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23 Aug

Things that feel necessary no matter where I am traveling:
Yerba Mate
Grapefruit Juice
Meditation
Good sleep

The things that I miss:
Arcata people
Redwood Trees
Rock Climbing

The things I am grateful for:
A bed
An education
Food
That I know that relaxation and having faith in the Universe are important
Trees, rocks, stars, animals. etc

The things I wonder:
When will the human beings in this world wake up and stop killing their world and themselves
Will I get this job after 2 months of interning in Mx
How long will I stay in Mexico
Will I ever settle down
Will I get a masters
Why do people get allergies
Is their going to be an awesome solar event that takes out satellites and forces people to wake up and grow some food.
When will I snap out of having a lone wandering identity and really find my people.

The people I love in a general way: Everyone, ideally.
The people I love specifically: You know who you are.

Then I read this:
‘The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.’

Atisha (11th century Tibetan Buddhist master)

And my words turned into nothing
my thoughts into vapor particles

my breath into a river
and my desires to air
and i let it all go

Atisha

23 Aug

Things I that feel necessary no matter where I am traveling:
Yerba Mate
Grapefruit Juice
Meditation
Good sleep

The things that I miss:
Arcata people
Redwood Trees
Rock Climbing

The things I am grateful for:
A bed
An education
Food
That I know that relaxation and having faith in the Universe are important
Trees, rocks, stars, animals. etc

The things I wonder:
When will the human beings in this world wake up and stop killing their world and themselves
Will I get this job after 2 months of interning in Mx
How long will I stay in Mexico
Will I ever settle down
Will I get a masters
Why do people get allergies
Is their going to be an awesome solar event that takes out satellites and forces people to wake up and grow some food.
When will I snap out of having a lone wandering identity and really find my people.

The people I love in a general way: Everyone, ideally.
The people I love specifically: You know who you are.

Then I read this:
The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.

Atisha (11th century Tibetan Buddhist master)

And it made my words sound like nothing

futurenow

19 Jul

Sitting in an internet café by my house, wondering about when i am actually going to do my homework. And also wondering what comes next.. a home?
Portland? Arcata? Arizona? Motorcycle?
The desert calls my name. Something about the sweeping windswept expanse, the realness of it.. . the heat

Carrie has the idea of ecovilliages and woofing up to the border.. or down to central America.. or who knows. Moving to another place, another time. Who wants to pay me to be me?
I can write, create, play music, design, engineer, know physics chemistry, and other things I guess.
I just want to follow my heart wherever it takes me, time to write a cosmic resume, take some inventory on 24 years on planet green and blue…………… look to the future with some kind of optimism and vision, with realism and possibility.
Well. The spreadsheet calls my name. Those numbers don’t multiply divide and coherently solve engineering problems themselves…

See you on the other side of the Internet,

Zach

trip viaje

5 Jul

I wrote this for my spanish teacher as part of an assignement… since im not a spanish major i got to write in en ingles.

This was about 3 weeks back. Many cool things have happened since, I will be sure to document some of it soon…

When we got in the van I was excited to head out, the car ride was not too
long for me. Agua Azul was a beautiful and natural place, yet the water
offered only a taste of a jungla that I longed to run around in. Zombie
childeren asking me for pesos made me feel a little uncomfortable and the
place seemed a little bit too touristy for me to really get into. Still, the
natural beauty of the place was overwhelming.

The Selva was so raw with the energy of life, I wanted to stay there for
weeks. The bugs, the heat, the rythm of the birds and insects and the
density of life has a hypnotic effect on me. It feels so real, so manifest,
so vibrant. It had me thinking I will definitely return to a Selva
environment soon. Swimming through the river and running through the jungla
I felt so intensely alive.

