The adventures of cyberangel

There are no ordinary moments as Dan Millman says. That about sums up my life. Everyone who meets me says I should write a book, so this is the first step to try and capture some of what has happened so far.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Asian Diaries Chapter Eight

Hi Folks, well my trip is coming to a close soon, so thought I would share my last thoughts on Bali. I found a very cheap room when I came back to Ubud, only $1.50 a day. Of course nothing is ever that cheap for a reason! I live in a family compound complete with chickens, a 6 foot python ( that eats chickens, how convienient!) , 2 monkeys, 2 cats a dog, and a large pig. The pig lives right behind my room ( which is made of bamboo walls)and snores and farts all night long(lovely). The chickens wake up around 4 in the morning and crow their heads off, actually they pretty much crow all night too. The racket here is deafening. Lizards , called Geckos, make a noise that sounds like they are winding themselves up, then let loose about 4 really loud sounds that sound just like their name GECK-O, that wakes up the cicadas(large cricket -like insects) that make a din of noise, that combined with chickens crowing, dogs barking, the pig snoring, well you get the idea, doesn't make for restfull sleep.
Shortly after I got here, the Balinese celabrated Nepie, which is their New Years. The Day before, in the morning , they had a large ceremony where priests prayed, people sang, they played the gamalan ( a gong orchestra), and they sacrificed a pig, a cow ,some ducks and chickens. One lady had an elaborate display on a plate that she carried on her head, consisting entirly of animal guts and entrails cut into exqisate designs , most charming. That night there was a large parade through town, where they had built 2 story tall monsters that they carried on large bamboo platforms. At each cross roads they spun the monsters around so as to confuse them and then did a dance with them at the main corner of town. This is done so as to draw the bad energy away from the town and to cleanse the inner and outer cosmos. After the parade the monsters are burnt or left to rot in the elements. The next day is a day of silence. No one is allowed out , the Balinese are supposed to fast and meditate. They can't turn on any lights, or light any fires. I spent the day with a friend at her hotel as she had a pool , so we just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.
I met a nice Balinese man shortly after that and have been hanging out with him ever since. He has taken me to all sorts of places off the beaten track, which has been great.I have been to some traditional Balinese villages and got to meet a medicine man at one of them. I had burnt my leg on the motorcycle muffler the day before and he put some oil on it and it healed perfectly in 3 days. I don't think I will even have a scar! I went to my friends village in North Bali for 5 days and stayed in his familys compound( along with his grandparents, parents, 3 brothers, 2 aunts, 3 uncles and multiple nieces and nephews, and cousins. It was very interesting to see a whole family living together like that. On the 16th of April, his village had a large festival for the 1st full moon after Nepie. I got to participate, which was very cool. The 1st day the whole village dressed up in Sarongs and we all walked about 4 km to the ocean in a big parade with all their gods carried on platforms, and gamelon bands playing. I was the only white person in a group of about 8 thousand Balinese and all dressed up like a Hindu to boot, so needless to say I got a lot of looks and a ton of people wanted to say Hi and ask where I come from.His village is off the tourist track so I guess I was the entertainment for the day. At the beach the Gods were all blessed and many offerings and prayers were made to them. Everybody hung around for several hours eating and gambling and just milling about in general, then we all paraded back to town. The next night we went to the main temple in town to pray. I have to say this is a very wet religion, only in a hot country could they do this. First at the temple gate, you are splashed liberally over the head with Holy water.Once inside, we sat on the ground with thousands of other people. We lit incence in front of us, and listened to the priests say their bit, then we prayed 3 times with a different flower each time which you then tuck behind your ear. After that the priests come around and splash more water on your head, then pour water 3 times into your hand which you drink and then another handful which you splash over your head. I was soaked by the end of it all! It was amazing to be able to participate , this is such a beautiful religion.Afterwards we went to the beach and looked at the full moon and just enjoyed the scenery in general. I would love to build a house in his village (it's called Singarja). It is very friendly, no tourists, nobody tried to sell me a sarong the whole time I was there! The ocean is nice and calm there and I went swimming every day which was nice.
Tommorrow we are going to Kuta for the day. I would like to go pay my repects for the bombing that took place there last October. It has been a real shame how much that affected the economy here. This country is practically bancrupt now, between that, the war in Iraq and now the SARS scare, tourism is almost non-existant here now. I feel so sorry for these people. All I can say is I feel totally safe here, the people are beautiful and friendly, the climate is sweet and the prices are very cheap. If you are looking for a holiday I would urge you to come here. Well, Thats all I can think of to say now. I hope you have enjoyed my diarys as much as I have enjoyed writing them. I will be home in Canada on the 28th of April and look forward to seeing you all again. Peace and Love

Asian Diaries Chapter Seven

Hello again, boy, having access to a computer is such a treat!I have just spent the last few hours being thourghly entertained by ants. The ants here are the smallest i have ever seen. They are about the size of grains of pepper with legs. I accidentally dropped a french fry on the floor and within seconds it was surrounded by a sea of tiny ants. A stream of them came pouring across the floor stopping briefly to touch noses with ants coming to tell the others about their great windfall . Suddenly the french fry was lifted into the air and with suprising speed carried off. I almost died laughing at the sight of the fry seeming marching off on its own. Who needs a broom when the insects will take care of the garbage for you?
They have moths here the size of small birds and (no word of a lie) spiders that trap small birds in their webs and eat them. The cockroaches here are the biggest I have seen yet, they make my skin crawl, yuch! The neatest thing I have seen is a 3 dimensional 5 star spider web. It was massive, each point of the star was hollow inside and perfectly connected to the other points in an enginerring marvel.
The mosquitos are miniscule and silent, which is nice but makes them harder to combat, although to be honest, I haven't really found them to be a problem. This country is full of geckos(tiny lizards) that are on every ceiling and wall of every building and do a good job of keeping the insects down to a dull roar. I quite like them except when I see them run out of the corner of my eye and think that they are cockroaches.
I have just come back from central Java, where I spent a few days in Yoga(pronounced Jogja). We went there in a small bus that carries 8 passengers max. They pick you up at your door and drop you off at your destination. The seats fully recline and the buses are aircontioned which is nice. We left at 9 pm and arrived at 4 am. Checked in to our hotel and slept for a few hours and left at 10 am to visit some temples. We wanted to get this trip out of the way before the war started as we wern't sure what the backlash would be here esp. for me. This country is basically all Muslim and there have been quite a few demonstrations here lately. Their President was on TV yesterday denouncing the attack on Iraq. I haven't felt threatned here but I get stared at alot and quite a few people yell out "BULLAH"(westerner/foreigner) as I go by. I have seen almost no other white people here since I arrived so I stick out like a sore thumb.
IN Yoga we went to visit two amazing temples. One called Borobudur is the largest Buddest temple in the world. It was built between 750 and 850 AD. It was abandoned soon after completion and for centuries it lay forgotten , buried under layers of volcanic ash.It was only in 1815 that it was rediscouvered and the site cleared away. A massive project was undertaken between 1973 and 1983 to restore the temple. The temple seen from an airiel viewpoint resembles a giant mandala. The entire monument was concieved as a Buddest vision of the cosmos in stone, starting in the everyday world of passion and desire , where good spirits are reincarnated up the levels to Nirvana. It is about 5 km to walk up the spiraling monument to the top. All along the way there are carvings and budda statues lining the way (432 open buddas and another 72 which are in round latticed work stone beehive-looking things called stupas) It is considered to be good luck if you can reach inside one of these stupas and touch the Buddas foot. Of course you need the arms of an ape to accomplish this!
Next we were off to another temple called Prambanan. This is the largest Hindu temple complex on Java and the wealth of scuptural detail makes it the most outstanding example of Hindu art. All the temples in the complex were built between the 8th and 10th centuries. These temples too were abandoned shortly after being built and in the 16th century were toppled by a huge earthquake. All that was left was acres of stone littering the countryside. In the last century they have rebuilt a large potion of the temples but you can still see massive amounts of stone all around the complex. Putting it all back together must of been like making the worlds largest( and heaviest) jigsaw puzzle as every stone has carving on it. They depict the Raymayana story of how Lord Ramas wife Sita was abucted and how Hanuman the monkey god eventually found and rescued her. Inside the central largest temple in each of the four directions are large statues of Shiva the destroyer, Agastya, (an incarnation of Shiva as the divine teacher) , Ganesha(shivas son) and Durga , Shivas consort killing the demon buffalo. It is said that if a woman touches the statue of Durga she will become irristably beautiful, so of course I had to give it a try.
That evening we went to Visit Yuli's Mother and various other relatives. They made a huge feast in my honour and fussed over me like I was the queen or something. I think her brother took a shining to me(maybe there is something to that statue after all?) Finally got back to the hotel around 10 pm and fell into bed exhausted.
The next day we went to visit the Sultan of Yogakartas palace. It is a city within a city surrounded by a wall. Lots of huge open pavilions for entertaining and a museum . The Sultan had 30 odd wives and 60 odd kids and there was one room dedicated just to show his family trees! later we went shopping around the old markets of Yoga. We travelled in all sorts of ways. First we took a Becak( kind of a rickshaw looking thing with a guy peddling a bike in back to push it), but I felt guilty having this scrawny looking guy peddling our fat asses around so we took a little horse drawn buggy for awhile. That was a nice way to see the town but I started to feel sorry for the horse so we eventually took a taxi(air-conditioned and we didn't have to breathe the pollution)
They have not heard of pollution control here and most vehicles belch out huge clouds of black oily smoke that is obscene to say the least. I came home with a cold and am praying it is not that deadly pneumonia that has been going around.
Life in Malang is interesting. Their are Mosques every where and the Muslims pray 5 times a day !They erect large towers with loudspeakers on them and blare their religeous musak at earspitting levels. The first set of prayers is at 4 in the morning (oh joy!!) They have many food vendors here with little tiny carts and they come around the neighborhood at about the rate of one every 5 minutes. Each one makes a different noise to let you know they are coming. Some beep horns, others bang on metal pots, while others bang on bamboo sticks, ect. ect. Of course this all starts about 5:30, 6;00 in the morning, so whoe to you if you are not a morning person. For someone supposed to be on a holiday, I haven't slept-in in Months.
Considering Java is only separated from Bali by 2 km of ocean I can't believe how different it is here. While Bali is full of cute thatched roof cottages and carved temples, Java , by comparison , is very modern. The houses are all locked compounds with barbed wire and high fences surrounding them which is such a change from the open lifestyle of the Balinese. I have enjoyed visiting with my Father but am looking forward to going back to Bali next week.
Well this is turning into a book so I will say goodbye for now. We are praying for peace here as i am sure you are. Take good care
PS just watching the news here and the protests are getting much larger. They are protesting in front of anything remotely American and one of the biggest demonstations is being held in front of Mcdonald's restaurant. Some of the extemists Muslims in Indonesia now want to go to Iraq for Jihad (holy war against the infidels)SCARY!!

