldn't seem to get very far. I had a bit of trouble with her at first. She didn't like my ear gages, or my lip stud. She actually spit on the ground to show her disgust over it. I kindly had her grab a mop and clean it up.

Hilmar gave me a hug and told me it was some of the kids first time doing art ever. Never drawn a picture before. Although I was running around getting supplies and taping stuff up on the walls, I wish I could have sat down with them more to show them some things. But I'm so happy I could give them an opportunity to express themselves. A curriculum writer I met last night, who helped me find where to get the Bristol board, told me that in school here their isn't any outside the box thinking, and definitely no discussions. They do a lot of memorizing and that's about it.

After all the art was cleaned up we were on our way back to the truck to go back to Antigua. and the faces that were just overwhelmed with joy and happiness had fallen and they were carrying bricks on their heads about a mile to a plot of land for a new house. Some carried them on their backs. others their head. They were on a hill with about a 75 Degree incline upwards to get the bricks too.  Some other Canadians who were their to build the house were helping as well, but seeing these young kids have to do this kind of work and having Hilmar simply say this is how it is here was not comforting. On my way out I assisted one of the girls with placing the brick on her head. Her pictures were some of the best out of the whole lot. I watched her walk down the hill with one hand on the brick, and her younger brothers in the other. That is strength.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My night with 3 Guatemalans and a Russian.

As the end of San Pedro Approaches. There was just enough time to change my life. To cross the threshold from just another tourist traveling backpacker, to grow new eyes, and see it ALL from an alternate reality.

It started with me being a possession and image driven girl, buying bracelets, and what not. I had the intention of giving them as gifts of course, but mostly wanted to keep it all for my greedy little self!

I was invited to party with Selbean and his friend Nada, who he originally met in Costa Rica, who randomly showed up in San Pedro La Laguna that very day and was selling her jewelry beside him. Their was also a Russian girl named Natalia who I met later, and another jewelry seller, whose name escapes me so we'll call him "Grande Bohemian Senior". Natalia does nothing, she just chills out and parties at night. I don't think she sells anything for an income. She might not need one for all I know. She had some really dope ninja boots she got from a friend in Japan. I say ninja boots because they half the 1 slit in the middle like ninja shoes do. I'm sure you get the reference. So she just hangs and learns Spanish all day. All of them are coincidentally staying in the hostel next to mine, mine is about 30Q a night (per person so about 60Q a room) Theirs is 15Q a room. But all you're getting is a single bed and a table on a concrete floor. I went over just before 6, wearing all my new tourist buys. I had just bought a long skirt, and had a matching shirt. BLUE , light blue. I looked like the biggest tourist their was.. and felt like a FOOOL. I even had on my new head band I bought from Nada, and all my new bracelets and necklaces. Like... I was full-on loaded.. WOW. with a scarf shall.. COME ON.. looked like such a princess. hahah. I felt horribly uncomfortable. Here I was surrounded by ppl literally wearing all the clothes they own pretty much. Just selling enough to keep on keeping on. They have the money they made that day in their pockets. Which they used to cook me dinner for my last night their. It was one of the best meals I've ever had too. The fish had bones (I got the jaw!)

[There was a moment looking back. I see myself as "Dian Fossey" living with the Gorillas. I have to learn how to mimic their behaviour and customs. Understand and become them. Transform my mind from this Societal structured thinking and throw out every thing I once knew and start over. but I didn't see that that was what I was doing at the time. I had all these fish bones I was spitting out. I didn't know what to do with them. I had started by placing them on the side of my plate, then saw "Grande Bohemian Senior" chucking them to the side, so I did that for a while. But then noticed others were putting them on their plates, so I went back to that... The bread was stale, but the potatoes were unlike any potato I'd ever eaten before. Seasoning goes a long way. And it was all cooked on an open top stove with grill bars on it, in pots and pans of course tho. The kitchen was an outdoor kitchen. It was beautiful there and the kitchen had a roof over it so whats there to complain about. And a massive fresh lime tree right beside it. The limes were orange inside...very strange. But delicious!

Going back a step, I mention how ridiculous I looked. Well I was laying on a hammock and I spilt wine on my shirt. so I used that as an out to go change, but they kept saying "nonooo you look fine, don't change" I was just like, "COME ON!" in my head hahah. I snuck away before dinner. It was getting cold anyway. But still I put shorts on.. (Dope) and a T-shirt (double dope) and didn't take a sweater..(TRIPLE Dope) I'm such a dumb dumb...

[I have a lot of identity issues. If you know me you'd know why.. But I find it very difficult to dress "myself" I find the concept of "Who I am" daunting, and impossible to know. I find it hard to feel comfortable with a new group sometimes. Especially if I don't dress like them. I like to be a sheep in the crowd. Appearance wise. And then Stand out for my personality. I remember often what this girl who lives down the hall from my once said. "As soon as you're with someone new, you close right up instantly". So I thought about this.. A lot..throughout the night. Also thought about this group of people I'd stumbled into. So free. and Barbaric almost. Living for the now, tomorrow is tomorrow, nothing we can do about it today. Selbean completely got me. Despite our language barrier it was no problem. ]

This moment was outstanding..It happened right after dinner. Me, Natalia and "Grande Bohemian Senior" were all laying on hammocks swinging side to side. (It was night by this time and the stars were shining and the crickets were singing) We all just started swinging to the beat of the crickets, around the same time.. just swaying to the song of the night. Bohemian Senior started drumming on a tree next to him and singing. (His second performance of of the evening actually) Totally sureal, and for most other people who were in my shoes would have probably thought. "Is this guy for real", ( which I too thought of course a couple times, seriously, who was this guy) but I idolized him immediatly after. What reason did I have to think these thoughts and judge him, for doing something so beautiful, that I myself too wished I could unleash from within. I could feel it coursing within me, this uncontrollable desire to free the sounds from the cage I held them in, but was unable to... Its seemed impossible for me to let my guard down so much so soon, I have a general period in which new friends are "eased" into the personality that IS "Sarah Barbary" as to not scare people off, but really that's my own insecurity speaking and fears of rejection stemming from a few too many new school experiences.

