Wednesday, September 16, 2009

final photos

here are some photos. i have a monthly upload limit with flickr, so the rest will have to wait. the first slideshow is images of the journey of the dream catcher and the second is just a few random shots. if you double click the slideshows the images get bigger.

new york has treated me well, but i am heading south early tomorrow morning.

much love,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

mobius strip

and I find myself back in NYC at my brother's computer.

I feel like all the followers of this blog deserve a well articulated reflection of my travels. Some insightful comments on how I have grown as a person and how I hope to incorporate these new experiences in my life.

I am going to disappoint all of you and simply detail my loose plan for the next few months and upload some images when I get a new cable to charge my camera.

I am hoping to arrive in NC mid month, and stay though oct.
the first week of nov. is still up for grabs with three different forces vying for it.
I intend on returning to MI around the 13th and promptly head up north to deer camp, but I will stay in the metro Detroit area through x-mas.

I hope to have a target city to move to in Jan. by x-mas. This decision will depend on if I am accepted to any artist residency programs or community service jobs.

much love!

I look forward to seeing all of you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

as the cars sped by

roma- finding the elusive evan, roman ruins, nuts and hot air balloons, produce, no bike

southern italy- parks, stray cats, heat

two ferries for the price of bankruptcy

Sicilia- brake dancers, buskers, hiphop performers, pizza

Malta- even hotter, fortress walls, buses, cliffs and rabbit hunters, fresh water friend, gozo and more ferries, azure window, old temples, distant cousin

Venice- canals and bridges, fellow travelers, masks, no maps, rain storm

Ljubljana, Slovenia- artist center, beer revelries

Wien- parks but no access to grass, music and club mate, Schiele and Klimt, turkish coffee house

Praha- metalwork and napping, clocks and bridges

Berlin- slack line friends, travelers crossing paths, berlin wall, shopping cart kids

Amsterdam- cooking!, more canals and bridges, fierce bikes, cafes or coffee shops

and now London with sleeping, skipping, swings and postrock

its the bare bones and im out of time.

much love!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


for me coming back to valencia feels like a pause. a breath of hot humid air... in a good way... think sauna. ha. honestly, being here is refreashing. today i barely left the apt. i slept until two in the afternoon, since there were no windows in my room, which i havent done in months. i washed myself and my clothes with more attention then they have recived in about a month. i made a simple veggie meal for myself with asian spicy peppers that i brought with me from ireland, while listening to international gypsy music. and well causually lazed about. i am relishing in the fact that i dont have to move to a new location and that im somewhere that feels familar.

my arrival was a suprise birthday present for hada, which vincent, bartok and i planed. i arrived with a red satin ribbon tied to my hat. she was delighted. interstingly the special birthday food was the spainish equivolant of wonder bread with nutella, which we ate on a public dock over looking a lake. i could have been in michigan if we had been speaking english. the weather was even uncommonly chilly.

it is also a bit surreal. it almost feels as if i didnt leave and the last month was the dream i had during my uncommonly long slumber. is it really july? has connor just left or is ze about to arrive? i touch the scar on my shin and wiggle my broken toe to remind myself that it really happened. oh how bodies are a quilt of lived experiances and linear time is an abstrat concept.

in retrospect i can not decide if the irish farm or the tree house community rates higher. im quite determined that my future with include both again. i idealize a future where i share a plot of land with tree houses and benders, full of radical kids shareing skills and ideas, i wake up with the sun and get excited about the subtle changes in my enviroment- fruit ripening, leaves decaying, the freezing or thawing of a near by creek. maybe leaving now and again to facilitate workshops and conferances... if i had no student loans i would not be searching for a job. oh america, you have cleverly shackled me to your capitalistic system... for a time.

but in my last months of freedom i have more adventures on my horizon. as soon as i hear from evan i will make my way to italy...

