Pussy Letter

Dear Hyoomn,You’ve been mostly kind to us. Caring, feeding, spoiling… Thank you! But I’m not your toy, not your child and not an ornament (even though you’ve bred some of us to be just that). I don’t need your protection or control. I’m a resilient, powerful being just like you. I love to play, bask … More Pussy Letter

Jungle Destruction

Being in Costa Rica is like being inside a nature show. Life abounds in all forms, shapes and sizes. Mother Earth is alive! Unlike Hawaii where the land is young and Nature is relatively safe, Costa Rica’s abundance of life forms forced a healthy competition among species and a natural balance. Enter us, humans, and … More Jungle Destruction

Sausage anyone?

One of the things I like about living in the developing world is the connection to the origin of things. In the USA, like other “developed” countries, many things are masked, hidden and disguised with a user friendly facade. However, in many old cultures, people are in touch with where their food comes from without … More Sausage anyone?

Renewal

“Renewal” typically has positive connotations: new beginnings, hope…etc, things that inspire optimism. Except in Egypt. “He/she got a renewal” means that their indefinite, illegal prison sentence has been extended 45 days. Then what? Another 45 days that typically add up to years. Tens of thousands of Egyptian families, mine included, live with loved ones behind … More Renewal

La Comida Mexicana!

Growing up with Middle Eastern food made eating in México an exercise in acceptance and tolerance. Food components are almost identical to Middle Eastern food, but the taste is worlds apart. It seems like when the Spaniards came over, they brought the ingredients but forgot the recipes 😔. There’s even a faux shawarma dish, called … More La Comida Mexicana!

“Be C@#€fuk”

She was about to do a backflip into the Cenote*. Her friend yelled at her “be careful”. After a few hesitant seconds, she changed her mind and didn’t jump.How many times do you find yourself in her shoes? You’re about to push your edge and challenge yourself when a well meaning friend calls in the … More “Be C@#€fuk”

Se Feliz!

It’s perfectly normal to be eating in a restaurant in Mexico, simple or fancy, and a street peddler or beggar walks in and begs/offers their wares among tables. No one bothers them and a simple “No. Gracias” will send them off. When you walk into a business, expect to meet the whole family; kids, relatives, … More Se Feliz!

Soy Agua!

“You’re water. Water takes the shape of the container it’s in. You too, you adapt easily to circumstances around you”. I had just met Pi for the first time a mere 10 minutes before he made this observation. That was the best compliment! Water resonates with me on many levels.My karate teacher used to say … More Soy Agua!

Believing the News

“What’s the biggest difference between here and Egypt?”, a friend asked me when I moved to the USA, (North Carolina) a long time ago. She expected some sob story about the plight of women, who need to be rescued from male oppressors by enlightened western minds. I could see the disbelief and disappointment on her … More Believing the News

Pacha Mama shimmies…

My host’s face suddenly changed to an expression of panic when we heard the horn. He grabbed Negra, his dog, and said “C’mon! Sismo!”. My Spanish isn’t that good yet, but I certainly understood ‘sismo’ (earthquake). He lived on the first floor so it didn’t take long to be in the street with lots of … More Pacha Mama shimmies…

Touch&Play

Dancing is playful, flowy, spontaneous, sexy and creative. What if we let the flow carry us away? What if there were no limits except those that we feel in the moment and express as we feel them? We have mutual respect, trust, honesty and self responsibility. No big brother to protect, control or guarantee. No … More Touch&Play

Golden Eggs

“But it smells like rotten eggs!” I said. “If you can get over the smell, it’s good for your stomach” my friend said. “It’s burning hot!” I said. “Wait till it cools down a little. Drink it warm”. So I waited, inhaled, held my breath and drank the sulphur spring water. It tastes OK if … More Golden Eggs

Zegg

“What will you gain if you gave up consumerism?” Achim posed this question to us at the end of Zegg Summer Festival. Freedom, connectedness, more time with loved ones, slower pace of life, more love, deeper connections with oneself and others, simpler life…etc are some of the answers that came up. Then it dawned on … More Zegg

Slov-enia/akia

You know how when you’re traveling in Germany, and someone asks: “what brings you to Austria?” and it dawns on you, for the 10th time: “Right! I’m in Austria, not Germany. Austria, Austria, Austria” (hoping to remember this time)? For the locals, I’m sure Germany and Austria are worlds apart. But the dumb tourist in … More Slov-enia/akia

Who’s Rich?

We didn’t have shampoo, conditioners, sun screen, shower gel, moisturizers, shaving cream or any other so called beauty products. Yet we were beautiful, happy and healthy. No detergents, fabric softeners or even dryers. No microfibers in our food, water or bodies. We used olive oil soap and loofahs to wash our bodies. The same soap … More Who’s Rich?

Ich bin ein Berliner

Berlin is the San Francisco of Europe; diverse, international, colorful, cultural hub and each neighborhood is its own microcosm. One can find anything under the sun; from corporate chains to a very vibrant alternative culture and everything in between. It’s the European melting pot complete with homeless people, leftist movements claiming their own neighborhood, visible … More Ich bin ein Berliner

Ancient Wisdom

Walking the quiet streets of Dahab in Egypt, we saw a Bedouin woman milking a goat… onto the street. No receptacle to collect the milk, no kid (baby goat) to drink the milk, just letting the milk spill on the street and soak into the dirt. “What a waste!” I thought, “that’s very unlike the … More Ancient Wisdom

Metamorphosis

We all know what to expect from McDonald’s, Starbucks…etc. There is comfort in uniformity and knowing what to expect. Someone far away decides the contents and form of your food and you trust and accept. #Franchising is as old as #religion ; you see a religious image and know exactly what it means. I saw … More Metamorphosis

Holy Guacamole!

As a devout atheist, one tree has a much higher spiritual content for me than all the temples, churches, mosques, synagogues and other human made holy guacamoles. However, my consumer trained mind sees a price tag on something and it thinks “it must be worth seeing”! That’s how I end up visiting special holy guacamoles … More Holy Guacamole!

Monkey Business

They work in pairs. The younger one distracts me with his looks and cuteness, he’s all over me, caresses my face, plays with my hair, his soft skin against my face feels so good. While the older, more experienced one goes straight for my backpack. Monkey business, the real deal! #monkeyforest #monkeybusiness #monkey #bali #indonesia … More Monkey Business

Embracing the shadows

“We cannot erase people’s traumas, but we can give them positive memories to overcome the effects of negative ones” Jeroen taught us in his freediving coach training (diving without scuba gear). And that: lots of positive memories, he delivered! In 10 days, I got over a long list of fears, some I didn’t even know … More Embracing the shadows

Heaven and Hell

What’s the difference between heaven and hell? The same moment, circumstances and environment can be either heaven or hell depending on what we choose to focus on. I have been practicing switching back and forth to increase my capacity for choosing my reality and living consciously. It’s very simple and never fails: think of past … More Heaven and Hell

Apo Island

The Philippines consists of 7641 islands, many disappear in high tide. So if you are on one of those, forget about the multiplication tables, memorize your tide tables. Apo island doesn’t disappear in high tide despite being very small. It’s basically a couple of pointy rocks jutting out of the ocean, with a village on … More Apo Island

Traveling Sola

“Are you traveling alone? Why?” “Where’s your husband?” “Why isn’t he with you?”… are some of the questions people keep asking me in the Philippines. They might as well be saying:”Where’s your owner? How come you’re not on leash?” The concept of a free unattached woman traveling by herself seems to be alien to them. … More Traveling Sola