Saturday, September 22, 2012

Geelong Waterfront Trail

Hello.

Embrace the detours. -Kevin Charbonneau


I set out along the Great Ocean Road last Saturday.  I had every intention of seeing the Twelve Apostles and checking out some falls along the way.  Thanks to some rough weather and a lot of rain, most of the falls were closed.  Once we reached Apollo Bay... I discovered that the Twelve Apostles were still an hour away----Looks like the Twelve Apostles are not in my cards until some other time.

The drive was beautiful.  I loved every second of it.  It was cloudy and it rained for half the drive.  It was a winding road; some part were high above the shore line, other parts were right along side the waves.  It was windy.  The water was a dark deep blue.  The waves crashed against the rocky shore violently.  Standing out there, leaning against the wall, I just took it all in.  All I could think to myself was *breathe*

You know, sometimes life doesn't pan out the way you want it to.  Sometimes all the plans you have change.  Sometimes all your hopes and dreams change.  I honestly never thought I'd be here; in Australia.  I don't even really know how it happened.  Here I am sitting inside on a beautiful Saturday afternoon thinking to myself, 'what should I do with myself today'.  I'm on the other side of the world with nothing but a blank canvas in front of me.  For the first time, everything I used to see before my eyes is gone.  I just want to be.  That's it.  I just want to be.  I want to feel the wind in my hair, the rain on my lips and the sun on my skin.  I want to be in snow up to my knees.  I want the sand between my toes.  I don't want a worry in the world.  I just want to be happy.   What is happiness?


Peace and Love <3


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

if everything comes your way, you are in the wrong lane. -Unknown

I DROVE YESTERDAY FOR THE FIRST TIME.  (in Australia...not the first time ever..)

Describing word:  interesting.

The roads are all backwards, much like the roads in England.  The steering wheel is on the opposite side as well.  The car I drove yesterday is a manual.  You should know that I've driven a 5-speed twice in my lifetime--when I was 17 years old.  Driving on the wrong side of everything, in a 5-speed, proved to be quite the experience; without a doubt: interesting.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I guess practice will make perfect; or at least I won't suck at it forever.  

Here's a bit of an update on life in Australia so far:


  1. The job that I had, I no longer have.  I decided to quit.  The cafe itself was alright and even the people working in it were alright.  I just felt like the owner was being a bit 'dodgy'  **aussie word for sketchy**
  2. The coffee in Melbourne is delicious.  I have a new obsession with Chai Soy Lattes.  Never ever did I think to put honey in it;  this is a must for anyone who didn't know that the combination of honey and chai is heavenly. 
  3. Living situation:  moving to a bigger place soon I hope.  
  4. I also found two volunteer opportunities coming my way.  One with a museum and the other with a conservation group over on Ocean Road.  I think this will be a great way to get involved and make some friends.

And the job hunt continues.  

Peace and Love, 

Adriana 


Friday, August 24, 2012

Melbourne Day One

I attempted the city today. It started at 7 am. Dressed and ready to go by 8:15 am.

***side note... I had a job interview today... After applying to like 100 online job ads. It went well I think. I have a trial on Monday. I know absolutely nothing about being a barista. Should be a very interesting Monday.

I did a lot of walking after my interview. I went to Hardware Ln for a coffee and some breakfast. I stepped into a French cafe, where literally everyone spoke French. I wish I could speak French. I had a delicious cappuccino and a yummy crepe with spinach, tomatoes and cheese. Next I walked to to Melbourne Central Station. This is a mall something like the Eaton's center. At least I think it's comparable. I bought myself some tea, a couple awesome books on the inner city about hidden gems and holes in the walls and grabbed a chai latte. I really enjoyed myself. It was a nice day alone getting to know the city. Tomorrow I'll be checking out the Queen Victoria Market.

Peace and Love.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Heading Down Under


Hello, I’m typing this from somewhere over Utah?  Or Arizona?  I’m not sure, but it looks sandy down there.   This time tomorrow, I’ll be in Australia.  I packed up and I’m gone for the year--maybe forever?  I don’t know if things will work out over there.  I don’t know if I’ll be okay.  I’m leaving behind my family and friends to embark on something of my own.  I applied for a working visa to make some cash while I’m living there.  I spent last night packing for 4 seasons for at least the next 8 months.  Its funny that most of my life can fit in two suitcases.  This is going to be an interesting adventure.  I have a few plans for what I want to do, but at the same time, I don’t have a plan at all.  I decided two weeks ago I was jumping on a plane and giving it a shot.  How do I feel right now?  I’m nervous.  I’m excited.  I’m anxious.  I’m scared.  But then, I get really excited all the new possibilities.  

It was really hard leaving my best friends behind.  I honestly have a small group of people I see and hang out with all the time.  It’ll be weird being on my own for a bit, but if I learned anything in Belize, it’s the frequency at which you meet people.  Friends are waiting at every corner to be made.  

I’m going to really miss my family.  I wish we left on better terms.  I guess sometimes, you need space.  Hopefully time fixes all that needs to be fixed.   