Monday, July 6, 2009


"you dont have to put on the red light..."

so we stayed on the farm for an extra week because it was excellent, plus the owner of the farm was out of town and we wanted to meet her after so many people had spoken highly of her. she was worth the wait. oh, how i adore elderly folks!

time was spent rescuing tomatoes that had been left to tangle on the ground, transplanting corn and cabbages and removing rainbowchard plants that were taller than me... and ferocious. we also built a recycling center and some firedragon viewing benches.

spain and italy are on my horizons.

much love.

Monday, June 22, 2009

rain chaps

brugge: oh sweet soggy goodness! belgium was full of rain and tree climbing, hmmm. connor and i climbed about 30 ft up in the air at night to sleep in luxerious tree houses. i fixed an old trundle sewing machine, made 15 vegan pizzas over a fire, sewed myself new pants from fabric i found buried, rode bikes and drank delicious beer.

dublin: was quick and dirty. we almost got traped in the city due to shisty publich transportation, but in our wanderings ended up at the oldest pub in ireland which is a stone throw from the guiness brewery. logically we stoped for a pint.

mogeely: this is the name of the small village where the farm is. connor and i are enchanted by the farm. it is a bit like the enviroment of brugge but on the ground. the grounds are organically organized and the projects harbor the same open creative energy. so far we have made a custom desk, three large planters, moved a bit of wood, dug a bit of dirt, prepared fire dragons for the summer solstice, and tons of tasty food. we are henna-ed with freshly cut hair and migrating tan lines.

alright my brain is melting from all this computer time. ha only about an hour, but after you step back from the inter-world, it is quite draining to use.

much love!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


the stink means your alive

Barcelona, southern france, geneva, zurich... and off to belguim tomorrow.

how do i start to recapture all of this?

i am still walking in spirals.
i miss speaking Spanish and start conversations with anyone i meet that knows the language, which here in geneva was a lifesaver.
the dali theatre museum was a mindfuck. i love it!
croissants and cheese are excellent in Switzerland.
i got to prune tomatoes and walk barefoot.
the alps and Pyrenees are beautiful from the road and i look forward to hiking them in the future.
off_pride was full of raw, honest depictions and discussions of queers. the burlesque show was a beautiful gender fuck with every type of body that is erased from typical media. my workshop went quite well.

i may not have access to internet in belgium until the 14th, so look out for news then!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

so i rode a bike into the future the other day...

and this is what i found:

watch out it is only 6 hours away!

p.s. this entry is dedicated to jaden

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

walking in spirals

my objective these last few days was to find other radicals, hopefully participate in thier projects and possible find a travel compainion for the trip to barcalona.

it was a beautiful bread crumb trail. the locations i found on the A yellow pages directed me to two small streets only one block long nestled in a tangle of others on opposites sides of town. monday night´s community center unearthing produced a semiformal (2h)lecture over european art and culture in the 19th and 20th centuries and a disscussion over a shared meal. excellent! it was a older crowd, but this also ment they spoke castellon and without much slang. i understood the whole lecture and manged to express some thoughts during the discussion. oh man was my brain tired that night.

yesterday i walked a giant spiral, which lead me through gardens, forgotten neighborhoods, a beach, a port, a small internet cafe, a university neighboorhood, what felt like the chelsea district, and then the same half adozen streets for the last hour as the spiral closed in on my end destination. (less poetic translation: i spent most of my day a bit lost but enjoying my wanderings) this day uncovered a radical community center with projects that need manual labor during the week and gender related activites this weekend. p.s. why are radical kids, in genral and well... in particular, extremly attractive? i know im bias because i adore extronectricites, but really... -sigh- it was a long 3 months in ronda.

today i have been offered the bike of Hada. sweet sweet boonies!

also the website for the Off_Pride festival, which i was calling a conferance because there are workshop, is up and now multiple langueges not just german. hooray! check it out: p.s. my workshop is called body conversations. ahhhh. im so excited that the fear just blends in as more adrenaline. i will be speaking about queers, bodies and sex; my three favorite public speaking topics! i swear my skin wont be able to contian me.