Asian Diaries Chapter Six

Hello once again. Sorry it has been so long since I have written but internet is either very expensive or mind numbingly slow or just not available over here. I am now at my Dads so am taking this opportunity to compose a proper letter. Last time I wrote I was still in new Zealand. I tried to get my plane ticket extended so I could apply for a longer visa but the airline was most uncooperative and wanted to charge me $1500.00 dollars for doing that. That was the original price of my return fare ticket. A one way ticket is only $1200.00? Go figure eh! Either way , I couldn't afford it so spent 2 more weeks studying bone carving and working the markets on the south island and then caught the bus back to Hamilton. I spent the last week with Felix who took me on a whirlwind tour of the north island. We went back to Rotarua and soaked in the hot springs, visited some other geo-thermal sites and then headed up to the coast. We went to Tarunga and then to Mount Manganui where they have public swimming pools that are all varying degrees of hot water. We continued up the coast to Whangamata where he worked this summer and had a nice walk on the beach there. The beaches in New Zealand are all so spectacular. Miles and miles of spotless white sand beaches with hardly any people in sight. Lots of places to surf and wonderful beachcombing. I have never seen so many different seashells in my life. We just don't get this kind of variety in Canada. I wanted to collect them all, but didn't want a suitcase full of stinky shells so left them all behind for others to enjoy.
With tears in my eyes , I headed off to the airport. My Father has graciously lent me some more money so I could come to Bali. I spent a few days in Hong Kong waiting to book my ticket and by total fluke ran into my friend Jenifer at the Hostel . She had a friend with her who has a Chinese medicine and massage clinic in Victoria. She has offered me a position there when I come home if her business picks up enough. A glimmer of hope for me to work when I get home, Thank the Gods.
So I finally got my flight to Indonesia on the 5th of March. I had to land in Singapore for one hour , then fly on to Jacarta where I had a 10 hour lay-over. That leg of the flight was quite rough , lots of tubulance and sudden drops ect. Scared me all over again, I was very happy to land and a little leary to get on the next flight but wasn't about to live in Jacarta for the rest of my life so the show must go on. I arrived in Jacarta around 11 pm and was accosted by many men offering me rides into town. I was terrfied as I didn't have a clue where to go or who to trust, so ended up making a bed on a bench in the airport and tried to sleep huddled around my luggage. It was one of the longest nights of my life. One guy made himself at home on my bench and tried to convince me he loved me. He tried everything to get me to go with him, offered me an open tea which I refused , kept trying to kiss me and hold my hand. I finally had to get quite rude with him and told him to piss off and leave me alone. He finally left, but every time I heard footsteps, I thought it was him coming back, so slept with one eye open.
Finally got my flight to Bali the next morning and arrived in Denpasar. My Dad and his wife picked me up and we drove to a town called Candidasa. Wow!! This country is soooo beautiful.!! I always wanted to be Robinson Carusoe when I was a kid and this is the kind of place I always imagined. Endless seas of coconut trees, banana trees, fruit of all kinds, gorgeous flowers(especially the Frangipani which is every where and smells heavenly!), seafood of all kinds in a warm ocean, and whole mountainsides of terraced rice fields. This truly is paradise. The people of Bali are predomintly Hindu and as such have ornate temples about every three feet. They make exquisite offerings of fancy folded leaves filled with flowers and rice and put them every where, three times a day. The smell of insence and flowers is every where here. Every buiding here, no matter how simple , is architetualy a feast for the eyes. Lots of thatched roofs, carvings, and beautiful details. I want to live in them all. Because it is so warm here, much of the living space is outdoors with a roof to protect them from the sun and rain. Most of the indoor space is for sleeping and cooking only. Everyone has chickens and pigs living with them . The chickens pretty much run free as do the dogs and cats. All the dogs look exactly the same as if there is only one breed here. The dogs are quite docile and rarely ever bark and pay no mind to us as we walk by. As all the restuarants are open walled with no doors the animals come and go as they please. Such a change from Canada with all it's health regulations.
We stayed in Candidasa for almost a week . Spent one day snorkling. The fish are not as plentiful as in Hawaii and the coral is not as interesting as there is no sea anenomies ect. but it was still lots of fun.
Another day we went to a village that is set up in the old style of how they used to live. Everyone who lives in that village must marrying within the village or they are kicked out. The day we went there, they where preparing for a wedding, so everyone one was outside preparing food. They would put freshly slaughtered pork into a large stone bowl, then the men took turns pounding it with large poles.The dogs hovered around snatching at morsels as they went flying. Cows and chickens had the run of the place. There was a line of men about a block and a half long cooking satay(meat on bamboo skewers) over a line of coals made by burning cocunut husks. They fanned they coals with large banana leaves. Large pots of food bubbled over open fires every where. It was quite a sight to see.
We left candidasa and went to a town called Sanur. My Dad had to leave the next morning to go back to work in Malang but his wife Yuli stayed with me to show me around Bali for another week. The next day we went to Lovina at the top of the Island. On the way we stopped by the side of the road to feed peanuts to the monkeys that run wild in the forest. It was so amazing to have a monkey come up and grip your finger as it took peanuts from your hand. They are so amazingly human like!. It is so sad that there are no tourists here. Eveyone is so dependant on the tourist trade for a living that they are quite desparate now.They beg and plead with you to buy something and it breaks your heart. Unfortunatly you can only buy so many sarongs and wood carvings. You have to bargain for everything and it gets quite tiring after a while. Some days i didn't want to leave the hotel because there was an army of vendors waiting for you outside the gate waiting to pounce on you. I don't want to be rude to them but you can only say "no thanks" so many millions of times before you get cranky. I just wanted to go for a walk or rest on the beach or window shop but every single person wanted you to buy something or take you somewhere and that takes some of the enjoyment out of it
In Lovina we went out on a small catamaran type boat to watch the dolphins early in the morning. They played this infuriating game of tag with us, where we would spot them off in the distance, race over to where they were only to spot them way behind us. Back we would go only to find them way in front of us. Never saw more than a few fins breaking the surface but it was fun anyway. Went back for breakfast then went back out on the same boat to go snorkling. Saw a large variety of fish, some huge ones. Got bit a lot by sea lice which is quite uncomfortable at the time but luckily the pain goes away once you are out of the water.
Later that day we went to some sacred hot springs up in the mountains, water pouring through fountains shaped like lions faces.
Another day we went to a temple on a lake. They had some exotic animals you could have your picture taken with, so I was photographed with lemures on me and a 12 foot, 100 pound python on my neck. My back was sore for two days after! We also went to see a large volcano that had erupted about 5 years ago and the largest temple in Bali.
Next we were off to a town called Ubud. It is the most modern town I have seen here with lots of wonderful art everywhere. We went to a Dance called the Cecak dance where 100 men sing to accompany dancers telling a story. Very beautiful. We spent another day on a motorcycle going to various villages that specialized in bone carving, wood carving and silver smithing. It seems like everyone here is an artist. You can get a headache trying to look at everything, there is just too much to see.
Yesterday we went back to Denpasar to catch a flight to Surabaya on Java. I will be spending some time here with my Dad and then Yuli is taking me to Yogakarta to see some of the sights and shopping in Java and also to meet some of her family. I will be in Java for about 2 weeks , then going back to Bali for 3 more weeks for some R and R before flying back to Canada on April 28th.
I am looking forward to seeing all my friends again. You have been in my mind alot lately and I miss you all so much. Hope all is well with you .