I was freazing and had no idea what time it was at this point, which was freaky, but freeing at the same time.  But Selbean got us all up out of our daze and we headed to get some beers. I ran back to grab a sweater, but Karen had the only key to our room with her, and who knows where she was having dinner. So Selbean lent me a plead shirt. which helped a lot. So we made our way to the bars and restaurant area. We stopped in a nice garden restaurant first to hear a japanese man play the drum and sing in portuguese haha. We sat on the ground on a matt with pillows and shared a Big Gallo.(beer) I saw the whole stove group come in while we were waiting for the beer. I didn't want to be seen. [Mainly because, I really just wanted a night away from the group. I love the group. And everyone in it. But I need to feed the freedom beast in order for it to transform into a free "adult" beast. Tho I'm 23, on the verge of 24. I've only started feeling like an adult recently. School extends your naivity and innocence I think, and puts off the inevitable adulthood in many ways. but I had been working a good job for the past year, I was on my own in a bachelor apt now, I was FINALLY paying for my car insurance and I seemed to have a handle on my "shit" so to speak. But still I felt like I had to make this move, I had to have this grand transitional moment I could see. Where I can say, " That was when I become an adult", and I wasn't gunna wait for it anymore. I was going to create it myself. It's the only way anything seems real, is if I personally make an effort to conciously act on it and understand it.]

[I'm often at constant war inside of myself. Trying to weed thru the bullshit and get to what's real. If their IS anything real to find. But if you're constantly changing and adapting and growing within your mind, then I'll just constantly be looking. I'm scared of never feeling at peace or at one within myself. Will I always just bounce from persona to persona?  Will this be how I'll learn?  or find my answers? Just constantly in the changing room? I thought I was starting to get a grip on all this back home. But I was just slinking back into my old patterns perhaps, and the only reason why it felt right was because it felt familiar.. Slinking back into old patterns I didn't think was a bad thing, Because it was familiar I clung to the idea that maybe that's who I was. But then why is there a fight at all at this if it was right? If it actually is who I am then why do I fight to not be that so bad?]

We went and saw "The clown", which was just a jewish magician. Pretty funny act. He pulled me up on stage too! RIGHT after Selbean told me I was gunna be next... he tried a bunch of other girls before me and they just would NOT budge. I think we've all seen those ppl who just REFUSE to be a part of the show, and it gets uncomfortable to  watch the struggle for a while.. I went up with only the hesitation of holding my drink, which he helped me with by taking it and giving it to someone haha.  I ended up whipping him in the ass with a mini deck of cards that were hand cuffed to my thumb (with those mini handcuffs we used to get in gumball machines). I really had no idea if that's what he wanted me to do because he was only speaking spanish haha. So it's a good thing I really like ass slapping already. At the end of his show he took off all his clothes leaving his boxers, lowered this HUGE ballon down from the ceiling, like..HUGE about a metre and a half high balloon haha. He CLIMBED INSIDE(it reminded me of of that Rhino scene in "Ace Ventura: When nature calls"hahha) and managed to get completely in it. Then he jumped around for a while hahah and inevitably weasled his way out almost losing his undies haha.

[At this show I had a very specific moment, where I feel like I "crossed" over, so to speak. Or "Passed through the veil" saw through the "Looking glass" I can go on.. I saw these two tourist girls who spoke no spanish go up on stage. They had these matching parachute pants on, (made for tourists) and they sorta had this ignorance and arrogance to them, They seemed to only be there to chill out on their "Vacay" time, they made jokes about knowing no spanish, and the "clown" Spoke no english on purpose for learning I feel. We're in a country where the majority language is Spanish, you should make an effort to see that and try, which I didn't really see from these two female westerners. I glanced over at Natalia, Nada, and the guys... They had brought me there because I was tourist. I saw it. They dont go to these shows, prolly cuz they're always the same, EVERYONE in the room was a tourist. EVERYONE. minus staff. When I first met Selbean and Nada they joked about taking me Salsa dancing. I thought they were serious..hahah(hence the dress...) and at the moment I saw the reality of it being all a joke. Coming here, going to free salsa classes, looking like a doof. Its this whole fake world created for ppl like me. None of it was real... And I honestly didn't see that.. It was a hard fact to swallow how stupid I felt for my naivity. How obvious it all was, and we were all fooled. I took it a little harsher then I should have. But that is understandable when worlds collapse infront of you. I kept my composure and thinking critically from that point on.]

We went to a bar that Selbean worked at called "Freedom Bar". Sometimes He didn't get paid, but instead he'd just get a bottle of rum and would party and drink and share his rum around. It all came around y'know. So I had some free rum all night. the music was very ravey, wasn't no salsa club haha. But It was just what I needed. I recognized some of the people from the Buddha bar a few nights earlier. We jungle rave danced for a few hours until the 11 o'clock curfew. and we all cleared out. The bar owner told us all to come back in an hour. Me thinks that cops only do one round of checks then let it all start up again, prolly with bribes. I dunno.

After that we all headed over to "Yo Momma's Casa" hahah,Which I believe was a hostel but we had the afterparty in the courtyard their. I bought a couple big bottles of gallo. Me and Selbean shared one and the others shared one(Selbean opened it with his teeth!! hahah crazy). All the tourists were there too, playing some weird spoon drinking game, I didn't get it. I just thought it was weird how they all came to this country to hang out with eachother and play games they prolly learned back home. Me and Selbean just chatted up and away for the rest of the night. After that we went back to the hostel. I knew karen would be waiting up so I couldn't stay too much longer. I knew it musta been 12 or something by now. I went and hung out with selbean for another drink before calling it a night. His belongings consisted of some clothes and his unsold jewelry, and a bible. We talked about his life and up bringing, how he's been on the road like this for a number of years, and how his parents sorta dishowned him. His dad did over his tattoo's (he has 4) and his mother for his lifestyle. He said he has 15 brothers and sisters and that his dad had 16000Q in the bank for him and he took it away when he got a tattoo. ALSO he was shot at on a bus once when it was hijacked. Simply for saying to the gunmen something along the lines of.." What are you doing man?  Stop all this nonsense, you don't have to do this" and he was shot at, and his friend next to him jumped in front of the bullet and got shot in the hand. He spoke very highly of this friend (I believe that) I've never had to place myself in that sorta situation. Would you or anyone you know do that? Selbean's lead a hard life. He grew up in Guatemala City, doesn't get much rougher then the bad zona's their. And to not be fazed by it and to still just have the life he wants. He knows its breaking his mother's heart that he's not living a typical life.

