Monthly Archives: October 2012

Portland

 

“The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delights gift of paying attention”
The story of Portland city is well known among young people, it human nature that we feel like the current system is not good enough. Yes, sometime is true but sometime I think is just like juvenal Chimpanzee or Elephant, monk fighting in their peer group and rebel against their parents. 
 
As an outsider I have advantage of observing, once I observe the life system of US I wonder how long it took to reach this point of sophistication. It pure capitalist which does’t allow its citizen to go to Cuba because they will be contaminated,  the only challenge is when I find out that it a system which make you go high, high and high, having 2, 3,big luxury house which may turn to be you are grave while you are still alive.Having 1, 2 monster vehicle because you don’t know were the fuel come from.  I know that we all work towards betterment but it always good to see this with integrity and sustainability. 
 
Portland city it a different niche, compose students who came here for school from the big city which they call ‘Concrete jungle’ . Up here they find the state which choose different path of growth event though it still a small fish in the ocean. 
 
I am not sure, it might be a natural call, people from ‘Concrete jungle’  embrace the awareness of this place. Being able to compose their composite, seen the whole process and then use it to produce vegetable.  I share this joy with my hosts, ‘these potatoes are from my garden’, ‘these eggs are from my chickens’  I see such a deep appreciation and satisfaction. The echo of this joy for me it appeal rather strong, it suitability, cut off of emission of hauling food from 1 000miles away, cut off of chemical faming. 
 
As I mention before, bicycle culture is very strong in Portland, most of the house own one car, most of the people bike to the their work every day, even in this hash weather.  Cyclist respect and priority is so high make you feel so proud being on the bike. 
 
It such a culture, community life, slow pace life which bring young people up here to retire. Apparently for young people in this country, their suppose to work hard as much as possible so they can  enjoy life when they retire.  Ironical, in Portland they work in coffee shop, volunteer of some sort, work at cooperative market, ride bike, etc . Being here in the time of election seem like politicians miss this growing part of society. 
 
 
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Oregon coast…Chief Seattle.

It continue getting wet and less sun as the ride took me across California to Oregon state. Cold weather in one side it not such fun especial when you wake up and it 8-10 celsius wind, cold and rain. Start by straggling with cold lighters, then make oat meal which get cold quick and full of rain drops. Packing with rain, the wet things add bit of weight. Even with rain gears on you will still get wet some how. In such mornings the cold get on my fingers and chew my ear and cheeks, wind push it on the chest, there it get serious problem. When this situation goes for days, it when come the time to find another motivation to get out of such warm sleeping bag, I just sleep and count the rain drops. Thanks to Bear River hotel for put me up in their  five star room, I didn’t want to leave. Jerry you were so kind to help me dry up my things and give us place to you are warm house. 
 
On the other side, the cold weather it so awaken, make me pedal quick to generate heat so I can stay warm. Cycling with rain without wind which block you are vision it kind of different feelings,it has some sensation but often does not stay long. Cycling in Oregon coast in particular,  it such a pleasant ride. The pine, cypress tress with hanging moss plants with such lush green on the moist it so calming. The strong waves ragged coast when it get clear it offers an amazing scene as the road wind along. Most of the time the coast with it bay and caps are in mist.  Sometime there are creaks and rivers which run along the road, these places has bit of diversity, some flowering plants. The most colorful plant which make some places real picturesque is oak trees with their multicolor leaves in the moist it a wonderful place to pass through. There is also some lakes with picnic area, in the clear day I wish there was camping place. 
 
Just like north California, the town here are pretty small some for summer homes. I encounter majority old retired people living in this towns. People here has particular talk for food, the way they explain and make food it sound delicious and an art  for preparation hence awake uptight. Also people like to eat out, in the morning hours going through these towns I pass some family oriented cafes which seem to be quit popular. In most cases there are people in the queue waiting to go in, it cold outside but people they are patient waiting. I one point I stop for coffee, out of curious I ask about this kind of breakfast; I end up offered what called ‘Original German’. A small slices of boiled then fried potatoes, they fried them with tomatoes, onion, butter, mix with cheers then put eggs on top. This come with molasses bread which you can apply map syrup and again butter. This was half oder full order comes with chains of other things, beacons and what not!
 
Again cycling in Oregon, I’m taken back to history with some of historical fact on the road side. The exploration of this coast, the culture conflicts which lead to war with indigenous indians. This region it seem to be dense forest back in those days but the lumber industry has made it effect hence the name of Portland “Stump town”. It seem like we still lean in the hard ways, among of the state I visited Oregon it such a different one. There is lots of state parks, again offer an amazing natural experience to awake our awareness about our natural world. Portland city seem to take total different growth compare to other cities. The city seem to be compact with good links of public transport. The most fascinating thing is bicycle culture, as I cross from California things start to change, there are more signs alerting drives about cyclist. The city of Portland has link of bike lane pretty much everywhere, I had less challenge crossing the city. Also the number of bike commuter it looks like approaching Arusha’s number :), here I meet people who doesn’t need to drive at all!  There is also good number of home made bikes, it just inspiring situation. 
 