Asian Diaries Chapter Five

Hi all, hows thing in your world these days? Well lots has happened since I wrote to you last and internet costs a fortune over here so this may be brief, but in a nutshell......
My friend Yuyai finally bought a van and after fixing it up and stocking it we hit the road. His brother Shyri, and a Japanese girl named Chikako, joined us....we are the 4 musketeroosz.The first day we went to a town called Raglan and and played in the surf all day. Lovely. That night we were invited to a sweatlodge being held by a Canadian Chief( Chief White Cloud ) from Chilliwack BC..Small world eh? It was lovely, had a wonderful feast after and played music around the fire after. The next morning I traded a beautiful medicine bag I had made for a traditional drum and my friend gifted me with an amazing piece of jade (called greenstone or ponomou over here) It was a special healing stone prayed over by other healers and shaped to grind herbs. I was touched beyond belief, what a special gift!
We meandered our way down the North Island, stopping in towns and selling in the town commons or in markets as we went along. We eventually made it to the South Island. Picked up another guy on the ferry over who travelled with us for a few days.
One night as we were driving down the road, the whole trailer hitch broke and the trailer fell off. We did'nt know until we stopped that it was missing.Went back to look for it and found it laying on it's side in the middle of the road. After much hassle we got it upright, and limped it to the riverside where we were camping for the night. The next morning we got it to town and our new friend welded it all back together again. The place we were camping at was absolutly magical. The water came from a cave , fell into the Crystal pool(as lovely as it sounds), and turns into a sweet river flowing through meadows and forest. I could have stayed there for weeks contemplating my navel.
We have been spending the last few weeks in the North part of the South Island. There is a Rainbow Gathering going on here for a month and the boys have been going there on our days off. I have been staying in town, with a guy I met at one of the markets and studying bone carving . I have wanted to do this for a long time, have a big bag of bones I have been collecting waiting for me at home. I have learned how to inlay abalone (called Paua shell here) and metel bits to create all kinds of designs, much fun. I met a man today that I saw in concert last week. He plays an incredible digeredoo and is willing to teach me. I was healed of my back pain by having someone play this over me years ago and have always wanted to learn to do it for others. Unfortunatly, of all my many talents, playing wind instuments is not one of them, so this may be a challenge.
When I was working in the market yesterday, a lady came up to me and said she was clairvoyent and her guides had sent her over to talk to me. She said there was going to be a major world disaster and only a few countrys would be left, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and I think Scotland.She said I would be staying here until it was over and then returning to Canada to counsel people who didn't understand what happened and wern't spiritually awake enough to know how to reconnect with Mother Earth and heal.Geez, talk about pressure!!
I have spent a small fortune and ordered supplies to do airbrush tattoos over here in the markets. Just waiting for the stuff to clear customs now.Shyri and Chikako left us a few days ago so it is just me and Yuyai now. He has land in Ecqudor and wants to start a healing, spiritual center there. He is talking to the Rainbow people about having a gathering there. He and his brother participated in a Sundance held here by the same Chief who did the Sweatlodge. Unfortunatly, I could not participate, so ended up going to town for bone carving lessons. My visa runs out here in 3 weeks and I would like to stay longer so have to get my "poop in a group" and see what I can do.
Well I should sign off now, got tons more to tell you but this is costing a fortune, so until next time,
Adios Amigos

Asian Diaries Chapter Four

Well Hello again. Boy, lots has happened in the last 2 weeks. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and Santa was real good to you.
I came to Auckland on Christmas Eve with some friends from Ecquador who live here. My girlfriends Mother came for 3 days and cooked non-stop for us. She is originally from South Africa, an Afrikanneers, and she cooked us some of their traditional food. Lots of lamb dishes and other tasty delights. We had a barbeque party on Christmas day. Is was a total international affair. We had people here from Ecquador, Bolivia, Peru, France, Holland, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand and of course me from Canada.Very interesting mix of people. We played South American music and danced the Salsa ect in the back yard. Lots of fun..
My friends brother wants me to go travelling with him around North and South Island in New Zealand for the next 2 months working in the markets and craft fairs, so he is trying to get his old van repaired so we can travel together. We are in Auckland at the moment, and as soon as we get organized we will hit the road.
The day after boxing day we went North of Auckland to visit an eco-farm. We spent the day with a lovely man who teaches permaculture. He has planted tons of flowers and trees on his property, dug out a lake with an island in the middle and a standing stone in the middle(ala stonehenge). He has a sacred grove for doing ceremonies and the funkyist house I have seen in a long time. He has sculptures and art work scattered all over the property, so lots to look at.We went to this amazing cafe in town that is hard to describe. It was made with chicken wire and cement which allowed them to build in any direction. It is like a castle, with round buildings, a wall surrounding the whole thing, a fountain in the courtyard, A space for a labrinth, an outdoor party area and much more. You would have to see it to believe it, but it really got my creative juices going as the possibilities were endless. Oh yeah, the food was amazing too!!
Dec. 31st the whole lot of us went up to the Coramandel Penisula and worked at a 24 hour rave party. It was held on a beautiful farm , surrounded by mountains with a river going all around the property. There were about 3000 people there, 3 separate stages, one of them in a big circus tent. One stage had live music, the other two were deejays with techno rave music. The party started at noon on the 31st and went to noon the next day. I danced for hours and watched the sun come up at 6 in the morning over the moutains. It was so beautiful, everyone cheered and clapped when it finally rose over the mountain peak.
The next day we went and worked at a huge craft fair in the town of Coramandel. It was very successful and lots of fun.I met up with a girl that I had met in Rotarua a few weeks back and hooked up with her for the rest of the week. She has a full size bus all decked out as a motorhome, toilet, shower, microwave, tv, the whole works. She had an extra bed so let me travel and stay with her. We went to Paunui, Whitiaga, and Tairua, doing a different market every day. It was exhausting!! You have to get up at 5:30 in the morning, set up your stall, work the market all day , usually 8-4 or 5 then tear down the stall, pack up, drive to the next town, a few hours sleep and then get up and do it all again. Felix met up with me in Whitiaga and gave me a massage table and some boards to display my jewlerry on.We went to a place called Hot Beach for a few hours. When the tide is low, you can dig a hole in the sand and it fills up with hot water from underground thermal springs. Lovely after all that hard work!!
The next day after the market, a bunch of vendors went to the pub next to the market and we celebrated my birthday. The bar had a huge backyard that people could hang out in , so it was like being in someones house. They had a great band playing and we danced until 2 in the morning. Unfortunatly we had to get up and work again the next day which hurt, but we survived.
My friend with the bus is a Maouri woman and she taught me how to weave with flax which grows by the roadside. I need a lot of practise, but it was very cool, I made a purse and a flower. I have bought my own gazebo and a whack of supplies and now have my own market setup. I am doing massage and selling jewlerry. I went to a Mauri bone carving wholesaler yesterday and bought a load of stock to sell. Every day I buy something else and pretty soon will need my own van to get around. If this works out , I will try to do the same thing in Canada and come back here next winter and work here again. My friend has a van I can buy off of her next year if I want, so I will leave my supplies here and just have two set-ups, one here and one in Canada, with some buying trips to Bali, China ect. in between to restock. Finally, my dream of being a gypsy looks like it's finally coming true!!
Well, time to go . I look forward to hearing from you. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