But at Some point everyone will have to do this in order for the shit to stop. For people to actually start living a life of their own, and not one forced on them, and not just surviving. That's what I want. I don't want to live typically. I want to be more open, freeing and not just working to fill the gap. I have no idea how I can do this. My life in Canada is so planned out. and straight'n narrow. I put on movies to numb the silence. Today I spent the whole day in a daze. Seeing these tourists go by on these poor horses, I almost couldn't take it anymore. So I just said nothing. I didn't wanna talk about my life, what I was doing. It didn't matter what I thought about it. It only mattered that it was being done. Silence is often how I've coped with my frustrations. No one deserves to have to be pulled in. But inevitably I do explode with word vomit on someone. Which invariably places WAY too much of my emotional baggage on them. I want to just get rid of everything and sail away. With no end date. No responsibilities and debt. No bills and no worries. Each of these things MAY be a key to life on Earth at this time. But each key also holds with it a piece of you, and is a bar on your prison cell.

I've never felt more lost..

Selbean gave me one of two original 50centavo bills that he kept in his bible. To remember him so to speak. Guatemala was the last place I ever expected to meet such a forward thinking person as him and his friends. It was certainly exactly what I needed in my life. Often things happen at exactly the moment I didn't know I needed them too. And they bring to light new awareness. This has certainly helped me take a giant leap forward in personal comfort with relationship I have with myself


Today I got to our new volunteer project. We were staying a group house with the "Oneness Project". There was also a Christian Evangelical group operating in the house.  One of the members made a comment to me, " Is that a metal rod through your lip?" idk how I could not feel judgement from a statement like that. Foreshadowing of the days to come in what were my last days in Guatemala..

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Laundry Loop de Loop

9:34am The Night before
So Last night was a tonne of fun! I got my first taste of being free and alone during this trip. To get an idea of what it'll be like when I travel this summer to Europe. So I got to practice my meeting of new travelers! The band played all the classic tunes, Sublime. Sexual healing haha. It's true about German efficiency. SHtefani took spanish before coming here, and she made comments about how things could run more smoothly haha. Gave me a giggle in my inside.

5:10pm
On the "Ferry" boat heading back to San Pedro from Santiago. Me, Marg, Joe, and Margarita went to explore the lake side town today, but separately. We ended up at the wrong dock this morning so we took a tuk tuk to the right dock for 15Q total and the ferry was 40Q each there and back. Marg, Karen, Joe and margarita, managed to get us 200Q refunded back to us for the horrible driver yesterday from Chi Chi market.  I laid low, I'm not one for confrontations. I did arrange for me and joe to go Hang gliding tomorrow in Pana Jachel. We're to meet our driver at noon at the dock.

I got a shit tonne of stuff in the santago markets today. Found an incredible carved Mayan Calendar and I got some gifts for people as well as a pair of pants and a skirt. wouldn't mind a mini wallet for going out tho. But Yo es Broko.

We have reservations at La Peurto tonight. It was nice walking around on my own again today. I wish I had time to do some spanish school this trip but it'll have to wait till next time I guess.

9:08pm
Had an amazing dinner at La Peurto. I got the Naranju pollo and a green goddess cocktail and a mojito. The mojito was good but it had so much big chunks of mint leaf in it that It was getting sucked up my straw and stuck and and it was just annoying blaah. I just got all my clothes off the bed. what a nightmare! I got home today from santiago and my laundry bag with dirty clothes in it was GONE. Mini heart attack moment.  But then I thought, Karen must have taken it with hers today. Then she came back to the room with just her laundry, and the heart thing again. I went to the hotel staff who only spoke espanol.. I was just like.. "Dandes Lavendria?" Jack knew more spanish then me so he helped me the best he could explain the situation.  I walked up to the room.. my sweaters were on a line drying up there. But where was the rest!! Wasn't in this big pile they were sorting. Dandes dandes dandes!!?? One of the owners or something of hotel said " Uno momento" to me. So I waited in a panic. Then she goes Andalay and leads me off the hotel PROPERTY... down the street... we stop at a shop, she chits and chats.. we continue on down the road. then make a sharp right down a shifty ass back alley with tin roofs over head. She knocks on this womans door. They talk for a bit. Then we start following her BACK in the direction of the hotel. We're back on hotel property now.. I'm so lost at this point. Que? Que? She opens the door to this warehouse... it was nearly deserted inside except for a stack of chairs in the corner. and on top of a low stack.. was my laundry bag.. sitting all by its lonesome.  Not a morsal of other people's lavandria anywhere in site.  Karen's sweater was in my bag, and I was missing 3 towels. She kept saying I wasn't... One of them was in Max's laundry bag.. She was convinced I didn't have another towel in there. Rosa Taya ci. Missing!! She ended up finding it in ANOTHER building in a room below the office. The 3rd towel I gave back to Margarita and forgot. so all is well!! 

THEN!!

She wanted me to pay her hahahah. This whole incident was just hilarious the whole. All is good, I got all my laundry. It was cleaned. Felt Hand washed and sun dried. She got paid!

Funny shit.

HANG GLIDING TOMORROW!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In the land where druggies come to die.

So yesterday was pretty packed and I wasn't feeling a hundred percent. I took an immodium yesturday morning and for the whole day it felt like someone put a plug in my tub. But it fixed itself around 3 am....

So we stopped on the way to San Pedro at a village so Paul could visit a girl he's been sponsoring for about 4 years whose 18 now. She almost finished up with school and will be able to be a teacher afterwords!

After we left this town it wasn't long before we were heading down the winding road on the side of the mountain, litterally sooo windy, that cars honked before every corner incase someone was coming on the other side. We stopped in one of the villages surrounding the lake called San Juan (san won). We drove around lost in it for a while looking for a clinic we donated medical supplies to. Eventually we found it. And the path to get to it litterally made it impossible to simply stubble upon it. You really had to KNOW where this place was. It was opened by a woman named Mary from Colorado. the Clinic is called ODIM www.odimguatemala.org The clinic was muy Bonita, and very well built/designed. They also recently had a dental facility donated that was bran new. They offered vasectomy's for 35Q! ($3.50-4 CAD) and they make medicines from plants they grow on the rooftop garden.

Getting to San Pedro from Xela was such a bumpy winding drive. Up and Down, RIGHT corner, LEFT corner. Me and Karen sat in the back of the van which is now going to the CHICHI Market. (same road we were on yesterday) and will take back to San Pedro later.. thats 3 times on this road.. not good..its a good 2 hour drive each way as well.