*love me and my inability to spell*

Sunday, May 17, 2009

and a ray of sunlight warms my lonely heart

oh valencia... ha. oh vincent and hada since i have not really spent much time in the city. of my last 36 hours here i have spent every minute with these two and of couse their dog, bartok. every delicious minute.

first and very important i ate a rice, vegetable soy dish with chopsticks. oh how i love vegitarians!

there was a big band concert that they performed in. after which, there was a comped dinner with the band and thier professors from the conservatorium. ha. where i toasted with the condutor over the positive effects of having sex while using drugs. he was attempting to make a joke that would make me uncomfortable and when i went with and one step further we bonded.

today i visited the sleeping dragon with bartok and we all had lunch with a few of their friends. my head is spinning because the whole time i have been speaking in spanish and listening to the valencian dialect. oh the range of topics, oh ideas complex and intertwined. i miss my metaphores! i miss using double antandras...

i miss you all. im also very glad to be here. i find this space revitalizing.

p.s. i also have no access to spell check or as it seems skype. ha. i barely have gmail.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

the devils hands

while reflecting on the last three months in spain, i was surprised to note how many things i have made in my free time.

-a peter pan costume with belt, hat and zipper side pouch
-a poco yo costume for a small child, which entails pants, a long sleeve shirt and a hat
-a 7 piece hacky sack
-converted a pair of old man pants into shorts, retaining the cuff
-extensively patched a pair of jeans
*note: i have no access to a sewing machine. thus my fingers are now well calloused*
-41 postcards and half a dozen letters/packages
-a wide range of sketches, from accordion players to deep fried fish heads
-and i just finished a formal drawing of my host family´s grandchildren, which is below. it is far from perfect, but i am satisfied considering the time and supplies. it is my thank you gift to them.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

hawked and happy

i post with word has been along time coming. sorry for punking out on blog updating, i hope to go back and explain the trips those last sets of pictures are from.

on to the string of positive events that began with hair clippers...

my conversation teacher let me borrow her clippers and with the help of a hair cutting novice i now sport my badger hawk again. its a very refreshing change.

received an incredible book in the mail and read savored it over two days.

i shared a meal and a movie (in spanish without subtitles!) with a canadian couchsurfing couple. because they are from Quebec spanish is easier than english, so i was pleased to find myself in animated spanish conversation for a good few hours.

there is an excellent arabic tea house here in ronda that was the setting for a friday night memory share.

today, i finally made it to a beach. it is not swimming weather, and actually it was rather cold and impressively windy. however, it was better in my opinion because no one was on the beach. i walked along the sand in the Mediterranean sea out to a rocky pier where the wind accosted me like a long lost lover. i stood out there for half an hour or so, just soaking up the positive energy. it was by far my favorite part of the day.

however, post-pier i found a Dalí statue garden! "elefante cosmico" is my new favorite Dalí piece. randomly, there was a bonsai tree museum in Marbella, so set out to find it. it was more of a walled in garden in the middle of a nice park, which i explored while waiting for the siesta hour to finish and the museum to re-open. bamboo really can grow just about every where. the museum housed some very impressive trees. the oldest was 450 yrs. old, with two 400 yr.old ones close behind. there was an excellent variety of types and ages from all over the world. i was the only one there so i indulged myself to converse with the trees about the history they had lived through.

i forgot my camera, which is bad luck for you guys but good for me because i ended up drawing all the things i found astounding.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

only a link

here is a link to the pictures i uploaded because i can not get them on the bolg as static photos or as side shows.

p.s. the internet and i are in an eternal battle

the photos i am intending to share in this post correspond with two adventures.