Asian Diaries Chapter Three

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
I just spent last weekend in Roturua working at a market there. It was lots of fun. I meet tons of cool people who work the markets and saw lots of nice arts and crafts. The night of winter soltice( summer solstice over here) an eclectic group consisting of Peruvians, Ecadorians, Japanese, Canadian, and Mauri went down to the lake front and seranaded the full moon with Guitars, violin, drums and flutes. It was so beautiful.... we had a flock of black swans come and swim right in front of us the whole time we were playing. One of those magic moments in life you couldn't plan if you tried. The next day when the market was finished , Felix took me to a Mauri village with Geysers and mudpools. It was very beautiful, the whole area has thermal action all through and around town. Tonight, I am going to Auckland with the same musicians for a Christmas party/barbeque/jam kind of thing and then the next day we are off to the Coromandal Penisula for 3 weeks. We will be selling jewlerry ect. on the beaches up there and enjoying summer which has finally come at last. On the 15th , Felix is dropping me off at a town where some people I met at the market live. The have an organic farm and I can stay there for free, if I work on the farm or give them massages. The wife does Encaustic wax paintings, an art form I have been working with. She knows a lot more than me, so I am looking forward to learning from her. The next week after that , Felix is going to take me futher south on the North Island to explore some more of the countryside. I don't know how much email access I will have for the next few weeks, so if I don't respond to something You have sent, I will get back to you when I can. Hope all is well with you and wishing you all the best in the New Year.

Asian Diaries Chapter two

Howdy folks, well Christmas is only 15 more days away, but it doesn't feel remotely like it over here. I have just spent the last month in Guanzhou, China. Thought I would share with you some immpressions of the place. Going across the border at night on the bus, it seemed like we were travelling through one ginormous low rent ghetto. Endless miles of grotty grey low rises, every window with laundry hanging in it. Reminded me of a military base gone bad. I found it quite depressing as the sameness of it all left no room for imagination. You could feel the oppression there sucking the life out of everything. Thankfully the city of Guangzhou was a bit better. It is a mix of old world and new world side by side. We were staying in a very new , modern high rise, which was located right beside one of the oldest sections of town. Little cobblestone alleys, filled with the mysteries ( and smells) of the orient, wound their way through markets selling every concivable thing. We saw tiger paws, rinocerous horns, miles of jade, little old ladies with baskets of fruit, baked yams, roasted chesnuts, and endless curios of an oriental nature.

The Chinese have some different ways of life that I found hard to get used to. They don't have trash pickup like we are used to , so people just huck everything and anything out the door onto the sidewaks and people come along every half hour or so and sweep it up. It can be quite dangerous if you are gawking around and step on something slippery, you could go flying. They also like to spit...... ALOT!!!
At first I thought it was a social comment directed at me as they seemed to wait until I was walking by then would hork up a big loogie right at my feet. Eventually, I realized thats just what they do, all of them, all the time, everywhere and anywhere. They also like to clean their nose "Farmer John" style, one finger against one nostril, blow hard through the other. Walking through the bead mall was an accident waiting to happen, as it was all tile floors covered in spit and boogers, very slippery.

Another thing that was interesting was the traffic. They have traffic lights but apparently nobody ever told them what they are used for. People ride their bikes on both sides of the road , going in both directions on each side. Pedestrians NEVER, EVER, have the right of way. When the pedrestrian light says to walk, left hand turn traffic also has the right of way and will run you over, if you are in their way. The pedristrian light can be red but if there is a hesitation in the traffic people start pouring across the road and will stop trffic in its tracks even though the cars have the green light. I have seen little old ladies stranded in the middle of 6 lanes of traffic with cars and bikes whizzing all around them and wondered how they ever got to live so long! Took a couple of taxi rides through town and lived to tell about it. Those people are insane. They drive all over the road without signalling, or even staying in the lanes. Every two or three seconds we came within millimeters of hitting someone, I went for 15 mins. without breathing, holding my breath in fear. Even walking on the sidewalk is no guarantee of safety as lots of people ride their motorcycles there and roar up behind you, expecting you to jump out of their way. I now completly understand the "Bad Chinese Driver Syndrome" in Vancouver, Believe me , they are doing good there compared to where they come from!!

You have never really seen smog, until you come here. In one month we only saw blue sky once. Some days ,it was so bad we couldn't see the end of the block. So much for quitting smoking...I think my lungs aged about 20 years.. I even have a smokers cough now. I can't believe people live like that. It was very humid there, and there doesn't seem to be one dryer in the whole country. People just hang there washing right out in the street to dry, but it doesn't. Everything I owned was permantly damp and reeked of mold and mildew, not very attractive.

So you ask, all this whining, whats the good stuff? Well,the best part was how cheap every thing is. You could get an excellent meal(don't ask what the meat is , you don't want to know) for one dollar. You feel like a movie star, because everyone wants to say Hi to you, and every one stares. I wore my shorts alot because I found it quite warm.They consider this winter now and all stopped to stare at my legs as I went by until I got so self-concious, I went out and bought some pants.

Using the computer over there is quite a challenge. They read all your email and censor it even to the point where you get one with just the subject and absolutly no text . They also censor many sites on the internet and there was so much I couldn't do. Examples were, trying to book a flight through a travel agency in Hong Kong, trying to look up a phone number in the white pages for New Zealand, anything with the word Tibet in it. Very frustrating. They also censor the news quite heavily. You'll be watching a newscast and right in the middle of a story they will suddenly switch to a commercial. I am SO GLAD I am a Canadian, I will never take my freedom and rights for granted again( or my fresh air)

My friend Felix , who lives in New Zealand kindly paid my fare over to visit with him. I arrived yesterday, and must say it is a relief to have clean air, courtious drivers and people who speak English( and shower stalls)This place looks like a cross between Vancouver Island, the farmland of Ontario and Hawaii all combined. I am looking forward to seeing some of the countryside after the Christmas holidays. I have brought alot of beads with me and am hopeing to make some money while here before going back to Asia.

