Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual’

Peru’09: To Ollantaytambo

02/08/2009

By R. Richards
In the next few weeks I’ll be journaling the Peru 2009 Cultural Immersion program which lasted 14 days. I won’t chronicle every day but the most important highlights of our experience.

We had 7 participants: Sally R. and her husband Scott S., Gail and Hal B. of Sunapee NH, newlyweds Tim Y. and Amy G. and Betsy S. of Grantham NH.  Most were teachers which made for good dynamics. On our first day in Cusco, we hiked up to Sacsayhuaman ruins. After walking the great walls, we had a little meeting as the sun set, setting the tone for open communication and willing to stretch outside of one’s comfort zone. The group all agreed they’d give it their best shot.  That night we had dinner at the Retama where Guillermo is the music director of his band Chimu’s/Chimu Inka and plays there almost nightly.

Guillermo plays "cane" flute at Moray

Guillermo plays "Quena" flute at Moray

After a night in Tika Wasi in Cusco, we headed for the Chinchero and the fascinating agricultural terraces of Moray.  Here, Guillermo took out his flute and played, setting a surreal tone in the ruins. You could hear the music echo through the terraces below. Then there was a hair-raising ride (not so much much for me, I’m used to the heights) to the Inka salt pans just before the sun set, then off to Anna’s pension.  Many thanks goes to Julio of Personal Travel Service for setting up our ride with Ernesto and the Mercedes bus plus all tickets and other logistics in the Sacred Valley.

Anna's Family, Guillermo & Ernesto

Anna's Family, Guillermo & Ernesto

It had been a few years since I’d seen Anna when I stayed at her pension for night. It was good to see Anna again, her daughter Katey and her other daughter who had been in Italy for four years, who I’d not  yet met. Anyway, we all settled in nicely, the participants heading off to stay in nearby homes, down the street. We’d all met up for dinner at Anna’s though. Although it was a bit of a switch from the four star Hotel Antigua in Lima, everyone adjusted well to Anna’s where we’d be basing ourselves over the next few days. Below is a short clip as we arrived at Anna’s. Ernesto our knowledgeable driver, Anna, her godchild, daughter, and Guillermo are featured.

The American Bedouin

05/07/2009

Reconnecting with a Mentor
By R. Richards, MSI Founder

Screen Shot of "American Bedouin"

Screen Shot of "American Bedouin"

According to an excellent 2007 Aljazeera Feature video, Erga Rehns  has been living the life of a Bedouin in the desert with the Bedouin tribes of Wadi Rum  for seven years. I’m not sure if she still does though. I’ll have to do more research in order to contact her again. The last, (and first) time I saw her in person was in 1981, when we first met at her little art studio and home in Obidos, Portugal.

Some people are lucky enough to be a primed for a turning point in their young lives, and come across just the right person at the right time that poses questions, and challenges one’s view of the world – who plants the seed for a paradigm shift. Most people aren’t’ aware they’re ready for that change, until years later, when they realize the shift was primed by those mentors. (more…)

Traveling Lightly

27/06/2009

Decisions, Decisions – Motorhomes or Going Light

"fast und light"

" Capt'n Fast und Light"

Huge motorhomes rumbling down the Motorways and Interstates are proof that humans have entirely too many non-renewable resources at their disposal. What it takes to move these beasts of burden one kilometer in energy could light the two lightbulbs in my yurt for a week.  OK,  I actually owned a motorhome when living in Sedona Arizona, as an alternative to apartment living. We’d drive out into the desert at night and base there, while I led trips for Sedona Adventures.  And yes, we drove it to Washington state, fully loaded for the Outward Bound summer season. If a motorhome is one’s main residence, it may be “going lighter” on the planet, (I think) –  Maybe lighter than owning a MacMansion.  If, however, it’s one’s vacation mode of travel, please read on. (more…)

From Mt. Hood to Russia

16/06/2009

Bob Stremba

Bob Stremba

M.S.I. VP/Board member and fellow spirit adventurer Bob Stremba, EdD, is heading for Oregon and Washington State tomorrow  to take a bit of time off between semesters running the Adventure Education Department at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He’s also headed north to climb on Mt. Hood’s southern route again. He’ll be climbing the route with fellow board members of the Association of Experiential Education. Over the years, Bob has also summited Mt. Rainer twice,  as well as Mt. Baker and Mt. Adams.