When we arrived at Bomampak, I remember feeling overwhelemed by the gravity
of the place. The energy I felt looking at the frescos and walking on the
temple was familiar as it was foriegn, common as it was mystical. I am still
not sure to make of the mystery of the Maya. The sterile archeological signs
seemed to belie the true magnetism of the place, the dry descriptions of
dates and names seemed to give a sense of western colonial logical mindset
to an otherwise little understood and profound society. Stepping into the
pyramids was like visiting an alternate reality in which history had taken a
drastically altered course. I still have no idea of what to make of it. I
would, however be very interested in exploring more sites.

Yax Chilan was too hot and too much walking for me to really feel into the
place. Still, we had managed to find an underground labyrinth that spanned
between temples. Bats hung chirping from the cieling and strange spiders the
size of my hand lurked on the walls. We had no idea where we would end up,
and by the time the surfaced we were in a different building. What these
structures were for is a mystery to me.
Palenque was absoulutely beautiful, as I´m sure everyone knows… the place
felt so cool to be in. Grand, strange, beautiful. We wandered off the trail
accidentally and ended up in a structure that was being excavated. It seemed
to be a dwelling of sorts. At this point the social atmosphere has taken a
turn for the worse- complaining, and worse, complaining about complainers
had taken root in the group dialectic as those with less fortitude or
tolerante for discomfort and diffuculty broadcast their opinions constantly.
Still, this was not sufficient to detract from the splendor of Palanque.

The hotel needs an honorable mention solely for the near death experience we
all shared in the pool. As the storm loomed and the sky filled with rain and
lightening the pool felt like the ultimate paradise. It soon became apparent
however that the storm was for real as a deafening bolt of lightning split
the sky, scaring todos out of our skins and then the pool.

All in all I was pleased with the amount of cool sites we were able to fit
into three days and feel inspired to see more of the selva and mayan sites.

Artistas Mujeres y Maiz

21 Jun

By Carrie:

Artistas de graffiti compartir sus mensajes políticos y ayudar a documentar las diferentes luchas sociales en Chiapas. A diferencia de Estados Unidos suburbios no existe un comité de vivienda para pintar sobre la obra de arte graffiti y muchas personas no tienen los recursos financieros para pintar sobre ella.

Dentro de graffiti esténcil alrededor del 30% incluye los mensajes que lucha por los derechos de las mujeres, 40% para el EZLN, la agricultura, y las luchas de la población indígena, y el resto es una mezcla de la cultura pop, otras luchas sociales, y algunos balbuceos.

Un mensaje recurrente de los derechos de la mujer incluyen el derecho a caminar por la calle con seguridad. Dice: “No más violencia contra las mujeres en las calles”. Otro dice: “Este maíz no es de este país”. Mostrando una aguja de inyección y en referencia al maíz transgénico de Monsanto crecen en la región. Para algunas manchas las pintadas de la hermosa ciudad colonial, dondese pinta a cada casa para que de manera clara y vívida, pero yo lo veo como una herramienta educativa que informa a los turistas y los locales de la difícil situación de los que luchan en la ciudad.

Hong Kong Dog

30 May

Mucho enfermo; divertidas

Many interesting things. We met our teachers in a vegetarian café yesterday. They saw we were sick and they were so nice to us. Muy simpaticos.

During the day yesterday there was a street parade with many bottle rockets that shook the hotel like a drum. BOOM.
Sitting in a restaurant means with frequency a band will walk in, the house PA will turn off and they will jam out a few songs then walk around with a cup for propinas, or tips. Its really cool. Right now a full mariachi band with 7 guitar like instrument players and a tambourine player just walked in are all singing together in plush black velvet suits. The tambourine player is doing an amazing dance, hitting the tambourine rhythmically with his body, foot kicks, and leaning back and hitting it with his chin… after the song ends the guitar player shouts ‘y no tiene novia!!’
Friday night here is Amazing! Everyone is outside at ten oclock at night… streets are packed all across the city, bands are playing, drummers drumming, people laughing and talking and walking around having fun. Little Mayan girls showing you the amazingly designed and crafted bracelets belts and clothes they are selling.