7:26 PM Night 2 in San Pedro
Our drive back was well... THE WORST TRIP TO DATE!!! Our driver was an Hour late, he was this young little punk ass. The Van was pretty Shit-tastic too and falling apart. And it apparently rained in the space between San Pedro and Chichi. making the roads and drive back, that much more fun, and longer. Also on our way to Chichi market this morning we saw the end result of a fatal accident at one of those wonderful sharp corners, with a truck and a jeep. Seat belts pretty much don't exist here either, and are not used by anyone. I had heard from someone the driver was still in the jeep. which was a crushed tin can in the side of the truck. People here really know how to hustle and help out when their are accidents tho.

We had a few close calls on the way back with our driver. Our driver we had in Xela who drove us to San Pedro would honk before each corner. This guy honked, maybe once.

Me, Karen, and Margarita are eating dinner at "Mikaso" now, and using the WiFi. We had our last group breakfast here this morning and our last lunch here yesterday when we arrived. The papas (fries) and Mayo here are unbelievable..The best mayo I have ever had in my life. We all went over our thoughts about the trip and what the next step would be. Everyone had a lot of nice experiences and moments to share from their sides of the trip. Grizelda thanked us for helping her people. "My people need many things" is how she put it. And the fundraising not only provides people with the relief from Smoke inhilation and blindness. But it also gives them a larger cooking area, and it uses less wood. So they have more time live their lives, and not just spend it surviving. 

This whole town is filled with tourists. This restaurant is also a Hostel/Hotel. And they have a lot of Lounge places with hammocks and a pool table. The view is just incredible from here. Its right on the lake. almost too close with the rising water levels. Our hotel is really nice too. and has a great balcony, and the roof has great view, but doesn't have anything on it. We have a bathroom/shower in our room here too! wOooo! But I had a cold shower tonight. Sucked. I had about 2mins of hotwater and then nada. I think I heard a generator switch off while I was in it.

Me and Karen did a walk about yesturday afternoon. Went thru the hippy district where you can do Yoga/meditation. Get hot STONE massages and whatnots. lots of Outdoor restaurants and Spanish schools. A good amount of Internet cafe's as well. I saw a flyer for a piercing and tattoo place above "The Clover" Restaurant. Where I had eaten the night before. I wanted to get some earings there. No mom I didn't get another piercing.. lol.

I've had a lot of thoughts about seriously moving here and running an art class and or selling art. I wouldn't make any money. But I would make enough to live here atleast.

 I just met some nice Norwegian girls and a German girl. We went to hear the owner of "Mikaso's" play at the Buddha bar.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A wake-up thought in between

Putting your hopes, desires, and energy into dreams of grandeur and security. In our society it's all about "later" it seems, reaching that "place" in time. Sometimes it's a financial place, sometimes it's a place in time we believe will end our suffering in our present lives. For whatever reason, people always seem to not have it right, right now. I see it time and time again. People reach that "place", that state, and then that state is no longer what they want. Because, like the organisms we are... Our wants, needs, and desires start to the change the second we create them in our minds. We just don't consciously know it yet.  When a person says to another person. "You've changed" the origin of this statement is from the perspective of it being sudden.  But then of course we look at the reasons for this statement and the events leading up to it and we see falsie in this. The point I'm trying to adhere to is to waste your time on an idea that things could be better someday as long as you pay your due's to father time, is the game. But when playing game's, one always knows that inevitably the game will end. Will you still want the prize you were fighting for at the begining in the end? The trials and struggles you enduring while playing have changed you, because you've lived them. Anything you've lived and experienced. HAS affected your mental state, and been written down in your unofficial biography.

Once all your dreams have come true, they've already faded away. So ride the wave when its here, and chill till the next one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday February 15th ,2011

8:18am
I passed out last night trying to finish my journal, so I'm finishing it on our way to work today.

I was in Marvin's Group yesterday (by request cuz I luuurve him). He always gives me this wide eyed look and being totally lost as to what the hell I'm asking. I work with him just for this.  But he's so helpful and he really gives you a chance to do whatever you want to do on the stove. Very encouraging too. I gave him 2 melted kisses I got from the Chocolate shop in Xela, for Valentines day.  Haha I found out from him that Guatemalan's hate Mexicans and Mexicans hate Guatemalans. I said something like An-delay to Marvin while he was working and he said oh Mexicana's an-delay, Vamoos! haha.  He commented on the fact that I'm Poco Español and he's Poco Inglais. Then I called him Loco for wearing a French/Paris shirt hah.

Words that Get me thru the day in a Spanish and Kiche speaking village
Aki- Here
Aya- there?
Fuerte- hard
Baño- bathroom
Poco- Little
Mi Amo- My Name is ______
I-tu?- and you?
No Say- I dont know/understand
Hola- Hi/hello
Como es ta?- how are you?
(Ciche)Ut's - good
Muy- very
Bueno- good
Buenos Dias- Good Morning
Buenas Tardes- Good Afternoon
Uno- 1
Todo- We
Photo/Pictura- Photo?
Rapido- Faster
An delay- Get going hurry
Hasta- Fast!
Vamoose- Come on/Let's go

I like that I'm finding a way to convey my sarcastic joking nature in Spanish to the villagers haha..
They are probably laughing at me and not with me tho...

8:40am
So the melatonin didn't work last night. I suppose it did. I passed out journaling at like 9pm. I decided I would try not zipping up my sleeping bag to see if I could get this sweating to CEASE already. I had some pretty horrible dreams last night. so Melatonin is out I guess. I woke up crying from one of them. Not cool.

One of the major details of this trip that I wanted to stick to was doing it on my own. Without financial help from my parents. It was a good starter trip to get my heels wet for Europe this summer. I'm surrounded by so many kind and caring people from Ottawa/Perth area who wanna look out for me. But I'm looking forward to when I can sneak away from them as well and do some stuff on my own. 

Last day of Stove Building today then packing up tonight, paying the $45 dollars for the hostel and heading to San Pedro tomorrow. 

6:23pm Spanish Simpsons
So last day of stove building es finitoooo! Can't believe I debated on not coming because I had another bad sleep. But I'm so glad I went. Today we went to the other-side of the hill and it was sort of like a different world. More poor I feel. Not every family had a baño here. We always had some kind at the other sites. The family I was with today told us that they use the creek beside the house as a baño, which was also beside the main road... On top of the hill was an incredibly nice bathroom with a real toilette, sink and even a shower!! Their didn't seem to be any water going to it tho. Had to use a bucket to flush the toilette. My house had a sweet brick dome next to it. Apparently its a sauna, which is how they clean themselves. Rita told me that Her and Tom were Naked in one once haha. And Karen, Liz, went in one while looking at stoves in Comiticancillo, but not naked :p..