Wishing everone a safe and Happy Holidays. Love you all. I will write with more impressions of this place once I have been here awhile

Asian Diaries Chapter One

Hello, sorry it has been so long since I have written an update but life
has been quite hectic lately and not having my own computer to work on
really limits me.
Lets see, where did I leave off, I guess I was still in Nimmo Bay, last letter I wrote. I left there at the end of Sept.and returned to Vancouver. I went up to Harrisson Hot Springs for a week to take a course in Shiatzu and then went to Keats Island to continue my shamanic training.
My friend Daryl and I went up to visit our friend Laurie on his farm for
the long weekend after that. That was a real treat. It is so peaceful up there,
a great place to hear yourself think and listen to the trees whisper their
secrets to you. Thank you Laurie for sharing your paradise with us, your
home is a gift for the senses. The last week I spent running around
finishing up last minute travel arrangements. Thanks to all my friends who
held coming- home and going- away parties for me. It was great to see you
all again, I really realize how much you all mean to me after being away.
Friendship is truly the most valuable commodity in the world and thanks to
you , I am wealthy beyond measure.A special thanks to all of you who put me
up while I was in town, I can't tell you how much I appreciated that.
I finally left town on Nov 5th. My flight was supposed to leave at 1 am
but was delayed 2 hours so didn't get off the ground until 3 am...ouch!
Those of you that know me well know that I have a tremendous fear of
flying,so needless to say I was a wreck. I ended up throwing up at the airport and
was scared I wouldn't be able to get on the plane,but figured even if I
threw up the whole way , I wasn't going to let it stop me. Luckily for the
other passengers that didn't happen . I lucked out and got the only English speaking guy on the plane sitting next to me. It turned out that he
was a helicopter engineer for VIH, the same company that worked for us at
Nimmo Bay and he knew some of our pilots so that was cool. He was also a
wealth of knowledge about airplanes and did alot to reassure me so that was
nice. I couldn't have asked for a better flight, easy takeoff, no
turbulance, and smooth landing. We chased the night for 12 hours. The last
hour, the horizon glowed brillent red as if we were the sun, and just
before we landed , all the colours of the chakras were visible in the atmosphere
(red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple) What a thrill to see
the Earths Aura!!
I had a 3 hour layover in Tai Pai and then it was off to Hong Kong. I had
a moment of panic when I saw how big the airport was( there is a train to
take you from one end to the other!!) I had no idea where my friend Jenifer
was going to be waitng for me, but luckily we were able to find each other
without too much trouble. We spent the day looking around Kowloon and got a
room at the Mirador Mansion Garden Hostel . The place was quite a dive, with
cockroaches big enough to walk off with your luggage but the people staying there were very nice. I made some good contacts with people that I can only
describe as professional travellers. I have decided I never want to go
home. If I can find a way to keep travelling indefinately , I will be a happy
camper. I was not too impressed with Kowloon, it stinks to high heaven
there, a mixture of rotten sewers, stinky chinese medicine, and mothballs
gone bad. It is an endless sea of skyscrapers and as noisy as a rock
concert 24 hours a day!
The next day we took a little ferry over to Hong Kong Island. It is alot
nicer over there. We took a funicular train up to the top of the mountain
at dusk and got to see the whole city lit up at night. What an incredible
view!! This place makes Vancouver look like a village. I think the
population here is something like 6.5 million! It looks like the whole
world lives here.
We left the next afternoon for China. Jenifer lives in Guangzhou (Canton)
about 4 hours from Hong Kong by bus. I was pleasantly suprised by her
apartment. She pays about $360.00CDN. a month for a furnished 2 bedroom apt in
a very new building. We are right in the center of the oldest part of town.
The whole city is highrises except for this part which is ancient old homes
with teeny tiny alleyways filled with vendors of all sorts. It is amazing
how these people can turn a space about half the size of a small closet
into a shop of some kind. Most of these little shops are selling antiques and
oddities that you would not find in the typical store. You have to barter
for everything which can be quite fatiguing after a while, but you do get a
sense of satisfaction when you get a good deal so I guess that's a part of
it. I just find it hard to do as it is such a game. You have to express
shock and disgust at the original price then offer them something so low it
offends them. Then you bicker back and forth for a while , then act as if
you are leaving at which point they call you back and accept your final
offer. There is lots of screaming involved and it all seems rather brutal.
You can argue for half an hour for something that ends up costing you three
dollars ...ARGGHH!! Needless to say it takes a long time to do your
shopping here.
I have died and gone to bead heaven!! There is a 5 story building about a
city square block big just down the road from here that is wall to wall
beads. I have spent about $500.00 already, but have about $2000.00 worth in
Canadian prices. I have been busily making up necklaces to sell, so hope to
recover my money and then some.
I love this town except for the pollution. You can only see about 2 or 3
blocks from here on the best of days, which is terrifying to think about.
We are planning a trip to Yangshou soon so we can get out to the countryside
and get some fresh air. We have both come down with colds which is not
surprising. The food is simple but good here. Fresh veggies and a bit of
meat in a hot pot of rice or a soup with noodles. Filling and tasty and
about one dollar a serving. Going to the grocery store is interesting as
they have things like live snakes and squirming grubs for sale and the meat
is out in the open neat little saran wrapped packages here!!
The bathrooms here are odd in the sense that the shower is just coming
right out of the wall and the water just goes all over the floor and has to
be mopped up afterwards. Thankfully we have normal toilets and toilet
paper. I'm not quite ready for the squat hole and wiping my butt with my hands yet
,so thats a relief.
There are not alot of foreignners here so the people that can say hello
in English , will do so as your walking by. It is quite nice to be walking
by and having people yelling Hello to you from all directions. Quite a few
stop and stare even and the little children are absolutly spellbound by the
sight of us.
We have a TV here and get one channel in English. It is only on from about
5pm on , it is off in the daytime as they figure everybody is working so no
point in broadcasting then. As it is only one channel they try to
accommadate everyone, so there is business news, sports, cartoons and a variety of
shows like Law and Order and ER ect. but they are all older shows from previous
seasons. One thing they do have is very good movies which is nice, so we
look forward to those in the late evening.
Well this is turning into a novel , so I will sign off for now.
Take care of yourself, hope to hear back from you. Lots of Love

Nimmo Bay Diaries Chapter Five

Well here I am again, I hope all of you have had an enjoyable summer. Thanks alot to all of you that wrote back. It's so great to hear from you and to get slices of your life. It makes me feel not so far away and I live vicariously through your experiances.
The last break we had was from Aug 6-10 th. I was going to go to Port Mcneill but at the last minute decided that would be a slow death so imposed myself on Coras good graces once again and went back to Qualicum Beach. Had a much quieter visit this time. Rented lots of movies I have been wanting to watch and worked on my homework. I did however manage to get out and spend a $1000.00...........bad, bad girl!! I don't regret the things I bought but really should be saving for my trip. Although as things stand now I have all my bills paid, 1500.00 in US dollars for airfares around Asia and about 3000.00 Canadian to live on. I still have 5-6 weeks left to work and if I am lucky will bank another 3000.00 or so( I hope). That would make for a very comfortable holiday with some cash to satisfy my shopping addiction. My friend Felix has invited me to visit him in New Zealand so depending on the cost of the airfare from Bangkok , I will try to get over there for a short visit.I still can't believe I am doing this, I don't think it will sink in untill I get over there.
We got very lucky here and had an absolutly clear night , the night of the meteor shower a few weeks ago. I grabbed my quilt and layed out on the water trampoline with one of the cats that lives out here and watched the sky untill 3 in the morning. It was pretty spectacular, my own private fireworks show( everyone else went to bed, had the whole sky to myself!)
Twice this month we have had massive amounts of jellyfish come into our bay for a day or two at a time. There are so many , it is wall to wall. I have tried taking pictures of them , but it's hard to photograph clear things in the water.
A few weeks ago, we got a treadmill over here. I have been working out on it and managed to run a total of 23 out of 30 mins the other day. I have never run that much in my whole life!! I was quite proud of myself, my only regret was the massive blisters I got ( couldn't walk for a week) but high on my accomplishment anyway. Now that they have healed it's back to the grindstone. Another record that got broken was that last week the group that came booked every single appointment that I had ,25 massages in 3 and a half days!! I was so happy but sooo sore!! The next group only booked 3 massges so lots of rest time to recuperate. Everyone has gone out for this next break except the boss and his wife and some of their friends. They let me stay here this time so my money is safe. I have allowed myself the luxery of reading fiction again for the first time in 10 years. What a treat to get lost in a good book. I'm back to speed reading again and can read a book a day. I have read over 12 books in the last 3 weeks, some as long as 900 pages, feels like letting the horse out of the barn for a good run.
Well , I guess thats all the news for now, each day flows into the next. I eat 3 meals a day , work out for an hour, read alot and massage people when ever they want it. I should be out of here by mid-Oct. or so. I am looking forward to seeing you all again. I am especially needing to get together and jam , I haven't played my drums all summer.

