Condensational


This is one of those post’s which could have a hundred beginnings, a variety of topics and an ending which leads to another beginning. This is definitely not unusual or new in the world of wordsmiths (amateur or professional) but for me in fact it is the first time. Great! It means I have an abundance of experiences and literal ideas to download, describe and attempt to bring alive.

I have been writing a bit of poetry which goes under the blog name of “bobo loco” which literally translated into English means “crazy fool”. The idea behind this is inspired by Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac and flavored with my personal brand of nutty brain sauce. It is a good way for me to flow creatively as well as to expand and explore the boundaries of my mind and more closely develop my personal style and method.

I feel as if I should write at least three pieces to explain what’s been happening the last few weeks.
But I’m not going to. So here it is all rather jumbled but coherent. I think.

I prepared and successfully compiled an English exam for 150 students in three different courses.

I have to interrupt this. I am sitting outside under cover and it has begun to rain. Water makes me excessively dreamy. The drops are falling into the pool and causing hundreds of tiny ripples which collide and disappear. It puts all sorts of interesting thoughts in my head. Often once I would get out of the water after surfing for 2 or 3 hours I would stand in my wetsuit and stare into the distance for what seemed like forever. Dazed and Content. Liquid dreams. Blissful memories….

Yes, so to return to the task at hand.

Paraguayan congress impeached their president last week. In 24 hours. It’s amazing. He was accused of mis-handling a land claim case in which 17 people were tragically killed as well as other complaints of behaving like a dictator and fathering 3 or 4 kids during his term, one of which was with a 14 year old girl. All in a days work for them catholic priests or so I’m led to believe.

Side note: For those of you who know the concept of “African time” which basically means “things might or might not happen” it will amuse you to discover that in fact “Paraguayan time” means “we will tell you this IS going to happen or YES we can help you and that YOU must be there early and then they either can’t do it or are an hour late in arriving”

Extra side note: If you need something done urgently, you will be required to phone your direct contact to assist you who will then either give you a number of another contact or they will phone you back (or not) and tell you to wait for someone to call (or not) or they will tell you to email them after said 4 calls have been made without any progress except for congenial inquiries after each-others health and work.

Gotta love it. Cos if you don’t you will get extremely frustrated and quite possibly go out of your mind.

This is why we travel to new countries. To wrap our heads around new cultures and societal norms that boggle our pre-existing ideas,conditioning and forcefully open our minds.

Interestingly, the director of Fundacion Paraguaya who hired me to come work and learn at the Ag. School and is a family friend, has been appointed by the vice president (now president) as his chief of staff. Paraguay never ceases to surprise. Certainly a better man for the job there could not be. Suerte.

Interjection… Paraguay is in the heart of South America and therefore you would be forgiven for thinking it’s 30 degrees Celsius all year round. In fact. NO. Regularly we have experienced 2 to 5 degrees.Brrr.

So yes lots of excitement, change and interesting developments in this most unique country.

I am currently on vacation from teaching English and will be celebrating my 25th birthday next Monday at a secret spot known only as “crystal falls” with my delightful, gorgeous and special lady who keeps me sane and happy in love and light. I am so blessed and grateful to share these times of change and growth with you and give thanks for all the laughter, our inspiring connection and blissful, positive vibes.

Let the good times keep on rolling. For all.

* watch this space;) *

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::CreationContinuation::


This writing thing is very….. Interesting.

I find myself torn between writing real life accounts with carefully structured metaphors or alternatively ripping into a Jack Kerouac slash Hunter S. Thompson jet-fueled carnival rally narrative.

My solution I believe is to create another blog for creative writing and keep this one gently running along the lines of travelling and opinion based accounts.

Guess you could say I just wrote my thoughts out loud there but I had to because the solution only materialized once reading it for myself. Great tool to know and use in that kind of situation.

I have been very busy, we went to Iguazu Falls last weekend and had a mindblowing soaking of natural energy and inspiration. Rainbows everywhere, water, cliffs, islands, beaches and birds of brightest colour all jammed into what is a wonderous and magical experience.

