Lac Rose (Pink Lake) or Lac Retba is supposed to be pink in color but when we went there, the water was blue grey (normal lake water color). What’s up? We wondered. It’s supposed to have a special kind of algae that makes the water pink. Is it the time of day? Will it be … More Lac Rose Senegal
How often do you get a chance to go inside a working lighthouse? They’re usually “Restricted Areas”, too noisy with all the machinery or the interesting parts are sealed and automated. But not “Le Phare des Mamelles” (the lighthouse of breasts) in Dakar, Senegal. How can one resist such a name? Right?The best part was … More Lighthouse of Breasts
Fadiothe (pronounced Fadiot) Island is made entirely of shells! People collect clams, eat the meaty part, throw the shells on the ground. Over thousands of years, an island of shells formed and rose out of the water. The ground is made of shells, houses are built with shells, people still collect, eat and create with … More Fadiouth: the Shell Island
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After a grueling “set plus” ride, we arrived tired, sweaty and hungry at Mbacke Kadior. An Eco community in the Senegalese desert. Lucky for us, they were about to eat lunch and invited us to join. Many trays of “Thiaboudienne” kept appearing, placed on the mats and people gathered around in circles around the trays. … More Worship through Service
Young boys wearing torn dirty clothes carrying tin cans, plastic containers or cups asking for money. A common scene at every corner in Senegalese towns. As soon as they see a foreigner, they hound like scavengers on a carcass. I learnt to say “etcho” (go away) which seemed to work most of the time. It … More Spiritual Opportunism
If there’s anything people in Senegal are passionate about, it’s football (aka soccer). Any empty space doubles up as a football field; a beach, an empty lot, a non busy street, a yard, a driveway…etc. It doesn’t even have to be flat or big. Boys of all ages gather around and play. Some in flip … More Senegal Football (Soccer)
Vastness all around! Silence, you hear the blood flow in your ears. Spaciousness beyond reach. Stillness. No electricity. No phone reception. No running water. Clean fresh air. It’s very harsh yet welcoming. You disappear like a spec of dust. Horizons ever expanding. A serene calmness engulfs me as I stare at the vast open desert, … More Camping in the Sinai
Up the zig zag trail, through the forest, gaining elevation one step at a time. It was a beautiful sunny day and the trees provided the perfect protection and scenery. After about 1 hour, I was up at the big “Brasov” sign that towers over the city announcing to the universe the name of this … More Friend in Brașov
What do 2 Rainbow Gathering hippies do when their vehicle gets stuck? It’s 2 pm near Varna, Bulgaria. We’re happily driving this converted bus into the woods, looking for a place to camp. I’m in the back getting tossed around by every bump in the unpaved roads (what seatbelts? That’s for sissies). A narrow uphill … More 2 Hippies go Camping…
I have a feeling Bulgaria exists to mess with the Western mind and remind us not to take anything for granted because everything is arbitrary anyways. The Cyrillic alphabet was invented in Bulgaria, just to mess with us. They use the same letters, but pronounce them differently:H <- this is n. В <- this is … More Bulgaria
The first couple of days were very difficult: I didn’t know anyone, had no idea how things worked, or didn’t, had to fight my city-girl instincts every step of the way. But I hiked up the Bulgarian mountains for more than an hour with all my luggage to get there. I wasn’t going to give … More My first Rainbow Gathering!
What if we welcome all parts of our humanity without fear, shame or guilt? What if we allowed space for everyone to be seen and heard? Can we make decisions based on love and abundance? Is a New Culture of cooperation and inclusion possible? These are inquiries that 120 of us dove into for 10 … More A Different Culture!
California! I remember why you are my home of choice. A big piece of my heart will always be in you. Places change, faces change, minds change, I change too. But you’re still the one that shaped who I am today. You witnessed my most profound growths, joys, tears, pains and laughter. I owe it … More You can check out anytime you like…
Tears. Lots of tears. Overwhelming sadness, emptiness and despair. I lost my sense of purpose and humor. What used to make me happy ceased to do so. I felt confused and didn’t know how to kick this dark night of the soul. Existential angst came on unexpectedly and for no apparent reason. I am living … More Dark Night of the Soul!