So happy Labour Day weekend to you all, I would love to hear from you. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Nimmo Bay Diary Chapter Four

Hiddy Ho Folks, How goes it out there in the real world. I only got 4
responses to my last email (I sent it to 50 people!!) so hey , I would love to hear from you...really any old thing at all would do.
So business has finally picked up here, the last 2 weeks have been quite
busy, so hopefully my trip to Asia is on. I have been studying my
Handwriting Analysis course diligently and have been practicing it on all
the staff here so hopefully I can make a few bucks while on the road.
We had a staff day last week and got to go up in the helicoptor. We went
to the top of a mountain and frolicked in the snow for a while , then went
to a glacier for lunch. I must say I have never seen anything so
spectacular. The ice is the most incredible shade of blue I have ever
seen!!. It's funny , when you see a glacier from a distance, they look flat
and white, but up close they are one huge crevace after another and that
amazing blue colour ( I just can't get over it.) It was the most surreal
experiance ,eating this wonderful gourmet lunch in a place probably few
humans have ever seen. I found a tuft of mountain goat fur up there. I'm a
Capricorn which is the tail of a Dolphin and the head of a mountain goat. So
nice to connect with my kindred spirit and to visit his home! After lunch ,
the pilot took us on the ride of a lifetime, he dropped the helicopter over
the edge of a cliff then swooped up a waterfall, then took us on a
hair-raising ride over a river swooping up , sharp banks, steep drops, high
speeds , it was the best rollar-coaster you have ever been on - times ten
I can't believe that 6 months ago, I couldn't see my way out of the mess I
was in , losing my job, facing homelessness, didn't think there was any hope
left for the future, and then... a day like this, that I could only dream >about happens. My life has been like one big rollar -coaster, just when I think I can't get any lower, I am suddenly taken to the most dizzying heights, just have to hang on for the ride and throw my arms up in the air.
Yesterday , I went waterskiing with a few of the guys here. I haven't
done that in over 10 years, but it's like riding a bike. It was soo
exilerating !! Mind you today I can hardly move , but it was all worth it.
One of our guests this week is a Massage Therapist who just graduated
recently. She gave me a massage in return for some pointers and a critique
of her performance...couldn't turn that down and it couldn't have come at a
better time.
Today I went on the boat and watched some of the boys wakeboarding, one of
them did a 360 flip in the air.. very impressive.. he landed it too!
We have another 4 days off coming up next week, personaly , I would
rather stay here and avoid the shopping temptations, but they insist we all
go out. I will probably just go to Port McNeill ( less stores to tempt me).
I think I'm going to try and hitch a ride one day with the guy who runs the
whale watching tours. He is a friend of the people who run my resort and has
the only under-water camera hooked up to a monitor in the world. They have
been monitoring "Springers" release and hang out with her pod on a regular
basis ( for those that don't know, Springer is a whale that was orphaned and
got lost and ended up in Seattle hanging around the boats in their
marina.She was rescued, nursed back to health, put in a boat and brought
back up to the Port McNeill area to be reunited with her original pod) A guy
from Germany is working with the captain of the boat to do a documentary on
whales and brought in this state of the art equipment to monitor them.
I can't believe we only have 9 weeks left here and the season is over,
this has gone by so fast. I feel like I have hardly done anything. It's
weird, because we don't have any regular days off, each day just flows into
the next.. I usually don't have a clue what day of the week it is. All in
all , life is good so far (as the song goes) I miss you all, hope all is
well in your life. Please write to me , I check my email about 20 times a
day and mostly just get junk mail so would love to hear from someone who
actually knows me.. that would be you !! I want all the gossip, any jokes,
your grocery list , really anything at all , don't be shy. Thanks!
Love you and miss you

Nimmo Bay Diary Chapter Three

Hey Everybody, Hows it going out there in civilization? Sorry I haven't written in so long. Thanks a ton to everybody who responded. It's soooo nice to hear from you. Gee , I don't know where to start. Well 1st of all, the ants finally died off ( thank God!!) they were really getting on my nerves. Thanks to all of you that wrote about your even more horrendous experiances ( my personal favorite from Jenifer about rats running across your face in Bali...OK you win!!).Haven't had much summer weather here yet. It has rained pretty much non-stop since I got here( except the one day that I fell off the wagon, we all got really drunk and had a big giggle and the next day was a scorcher and I was too hung over to get out of bed and missed it..........serves me right) Somehow the rain doesn't seem so bad out here, it's so beautiful with the mist hanging in the trees. I still go kayaking and finally got brave enough to venture into the woods and go hiking. I found a trail that goes up beside the waterfall and followed it up quite a ways. It is soo beautiful up there. I did a ceramony for summer solstice and placed Gabrielles sceptre crystal in one of the deeper pools of the waterfall after blessing it to connect with all the other scepters that have been placed all over the world.Thank you Brenda for letting me be a part of such a positive thing, and thanks for all the wonderfull inspirational messages you have sent my way. You have saved my life. I have had a few days where I was really depressed and lonely and came back to find a message that touched my heart and reminded why I am here. Thank you for thinking of me , it has made all the difference.
I had kind of a letdown when I found out I am not getting paid what I thought I was. We charge the guests in American dollars but I get paid in Canadian. Not the end of the world but my cheques are half what I thought they were. Sucks!! It has been very slow so far , we have only had 3 groups come in. I get alot of work when they are here, but the summer is half over and I haven't really started to work yet.I need to earn about 15,000.00 by Oct. if I am going travelling and we still have some gaps in our schedule. We had no clients last week, so we all got to leave for four days. We got flown out in the helicopter which was very cool. I think I might be getting over my fear of flying( it was really bad,...full blown panic attacks and all!!) Anyway I survived, had to take Ativan on the way out which sucked because I slept for 12 hours that day, but managed to fly back with no chemical help...yeahhh. I got a ride with the pastry chef Nada and her husband Greg( one of our helicopter pilots) to Qualicum Beach where I looked up an old friend of mine Cora. Poor girl sliced her finger open the morning after I got there and missed 4 days of work, but it was nice that we got to hang out alot. We have always planned to do lots of stuff together but our schedules never match. I packed in as much living(and shopping!!) as I could in 4 days. The sun was shining the whole time so finally got to work on my tan. Shopped in Quailicum, Coombs, Nainimo, and Victoria!! Went to the beach twice, did some bead work, got a hair wrap. Haven't had one of those in two years, since I last saw Felix. Went to a bar and danced all night. Haven't done that in about 20 years. The band was playing all cheesy retro 80's music so it only felt like a week !!Some guy kept sending us shooters with Baileys in them all night. Finally we told the waitress that we were watching our weight and if he wanted to send us shooters to send something with alcohol in it. Big mistake, the next round was Tequila , OUCH!! Had a blast though, felt 16 again. Popped in on my friend Jenifer in Victoria, I'm sure I was the last person she expected to see as I was supposed to be in the bush . Thanks a million for the beautiful necklace Jen! All my rockhound buddys would appreciate it , it's a beautiful piece of Labadorite in silver.
I sent away for a correspondance course on handwriting analysis. I am hoping to use it as a way to earn money while travelling. I can't compete with 5$ massages in Bali but can read handwriting on the beach for 5-10 dollars and save my body to boot. It's a fascinating subject. I find myself looking at the clients signatures now and feel like I'm peeking in their underwear drawer as it is so reaveling.
Some personal notes: Congratulations Dave on being inducted into the band. Thats awesome news. I miss you guys sooo much. Thanks Barry for the wonderfull letter about your trip. I'm so glad it was such a positive experiance for you and your honey. Hope all is well. Hi Verlaine good to hear from you , hope the house thing is working out for you. Will try to connect with you in the fall. Diane , the fluffy girl, I'm so glad you told me about the lady bugs. I have been telling people for years that I get bit by lady bugs and they all think I'm nuts. Finally some one who knows what I am talking about!! Also Thanks so much for the beautiful gift you gave me for my naming ceramony , you have touched my heart and I will never be the same ( thats a good thing). I would love to connect with you in Bali at Christmas, I plan to be there from the end of Nov. to the end of Dec. so hopefully I will see you there.Sambhavo and Patti , hope your weddings were totally awesome , wish I could have been there. Congratulations to Cora who just got engaged to an amazing guy. You sure know how to pick them. !! Felix, I'm still waiting for you . Hi Deb and Bria, Miss you tons, hope all is well in your life. Any news on the apartment buying ??
Well, I should end this letter as it is 3 in the morning. Love you all, hope you are having a fabulous summer. Sing a song for me at wreck beach( you know which one) Please write me or send me jokes or whatever as I'm soo lonely and it really makes my day to get mail from you. Take good care.

