Blogging on the Open Road from Edmonton to Las Vegas Part 1

Ok, we are either insane or die hard travellers as we are about to embark on a trip to the US by car from our home in Edmonton, Ab, Canada.

The road at this time of year can be a bit more treacherous and so far Old Man Winter is not giving us a real break here.

It will be a good time to see a  variety of terrain from the prairies to the desert,and to the beaches on the Pacific Coast.

I love little gift stores in small towns and the storytellers we meet.  Everyone has a story and there are so many good ones.

I love cities too that are all unique in their own way.  Down home cooking will await us in Montana and the meals are huge.

Montana

Til we meet again, peace and blessings be with you

Angi 🙂

Opportunity awaits!  CARPE DIEM!

All images : http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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Jamaican Lifestyle Part 1

littleburstsofinspiration

We have much to learn from the Jamaican people, a simple people that are gracious and driven by love.  Bob Marley’s “One Love” is still alive and kicking today, in fact the Jamaican people believe we are all part woman and man and that is a complete love.

Many of the luxuries we take for granted such as cars, cell phones, the internet, etc. are not commonly used by many people in Jamaica.  We asked outr raft captain as we sailed down the beautiful Martha Brae River about putting a video of him on youtube.  He claimed that he lived in a village that had no internet so he would not be able to see it.  This did not phase him at all as a loss but merely an inconvenience.  J.K. also told us he was dependant on others for rides to work, often standing at the roadside in the hope…

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Jamaican Lifestyle Part 1

We have much to learn from the Jamaican people, a simple people that are gracious and driven by love.  Bob Marley’s “One Love” is still alive and kicking today, in fact the Jamaican people believe we are all part woman and man and that is a complete love.

Many of the luxuries we take for granted such as cars, cell phones, the internet, etc. are not commonly used by many people in Jamaica.  We asked outr raft captain as we sailed down the beautiful Martha Brae River about putting a video of him on youtube.  He claimed that he lived in a village that had no internet so he would not be able to see it.  This did not phase him at all as a loss but merely an inconvenience.  J.K. also told us he was dependant on others for rides to work, often standing at the roadside in the hope that he would be fortunate enough to find someone to drive him to the Martha Brae River.

The good jobs are reserved for the Jamaicans whose ancestors have always held jobs at the resorts.  Most of the children attend schools in uniforms from the age of three and the fortunate ones that are the chosen ones are groomed to work in the resorts.   These select people speak impeccable english and no accent is detectable however when they speak to each other they have a lingo that is apparentlly a form of slang that they used during the days of slavery.  It is interesting to listen to them talk to each other and then come to your table and greet you with a friendly “hello” or ask you if you would like water with you dinner and speak perfect english.

Now, one might possibly be wondering what the other Jamaican do fo employment?  Some make clothing and souveniors for gift stores or like our Raft Captain who makes pots out of mango’s, while other sell hot nuts or beverages in between the lanes of traffic.  Many are independent business owners who own buses or cab services that cater to the tourists primarily.  We saw many people making beaded items as well.

Jamaica supplies many items to the resorts and to the general population.  Sugar cane is what many of us might think of at first and maybe coffee but the next few items may surprise you – milk, cheese,bottled water, carbonated beverages, rum cakes, goat meat, chickens and the obvious one :marijuana” which is also know as Bob Marley..

Take a trip to their Hip Strip in downtown Montego Bay to witness some serious poverty.  These people live off the land and sell their wares to survive.  If you want to shop in a high pressure situation take a walk down the strip and you will be asked to buy many things possibly even cornered in a little area and wrangled into buying a beaded necklace at an extremely high price. These people are incredibly charming in their approach yet one feels a little tense in their presence.  We found being honest was best, my not liking something seemed to deter a few we met.  One character named Bob, many named Bob in this area, perhaps like John back home.was trying to get us to go on a guided tour with him and even asked us our names and room number at the resort.

Stay tuned for part 2.

(c) April 2012  A. Penn – to include all photos contained in this blog.  To only be used by written permission of owner.

Is Your Butterfly Awake?

Many of us have become accustomed to performing certain duties and taking on specific roles in our lives.  We do what is expected, what is required, what one must do to complete tasks.  We sometimes do things or don’t do things because we are seeking someone’s approval or to avoid criticism.  Maybe we do things to keep the peace and avoid conflict.

At midnight I found myself listening to music and thinking about the colourful butterflies I saw this weekend camping.  I have always been one that was fascinated with butterflies at a very young age.  Back then there colours and vitality would captivate me for hours.  They flutter about in such a magical fashion, they are free to fly wherever they wish, they are not bound by social norms or societal expectations.  A large black butterfly with yellow trim appeared to follow me for most of the weekend.  It landed on my shoulder a few times before it finally flew off into the woods.

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A butterfly represents a free spirit, when was the last time your let your butterfly out?  Is your butterfly awake?  I danced like nobody was watching to my music under the stars and the moonlight….  thank you butterfly for reminding me to be just me.

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Musings from our Elk Island Camping Trip – July 6th – 8th 2012

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Poem:

Oh fire it does intoxicate

while water does cleanse and purify

the sunset takes longer than in my travels to other lands

The sky becomes a darkened hue

amongst the stars I think of you

The trees surround me, hug me, close into the night

The night is full of cries from loons, rustling leaves and a crescent moon

And this is where I own this night

I write by the fire and one glow light

The lantern remains on the picnic table

I will write until sleep makes me unable.

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I have wandered through the woods in many places, water and trees provide the solace I seek.  I have been to the Redwood Forest and saw some of the oldest trees in the world.  On Vancouver Island near the Strait of Georgia, the deep woods of Saskatchewan and up north in Peace River Country. In Hawaii and Jamaica I walked by the trees near the water and felt a deep spiritual connection to nature.

Trees are desirable as they provide shade and shelter or the perfect hiding spot when one desires to be alone.  The trees at my childhood home surrounded me in my treehouse and it was there that I became interested in plants and herbs.   Trees are made to last, they outlive us humans which means they are always there when you need them.

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Searching for  kindling earlier on that Saturday night, I remembered so many happy memories of collecting wood with my Grandmother when I was young.  Her chopping wood to make a fire, her particular style of selecting the right pieces to start the fire with.  Things were simpler then, times were different.  You walked over to your neighbour’s farm and had coffee with them.  A home was heated with wood in your fireplace.  You made your own clothes, you had fresh milk, cream and eggs every morning.  Community meant good people nearby with morals, ethics and common sense, people eager to lend a hand.  Where are we now?  Well, at least I have my memories and my trees.

I Found My Heaven

I realized when I began journalling about my recent holiday that i wanted to relish these moments.  I was delaying the process so I could remain in that state of complete relaxation & unconditional love.  Something within me connected with the people, the culture, their beliefs that made me feel safe and secure.  The love is abundant among the people and within me.  Spiritually I became aware of things on a much deeper level.  I now find myself feeling irritable because the real world has almost taken over again, I am not liking that one bit!

I am feeling very blessed because Jamaica has given me the courage to do things again, to take risks, to be a free spirit and in a way, I always was.

i took out my braids on Wednesday and cried …. I did not cry when we left or a few days after, no I cried because it was my last little piece of Jamaica, that I was clinging to.

I have been to heaven, my sanctuary and I will go again.