Travel

There's a lot more to do in Vancouver than sitting around getting stoned, but it's sure nice to know there's some where in North America where an adult can smoke pot in a comfortable, friendly, designated smoke shop.  "Vansterdam," in the northeast part of Vancouver is the closest thing to Amsterdam any where in North America. Though marijuana is not sold there, you can bring in your own stash and smoke up. 

Here's some suggestions if you're visiting Vancouver:

Mike from the Grateful Web is currently touring Greece.  He's going to send pictures back when possible.

In 1917, the United States of America bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark for twenty-five million dollars, acquiring such unique island gems as St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. On May 16, 2005, I arrived at one of the most spectacular vacation spots in the world, Maho Bay Camps, on the island of St. John and lived an enlightening week of low-impact vacationing and high-impact wonder.

Everybody who stayed on earth the last couple of weeks (I think most of you did), Christian or no Christian, does know pope John Paul II deceased. Although it is the second time a pope dies since I'm alive, it is the first time I experienced it consciously. That is why I want to write something about it, even though I am not a real Christian.

 

When you think of Brazil, what comes to mind???  I'd say Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro, samba…right? Yeah, there is a lot more to Brazil than just that, but honestly, those are all some pretty awesome things that my Country is known for.. I wanted to tell you guys a little bit about the Carnaval, since I was just there for that, this past Feb.

Out of all the miracles recorded in religious texts, history and fiction, I think Jesus' first miracle is my favorite.  After all, what is better than turning water into wine? This got me into the most rewarding hobby I have every tried – home brewing.

Turning water into wine is hardly a miracle, though it will take you more time than it did Jesus. The equipment to get started is around $75. Any home brew store can help you get started. You can use a lot of this same equipment to make beer as well, though beer is a little more difficult than wine to make.

I hope you are all doing well and had an enjoyable summer!  It is getting near spring here, evident by the pink flowers of the blooming peach trees.  Yet the weather in the Highlands is still very cold!  Some days, when it is cloudy or windy the temperature doesn't get much above 65, and when the sun is out it will get maybe up in the 70s.  The crops and grasses are brown and have died down, but the pine, eucalyptus and other evergreen shrubs remain as a presence of green.

I'm doing none other than fabulous after 3 weeks of vacation! My friend Jamie arrived on May 18th, and we went directly to the beach so she could sleep off jet lag and be baptised in the Indian Ocean. We then headed south to Iringa town, where we stayed for a stopover on our way to Ruaha National Park. Ruaha National Park is one of the largest and least visited parks in Tanzania, but also one of the most scenic and diverse. You can check out good pictures of Ruaha and other Parks in Tanzania on this great website: http://www.tanzaniasafaris.info. As soon as we arrived in the Park, we were welcomed by a breath taking Kudu buck running across the road. Kudu are large elk like animals, light grey with a few white stripes on their sides and the bucks have huge spiral black horns. They are absolutely magnificent animals! We then encountered a group of giraffes, who at once took off running then stopped to stare back at us. If you've never seen a giraffe run, it is a quite surreal sight. They are surprisingly graceful, and appear as if they are running in slow motion

I returned to my village 6 days ago, and have been adjusting well despite a few struggles. Being in the States ruined me in some ways! I had a fabulous time there, enjoying all the luxuries that are so often taken for granted, such as daily hot showers, driving, a vast variety of food, comfortable chairs, clean stuff, wine and GOOD BEER. And of course above all else, I immensely enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Other volunteers that have gone back to the States warned me that everything would be so strange and that I might have a hard time relating to people. However despite having felt a bit repulsed by our greed (which repulsed me before I left) I otherwise did not at all feel out of place. With family and friends, I felt more connected to them than ever before. Everything felt so comfortable and so much like HOME.