I had Marvin again today! Marvin the Mason! I try to jokingly boss him around.. haha. He lets me do any job I want and seeing as its our last day I asked if I could seal the chimney on the roof. I hadn't seen any of the women attempt this yet, only the rogue mountain men in the group like John haha.  We usually have a Spanish speaker in the group, but Liz, and john were both out today, so we didn't have enough to go around. But me and Marvin are tight yo, we have an understanding I think amongst each other.  He taught me some more Spanish words (or tried) I remember Bonita(I think means 'beautiful'), Feurta(which means 'hard'), and Todo (We).

Today was Margarita's Birthday so we got Pastel again. White Pastel this time! No es Bueno as the chocolate pound cake we usually got. Our lunch was really nommers tho, we had dos kinds of pasta salad. Which was a nice change from the Mantikia de mani(peanut butter) and the Red Bean buns, and Tuna sandwiches. Plus we had fresh watermelon, pineapple, and of course some cookies!

So after me and Margarita's trek to the bathroom (which took like Trenta minutos I think!). I put the Mortar around the Chimney on the roof. It was messy, (I got roof gunk down my boob crevas). The roof had those brick half pipe tiles on it, so I had to remove those to get close enough to the chimney, and even then getting to the other side of it wasn't gunna happen, so I had to hop down a few towns to check and see if their was any light coming thru the seal. Then I put back all the roof tiles and Bam! Done! It was fun, and I'm glad I got to try every different step in the stove making process.

After the stove was all done, we did our pictures, and gave out some gifts. I played catch with the older girl for a while. She was muy Bonita and her amo was Caterina. I taught her what I could remember basketball trick wise, like how to spin a ball on her finger tip, and dribble between her legs. (I'm quite out of practice tho.. wooow)
Her pequeno brother jumped in a couple times to play catch as well. Her laugh was completely intoxicating, and she had the giggles like mad. I'd guess 10-12 for her age. But who knows.

We handed out what was left to other families near by before leaving for the day.

I decided to shower first instead of taking pictures right away like I wanted. It was freazing today. Well not FREAZING, but a cold wind and cloudy again mostly. I wanted to shower because of all the weird boob gunk I had. also while playing ball with Caterina, the ball often fell into the water by their Pila. And idk if that was their bathroom or WHAT, so i just cleaned the ball off on my pants and kept playing... so yeah.. thought it best to shower.

Numero Uno attempt at a shower failed caliente agua wise. I tried a different bathroom then I had been using the whole time. Guess I had it right the first time. So I went up to the 2nd story (in my towel, the boys suggested I use that bathroom.. playas) for attempt numero dos.

Then me and Karen went for picture taking and the internet cafe attached to the "North South Book Store" (Where I picked up a spanish dictionary and a used Guatemala guide book). Next time I come to Guatemala I do some spanish school for a couple weeks I think.

Karen didn't take pictures for long, the wifi and Pastel was calling her name. So I went out on the town alone. I walked all over the place, didn't know where I was going or what lead to what. But my sense of North and South was down and I ended up walking right beside the Book store where Karen was without even planning it. I was pretty impressed with myself. Idk how I do it. Guess not being afraid to be lost helps. Getting lost is the best way to find your way around and learn landmarks too.

I used public computer at the cafe to type up some blogs, I felt bad stealing Karen's computer and I tried not to as much as possible. we were both just getting behind on everything sharing it. But I used it transfer my pictures to my mini hardrive and type at night sometimes when Karen read still. At the cafe I got invited to a dance class they were having in a room to the side. I'd been listening to them learn the thriller dance for an hour while typing hahah. I told him unfortunately I was leaving tomorrow at 9 am and wouldn't be coming back for a year or so. He said he'd wait for my return haha.

Me and karen didn't much feel like a big huge dinner that night, so when we were kicked out of the cafe we went to the coffee place where the Wifi is really good and we got some sandwiches and pastel. They had the simpsons in spanish playing on the big tv. It was the Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer episode, where their riding the train and the old man who they spunge bath is telling them stories. Super old! And i didn't remember what the episode actually talked about.

Then home around 10pm to start packing haha. Some things never change.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Feb 14, 2011 Te Amo

6:17am
Woke up extremely exhausted today. Karen was up for the 2nd night in a row sick. I took half a gravel to help me sleep. But to avail. So Tonight I'm gunna get some Melatonin from Andrew. That might help me sleep thru a night.

9:05pm
Today we had an incredible rain shower at like 5pm. We stopped at a "Mall" (yeah theirs a mall here), to get some money out of an ATM that was "safer" then the ones in the Market that I've been using the whole time.  Me and Rita used the Bathroom. There was only like 5 stalls (in a room with space for 10), and there was a line up for each stall. not just a general line.  There was ads on a few of the doors for a beauty spa with the actress from Serendipity on it. She was looking fiiiiiiine too. The Food court had a Taco Bell, Burger king, Pizza Pizza, some chinese place. There was a payless shoe store, lots a sandles in therr. Duh. I saw a gap and "The Source". There was also an arcade are. I saw this boy playing DDR!! He was uber pro. Rockin both sides!! Of course I'd get excited about this haha. So I got back to the hostel, we left Phil Meg, and Tom at the mall because some of us had to get to a few market stores before they closed. Karen Stayed home today, and was no where to be seen with the room key for quite a while. I assumed she got lost because she has no sense of direction or landmarks it seems. I thought about going out to look for her, but it was raining...  Renny said he left her at the coffee shop. I debated just going there, but I played with the Parrot in the lobby instead. Then I hung out with Renny and Andre for a bit. Everyone kept offering to let me hang out in their rooms because they wouldn't be in there. Which was really nice of them, but when I heard the offer all I could picture was me sitting in the dark in a foreign room. Why would I do that? I didn't spend any time in my own room at this point, just went their to drop stuff off and sleep.  So me and the guys were gunna go get a Gallo (beer) and chill, and on our way out, guess who came in. Yup! wait. what did you guess? If you said Tom, Phil and Meg, your wrong. It was KAREN!! YAAAAAAaaaaaay.  She did get lost. I gave her a scolding eye and she gave me the key.