But then we went to this awesome restaurant with such great open ambience called TierrAdentro (EarthInside) and had such great food and there are all this Zapatista shops around the eating area with beautiful inspiring revolutionary artwork and lots of crafts and clothes from mayan womens cooperatives. Delicous food bumpin world music; inspiring quotes on the menu. The restaurants let you hang out here as long as you want. They ask you what food you want almost right away, but you have to ask them for the bill, or you’ll end up sitting there all day. It’s the opposite of the US where they give you a long time to order and expect you to leave semi-soon after you finish.

Yes, Friday night….I was almost better, then ate some raw lettuce with my meal. I was almost well again, but the lettuce, even though it was organic, is a reservoir for water- meaning that the organic farmer using river water with E coli bacterium from surrounding villages and cows is impregnating the food with e coli. I woke up in the middle of the night in our hotel room, with a massive volcano brewing in my lower intestine. Sitting on the toilet with massive diarrhea, a wave of nausea overcame me that was so intensely painful I had to grab the nearby trashcan to projectile vomit into. Suddenly as the wave of nasea continued to sweep over me I heard a loud bang, saw a white flash and then nothing but vast blue green space. I remember my first thought was “remember the love, remember the earth” and then I remember being confused about where I was. Then I opened my eyes and saw the tile of the bathroom floor in front of my face and the shower drain, and I realized I had passed out in the middle of the sickness and hit my head on the floor and was lying face down and naked on the floor. What a humbling experience!
While doing some research (http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/47/132.cfm <— excellent resource for travelers sickness AKA tourista, dheli belly, montezoumas revenge, hong kong dog, etc) I discovered that there is a solution of electrolytes, sugar and salt that the World Health Organization recommends for food poisoning, since E coli releases a toxin that purges your body of sodium and potassium (which are necessary for muscle function), and it also stops your body from absorbing water, as it goes right through you. I went to the Pharmacia and bought a packet of the stuff, and it stopped the muscle aches and diarrhea. I am starting to feel much better. Me and Carrie were discussing buying a bunch of these packets (only 5 pesos, or 40 american cents per packet) and taking them with us when visiting the outlying villages to trade for crafts or herbs, if they are interested… it certainly helped us get better right away.

Today our school program officially begins (5 weeks of learning Spanish followed by 5 weeks of environmental engineering projects.) Carrie, who is beautiful and awesome and a wonderful travel companion to be sick in a hotel room with or to go exploring and have lots of fun with, and I will meet our families we are staying with for the summer. We are so excited (y un poco nervosa) to meet them! We are staying with separate families to maximize our cultural surface area and also because the only option for us to stay together would be to stay in un apartamento without a host family, which would not be nearly as cool as the experience of staying with a Mexican host family.

Time to go for me, but before I leave , here’s a few of the inspiring quotes on the placemat here at the EZLN affiliated TierrAdentro- please correct me on the translations if you know any better!!

“Disculpen las molestias esto es una revolucion” Sub Marcos
“Sorry for the inconvenience, this is a revolution”

“Es un privelegio haber vivda una vida dificil” Indira Ghandi
“It is a privilege to have lived a difficult life”

“La vida se encoge o se expande, en proporcion al corage de cada uno” Anais Nin
“Life expands itself or contracts itself in proportion to the spirit of each one”

“Que dos y dos sean necesariamente cuatro, es una opinion que muchos compartimos. Pero si alguien sinceramente piensa otra cosa, que lo diga. Aqui no nos asombramos de nada.” Antonio Machado
“That two and two necessarily make four is an opinion that many share. But if a few sincerely think otherwise and say it, we are not darkened at all”

“La utopia esta en la horizonte. Camino dos pasos, ella se aleja dos pasos y el horizonte se corre diez pasos mas alla. Entonces para que sirve la utopia? Para eso, sirve para caminar.” Eduardo Galeano.
“The utopia is on the horizon. Walk two steps, and it goes away two steps, and the horizon runs ten steps farther away! Then how does one serve the utopia? For this reason, serve in order to walk.”

“No es inceible todo lo que puedo tener dentro un lapis?” Guille, hermano de Mafalda
“Isnt it incredible what can be inside of a pencil?”