We took a boat ride which put us right in the thick of the cascading sheets of spray and when I yelled my exhilaration it felt as if the waterfall and I morphed and exchanged a connection unfelt before.

There has been a great deal more laughter in the recent weeks…

This school is buzzing with its regular activity, also being injected with new people who are all drawn by the magnetic energy of the atmosphere that we work in which can only be likened to a laboratory that produces magical and real experiments every day.

The driving force is the reality. It’s not a game. No margin for error.

Two weeks ago we went to a little town called Aregua. I accepted the offer of a car, so we packed and loaded up with an ipad for directions. Left hand drive car – right hand road driving. That really got my brain and muscle control working. We made it safely and pulled into a town of about 12000 people, an estimated 6000 of which are expats all settled in running coffee shops, art galleries, accommodation and various other small businesses. A beautiful lake greeted us as we walked down the ‘main’ road after parking our car at a semi-funky hostel called casa amarilla (the yellow house) the home of a eccentric junk artist who creates sculptures and art works out of bits and pieces that get thrown out of home on a daily basis. Beautiful and creative.

Pizza in Paraguay is pretty decent! The beer is good too. The people are warm, a little shy at first but genuine and kind when they open up. Speaking to an educated local who has some international experience is a great way of getting an insight into why the country is so far under the radar of other countries and people. One reasoning I was presented with was simply that they don’t want to be part of the international community.

This may sound strange and when asked to elaborate further the speaker went on to remind me of the triple alliance war. Brasil, Argentina and  Bolivia declared war on Paraguay supposedly over border disputes but the real reason was because Paraguay was doing so well and was in fact way ahead of their South American counterparts at that time. This lead to resentment as Paraguay controlled the major trade routes and the river which connected the interior of South America to international business as well as a flourishing local economy. The war decimated 50% of the male population. Enough said. Now the Paraguayan people are happy to stick to themselves. Although, this mindset is changing. Paraguay is booming with construction and has officially the cheapest agricultural land in the world. Leading to an increase in foreign investment.

I have grown to love this country and the pace at which it moves. I have not visited all of South America yet but I hold a view that Paraguay is one of the most original and untouched South American countries still remaining on the continent. Lets hope it stays that way.

So that’s all for now. I will most likely be creating another blog to use as an experimental outlet of creative outpouring so I hope you will enjoy reading that as it will be very different from this one.

SALUDOS!

~~Cycles~~


What an intriguing past few weeks.

I participated in an induction about the programmes and history of the foundation with 20 other employees and teachers. Introduced myself in Spanish and managed to follow the general gist of the 5 hour presentation and workshop. We then played a game in which I snagged an awesome coffee mug and a Fundacion Paraguaya clip as a reward for correctly answering the question (also in Spanish.)

The same week, the students put on a show for the teachers in honor of “dia de los maestros” – directly translated as “day of the masters” and we were treated to traditional dancing, skits and poetry. During the course of the show, pictures of the teachers were displayed on the projector and when yours truly appeared on screen the entire 150 students almost brought the house down! What a privilege to be so appreciated.

Then all the teachers received a gift. Upon opening up my present I burst out laughing! I had been given another mug!!! Classic. Wonder what that hidden meaning is?

My Spanish has finally taken a much anticipated and welcome leap for freedom during the past few days.

So here’s a thing: 0n Sunday, I did three loads of washing, had some tea and popcorn, read an Aldous Huxley novel, Brave new world-absolutely amazing, and watched the latest harry potter movie! Like I’m oscillating between being 10 and 50! What’s my age again? 

And now (big drum roll a la Beethoven, angels trumpeting in the heavens, fireworks exploding in my brain) The delicious and delightful woman I am blessed to be in love with is coming in the next 10 days.

The adventure is about to get even more fascinating. TODO BIEN!!! 

Certainly feels as if a frenetic cycle is coming to a close and a more stable one is beginning.

