Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wheatgrass in my eyes and nose

Upon leaving Haiti, I realized I'll miss little Wood so much. He has become my good friend. I would pick him up from his house, bathe him and take him around town all the people asking if he was mine. How amazing when little kids run up to you full of joy. Ah, I love him. When I arrived in San Juan, I slept comfortably on the airport floor for the night with my thermarest, nestled in my sleeping bag. In the morning, I waited for my flight to Mayaguez. There didn't seem to be anyone around. I wondered if I was at the wrong gate. Suddenly someone called my name. "Your plane is ready to board" "My plane?, Am I the only passenger?" "Yes,in fact, you are!" "Can I sit in the front?" "Yes you can". and so, I boarded my very own airplane. An entire airplane to myself!! Just me and the pilot chillin in the cockpit!! I became the co-pilot as we swooped below the clouds and he described the coast line to me. How lucky!!
Spending the last few days at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico has opened my heart, soul and mind to the incredible reality of life giving living foods. Upon waking at dawn, we stretch and indulge in relaxing yoga on the beach, listening to the waves crash - especially a little more furiously now that winds from Hurricane Issac are about to pass through. Before breakfast we juice our own wheatgrass and have a healthy 2 ounces, cleansing our system and nourishing our bodies the way Dr. Ann knew best. I have been awed by the studies we have learned here. About the body and how we assimilate foods. Our digestive systems and the tiny micro-organisms inside that are constantly trying to stay alkaline, constantly trying to stay in balance. Did you know that all disease is just a symptom of inbalance? Our beautiful, radiating teacher, Lalita Sales has bestowed upon us a gift. The unique revelation that eating living foods can cure almost any disease and that we can even grow these foods, such as sunflower sprouts and buckwheat lettuce and make saurkraut and fermented foods in our own homes all year round. We have the power to heal ourselves. You have the power to heal yourself.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Haiti by Day and Night

The honeymoon phase is over, the intestinal worms have moved in and hospital stays are a little more frequent as dehydration rears its ugly head more often than it should. After a five day hike through the Haitian mountains, heavy pack loaded, I am more than ever enamoured by the people of Haiti. Although it is no secret that many, if not all, depend on the business of charcoal - that is deforestation in the name of survival, trees still do exist here and there. It is no longer the lush tropic it once was and erosion is now on the forefront of this nations' greatest problem. A dish of Rice and Beans is the staple, seasoned by imported bouillon cubes and families use charcoal as fuel for their fires day in and day out. Dust blows and cacti grow with malice. With bare bones, these people have put what really matters first. Family and friends. Even with houses made from mud, sticks and old weather-beaten tarps, resiliency shines. The days are peppered with soccer games and hair braiding. Women sit and cook, squatting over these little piles of burning charcoal and babies run naked in the streets, feet calloused and uninhibited by the sharp gravel. Laugher prevails. Anse-a-Pitre by night. Men ride their motorcycles up and down the only paved road in town, vying for the loudest muffler. Shadows run long by light of the full moon and wafts of fried plantain fill my nostrils. It is a happening village. Young people clamour around street food vendors and cell phone stands in the gutters. I hear more laughter and squint to see the smiles of white shining teeth in the dark. I read Thoreau while sleeping in my tent under thundercloud skies that never quite reach me. It strikes a chord in relation to a life I have once lived in the West, (or still do?) and what I see here: "An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion. Our life is like a [wonton] Confederacy,(18) made up of petty states, with its boundary forever fluctuating, so that even a local man cannot tell you how it is bounded at any moment. The nation itself, with all its so-called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it, as for them, is in a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan (19) simplicity of life and elevation of purpose."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Welcome to Paradise?

As I bear the beating sun and soak up a wealth of knowledge from our ancestors about living with the earth in harmony, I am integrating into the Haitian life with ease. What can I say? Haiti and it's people are the definition of resilience. They live with smiles and laughter as the days pass. Myself and the other participants in the Permaculture Design Course at Sadhana Forest in Anses-a-Pitre are welcomed as valued members of the community and interact in Creole, French and Spanish with the locals who are quickly becoming good friends. The day I reached the border a swell of young men on motos greeted us with smiles. Until now, I am constantly reminded of their kindness and positivity. We play music, dive in fresh water caves with no apparent bottom. We cook for each other using rocket stoves and fresh local produce (lots of mango and papaya!). We chew fresh sugar cane from the fields and walk about the town saying hello to every single person we pass. They in turn greet us with love in their hearts. I am especially captured by the naked babies who run after us with the most lovely smiles for a quick hug. The ocean is 10 minutes away as well as the border to the Dominican Republic who's stark contrast to Haiti provides me this tiny internet cafe where I can update the world via dirt bag style. I feel safe and at home here. In Haiti, I am reminded how simplicity can bring the utmost of joy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Today is just as important as any other day

As it stands, the vagabond in me has risen to the surface and continues on her merry way, dirty dirt-bag feet a walkin'. It is the day before my journey. I have in fact been wandering for some time now, unable to tear myself away from the cabin in the woods - yes, the crooked cabin in the woods. My ma has been living on Vancouver Island and I decided to make a pit stop for a few weeks while gathering a list of contributers for the summer edition zine from the kitchens of pinch and dash. This place is magical. Quick lil' bunnies and graceful deer visit my back yard daily. Now in and about Vancouver, I am drawn to the pockets of communities and health-enriching organic veg movement. It may be my perception after living in Asia for the last 4 years with a quick 3 year stop in Mexico before that, but Canada has changed. Before I can take in all the reverse culture shock and the growing comfort of sleeping on friends' floors, couches and in cars, I must hasten off to Haiti to begin road trippin it once again. Maybe I'll have a few hours to soak up the sun on Miami beach first?

Friday, April 13, 2012

What a Wonder

Over the course of a year, studio recordings, mixing sessions, website designing, a whole bunch of ukulele playing and cooking up a storm almost everyday have invaded my day to day. (Thank you Josh for doing the dishes!)

I have co-authored two cookzines and am currently working on another and most recently finally, I have launched my debut album to the world. What an experience. While making "Saving Earthworms from Sun Scorched Death", I have learned so much in the process and now I can share this work with you.

When so much happens in the real world, it is hard to share it all with you here. No matter how busy I get, I do still have time to contemplate little things. Sometimes when the wind blows, I get an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. This just happened. A feeling from my far away, a long gone past. I can't quite place it but I feel like I've known it from before. Maybe its that same recycled wind from years back and it's come back again. Somehow my body, my cells have an innate sense of recognition. It just knows. But my mind can't comprehend such things. As soon as I try to identify its source, the wind is gone.

So then I stand at the bus stop and in front of me stands a tree. Tall and unwaivering under the constant perssure that surrounds it. What a wonder for a tree to be there amisdt the concrete and the cars. It stands strong and doesn't complain about the constant CO2 it must transform into oxygen. It stands solid and still grows deep underneath the concrete that engulfs it. This is a beautiful reminder of how life continues no matter the shit it must handle and that truely, life is too deep to be disturbed by its ever changing surface.

Please support my album and get yourself a digital download today! Get your copy HERE.