“Mi nombre es Esther, pero eso no importa ahora. Soy Zapatista, pero eso tampoco importa en este momento. Soy indigena y soy mujer, y eso es lo unico que importa ahora” Commandanta Esther
“My name is Esther, but that isn’t important now. I am a Zapatista, but that is of little importance in this moment. I am indigenous and I am a woman, and this is the one thing that is important now.”

Paz y amor.
Z

agua pura

28 May

Oh man. There is nothing like being in a diarrhealerium. I don’t think i’ve seen much other than the cieling of my hotel room and the bathroom for 48 hours. Back and forth.

I have heard that 51% of the population has no access to clean water in this town! Yet at the same time, Chiapas supplies half of Mexico’s hydro electric power. So there is plenty clean water… its just not distributed fairly. Some people are making lots of money, others are always sick. You can see it in their faces. Those with just a bit of affluence look shiny and happy like americans, but those who are impoverished don’t look so well … The river that flows through town smells like shit and gasoline.

But.. i have decided to react to injustices with kindness in action as opposed to anger. Anger is the illusion of empowerment. Kindness in action IS empowerment.

LOL I actually caught my self thinking, in a sweat lying in bed  “man i need to stop eating all this mexican food, its making me sick……

but… all there is here is mexican food….

mmmmm… i love mexican food. i want a chile relleno right now”

But i’m getting better, pepto and fruit and massive clean H2O helps a lot.  Carrie is already mostly recovered.

Thanks to the universe for having access to clean water.

¡LLegamos en Mexico!

26 May
Hey you guys!
             We made it to mexico easily and it is beautiful and amazing. I am sitting next to an elementary school in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. The air is full of screaming yelling playing kids haha. We have been eating wonderful food, watching the amazing city which is full of colors and full of life and art and all kinds of people, indigenous, mexicanos, kids, elders, people in their 20s, some tourists. People are friendly, and there is a really diverse atmosphere here.

I already feel like i could just live here.
 
Last night we met this guy who does tours in the surrounding areas of forest and villiages. There is a building which has a yoga studio, a language school, a natural products shop, and a alternative movie theatre and restaurant and thats where we met the guy. its right by Otros Mundos too (they are the people we will be working with). I can tell this is going to be an amazing trip.
When we found the restaurant it was like being back in Arcata! Dreadlocks and firedancing and yoga people and samba on the streets lol. There was also an amazing jazz quintet of people my age with a mandolin congas guitar bass and drums. 
 
There are a lot of cool indigenous rights organizations here. We went to this building and i swear it was the same one from the video we watched on the zapatista uprising in the early 90s. Only this time no bullet holes or zapatista warriors, just estudiantes. Turns out it is one of many centers for indigenous rights and equality. There are also many movie theatres with screenings of various zapatista films. Will find out much more about this in the following months. Lots of mayan people in the streets selling fresh fruit, handmade crafts and clothing. Its interesting to suddenly have so much priviledge. I hope to help people by building rain water catchement and stoves, more so than by buying jewelry. Its hard to say no to a little girl who is begging you to buy a bracelet, but thats not what i am here to do! I did get a really cool bracelet though. But I cant get one every day… (i will buy a whole bunch for my family and friends when its time to leave- i swear!!)
 
 
 My spanish is coming back slowly but surely… I can understand much of what people say but my grammar needs improvement. Carrie is learning very fast, she is currently laid out in bed with the Montezumas revenge. People say it happens to almost everyone.. i went to the Pharmacia and asked ´¿tiene peptobismol, para la estomacha?´ and the man had a knowing smile haha.
 
 
Anyway, i am going to get some food, check on carrie, and see if we can meet up with Otros Mundos to give them some school books and some electric motors for bicycle power that we lugged here in our packs from CA, and then meet up with this guy Jose Luis from couchsurfing so we dont have to pay for a hotel anymore.
 
Peace and love!!
 
Zacharias

Hello world!

26 May

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