“If I had 10 coconut palms I wouldn’t need anything else”, said my Filipino friend. “I could eat, drink, build a house, dress myself, make utensils, instruments and tools. All from the coconut palms!” I could totally see his point of view. Bedouins in the Sahara desert relate the same way to date palms. Coconuts … More One person’s trash…
“What would you like to tell your parents?” When I got this question in “Big Talk Game”*, my Mom came to mind. She was a woman of few words. As her daughter, the few words I got were motherly in nature; checking on my wellbeing, giving advice, family news, health tips (she was a medical … More A Different kind of History
This is messy and long because I’m emotional about the subject. I can totally feel both sides. However, this is my truth which I had been holding back for fear of upsetting many loved ones. “Pardon my dust!”Cats! Leave them alone! They’re not your toys, babies, ornaments or responsibility. If you love them, treat them … More Cats: Let the Meow Roar!
We started climbing at 1 am. I was wearing 2 layers of socks and closed shoes, yet my feet were cold. I labored with every step but the thought of stopping was scary because of the cold. No moon night. The sky was shimmering with stars but I had to look at the ground to … More Mount Sinai
We took a taxi, boat, another taxi to get there. It took us 2 hours (5 hours if you walk). There were a few Bedouin camps, some kite surfers and the beautiful light blue, clear water of the Blue Lagoon (North Eastern Red Sea). As soon as we sat down on the carpets by the … More Cat Wisdom
Etosha National Park in Namibia is huge and sparsely populated. Most of the big animals we saw were far away. We would get excited upon seeing a silhouette of a giraffe or an elephant from a distance. I had a bad headache that day and I really wanted to close my eyes but I didn’t … More Leopard Encounter…
“WHAT! Don’t do it! You’ll get attacked by hippos and crocodiles. Whoever offered you this trip is desperate for money. They’ll sell you anything. It’s not safe”. People started recounting dangerous encounters with wildlife (one was very recent) and the conversation deteriorated fast into fear mongering. They were obviously scared and I could feel the … More Dodging Hippos
In 40°C (104°F), we walked, took a collective taxi (a sardine can of people), another taxi to finally arrive 3 hours later at Sichilonge; a small Zambian village of 110 people near Victoria Falls. No electricity. No tap water. No (gasp) internet and no paved roads. Wait, it gets more interesting: want to pee? Go … More Village Life
Mosi-oa-tunya! (The smoke that thunders). Sacred waters where the gods live. For countless generations, the Tonga people who lived on the Zambezi river, worshipped and prayed to Nyami Nyami, the mighty God of the river. He protected them and gave them sustenance in difficult times. The river was sacred, the falls were sacred and there … More The Smoke that Thunders
“Watch out for the elephants” she yelled from her car as she slowed down and passed me. It was dark and I was walking home to my lodge in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Up until then, I was worried about getting mugged (after my bad experience in South Africa). But now, elephants entered the picture! Instead … More Mighty Mind-Falls!
How do you travel in a place where your phone doesn’t work, your ATM card doesn’t work, they use 3 different currencies and exchange rates change daily? With a lot of help from friends!When I landed in Zimbabwe, Zim for short, I had no idea about the economic sanctions, their financial meltdown or any of … More In the absence of money…
We all learnt about it in geography class. It fascinated me for some reason. I would see, in my mind’s eye, ships sailing around it, feeling triumphant and hopeful about the rest of their trip. When I finally made it to South Africa, I had to go see the Cape of Good Hope. I wanted … More Deadly Spices!
Even the taxi driver warned me against doing it alone. “Why is it dangerous?” I asked. “You might slip and fall”, he said. “Is there a chance of robbery?”, I asked. “Very unlikely. But you should go with someone. They can take pictures of you”.I checked in with myself and I really wanted to do … More A Table like no Other!
I didn’t expect to stay that long, but South Africa sucked me into its charm and intensity. It’s a fascinating country with probably the most diverse pool of human genes. People from all over the world came here, willingly and unwillingly, interbred, often through rape, and found a way to make this part of the … More South Africa