I have been here for nearly four months. I feel as if I can confidently go anywhere in the world and do anything, and the great thing is I still have 7 months to cultivate this new found assured confidence.There is an astronomically big difference between thinking you can do it and knowing you can…………………………….. And I am most pleased to be aware of this.

Adapting to circumstances like a chameleon shifting his colours.

Soaring gleefully like a young Eagle on his first flight.

Feeling powerful like a lion letting loose his first thunderous roar.

Transforming like a snake shedding old skin and emerging fresh and new.

It is so refreshing to be surrounded  by innocent and untainted minds. Simple and easy going. Shy but not self conscious. Unrestrained. Aware.

Blessings.

 

 

 

“Knowing and Doing”



“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
 “

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Often, when we need it most, we stumble upon quotes, pictures or the proverbial message in a bottle. 

It’s as if we are blindly sketching a masterpiece and we know it’s perfect but we cant see it… Then all of a sudden it materializes and presents itself, like a banner proclaiming the sincerity of our inner most musings. Confirmation.

“Every action has an equal and opposite reaction” – Sir Isaac Newton

Our every thought, word and action has a ripple effect. Like dropping a stone into a pond.

It was a grey day, I felt it. It was me. I packed my bag and set off into it. The heavy, low laying clouds and I warily exchanging glances, me with the request for a dry journey to the bus stop and them replying with gentle but meaningful puffs of wind at my back that suggested this might or might not be possible…

Each step grew firmer and my stride lengthened with purpose as I reached the road side, untouched.

La Chaquena came grinding up soon after and I gratefully mumbled “Hasta Asuncion” to the smiling captain. There is something uniquely soothing about riding the bus. It’s like an old,dependable and slightly eccentric friend you can depend on to get you safely to your destination albeit the journey is slightly bumpy and with many a stop. 

I was thus in a bit of a daze due to my eccentric carrier friends slow, rolling nature and so just bused on past my original intended stop as if I wasn’t even aboard! I looked around to see if any of my fellow riders had noticed my error but of course they were paying attention to where they were going and as far as they knew, so was I.

This woke me up. I realized that I did not know how to get to my final destination. And also became aware that I had known this at the back of my mind all along. My solution now was to sit ram-rod straight and search the unfamiliar sights passing by for any kind of recognizable word, sign, object, face, dog or other to assist me in placing my undeniably lost self. You might ask “why did you not get off at the next stop?” Well. Firstly I could barely move in the seat that I was in due to my sprawled out and sleeping seat-mate and secondly I couldn’t even see the exit doors because of the press of Paraguayan humanity currently occupying every orifice the bus contained. Thirdly, and this is the clincher, I had a feeling (small but insistent) that I should ride this out and if I got into a really tough spot I could call Martin,explain my self and organize a collection situation.

So off I went. My feeling becoming slightly justified by a significant emptying of bus space and lo and behold a recognizable landmark went sliding past the window. The golf course. Hooray. I must at this point make an observation. Paraguayan bus drivers are absolute gentlemen and follow a kindly code of road etiquette while on the main stretch outside the city. This changes in the blink of an eye when entering the hustle and bustle of the inner limits. They seem to drive faster and take corners on one set of wheels (yes it’s possible). I won’t forget one of these occasions when we were almost horizontal with the road and a pedestrian and I came face to face for a split second and how nonplussed he was as I went looming by, face pressed against the glass.

OK! Back to my demise. Or rather, things were looking up, I spotted an overhead road sign which informed me I was heading towards the center of the city. Good. I think. At about this time I got a call from Martin inquiring upon my plan and destination…. I said rather more confidently than I felt that my plan was to walk and explore the city streets for a while and then find my way to his house. At this point a familiar road sign came into view and I decided this was my stop. Downtown Asuncion. I knew this because the road was sloping “downhill”. So, I shouldered my backpack and began my street excursion. Trusting my instincts and being very aware of my surroundings. 