As I mention in the last blog, I found this speech of Chief Seattle (Si’ahl),(some of you may know this),  this is argue for ecology conservation he also speak of great connect they had with their surrounding environment and what they feel about invasion and advance development. I believe there was no one perfect and still no. But consider my experience and my childhood experience I think primitive life has great link with their surrounding so they lived such a balance. The people of foothills of Kilimanjaro, they were told that the mountain isn’t holly and soon they start deforestation, it also the same thing we are facing today ‘how can the paved road across Serengeti National Park can be important than life of; elephants, wildebeests, hyenas, dick dicks, and so much more? I don’t say we shouldn’t have roads, quality life or go back to 1840’s but we should find better ways with respect of our natural world.
 
 
Chief Seattle…
The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. The Great Chief also send words of his friendship and good will. This is kind of him, since we know he has little need of our friendship in return. But we will consider your offer. For we know that if we do not sell, the white man may come with guns and take our lands. 
 
How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The ideal is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of water, how can you buy them?
 
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shine pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, and humming insects is holly in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memory of red man. The white man’s dead forget the county of their birth when they go to work among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man-all belong to the same family. So, when the GreatChief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. 
 
The Great Chief send his word he will reserve us a place so that we can lie comfortably to ourself. He will be our father and we will be his children. So we will consider your offer to buy our land. But it will not be ease. For this land is sacred to us. The shining water which moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you land, you must consider it scared, and you must teach you are children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. 
 
The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father. The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes and feed our children. If we sell you our land you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers and yours. And you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give to you are brother. The red man has always retreated before the advancing white man, as the mist of the mountains runs before the morning sun. But the ashes of our fathers are sacred. Their graves are holly ground, and so these hills, these trees, this portion of the earth is consecrated to us. We know that white man does not understand our ways.
One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is the stranger who come in the night, and take from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s grave’s graves behind. His futher’s grave and his children birthright are forgotten. He He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought and leaves behind only desert. I do not know why. Our ways are different from you are ways. The sight of you are cities pain the eyes of red man. But perhaps it is because the red man is savage and does not understand. 
 
There is no quiet places in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of insect’s wings. But perhaps it is because I am a savage and I do not understand. The clatter only seems to insult the ears. 
 
And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand. 
 
The Indian prefer the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond, and the smell of the wind itself, cleansed by midday rain or scented with the pinion pine. The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to stench. 
But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air share it spirit with life it supports. The wind that give our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And f we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where even the white man can go to test the wind that is sweetened by the meadow’s flowers.
 
So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition: the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers. I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by white man who shot them from passing train. I am savage and I do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffaloes that we kill only to stay alive. What is a man without a beasts ? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happen to a man. All things are connected. You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell you are children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befall the son of the earth. If man spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know.
All things are connected like the blood which unites the family. All things are connected. Whatever befall the earth, befall the son and daughter of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is ,merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself. But we will consider your offer to go to the reservation you have for my people. We will leave apart and in peace. It matters little where we spend the rest of our days. Our children have seen their fathers humble in defeat. Our worries have felt shame, and after defeat they turn their days in idleness and contaminate their bodies with sweet foods and strong drink. It matter little where we spend the rest of our days. They are not many. A few more hours, a few more winters, and none of the children of the great tribe that once lived on this earth or in that roam it now in small bands in the woods will be left to mourn the graves of a people once as powerful as hopeful as yours. But why should I mourn the passing of my people ? Tribe are made of man, northing more. Men came and go, like the waves of the sea. Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, shall see. One thing we know, which white man may one day discover- our God is the same God. You may think now that you own  him as you wish to own our land, but you cannot. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chief Seattle 1854.
 
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Eureka!!!

In the deep, unwritten wisdom of life there are many things to be learned that can not be taught.We never know them by hearing them spoken, but we grow into them by experience and recognize them through understanding. Understanding is a great experience in itself, but it does not come through instruction.

                                                                                                                                                                                Antony Hop  On the october first the cyclin
 
The  cycling   day from SanLuis   Obispo t San Barbra, today is one year anniversary for Chile to Kili project. One year ago this was merely a dream, scare dream. Thanks to help and support of every one. Slowly thing started to unfold, for the sake of Conservation, #Education, Inspiration and ague for sustainable development I set off from my mother land, the place I have ever know heading to unknown. I wasn’t able to think about the numbers, it long distance, the goal for education; If I allowed myself to think too much abut this may be I couldn’t start instead I could sink into deep scary mments.
 