After his trip to the Northwest, Bob will be flying to Russia where he’ll be going into classrooms,  facilitating group team building initiatives for Russian students. When I asked how his conversational Russian was coming along, he said he’ll have a translator.  However he is working on the written language a bit,  I assume so he can write a bit on blackboards and flip-charts.  Stremba applied for, and was selected to be the lead (and solo) facilitator for this program.   At program’s end, Bob will finish in western Russian – which is only a two hour train ride to Finland, so he figured he might as well leave Russia from the western border. If  we’re lucky, we’ll get some updates on this blog during his travels. We wish him the best on his program and further travels to Finland after program’s end.

Entertainment’s New Direction

07/06/2009

Tolle & Carrey Headline “The Global Alliance For Transformational Entertainment”
Eckhart Tolle, Jim Carrey and Friends Opt for Consiousness-Raising over Lakers

By Los Angeles Times writer James Rainey
Some might say that spirituality and Hollywood go together like sensitivity and pro wrestling.

Ekhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle

But that’s just the kind of habitual/stereotypical thinking that more than 500 entertainment industry types vowed to vanquish at a conference Thursday night as they came together for the first meeting of the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment (GATE).

Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and movie star/seeker Jim Carrey headlined the more-than-three-hour session at an auditorium on the Fox lot in Century City. Along with singer Melissa Etheridge and several other speakers, they urged their colleagues in film, television, music and other media to transcend the tawdry and mundane with higher-minded fair.

It must have been important to those packed into the meeting. They missed the Lakers’ opening championship-round game to be there. (more…)

Mammoths and Pole Shifts

07/06/2009

Is there a link between Frozen Woolly Mammoths and Pole Shift?

When I first read parts of John White’s 1980 book,  Pole Shift,  what left an indelible mark on me, was reading the link between the green veggies found the stomachs of frozen woolly mammoths and possibility of relatively rapid shiftings of the earth’s magnetic poles called “pole shift”.  Then again, maybe I didn’t read correctly, as the excerpts from an old nhne.com article indicate below, where White is interviewed by David SunFellow.

Pole Drift
Pole Drift

I’m not well versed on the subject, but from what limited knowledge I do have on the subject, I find the the correlations interesting.  Also, the way that the poles are “drifting” more every year, (also according to NASA scientist turned author/mystic Gregg Braden)  has my attention. According to Braden, airports are having to repaint their runway compass coordinates so often, that some have stopped the procedure. (Check out his books, two of which are The Isiah Effect and Awakening to Zero Point.)

Pole Shift Torpedoed by Author
By David Sunfellow

When John White first published “Pole Shift” in 1980, his book sent re-affirming shocks waves through the earth changes community. Many (including this reporter)

White mentions Mammoths
White mentions Mammoths

believed White’s book “proved” that Edgar Cayce, and a host of others, had correctly foreseen a global catastrophe that would destroy much of the planet along with major portions of the human race. White’s book was particularly powerful because it was written by a man with serious professional credentials and, perhaps more importantly, because it seamlessly wed modern scientific data with contemporary psychics and ancient myths and prophecies. While White refused to say in “Pole Shift” that he was absolutely certain that a pole shift was coming, he left no doubt that he thought one might strike sometime near the year 2000.

Now, however, White has publicly said that he doesn’t believe there is going to be a pole shift — at least the kind of cataclysmic variety envisioned by Cayce, Gordon-Michael Scallion, and others. (more…)

Great Travel Blog in French

23/05/2009
Christophe Pelet, Blogger extrodinaire in NZ's S.Alps

Christophe Pelet, Blogger extrodinaire in NZ's S.Alps

Christophe Pelet from France, shares images and word of New Zealand with heart.

A fellow traveler and volunteer hut warden at *French Ridge, *Frenchman (*coincidence? Maybe not) Christophe Pelet has become a good friend of ours. In fact he’s been hanging here in Auckland before he heads back to France. He’s been traveling New Zealand since late 2008 and been writing a great blog. But it’s in French so you’ll have to sharpen your French reading skills. He’s one of the best photographers I’ve seen, the images he creates through the lens of his camera are stunning and moving.

Author's niece and nephew with Christophe Pelet

Author's niece and nephew with Christophe Pelet

So it’s worth a visit just for the photos. There’s tons of history and background on all sorts of New Zealand aspects, as well as good commentary on his *”Wwoof“ing experiences. *(World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms)

See Christophe’s Blog where his most recent entry is called “The Top of New Zealand.

A Joyful Ceremony Planned

15/05/2009
R. Richards and A. Hamilton are getting married in NZ

R. Richards and A. Hamilton at Mt. Cook, NZ Ceremony set for 30th May near Auckland

Executive Director Randall Richards is getting married to Amanda Hamilton. Randy 51,  is a native of Sunapee New Hampshire, USA, and Amanda, 40, born in South Africa, who has been living in New Zealand for a number of years, are planning a simple ceremony at the end of the month.  Neither have been married before, nor have any children.