The architecture is beautiful. Close spaced buildings with old colonial eaves and designs on every second house. There is also a constant lively chatter and camaraderie which gives one a great feel for the ambiance and the flavor of the place. It certainly is a city which reveals its beauty when you take the time to explore.

So between my own divination’s and an assurance from Martin that I’m on the right track, I was now comfortable  to walk briskly up Mariscal Lopez Avenue, look for a cafe to cool my heels and grab a well deserved beer. This was the easiest part of my adventure and soon I was sitting happily outside a side street cafe with an ice cold miller and a slice of what I can only say was a pizza wrapped in pastry. Smiling. The kind lady brought me an ashtray, I gave another fellow a light and a yellow butterfly danced its way through my ensuing reverie.  

It is good to be comfortable on your own. I love it. Quiet. Makes you more aware of what’s around you as well as whats inside of you. Gotta treasure that space. 

I paid, and asked which bus goes to the Municipalidad of Asuncion. The closest known building to Martins house and my sanctuary. As I hit the main road again my good old friend the bus came trundling towards me. I sat down gladly and waited for the building I was destined for. When I got off I walked about three blocks and knowing the house was only another two blocks away felt good. I heard a hooter at my back and upon turning around recognized Martins jeep bearing down and pulling over. Perfect timing is an understatement. 

Altogether a successful, interesting and enlightening morning. Yes, that all happened from half past seven to one o clock! Ha ha 🙂 The rest of the afternoon was comprised of having a great catch up chat with the ever excitable and inspiring Senor Burt, some good food and some good old English premier league football all topped off with a Jack Kerouac novel and a late siesta.I give thanks-to the good people in my life,for trusting myself and navigating safely through an unfamiliar city.

Knowing and doing is the intended theme of this post and I wish to clarify that: We know a lot. What is good for us, what we should be doing etc. This means absolutely nothing if we don’t DO it. Thinking about it and knowing it is the “easy” part. The hardest part is to get out of your comfort zone and do it. Whatever it is. Life is so full of challenges and always will be but the more we face them and realize that its all lessons and experiences for our benefit, the less these challenges are going to seem hard and we will instead look forward to their arrival in our reality with eager anticipation at what life, the universe, god and destiny deems is necessary for us to learn, to be prepared for the next step on our monumental and beautiful life journey .

Remember when I started off in the morning and it was a grey day? 

The sun was now shining brightly and the skies were cloud free and azure blue.

.::Links::.


Physical work, especially in a natural environment, is a catalyst for increased brain activity.

It seems that when the body is stimulated, the sweat is flowing freely and the endorphin’s are in full force, it allows the mind to think more clearly and therefore receive more information.

One can enter into a zen state where the body goes on auto-pilot and can be controlled by the merest whisper of a thought which one barely feels or is conscious of,flitting through the neuro-membranes.

Sometimes this state can so occupy your entire being that time stands still.

This is a very accommodating space in which to learn languages. As well as letting many different solutions or new ideas spark into being.

ANYWAY!

So, it’s now time for some experiential reports. The last few posts have been very introspective.

My back and legs were burning. It was 40 degrees. It always is. However I was not burning from the heat, I was burning from prolonged physical exertion. So I decided to straighten up and take a look at the progress made.

It was then that I felt, rather than heard, the hoofbeats drumming their distinctive beat through the earth. I looked up and saw a big Brahman bull run straight through a wood and wire gate,followed closely by a young student on a roan horse. The bull then decided to do a swift,sudden and rather well executed U-turn which brought him,student and horse face to face in a matter of seconds. The student reacted very wisely and wheeled his horse away to put some distance between him and the bull, who now had the upper hand.

It was a beautiful picture to behold… The bull standing ground with a look that said “you have no idea what will happen if you move just a muscle!” and the student sitting easily on his horse yet closely and respectfully anticipating the big,white bulls next move…

It was always going to be the bulls decision and so with a lofty air of assured dominance he slowly turned and trundled towards his rightful destination, monitored and followed at a distance by the rider.