We decided to go to a place called "Brooklyn" but it was closed. So we went to "Royal Paris".  It was all decorated up fancy like for Valentines Day. Candles, and an old guy playing the keyboard and singing in French at the front. I had TILAPIA! MMMM with a cream dijon and dill saw sauce, on the side it looked like mashed sweet papa's.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sun, Feb 13, 2011 The Higher you go, the closer you are


6:30am
Had the worst sleep ever!! Woke up a zillion (that IS litterally) times. Which I often do when I'm worried my alarm will fail and or if I have to wake up for something important. I also woke up with hot flashes and cold chills again. Just can't find a happy medium with this sleeping bag and pajamas.

 My alarm did fail ironically enough...

I had a billion dreams too (another literal implication of course).

like this but longer and
flatter on the inside
scoop
1. The first dream I had  I was picked up by this outlandish spanish man, who switched randomly to the worlds most perfect sounding english, no accent even on a whim when he broke from he cell phone call to great me. He made us stop at a Walmart to pick up a Valentines Day gift for his Mother before going climbing. (He was not an attractive Spanish man either.. why must my dreams always be so real... just once I'd like them to lie to me and let me have some fun! Anyway... He had this Candle Holder. He had a small tea candle on the bottom. I told him to put the big long candle on top of it. for some reason both are lit. And the little melts the big one, trapping  the little one inside on fire. He sets it on a wooden table inside Walmart and it catches on fire! We managed to defuse the fire, but the fire department was ALL already on their way. I seem o recall and understand of the fire fighters mostly wanting to mooch some free McDonalds because they were corrupt. The manager was pissed she had to feed them all, and wanted me to pay. I said  basically.. "I'm gunna go now..." and woke up.
2. The 2 guys from how I met your mother (Jason Segel, and Josh Radnor) were hot tubbing naked (of my dreams curse me again with damn jacuzzi bubbles). Their clothes were stolen by some women who were in there with them (again my dreams curse me because, I wasn't in the hot tub, I was just observing their misfortune like a creepy stocker ghost). ANYWAY, They had to get a ride, but were naked. They saw the blonde transvestite hooker from Xela (a real person we saw almost everynight) get a ride with this big truck. so they ran naked to the truck to get a ride. They figured if the trucker would pick her up, then he'd pick them up too. Then I woke up... I'm nutz..  I'm aware..

I had more dreams but I couldn't remember them to write them down. too many.

Adrenalina is picking me up any minute. I was locked in the hostel this morning. There were 3 of us trying to get out. At 4 am I heard the door buzzer going off.

Fun fact I think I've forgotten. Every single door in Guatemala is locked up, and a lot have intercoms to speak thru, and most lock you in as well.

So the woman who runs the hostel was up at all hours opening the door for people who were out partying I guess. So she didn't get up to take the padlock off.

We scrambled up to the 
some of the writing I saw on rock. It
was all over the mountain top tho.
3:34pm Sitting at the coffee shop "& Cafe", with Karen and John. Today was overly incredible. My biggest fear was that my guide today wouldn't speak Inglais... and it came true...  But it was okay.
We scrambled up the moutain like 300 feet I think in total. I was gasping and panting the whole way up as Mayan men and women passed me with heels and babies on their backs. They were all flocking to various plateaus to pray. Their was writing on rocks all over the cliffs as well. I asked my guide, "Pourque (writing gesture), roca, (point)". haha he got me. He said it was the name's of the churches. The Whole Cliff and the property the rocks were on was owned by the church which I find incredible. I don't know how this came to be, but it was the same issue with Pannimaquem. So instead of going to Church, these people come here to the mountain tops to pray and chant, which my guide confirmed, is a way in their eyes to be closer to god, and heaven. They chanted for hours, some every day of the week, all day. The chanting was torturous and intense at most times, as tho some were crying out with all the passion in their souls for help.  So while I'm climbing I'm just surrounded by it all. I saw one man carrying a grande guitar down too.

the corner on the far left is the route I climbed
me coming up to the 1/2 pitches on the 2nd climb
coming up to the 2nd pitch
After the 2nd climb(5.8) which was a lot more fun and warmer then the first climb (5.9), we walked along the top. We did it in 2 pitches (the second outing I've done a multi-pitch at! Good thing I sorta randomly learned about multipitch belaying a couple weeks before I left with Ryzard at Altitude gym in Hull). The first climb was a corn one. but not an inside corner, and outside one, does that make sense? Anyway I wore shorts and a thing sweater, and it was one of the windiest and coldest days I've felt here yet.. yaaay.. Anyway I couldn't finish it because the rope was twisted so I had to come down. and it was right after I finally got over the Crux!! Booo. My hands were all cut up and cold. The rocks are quite sharpe there. When we got to the top tho.. wow...I saw about 3 medium sized groups up there praying. They walked up their too. I saw a lot of these white flag markers all over the place as well as flower offerings.
Sorta looks like a man wrapped up. I don't think it was anyway..

The Rock Clusters on top reminded me of Mount Roraima in Venezuela (movie UP) a bit. Just because they were so alien and really painful and jagged to grab.


Amongst these were random Sexy Gorges thru the mountain you could fall in. Fun stuff.

Then we had lunch, I booked the climb at 6:45pm last night when I got back from yesterdays excursion. So my guide Victor Miguel didn't have time to make up a really fancy Meal. So we had sandwiches on white bread with cheese and some kind of, meat (I think ham?), and some tomatoes and onions. It was fantastic. He hand split an "awacoti" (avocado) in half and then dipped Ritz crackers in it. Genious!


We talked about various things. He told me about the church owning the land and I asked about the praying, he told me about foot fetish. Leave it to me to find out something like that without speaking the other language. We also discussed how the Economy for coffee has gone way down and Guatemalan's don't get paid as much as they used to for exporting. I told him small groups of people in Canada are working to change this. People don't genuinely want to see the poor get F$%^'d over. But they do, and end up supporting that unknowingly. which is unfair to place people in the same position of the corporate manipulation nation. Bridgehead coffee is currently the only coffee shop that supports fair trading with coffee. Companies like Starbucks are getting their coffee from plantations that force workers to live on the farm, leaving their families for months at a time, and for unfair wages. I remember Starbucks selling special water that said something like. 1$ from every bottle goes to support WHATEVER. The idea that their using water in Bottles to do this is laughable. Lets help the poor and impoverished people who are already living in their own filth because they have no where to take their garbage by doing it with bottles that create the most waste on the planet. Good call Starbucks. Oh and you only make billions, so dont worry about being able to afford private recycling at your locations. Just send it all to the dump! But you say your green and you help the planet. So I'll let it slide.
Corporations in general who come here and plaster their advertising everywhere, without even bothering to change it for the demographic. Billboards with gringo's smiling drinking pop. WOO its a party! Coke, candy, and fast food! What it's all about! I mean its cheaper then the market vegatables so most families sell their vegetation and buy cheaper alternatives. Outside of all the schools are stores and stalls with nothing but candy and pop! And of course all the wrappers are thrown on the ground afterwords. Their Mouths are rotting to pieces by the age of 2 because mothers are putting pop in their children's bottles.