Nimmo Bay Diary Chapter Two

Hi everybody, Thanks for all the wonderfull responses. Great to hear from so
many of you. Sorry if I don't respond to everyone privately but I would be
writing 50 letters which is what the diary is trying to avoid.I suck at
typing this takes me hours as it is. P.S. I have done something ?to my computer that won't let me read attachments even if I want to . Its very frustrating to get them and not be able to open them.
That being said, lets talk about the bugs up here! We don' t see too many
mosquitos but in the evening we are attacked by no-see-ums. Tiny little
bastards that pack a mean bite! It's frustating, when it rains there are no
bugs, but who cares, it raining! When the sun shines you get eaten alive
trying to enjoy a meal out on the balcony. But they are small potatoes
compared to the ants. These HUGE black ants hatched the other day and are
everywhere. They are so big that when they walk on the ceiling their body
weight pulls them off and they sound like big ripe berries plopping to the
floor. SO GROSS. They are literally the size of cockroaches, you can even
hear them walk on certain surfaces, and oh yeah, THEY BITE!!
I must of killed about 20 of them in my room before going to bed last night.
Ihave a sunburn from kayaking the other day , so every hair that touches me
feels like something crawling on me. I spent all night twisting and sqirming
in bed brushing imaginary and some not so imaginary bugs off me. Got bit a
few times. When I did sleep I had nightmares about them!! I am scared of my
own bed now.Apparently they only live for a few days, can't be soon enough
for me. My floor is a graveyard of giant ant bodies.
Well enough of that. We have had a few huge yaghts parked out front the last
few days. I live in the attic with a skylight for a window. When I got up
yesterday and looked out, I almost had a heart attack, instead of sky I was
looking right into the wheelhouse of a ginormous boat!! I will try to send
you all a pic later , sorry I don't have it downloaded yet. It looks so
funny to see a boat bigger than our whole house sitting at the dock (and blocking the view as well I might add!)
Well lunch is calling me so will try and get this sent.
For those that asked , I will be up here till mid-Oct. then I have 6 weeks
or so to visit people and take a few courses that I need to keep my Massage
Licence , then I'm off to Thailand, Bali, and finances willing maybe Nepal as well..
So take care, keep those letters coming, and don't let the bed bugs bite

nimmo bay diary chapter one

Hi I have tried to send the 1st chapter 3 separate times now and have lost it every time in the sending. It was extremely long and basically was a very long thank you letter to all of you that helped me to get up here. I don't feel like typing it again for a 4th time right now, so will try this one instead. Suffice it to say for right now, that I am blessed with a large number of excellent friends who went out of their way to help me . Each and every one of you is truly an angel and I love you lots. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all that you did, bless you all.
My dear friend Brian came over from Courtenay on Friday the 31st of May and loaded up all my stuff(and there was alot!!) and drove to Victoria (after missing the Duke point ferry by 1 truck) then up to Courtnay to pick up more of my stuff!!!, then on to Port McNeill. He started at 5am and we arrived at 1am (20 hours on the road!!) The real live marathon man and my hero. I wouldn't be able to work at my computer without his help, so a great big thank you to you my friend.
The next morning I got to load a small fraction of my stuff onto the boat and had a smooth trip over. It took about an hour and a half. For those who don't know where I am, I am at the end of Mackenzie Inlet which is on the mainland at about the level of Port Mcneill on the Island.
Don't ask what the nearest place is , cause there isn't one! I am very , very deep in the wilderness. It is beautiful beyond words up here. The inlet is fairly narrow with small islands dotted around it. We are surrounded by trees in every direction. We have a beautiful waterfall on the property which is where the hot tubs are located. ( I have taken advantage of those a few times already)
The food here is to die for 5 star all the way. They feed the staff like Kings and the guests like emporers( and we get their leftovers!!) They get 7 course meals and often skip desert or even whole courses so they go to us.It takes the willpower of an army to not sit and eat all day. Luckily there are lots of opportunitys for exercise. I go kayaking one day then surfbiking the next( looks like a surfboard with pontoons and a bike on top) I saw a bear the first day here and have seen 3 more since. They are VERY close by. I don't go in the woods much . I see them from the water, drift up close to them in the kayak (well relativly close, maybe half a football field away..a little far for my poor little camera to see much) This morning an eagle came right up to the front of the cabin and tried to snatch a baby duckling from its mother. She put up such a sqwack that it finally gave up, good show though.We have lots of martins out here, they resemble minks but are apparently very destructive to the property, so they are the enemy. We also have a zillion hummingbirds here. It's like being swarmed by bees. Its my job to feed them and I can hardly keep up. Every time I turn around the feeders are empty! When a guest asked why there were so many humminbirds there , my boss answered that they think the helicopters are their god , so guess they think they are in paradise!!
The staff here is wonderful. Lots of fun and good humour. The work is hard and the hours long but we are treated very fairly. We had our first group of 7 people come for 4 days. They loved the massage and kept rebooking with me. I made 1800.00 in three and half days and didn;t really work too hard for that. Two of the guys that were here ,were at ground zero on Sept 11th . They told us all about their experience, very harrowing story. I thought for sure I would have nightmares that night .They are so lucky to be alive!!
Well I guess thats all for now folks, I want to try and send this, sure hopes it works. Love you all, thanks again for everything.
Take care, love to hear from you all.

Intro to the travel Diaries

I thought I would use this forum to republish some diary type emails that i sent a few years ago. I went through a big transistion time when the Government decided to take Massage Therapy off of the medical plan. They did this with no notice and business dropped off dramactically. After struggling for 3 months I was finally forced to declare bancruptcy. It was one of the lowest times in my life. I was facing homlessness basically and my only skill was now suddenly obsolete. In a stroke of good fortune that only the angels could have orchestrated, I was offered a job in an isolated high-end fishing resort. All my expenses, lodging, food ect was all provided and there was nowhere to shop in the bush so was able to save all my income. At the end of the summer I was able to take a 6 month holiday travelling which is something I had wanted to do forever. To celebrate my new found freedom, I got my nose pierced, booked a flight to Hong Kong with just a small daypack suitcase and set off into the unknown. My original plan was to visit my father in Bali where he was living and then go to Thailand and Nepal. Unforunately , just before i left, Bali was hit by a bomb set off by terrorists. People were asked to leave and tourists warned to stay away. That put a kink in my plans as I had already booked the flight to Hong Kong. Lucky for me I had a friend living in China working as a bead trader. She invited me to visit her there. I ended up staying in Guangzhou(previously known as Canton) for a month, learning the bead export trade. Near the end of my stay a friend in New Zealand asked me to come and visit. As world events were still up in the air, it sounded like a safe bet, I went planning to spend 3 weeks and stayed 3 months. I eventually made it to Indonesia and visited Bali and Java. The following posts are my experiences during my time at Nimmo Bay fishing resort and my subsequent travels.

home sweet home wherefor art thou??