It took their mutual friend Lizbeth Asserhoj from Denmark,  living in Copenhagen, to put them together. Richards knew Asserhoj from travels in Peru, and Hamilton first met her in Australia, and later traveled with her in India. Lizbeth thought the two would get along, and went so far as to invite Richards on the India trip in hopes the two would cross paths and hit it off.

What started with some emails and Skype video calls, soon developed into a trip to New Hampshire, USA for Amanda, and month later, a trip for Randy to NZ. The two will be having the ceremony on the 3oth of May at Piha Beach near Auckland, New Zealand, Amanda’s twin sister, mother and friends will be present. The two will also plan celebratory gatherings in the U.S. when they eventually return.

Getting Married on Piha Beach, NZ

Ceremony on N. end of Piha Beach, NZ

Both are lovers of the mountains. Hamilton has been a ranger for the Aspiring National Park for the last few seasons on New Zealand’s South Island, and has enjoyed trekking in Nepal, the Alps and other areas.  Richards has been climbing, skiing and mountain guiding most of his life.

Traveling Safely in Peruvian Cities

15/05/2009

Traveling in Lima and other Peruvian Cities

Friendly Lima, Peru

Friendly Lima, Peru

The below commentaries come from entries on virtualtourist.com, which I thought was useful information that mirrors my own perspective of traveling in Lima. I remember my boss, Willie Prittie of Alpine Ascents International cursing Lima for the time he lost a bags of climbing gear at the Airport, when it was stolen from him.  From his horror story, I came to Peru armed to the hilt with mace, chicken wire around my backpack and yes, even a machete. I was traveling south on the Pan American Highway and was still a little uneducated about travel in South America. Within minutes of entering Peru, and catching a ride I realized I could throw away all the armaments. I’ve been in love with Peru ever since.
Hints on Traveling in Lima
Of course, no crime is petty when it happens to you, so take precautions against (more…)

Family Cari on Amantani Island, Peru

15/05/2009

MSI and Family Cari
A Son Helps Build a Family Lodge on a Remote Island

There are times in my life when I’ve  returned to a wonderful place in the world that I’m still getting to know, and by chance, I’ve end up camping in the same field or returning to the same hostel. Only when I  walked into the place, do I remember having stayed there before.

Richard Cari with a Kantuta, National Flower of Peru

Richard Cari with a Kantuta, National Flower of Peru

Richard Cari’s home and the Kantuta Lodge is one of those places. Since I’m on the subject of “chance travel”, the reader might be interested my entry on a similar instance where I was hitch hiking across France and ended up sleeping in the same field I had slept in 15 years prior. But for now, more on Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca.

I’d come to Amantani Island a few times during my travels in Peru. The place and people drew me in. No cars, electricity only a few hours a day, not even cats or dogs, which made the place seem  peaceful. There is hardship on Amantani. The small population living on the 3 mile by 1.5 mile island on Lake Titicaca live at 13000 feet in stunning but somewhat harsh environment. There sustainable crops of Quinoa, potatoes and herbs are rain dependent. There is no irrigation of the crops. People do go hungry, despite the tourism dollars that trickle in from visitors taking boats from the nearby (4 hours!) harbor or Puno, Peru.  Most visitors stay at family homes on the island’s west side, who have formed a cooperative rotating schedule that spreads the wealth and visitor’s dollars so no one family is reaping the homestays.

At Outward Bound we learned as instructors the metaphors of community, and here on Amantani, the population, because of its environment is a clear example of community. The island people work together with the resources they have to create the best possible outcome for all.

Segundino & Marcelina Cari of Amantani Island

Segundino & Marcelina Cari of Amantani Island

Segundino, the island’s vice-Shaman, if you will,  and his wife Marcelina have what was once a small home like the other villagers near the boat docks. But their son Richard went to University in Puno and majored in Tourism. He has come back with a plethora of “tools” and ideas he learned at school, that have transformed their home into the Kantuta Lodge, complete a separate building dining room, with longer beds for Gringos and Gringas and the only hot shower on the island.

Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca

Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca

Richard has done a spectacular job with his new skills making a better life for his family. He is creating a market. I told him I would submit the family lodge Lonely Planet, and even though I’ve not followed through I suspect the word has already gotten out about his good work.

The last time I visited Family Cari, I enjoyed the stay thoroughly. I got to help Richard’s sister Wilma do some cooking and plant potatoes by digging trenches in the garden below the house. I didn’t do very well by the way. Wilma, showing me the digging technique with a short handled hoe, giggled as I’d dig for a few feet before feeling breathless from the altitude. Her mother and father looked on from the house with a wry smile. (more…)