I love it when I walk by a hair salon and see this giant poster of a white woman from the 90's all did up.

Route number 3
More Sexy Roca's



The last climb was a 5.9. We just did half of it. People were finishing praying at this point and starting to trickle down the paths. I was climbing up and under a Roof in a crack. They started to gather at the bottom to watch. I suppose some of them haven't seen someone try to climb the mountain with gear before.

My heart just swelled today.




4:30 pm
Just heard some music start up outside in the town square I checked it out. Some freaky ass festival where everyone is dressed up like the population of workers or something haha.


There was an amazing sunset today as well.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday February 12th, 2011 Santiaguita

9:19am On the road for a weekend adventure
Just stopped by the side of the road to look at the twin Volcanoes Santa Maria, and Santiaguita. We were blessed with the a shot of Santiaguita spewing out a puff of smoke! Totally Rad! So now we're continuingon our way to Takalik Abaj to see the ruins.

9:45am
Got a glimpse of some rubber trees. I always thought it was all syntheticly made in a lab. But the process is like Sap.

12:16pm Takalik Abaj
Just finished he tour of the Takalib Abaj site. Took about 2 hours, and wow it was incredible. Our guide was very informative, Liz and Rita translated. The Mayans paid very close attention to west, east, south, and north. West represented Death, and East was birth. So when you died they would bury you facing west, unlessyou were a child. They faced children to the east towards life because they didn't get one. If you died and were burried facin east and you're an adult, then your family would end there, and would not continue on in the afterlife. It's unclear wether they did this on purpose as a punishement for a crime or not.

Toads, Serpents and Owls represented after life. Frogs were the main symbol for birth I believe, apparently because of the fact hat Frogs have alot of eggs. This of course was on the East side of the temple, for life. Their were 9 statues also to represent the 9 cycles of Pregnancy.

The Vegetation ther was so alien feeling. We saw wild avocado, banana's. I think I saw a fig gourd which I painted for a BG in Kratts and had no idea what it was until I googled it. I also saw a Cocoa Tree! Their was also a petting zoo. Hard to pet the animals tho cuz they were in cages.

It's incredibly hot as well. I'm feelin quite dehydrated again, and my sunscreen is all flak on me for some reason. Their was one Temple we couldn't take pictures of because still being reconstructed and I think nationoal georaphic has the rights to first photos or something? Its really interesting to see how they're attempting to reconstruct it as well as figure out what it is and what it was used for all at tthe same time. We got to walk inside it tho. They've uncovered what they believe to be a ball court, and a stone walkway that looks to connect alters to the temple as well

6:03pm
On our way home. My laundry is locked in the laundry place :( that cloased at 4:30. I should make Adrenalina in time to book my climb tomorrow morning tho!

The first thing you notice when you arrive at the coffee plantation (after the horrificly bumpy road for about 5 km of paint machine shakin goodness, on a road wide enough barely for our vehicle) is the vegitation. It was like being in the amazon or something.  Big Palm tree's, and bamboo.

When we got their they fed us lunch. Chicken, pickled beats, and mashed potatoes. Also we drank this wonderful juice which taste like iced tea but it was made of "Rosa do Jamyca" or habiscus flower. It was very sweet and delicious! We also (of course) got our cup of coffee made from the coffee beans grown on the plantation, which tasted great just black. A lot of Tourist come to stay on the plantation to bird watch They have over 100 different species, many of witch you can only see at certain times of day, like sunrise or sunset too.

We start off with the Zip line across the forest tho!As soon as you run off that edge and just glide over the forest, with grande palm leaves covering the ground while you twirl with endless valley's of trees created for the presence of giants.

We went for about a 40 minute walk thru the forest after doing 2 ziplines, our guide told us a lot about the vegitiation in the forest. Something called a wyaboo or Gwyabo tree can grow up to 100ft in only 12 years!

We bird watched some parakeets' for a bit. Their song was so beautiful echoing from the trees. Their was this leaf and with and interesting underside to it.. "Paulino", (our guide) wrote out his name with a capped pen. As you write the white on the back of the leaf is scraped off, revealing dark letters with the leaf colour. He also told us about some tree's and plants in the forest hat have medicinal properties, one of which can be used to create a natural parasite remover. Somehow haha, shoulda wrote it down..The forest was really incredible, wih bamboo's teetering all around us. we walked alongside this stream and a steep ridge on the otherside. We were almost completely encased by the teetering trees all growing in cooperation endlessly fighting to seal off the sky to those who dare to travel within it.

6:40pm It's on now!

Got to Adrenalina in the nick of time to book my climb tomorrow for 7 am pick up time. Just me and my hopefully english speaking instructor lol. I get a pequeno breakfast with it I'm told. and the whole day is costing my $55US. It'll just be me and the instructor too. (hopefully a cutey!)