What makes you , you? Are you your job, are you the friends you surround yourself with, are you your religeous beliefs, are you the colour of your skin or the country you were born in? Ive never known what to answer when people ask where Im from. I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but left there as an infant never to return. At 18 months old we moved to France and I didnt move back to Canada permanently until I was 22 . We bounced around between France and Germany, with the occasionally foray back to the hinterlands of some far-flung outpost in Canada. Just as we would settle into a place the dreaded postings would come and out would come the reusable packing boxes that the military so genourously provided. In those prehistoric days before internet, faxes, cellphones or even answering machines friends where made and lost in the blink of an eye. My childhood is a bunch of unconnected snapshots of strangers who touched my life for an instant. I wonder where they all are now?
Anyway I digress, the main issue for me was not knowing who I was. My Father was born in England of English and Welsh parents, but other than a short stay in Grade 3 , ive never been there. My Mothers background is Scottish, but they have been in Canada for many generations( some hint of native ancestry, but it was all kept a dirty secret). I grew up living in Europe but knew I wasnt a German or French although those places where the only home I knew. When I came back to Canada, felt like an outsider here too. When I travel, Im proud to say Im Canadian, but ashamed about the way the native people were treated. I understand their wish for us to just all go back home and leave them alone, but where is home? I finally recieved my British passport yesterday. It took me 7 months to get all the documents together and alot of frustrated long distance calls and faxes trying to track the progress of my application. Im now a duel citizen of Canada and Great Britain. It feels good to have some connection to my genetic roots but the reality is , if I go there I will still be a stranger in a strange land. I guess I will always be a citizen of the world and home will be wherever I hang my hat. But Im tired and just really want to go home, just wish I knew where that was?

Friday, June 10, 2005

A galactic Fairytale

I read this story whenever I start feeling hard done by in life to remember what it is really all about.

A Galactic Fairy Tale
by Michael Lightweaver

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there were all of these
little light beings just hanging out enjoying life in that joyful & timeless
dimension. And then one day a very large, magnificent angel came to
them. He had a very serious look on his face. He was looking for volunteers
for a very important cosmic mission.

"We have this small - but very special - planet out at the edge of the
Alcyon galaxy called Gaia. It is quite unique like a beautiful garden and it
is teeming with hundreds of thousands of different life forms. It has been
something of an experimental station in the galaxy and it has a most
interesting humanoid life form that incorporates the very highest and
lowest frequencies known in the cosmos. It is in fact the very epitome of
On the one hand it is an incredibly beautiful life form and is capable
of carrying the highest frequencies of love, light & joy known throughout
the whole Universe. On the other hand it is capable of carrying the
densest and darkest frequencies the cosmos has ever experienced -
frequencies which the rest of creation evolved beyond eons ago.

Here is the current situation. Within the domain of time, this planet
goes through periodic cosmic cycles. It is now coming to the end of two
major cycles - a 2,000 year long age of Pisces and the 25,000 year long
cosmic year in its journey around Alcyon, the central sun of the milky way

With the completion of this cycle, many things are coming to an end
and many things are about to begin. But most importantly, the planet is
experiencing an infusion of light that is dramatically increasing it's
As during any major time of transition, there will be a certain amount of
turbulence. Some of this will be geological, for Gaia herself is a living
planet and is also evolving. But much of it also involves the hominoid
species that dominates the planet.

This will not be a particularly easy time for the species - especially
for those who are sleeping and those who are vibrating at the lowest
frequencies. As the frequency changes it will create insecurity which
in turn will create fear.

The first era of evolution on this planet was the physical era and the
key word was survival. The second era, which is now ending, was the mental
era and the key word was logic. The third era, which is now beginning, is
the era of the heart and the key word is love. This is the highest

Those who currently hold the reign of power on the planet are of the
old order of the physical & mental. To the extent that they can make a
graceful transition to a heart centered and divinely guided life, it will be
an easy transition. To the extent that they are unable to do this, they will
experience much turmoil.

So this is the current situation of Gaia. The reason I am here is to seek
volunteers who would be willing to incarnate in humanoid form on the
planet at this time to help make this an easy and smooth transition. We have
sent prophets and teachers in the past. Very often they were brutally
persecuted or killed. In other instances they were set up as "gods" to be
worshiped and these humanoids built elaborate religions and rituals around
them and used these religions to control each other. They did everything
except follow the simple teachings that were offered.

So this time we are trying a different approach. No more prophets, saviors &
avatars that they can use to create religions. This time we are
sending in thousands - actually hundreds of thousands - of ordinary light
beings with only two assignments:

1) Stay in your heart. Regardless of what happens, stay in your heart.
2) Remember who you are, why you are here and what this is all about.
Now that seems easy enough, right? Unfortunately, No! As I have said,
duality has reached its peak on this planet. This species has perfected
the illusion of good and evil. The greatest challenge you will experience
is to remember Who You Really Are, Why You Are Here and What This Is Really
All About. When you remember, you will be able to stay in your heart,
regardless of external events.

So how will you know when you are forgetting? It is easy. Watch your
judgments. The moment you notice that you are in a place of judgment
you will know that you have forgotten Who You Really Are, Why You Are Here
and What This Is Really All About. That will be your signal.

Now here is the challenge. Life on this planet will require a great deal
of discernment - wise evaluation of what is true, what is appropriate and
what is for the highest good, both for yourself and for the planet. In many
ways discernment is similar to judgment. However, you will know when you are
in judgment and when you have moved out of your heart when you are in a
place of blame.

We know how challenging that this planet can be. We know how very real
the illusions on this planet appear to be. We understand the incredible
density of this dimension and the pressure you will face. But if you survive
this mission - and it is a voluntary one - you will evolve at hyperspeed.

We also should say that we know that some of you who will go to this
planet as starseeds, will never germinate - never awakened to the
remembrance of who you really are. Some of you will awaken and begin to
shine, only to be choked down by the opinions and prevailing thoughtforms
around you.

Others will awaken and remain awake and your light will become a source of
inspiration and remembrance for many.

You will incarnate all over the planet; in every culture, every race,
every country, every religion. But you will be different. You will never
quite fit in. As you awaken you will realize that your true family isn't
of your own race, culture, religion, county or even your biological family.
is your cosmic family - those who have come as you have come - on
assignment to assist in ways large and small in the current transition.

True brotherhood/sisterhood and globalization in its highest form will come
only in remembering Who You Really Are, Why You Are Here and What This Is
Really All About. It will come as you return to the true temple of Divine
Presence, your heart, where this remembrance takes place and from which you
are called to serve the world.

So, are your ready? Good!

Oh, and by the way, there are a couple of other minor things I should

Because of the density, you can't operate in that dimension without a
space suit. This is a biological suit that actually changes over time. There
are many things we could tell you about this but our orientation time is
short so I think you can just jump in and experience it. You should be
forewarned, however. There will be a danger that if you forget who you
really are, you may think you ARE your space suit instead of the fact that
it is simply your vehicle in that dimension. Once there, you will notice
that there is an infinite variety of space suits and a great deal of
attention given to these. However, in spite of the infinite variety, because
this a
planet of duality, they all fall into two basic categories called
Again, we really don't have time to go into this now. But you will find your
relationship with your own space suit to be most instructive and
The other little thing is this. In order to operate in that dimension, you
will also receive a microchip called a 'personality.' This is like an
identity imprint that, along with your space suit, will essentially make
you different from everyone else. This will allow you to participate in
the hologram there - something they call 'consensus reality.' Once again,
there will be a real danger that you will become so engrossed in the
holographic personality dramas that you will forget who you really are and
actually think that you ARE your personality. I know it sounds rather
unbelievable right now, but once you get there.....

Again, there is so much more we could tell you by way of orientation, but we
think you can learn the rest experientially 'on site." The only thing
that is important is to remember Who You Really Are, Why You Are Here and
What This Is Really All About. If you can do that, everything else will
work out fine. But take note: So few really DO remember this they stand out
as 'different' and others called them 'Enlightened" or 'Awakened" and
similar terms. Strange isn't it?
Well, Good Luck & Bon Voyage!!!