the most recent of the two was a trip to Sevilla, the capital of Andalusia. i went with a group of students and we visited a disturbingly beautiful church. disturbing because i had just seen "las fantasmas de Goya" so i had the Spanish Inquisition on my mind. this church was originally a mosque, as are most of the churchs in Andalusia, and was definitely a place of power during the Inquisition. my strange way of recognizing the thousands of people that died by touching the small locked doors that lead to an untold somewhere. this church also housed the burial monument of Christopher Columbus. i still dont know how to feel about that. i have to confess part of me idealizes a history where the peoples of the Americas continued their way of life and progressed to an unknown present, with out being conquered and western powers claiming these lands. the photos highlight the awesomely tall tower. after the church there was park traipsing and plaza visiting, which ended with a glass of wine in the small Jewish barrio. Hillel, i want you guys to know i told stories of your awesomeness during our sharing of a drink.

the adventure before Sevilla, was an attempted camping trip in the mountains surrounding me. i went with jim, a 52 year old teacher from CA, who actually is most often my travel companion, when i have one. we were heading to Jimera de Libar, but got caught up in conversation and missed our stop. thus, we spent our first day and night in Cortes de Frontera. it was old man camping, so at Jims request we went to a campground. it felt very strange to pay to sleep on the ground, but i wanted company. so we made camp and headed out to find a trail head for a day hike. the Spaniards we encountered, including the tourist info folks just looked at us strangely and re-recommended that we spend our day in the "white village" with the rest of the tourists. we ended up just pointing at a mountain and finding a way up, which included much trespassing and fence surmounting. it was a beautiful hike, with old some walls hidden in goat pastures, freedom twisted in to one of the barbed wire fences and a surprise skull formed from stones in a field that we viewed from the top of our designated peak. we transformed the skull into a cat pirate for the next travelers. i only took a photo of the skull... it seemed better that way.

well that night was not filled with much sleep since i was only optimistically over my sickness, not actually recovered. we managed to pack up camp minutes before a heavy rain storm and spent the morning in the cafeterria, which boasted all you can eat breakfast for 2 euro. ha. in spain that equals all you can eat toast with olive oil or jam and coffee. but the spaniards are serious about thier morning toast, and i had to fight to get my 2 euro´s worth. i ended up cutting up a tomato i had with me and ate four tomato sandwiches to sooth my conscious for spending money on food i could have obtained for free. the rain stopped and we headed to Jimera de Libars. this campground was really awful, i cant even pretend and once again the trails we had been told about did not exist. this trek up the mountain was short lived because the whole way was full of fierce brambles sporting inch long thorns. also i had woken up with a toothache that got progressively worse and morphed into a full on tooth infection and ear infection. lets just say i didnt even try to sleep that night since daggers in your head are less comfortable when laying down.

i returned to ronda the next morning at 7am, which was the fist available train. i enjoyed a socialized medical care system and was full of antibiotics and pain meds that i was not allergic too in a 1 hour flat. the next few days were spent sleeping and chewing soft food.

worry not im better now. and as a whole enjoyed the camping adventure.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

we artists are important

today i experienced time in a grand and humbling way.

i visited la cueva de la pileta, which was surprisingly large even though we only toured the small section open to the public. we were in the cave for about an hour. it houses beautiful rock formations in made brilliantly colorful by the mineral deposits. (i knew the types but currently my brain is powered off)

there are some incredible Paleolithic and neolithic cave drawings, one that is unique is a large fish with a seal inside. the guide said that they think these people were part of the first group that crossed the straights from Africa.

a met a German kid who was biking Spain, and we laughed over how we were so impressed over the cave drawing that were estimated to be 2.5 million years old when that amount of time would measure only a small part of the towering stalagtights and stalagmites.

it was a a good day.

however now i am rather sick. i hope this post has some linguistic integrity because i cant think. the combination of my head swimming with sick and this person sitting next to me yelling in an unrecognizable language make any thoughts slow and jumbled.