8:00pm Wind down.
Pizza for dinner tonight, nom nom nom! With Pollo, onion and tomates, sliced not cubed. I Took over 500 pics and videos today... yikers!! Both camera's died too haha

Left Gillsepies and Tom, David, and Max were standing outside across the street. Looks like they were having a good a night haha. They rescued our laundry too!! Apparently they ran into the guy that runs the laundry place and he opened it up and gave it to them! which is just Awesome cuz both my pairs of pant's were in there and both my sweaters, AND my towel!! I had to borrow pants and a towel from Margarita and John! Johns' shirt smelled like him. I dressed it up with a scarf from karen haha. Sleep now. its 10:22pm I'm pooped and I have Climbing in 8 hours and 47 mins! EEE!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday February 11th, 2011 Pannemaquem

9:15am
On our way to Pannemaquin! I have a massage booked for 5 pm tonight! $200 Quetzals!
9:21am
Just hit the highest peak on the Pan American highway at 10 000ft.
7:34pm
Sitting outside of the garage I had a massage at earlier this evening, waiting for Karen to finish her massage. I was just at my first internet place. It was very frustrating trying to type out my blog on their keyboards. For multiple reasons: the keys kept sticking, commas and apostrophes and basically all the symbols are in a different spot. To use the @ symbol you have to push a secondary key. And that wasn’t even working for some reason so I had to copy and paste it from a Google search to sign in to anything! So I spent the whole time roughly looking for commas and deleting spaces that the space key would make every time it got stuck. I got about a paragraph done in 30 minutes and gave up and came to write my journal and wait for Karen. Karen still hasn’t been able to get money out, so she sent me an interact email money order, and I’ll just take money out for her. So I walked back up to the square use the ATM.
Me, Karen, and Margarita discussed traveling the coast from lake Atitlan next week. But now it’s look like we might stay in Atitlan instead of going to Antigua early since our 2nd project will be almost in side Antigua where we’re staying.
Tomorrow a small group of us are going to the Takalik Abaj Archeological Site, then to the Coffee plantation with zip lining!! Muy excited about that!
7:44pm
So.. Today… wow. Where to start... We arrived at the village. I took half a gravol in the car because think all the altitude changes every day were messing with me a bit.  When we got there, they lit fire crackers off, and we just walked around and met with the people. They Spoke Quiche (kee-chay) and not Spanish. But there was a woman there named Clara and a man named Miguel who were translating from Quiche to English or Quiche to Spanish to English. 

Clara spent the day translating with her baby on her back and another young daughter running around. After roaming about the village a bit, we all sat down to listen to some special thanks and some performances. There was a DJ and a sound system (2 speakers, 1 mic).
The whole village was atop a mountain basically the view was magnificent!
They built the school in memory of their son Sam Clark who died in an acceded. On the Stage was a picture of Sam on a chair with flower bouquets around it. They spoke so kindly of same and Celina as well. One of the people who spoke said that “Sam was always very kind and respectful, always ate what he was given, and that they know he’s an angel looking over the village from Heaven”. The Adornment the people have for Tom and Rita’s family is so touching.  Part of me wanted to cry for them and what they’ve done for the people. They came to this village and built stoves, and then a school, and gave them food. The people wanted a picture of Tom and Rita so that when they talked about them to local communities they could show other people who they are. I took a picture on the first day of building on the 7th for them and got it printed so they could give it to them.
The children put on a little parade. The boys wore these masks and the girls wore matching skirts/wraps. They did this dance where a few danced in a circle on the stage while one of them danced around them. Then the boys did a little something with the masks on.
There was some thanks to Tom and Rita after the dances. I never really realized just how much Tom and Rita have really helped this village. Because they’re so isolated from any real towns and with no vehicle to get to them, when the mudslides hit in May, all their crops were destroyed and washed out, and they were simply helpless. If they had any Money they couldn’t even get to a store to buy some food with it. Tom and Rita used money out of the stove fund to buy food for them.
After finishing our butchering of “Oh Canada”, and “Alouette”, we handed out mini Canadian flags and snowflakes cut out of paper, and then we were presented with handmade cloths, each unique and done by someone who received a stove. Tom and Rita emphasized to us the fact that they requested the villagers not do anything for us. But we’ve found that people, tho they have nothing really, still will try to offer us food or a drink to show their gratitude. Which can be a good thing too because it shows that they aren’t just expecting handouts, and that if they could pay they would. Which does happen with some of the people at times, especially children who don’t know the value of money and its impact on life yet.
After all the thanks and dance performances we had lunch. During the performances that I was at war with the gravol. My eye lids were shaking quite heavily and I felt really bad about any yawns I had. It just completely drained and dehydrated me. For lunch they made us Beans, with a square of “Fresca Queso”, (unpasteurized) in them and Tomalies wrapped in a big leaf! Also they made this drink which tasted like hot sugar water, most likely what it was, made with “Agua Purifico”(purified water). They poured ours into cups but the villagers had theirs in plastic bags with a small hole in them to drink from. We also had utensils with our food and the villagers used their hands. Which with the beans can be a little tricky. But that’s why the right is for eating and the left is for wiping.
Liz brought bread and maple syrup for desert for everyone.  At this time I went around and took pictures. I wandered all over the hill top village. I also had mini seniorita stocker for a while during this. I came across a mango tree on my walk about, very cool to see.
 The moment that changed this trip for me was an hour later or so when members of the group were looking at handmade fabrics to buy from the villagers, and Tom and Rita were conversing with a few of them.
A woman came up to Tom and Rita and thanked them in advance for the wheelchair that was coming soon. She said, (thru a translator) “I had my baby, and I carried him for 12 years (on her back in a sling), and now I can rest”. That was it. I was done. 
When you think about malnutrition and impoverished areas, you think, Skinny children, with growth and vitamin deficiencies. I never personally thought about those children who are born with disabilities. Like this woman’s child who was born with Down syndrome. His disability made it impossible for him to walk or even communicate. I’ve seen some women carry their children till their 2 or so. But 12. Wow. I think when I thought about people with disabilities, I associated it with our society because of all the garbage we put into our bodies, and all the vaccinations and stuff. The only stats I could find say that in the USA alone there are 6 million adults with learning disabilities. I feel like there is still not as large a disabled public here as there is in North America. But the population is smaller as well. I’ve seen some people on the street who have obvious disabilities, and others that are just decaying from Cusha (homemade liquour).
 On our way they stopped us and ask to meet with us. They requested that we help them get some land for a field for recreation activity during school. This brought up a lot of issues. Apparently the Church owns a lot of the land in Guatemala. So they asked for about 1200 dollars (US) to buy some land from the church. Which brought up a whole string of debates about why does the church own the land, how is that possible. John got quite agitated with this information, because. It’s Land! And it’s their land at that! He said they should get mad! Fight for their land! Which was like the movie Avatar all over again (ie. The historical repetition of what happened to the Native Americans).  This people are very much being abused and fooled because of their ignorance in real time though by corporations like Coke, Pepsi, Fast food chains like McDonalds, Dominos, and Burger King. The Candy Companies! It’s so sickening to see. Every day when go to build stoves we pass by a school down the road. And outside the school there is just stall after stall of candy and pop. When we came here we were asked to not give out candy because of all the dental problems. I mean people are putting pop in baby bottles for their kids! It’s amazing! But I digress…