A dragonfly landed on a lettuce head in a bed I was cleaning, and he seemed to be in some distress because he was twitching and not moving off the plant even when I was within inches of him… So, upon taking a closer look I saw a little fire ant clinging onto his back! The dragonfly could not rid himself of his unwanted guest so I ran my finger down his tail and off came mister ant. Now mister dragonfly was happier and evidently back in mosquito catching business because he then flitted up, on eye level with me and then flicked out into predator mode once more.

My Spanish is improving, for a week I thought I was going backwards but in fact I have realized that this perception means progress.

So too are the English classes. I am developing a good rapport with the students and every lesson teaches me something new.

My work in the orchard and vegetable gardens is my life blood. It’s what I love doing. simple procedures producing mini miracles with varying results. A constant flow of educational vibrations.

Life is interesting when you go with the flow.

It seems to teach you what you need to know,

gives you the tools to grow

and the capacity to believe in yourself, although

when you in it you generally don’t know.

Meaning? Less or More…


This post is a collection of musings, thoughts and opinions.

We all try.

Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s easy. Yet always it is for our own good. Because if you don’t try at all, you will never know where that thought led or where that impulse would have taken you…………

And these attempts are part of building up to a greater objective,the subject of which most of us are partially or completely unaware of. Occasionally we get a feeling or a glimpse of what these experiences are leading us toward, and there is no doubt in my mind that every one of us is here to grow, learn and be prepared for an objective or many objectives that we have subconsciously created for ourselves.

When we talk about “studying” at the University of Life or The School of Hard Knocks it is with humor that we refer to it but in fact these are genuine institutions running before our eyes. An ever-changing, balanced and karmic swirl of experiences we choose to view, partake in and decipher meaning through.

Imagine we all lived for hundreds or thousands of years! Our minds would develop to their full potential and we would be able to pursue and achieve every dream, goal and accomplishment we had ever imagined!  Or would we. I wonder.

I really enjoy reading older literature, especially fiction. Hemingway is my favorite at the moment. He has a blend of excitement, charm and arrogance in his words that literally blooms his characters and environments into life in your minds eye.

Writing and music. Two art forms I truly love and revere.

Undoubtedly, there is magic in art. And so in the creators themselves. It has to be more than mere talent. It is an unseen connection, a richness, a substance that is tangible yet invisible. There is magic in all of us. We just need to connect to it.

I am also fascinated by the Plant Kingdom. Most specifically in Photosynthesis. It seems to me that the highly evolved method of energy transference, absorption and production using SUNLIGHT and AIR (carbon dioxide) into FOOD (sugars, starch) and then releasing OXYGEN as a by product is an absolute daily miracle! How is this possible. Scientifically it is a no-brainer. But these plants are doing this via a process of ENERGY.Everything is energy. Beautiful I say.

Through the workings of my mind I notice that there are patterns everywhere. I don’t mean patterns like a uniform structured design but patterns such as these :

Walking down the dry and dusty road I pass an elderly gentleman,we acknowledge one another with a tip of the hat. We are going in opposite directions. I get to my destination, complete my mission and walk back the same way I came. At exactly the same spot where we met earlier, the old man and I cross paths once more. There is no one else on the road. We are completely different people with different backgrounds, ages and experience and yet we are somehow linked in an identical time frame. Even if it’s just for an instant.Maybe it’s forever. We will never know.

I find these occurrences fascinating. Possibly because I don’t believe in coincidence, and they have happened more than once. It’s the awareness of noticing them that is important….

I see patterns when playing football, when I’m surfing, when I’m driving and when I walk in the mountains. I see them in the sky, in the earth and in daily interactions between humans, animals and plants… And sometimes, when I’m lucky, I see a transparent thread that interweaves and connects to and through all the sentient and existential elements the world is made of……………………  And

For a microcosm of a moment………………………………………. It all makes sense.

Gravitation cannot be hel…


Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.
Albert Einstein

Einstein. The Maestro