I landed in Buenos Aires, every thing was foreign, learn is slow process, I wished to go back but the motivation and spirit keep me moving. In the middle of gentleman of Buenos Aires I stand I present my idea, even though I was total strange to them, it was like we know each, they wish me luck. With child excitement I cycle up the Anders, powered by great adeline of conquering the challenge. I decent on the other side of mountain with burn tendons, Is it the end of the journey? Actual No…It an’t over till it over. The Atacama make me feel very small and lonely like it’s my last days….but the highland people bust up my spirt. 
 
Today in this giant tree I see my 26 anniversary. Thank you all for you are birthday wishers 🙂
 

The last stretch Los Angles- to the end of state of California, it among of interest ride, any ways it seem like everywhere I have been it interest places.  Cycle from LA to San Francisco was more to deal with navigation and look at expensive house. I had to do lost of loop and turn, get lost and deal with police.  Before Santa Barbra I find myself in Pacific Coast Highway 1 but this time it called ‘free way’ police car behind shout in the loud speak kick me of the road. I’m very tired and this police is creating a scene, lastly he decide to come out of the car and explain it with sign language, Asante sana!

 
While LA seem to be place for well off people, wide spread neighborhood, with distinctive classes which come together in Hollywood valley, ambitious and successful to steering their life which for me seem like ‘big drama’. San Francisco it more of fortune city; Spanish yard end their match from south to here stopped Russian from going further south, missionary found the city. Gold, Silicone, Port, World War, Lumber and what not bring people across the country and ocean till to day there lots of immigrants poring into this city. 
I happen to be in San Francisco in the one of eventful weekend; The Air Show, the demonstration of plains which US has created with some flight technics and sophistication. 
Football, I mean American football, though the name ‘football’ doesn’t real imply, it kinda of modified rugby. Their home team ‘Giant’ was playing. Apparently there is less real football enthusiast here, my friend told me it because soccer is too slow for them and it has no many goals ehh! 
 
The last but not on the list was #’Blue Grass Festival’, there was bunch of bands performing in the Golden Bridge Gate Park. For me this was different experience, the american music you will hear ofter is kind of teenager clubs music. For majority of America life is to be busy, work hard make lots of money, I mean very systematic life which make the culture and tradition here to be so different. Socializing it very limit here. Tolerance, patient and awareness it rare commodity here. 
In this festival there was lots of people, these were the people who I don’t see ofter as I cycle, a fair good number of ‘Rastas’ to think you are in Caribbean listen to different kind of music but with the massage of ‘togetherness and love’. It marjuana harvest season, hippies migrate from different part to work in the farms here. In this festival the consumption wasn’t for medication as state law say. 
 
We believe that the interest to nature leads to knowledge,
which followed by understand,
later on by appreciation
Once respect gain,
it one step to responsibility and ultimate action,
to protect our earth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ian Player
 
Pacific Cost Highway it bound with natural beaut, with it ease access it offer an amazing experience for lots of people. Cyclists, Motorists with giants noise motorbikes, old folks with moving houses, locals and international are to be seen in this road. For cyclist there is maps and books all design from north to south, high  peak is summer now it begin of winter there are less people business and camps are closed down. There are lots of locals migrate from north to south, seen me going north it’s a surprise. The southern coast it worn and lots of patcher of sand beach, overhanging rock such as ‘Big Sur’ which offer magnificent view of ocean and dry rolling paireirene. Further north it getting wild and natural beauty green hills, lots of rivers often blanketed by fog. 
 After #Golden Bridge Gate it was like the city behnd me doesnt exist, thing change quick, towns are small wit only on grocary store. Most has sign say ‘We reserve the right to refuse servise to anyone’, not sure what it has to mean. The names goes like ‘World farmous…’ world biggest…’ 
 
The most thrilling experience is to cycle and camped into Giant Redwood Forest. Cycling through ‘The Avenue of Giants’, into dense grove of redwoods is like entering natural cathedral. Sequoias (Sequoias simpervirens), the redwoods are earth tallest and nearly oldest trees, their life time is between five to threaten centuries. It may take a century for a fallen tree before decay!! Camped in this small potion of what used to be huge forest I felt great reconnection I have ever felt before. I clearly understand what Chef Seattle said in 1854. I’ll write his speech n the next blog. 
 
 
As further as I go as cold it become, I feel like the challenge of traveling and cycling are enough to consider cold as a challenge to take on. My plan of continuation still face challenge, reply from Russian embassy is to proses my visa through agent, argent require 400 euros just to process one month visa. More or less the same situation for China. The alternative is Europe to Africa, take off and work on the rest. The situation of fund raise add the gravity of situation. 
 
For more picture http://www.flickr.com/photos/76693747@N07
 
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