i made fire cider and i am felling better than 2 hours ago, i hope by tomorrow my head and throat will have cleared.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

es un poco más honesto que normal

En respuesta a una pregunta de michal.

mi relaciones con la lengua de Español es caótico y tan este composición monstra, no termina desarollarse. algúnas días, me encanta la lengua y otras me la molesta. estaba emocionante cuando podría hablar con la pareja y la gente en general en valencia, pero este semana me sintio que jamas puedo comprederla.

las cosas optimistas:
hoy, he terminado mi primerio libro en español.
muchas veces, tenía los sueños con parte en español.
hace un mes, escribí una poeta en español.

las cosas pesimistas:
me echo de menos las sutilezas de una lengua.
muchas veces, me sintio que no haya las palabras para mi en este langua o no sé como la uso espresar exactamente quiero decir. sé que este es normal, pero estoy frastrado cada dia.
me sintio invisiable y por eso me sintia solitario.

vale. más manana. mi tiempo a la café de internet habrá terminado.


despues dos días pasado en fuengirola, tengo más decir. discutí las lenguas con una chica de Alemania. ella habla cuatro languas. primero, descutimos en español, pero por nuestros íngles fue más facíl. fue ironica porque descutímos como en el primero, una lengua nueva inhibe comunicación. en español, pudímos usar solo fraces sencillo y nuestros opiniones perdieron sus intensidad. en íngles, pudímos decir los ideas más elegantamente y con profundidad.

nunca tiempo suficiente...

vale. en fin, estoy emociando apreñder una lengua nuevo, por eso en la futuro puedo hablar con el mundo hispanohablante. no obstante, en este momente estoy incomodo y no tengo confidencia para mi meta.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

cross cultural resonance

Valencia was too many shades of incredible.

Las Fallas was my kind of festival. lots of fire, lots of pyrotechnics and music in the streets. the big firework show lasted for 30 minutes and the whole time was filled with finale grade material or better. i have video and photos but as usual i am having trouble uploading them, below is a sneak preview. just imagine the best firework display you have seem times ten. also all day long there were salutes and other smaller noise displays in the street. this wasnt eve the main night. thursday for la crema, there was a parade that may have a Christan name but was completely pagen. people dressed as devils dancing with fire. there is a video of this too. the night ended with fires that were multiple stories high and more fireworks. ¡que perfecto!

i spent the rest of my week going to all the parks (discovering slumbering dragons), wandering the maze of streets and discovering lots of awesome graffiti, climbing all the tall 1000 year old towers, spending time in bookshops and comic book shops (oh the novelty of reading my favorite books n spanish) and going to an art museum.

i climbed this tree and took a nap.
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i also spent a lot of time with the couple who hosted me through the program "couch surfing." They were the most serendipitous part of my trip. i knew i was in the right place when i saw a roland barthes text on their shelf. i also knew how much of a theory dork i am. ha. they are both jazz musicians and eat pescatarian. thus my ears, mouth, and nose were delighted. we shared meals eating great food, listening to instrumental music and discussing the possibilities of non-verbal language formation. i managed to talk in depth about my thesis in Spanish, with a little help from them because they are learning english. also a friend of theirs is studying fashion and is working on a project with disabled folks. i hope to open communication with her and who know maybe i will manage to find a job in the fashion field here in spain, a thing i only had vague hopes about.

it was so refreshing to really connect with someone. i have been very lonely in ronda because for what ever reason i have not met people that i resonate with. but vincent, haba and i resonated with a cross cultural harmony, especially when we realized we are both followers of walter tompson´s sound painting orchestra. they actually trained with him. oh sweet envy and respect. there is just something about sharing a living space and daily rituals that bring people together. we cooked for each other. i walked their dog. i borrowed her pants. we celebrated our common humanity with awareness and desire to connect beyond the superficial level. i hope to know these people for years to come.

here is link to a video!

Monday, March 16, 2009

deliciously mundane

this post has been along time coming. i want to describe my average day.

i wake up between 7:30 and 8, which is 2 am your time (once daylight savings happens in Spain). I negotiate with the bidet, brush my teeth and get dressed. I have a relaxing breakfast with my host mom, everyday the same, part of a wheat baguette with olive oil and a kind of tomato pure/jam consistency ( i have never seen it in the states), with tea.

i walk across the bridge i have shown you pictures of and note the presence of clouds trapped in between the mountains. mornings are crisp and fresh.

school starts promptly at 9 am and for two hours my head spins with grammar. we have a 40 min. break at 11 am. which if it is not raining i spend on the roof top patio. (below are pictures of the street, entrance, center patio, the ceiling and the roof top patio with my view.) i have a snack of fruit and bread or yogurt, then head to my conversation class, where i learn more vocab words than i will ever remember and laugh a lot with my teacher who has a great sense of humor.

lunch is at 2:30 with my host mom and now the new women from Canada. after which i sometimes take a siesta or go draw in the park. the rest of my day is a mix of studying, talking to you folks on the Internet, reading on top of ruins, playing the new hacky-sac i made or general socializing with fellow students or Spaniards.

dinner is at 9:30, which is usually accompanied with a soccer game and the news, which i discuss with my host family. depending on the day evenings are tapas bars or making art in my room.

i move a much slower pace. it is refreshing. i have made time to do things just for the sake of doing them. for example once a week i make something. my fingers need to make things, usually sewn things. ha. my host mom thinks i´m a bit crazy, which is true...

i dont know why its not working, here is a link

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Una Pirata. ARRRRR!

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today I visited a waterfall that poured out of a massive cave called la cueva del gato. it looked like the perfect pirate hideout! the water was very high so we could not climb around, but when the water is low there are guided to tours to an impressive network of caverns. the coffee shop near by had photos, and it just so happens the the brother of my new Spanish friends is a guide, so hopefully that will be a future adventure.

these two kids seem pretty cool. they are adventure guides for kids in the summer, and are general outdoor enthusiasts. we have a bike trip planed in the future. hooray! they are learning English, so we move back and forth between the two languages a lot. today they were asking me questions in English and i answered in Spanish with out thinking. it is exciting.

my pronunciation is still awful! my quote of the week according to my classmates was, "diphthongs, they destroy me everyday." i have started reading a book in Spanish to try and practice, but oh man... i dont know i just dont see it, nor can i seem to put the emphasis on the correct syllable. now i wonder, do i have these same problems when i speak English?

Today i got my train tickets for my trip to Valencia, for Las Fallas, which is a giant firework and effigy burning festival in the name of San Jose (Saint Joesph). I sure in enjoy how Spaniards celebrate their religious holidays! I leave on St. Patrick´s day and will spend the whole weekend in Valencia.

p.s. im sorry the videos are sideways. i need to find a video editing program to fix them. it is on the list. i figured turning your head was better than no seeing them. they are from old posts. usually when i took pitures i took one video. have fun pairing them up!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

secret message

i went for a hike near ronda, and found a tower and some ruins that look like a bomb hit them years and years ago. it is intersting to find abandoned building that are also ruins. look out for the youtube video of the views form on top of the tower that the cool stairs lead to.

p.s. there is a secret tranny message in one of the photos.

Monday, March 2, 2009

birthday pie

it was quite a scavanger hunt to find the supplies to make this! ha.

Friday, February 27, 2009

and the tides change

before i talk about my experiance at Carnival in Cadiz last weekend. I have exciting news to share!

yesterday i had my first real conversation in spanish. during my grammer class the topic of women´s rights came up and i was able to articulate my opinions and explain the experances of women in the middle east. we DISCUSSED the topic for about half an hour. -sigh- it felt so good to move beyond surface topics.

also i had my first dream in spanish. it was very strange. i was in a void place with no distinguisable features talking with a void entity. -shrug-

Here are some photos from carnival in Cadiz and a sildeshow at the end. Carnival was crazy. more people than i have ever seen, which is saying alot. we were sholder to sholder for about 12 hours, whether we were in plazas or on streets. it felt like being at a concert except no one was dancing and every one was drinking heavily. before everything got crazy i got to see a little bit of Cadiz and the sun set on the atlantic from the other side, which was cool. it was fun to see all the costumes and interesting to see how the days before lent are utilized, but i would not do it again. by about 3 am the streets were wet, as if it had rained, with piss, vomit and spilled beverage. there was incredable amounts of trash and broken glass. i managed to miss the musical groups, except the one i have a photo of from 5 am. it was just too hard to move around and we were so unfamilar with the city and festival itnerary. ah well. this past weekend, so yesterday, Ronda had a small Carnival and i enjoyed it very much. it was definatly a festival for the locals.

eating sea urchin!

And i am peter pan again!

also i made a costume for my host mom´s grandson. it was nice to contribute to the family since currently i am probibited from cooking or cleaning.

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Friday, February 20, 2009


the complexity of a simple thing

gravity, water and stone.

Arabic fountian in Ronda
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Arabic fountian in Granada
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con un gato

Sunday, February 15, 2009

las puertas

the doors in ronda are wonderfull. i have started a collection of images that i will continue to update.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

¡hace sol!

the sun came out and all was good in the world.

for the last two days the weather has been ideal. light breeze, tons of sun, moderate temps. thus, my sun light intake has increased. hooray! i feel much better.

truthfully, monday marked a nice change in my disposition. i started laughing at my mistakes instead of being frustrated by them. now i talk more than i talk. eh.

i have not set up an intercambios yet. purely procrastination. it is at the top of the list everyday... instead i have been walking and sitting around boone and looking. i drew a person playing the accordion today. we attracted a crowd of locals, who all wanted to see my drawing and compliment the accordion player. el acordionista toca muy buena. fyi i dont think acordionistia is a real Spanish word. i also met some German travelers, we might meet up later tonight.

i ended up hiking the gorge again and this time found a new path all the way down to the river. when it is swimming weather i have found my spot. it is very reminiscent of hebron but with more moss and unfortunately more thorns.

my ability to understand Spanish has increased as long as the person speaks slow. speaking is coming poco y poco (little by little). in general class has improved because now i can figure out what the teacher is trying to tell me and ask useful questions.

i am very grateful that i have an awesome host family. they talk to me all the time and seem genuinely intersted in what i am about even if they cant really figure out what im saying. my host father caught me drawing the oil container and was so excited that i could draw. he is very cute. oh, i just found out he has a motorcycle! i am going to see if he will take me for a ride. my host mother cooks incredible food for every meal. and believe it or not, more than i could ever finish. ha. i really couldnt ask for more.

until the next time...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

a fragment of the hike

many hours and a few euros later. i give you this meger slideshow of a hike i went on. i got to climb on and in all the ruins!

unfortuantly i have run out of time at the internet cafe. so until next time. enjoy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

just a tease...

unfortuanlty the computers i have access to for free are very old and have a slow internet connection. Thus, i have had trouble uploading photos. here is one to wet your appetite.

two waterfalls! i only knew of one. what a nice suprise.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

prideful indigestion

with my first week in Ronda near completion, i will admit my frustrations. i understand that my current emotional state will improve with time. none the less, they are a valid part of my experience.

i debated posting about this because i resist exposing my vulnerability, so i am specifically requesting a refrain from consoling me.

-i have discovered that i hold a bit too much pride in my ability to communicate. at the end of class each day this week my body was twisted with frustration, anger and embarrassment. the anger is my means of suspending the saline from exposing my embarrassment. i can not communicate in Spanish. i only understand half of what half of my professors are saying and they understand less of what i attempt to say. coming here i knew this was going to happen and i was sure i could just roll with it until i made it over the learning curve. with my host family, i am doing well about not stressing over my limited communication. in school it is a different story; in my class i am the only new student, so all of the other students can communicate. i guess i am more prideful than i realized. i am embarrassed to appear unintelligent. i am frustrated that there is a limit as to how much my brain can process.

-we all know that i dont know how to relax. well, the current state of stress that i have subjected my body to has reignited my pinched sciatic nerve. this time it is both legs. so to add to my embarrassment i need to stand up at least twice during out two hour classes, because if i try to grin and bear it i cant concentrate enough to understand anything.

so... as a step toward relaxing, i joined a Tai Chi class. hee. it is full of middle aged women, none of whom speak english. they are all very nice and we exchange minimal, but friendly conversation. i enjoy observing them communicate with each other, it like a silent movie of sassy women in sweat pants moving in slow motion.

this weekend i am going to contact some locals for an "intercambios" basically, two people spend time together and help each other improve communication in a forgien language, so i will be helping some one improve their english one day and they will help me with my spanish the next. i am hoping it will feel more equal and less frustrating for me. plus i want to find some art enthusiasts to go to this art exhibition with me. i will let you know how it goes.

muchos amor!

Monday, February 2, 2009

clever is an understatment

HA! in order to update this blog i had to enable cookies for the blogger website, which i managed to do with all the computer´s menus in spanish.

i feel a bit crazy. the good kind, where you feel like your head has expanded past the know limit of your skull. the beauty is that past the know limit is only infinite possibilities.

Ronda is incredible. the town has about 35,000 people and is the size of downtown ashville or ferndale. it has two parts. the old town dates back to the 11th century, which monuments, fortresses, arabic bathes, mosques and bridges circa 13th and 14th century before the reconquesta. there are also churches circa 1700´s. today we had a tour of some of these places in spanish. i can tell you about them because i understood most of what was said. granted the tour guide was catering to us, a group only of students from my school with poor spanish.

the new part is still about 200 hundred years old. my family lives in the new part of ronda in a large apartment. however, there is no heat! instead they have heaters under the living room and kitchen tables with long thick table clothes to warm your feet and legs. currently the temperature ranges from 7-12 C degrees, so it is chilly all the time. the school also has no heat and no cozy tables. i´m very glad that i brought my coat, hat and scarf.

i can not really tell but i think my english is coming out strange. i feel like my sentences are shorter and simplified and i have to keep correcting my word order. this post is the most english i have interacted with in two days.

i will not have any pictures for a bit because i need to find the right cord to charge my camera. however, when i do you will be floored. ronda sits on a gorge and is surrounded by mountains. the two bridges i choose between, to go to school span that gorge. my view from school is distant farms, hills with sheep and mountains. my school is in an old moorish palace, so it has plazas, columns, roof top patios, a clay roof and tons of narrow steep stair cases.

here is my address:
Kegan Refalo
c/ Marques de Salvatierra, 8
P.O. Box 332
Ronda (Málaga)

i am figuring out all of my skype options. for now i can skype with video from 1:30- 2:30 est and i might be able to skype with only audio later in the day. fyi there is a six hour time difference here. email me your skype name and if you are available at that time. if not i have more time on weekends and we can schedule a time.

i hope all is well with all of you where ever you are.

miss you.

Friday, January 30, 2009

U.K. Country

having a grand time here with evan and his aunt.

Throughout this journey i will have a dream catcher trveling with me that my cousin erin made. Here is the first image of it´s journey.

here are some more images

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The beginning and the end

Hello friends and family!

It is interesting leaving New york again... it seems that this city will be a point of departure for me to unknown cities. let us hope Ronda treats me half as well as Boone.

I hope to update this travel blog often, but will be sure to write at least once a month.

I leave for London today. Evan and I are just finishing packing up after staying at Paul's apt for the last month. I'm excited and tired ... and nervous and ready.

Much Love and thanks,