I’m not sure what I’m doing with school right now.  I don’t know what I want from that anymore.  I know that I want to finish school, I just want to figure some things out.   Like, I want to help people.  I have a pretty good idea about how I want the next couple years of my scholarly life to go.  But, I’m young now, so why not make a few mistakes and take a few chances and enjoy whatever life’s gonna toss my way?

Maybe down under will be a good thing.  Maybe down under will be life changing.  

I’ll keep you posted.  What else can I do from here?  

Peace and Love <3

Canada

I wish I wrote more, but Canada has been work and no play.  If I play, I’m at the local bar or a rave for an after party or with my best friends eating sushi and spending money we shouldn’t be spending, and then I’m back at work.  

I went vegetarian.  That’s kind of exciting?  I’ve been meat free since May.  I do eat fish occasionally, but I’m going to cut that out soon too.  I did meet some cool people this summer too, overall, not a bad summer so far.  

Dangriga


I enrolled in this drumming class to learn more about local culture.  Belize is split into three kinds of people.  Well, four.  You have the British, the Spanish and Garifuna.  Then you have the msyticos.  Mystico's are a mix of everything.  I guess you also have the Maya.  Either way, theres a lot going on there.  This drumming class was specific to the Garifuna culture.  Our year end trip was to Dangriga.  A cultural town and center for Garifuna lifestyle.  

As a class we went to see dancing, singing and drumming; and then we made our own drum.  
I cannot Punta or Piranda for the life of me.  I am a white girl trapped in a white girls body…but I tried.  I really tried to dance.  Fail.  

The night was filled with dancing and drinking and classmates playing on the beach till early morning.  We went to a bar and met strangers who showed us around-–they also advised us not to be walking around alone at night.

The next day was spent building drums.  This was a difficult feat to overcome.  The main reason being, all of us were hungover.  The steps as I remember them: 
            • tree stump needs to be hollowed up with a saw
            • tree stump needs to be trimmed around the edges very carefully, exposing the softness. 
            • Sand the shit of out the outside of the hollow stump
            • Stain the stump.
            • Pull fur off dead animal skin
            • Comb it off with impossible tool to use
            • Soak it in some kind of water
            • Stretch leather over the stump
            • Tie leather up 
            • Braid string 
I’m pretty sure some of that is wrong…it was hard, and hot and I wasn’t paying attention.  Let alone couldn’t understand why they would give me a saw.  Like I know how to use one of those things…
Also…beware of sand flies.  Invisible little monsters that attack you and make you itchy for days.  
I have scars that will never leave me.  They truly leave a lasting impression.  My ankles will never be the same.

Peace and Love, 

Adriana

In case I die tonight...


To whom it may concern: 

I’ll admit I’ve been doing an awful job of updating my blog.  I’ve been too caught up in living the dream.  Tonight, I write from within the darkness of the bus.  I spent the last two weeks in El Salvador.  Tonight I fear for my life.  The rain is beating on the bus like hail.  Lightening lights up the sky in moments of flickers.  For a brief second, I can make out every shape, every rock, every car and every other face on the bus.  For a while I couldn’t see a foot in front or on either side of the bus.  Now, I’m watching rock slides plummet onto the road from the cliffs on either side as the bus swerves to avoid them.  I think my heart has stopped about 15 times.  Carlos is sitting beside me carefully watching ever move the driver makes.  I can see him looking at me, making sure I don’t panic. I’m terrified to continue this journey, but it doesn’t look like the driver is planning on stopping.  If I actually post this, I made it out alive.  

Yours truly,

Adriana

Somewhere outside of Guatemala City 

P.S. A rock just hit the side of the bus.  We’re still moving.  

El Salvador


There's so much I want to say about El Salvador.  I spent two weeks there.  The first day or so was in San Salvador.  Very interesting place.  It’s very different from Belize and Guatemala.  The people vary in colour and ethnicity.  It’s very multicultural.  There are shopping malls and franchises everywhere.  It’s weird.  Nice cars, billboards, massive nightclubs.  It was like being in a Spanish Toronto; without the buildings.  El Salvador is so prone to earthquakes, they don’t—can’t—have any tall buildings.  

Its also surrounded by Volcanoes.  Volcanoes everywhere.  Some are still active.  That makes the weather different too.  Its really hot, but still can get really cool at times.  

I climbed to the top of one volcano.  It was really pretty.  What a view.  If I had more time, I would have hiked down the crater too.  

The second portion of my time was spent at the beach.  The waves are really strong. El Salvador is actually one of the surf capitals of the world.  Anyways, we ended up staying at this resort with Carlos’ family.  They were all so wonderful.  It was really nice to be apart of a real family.  Like the Spanish Braidy Bunch.  There was good food, good wine and good company for a whole week.  The beach was dark sand.  I found sand dollars and spent most of my free time tanning by the pool and playing with the kids.  It was so lovely.  It felt like a vacation.  
View at the Lake <3

The third portion of my trip was spent at the lake.  The name of the Lake escapes me know,  but I do know that it’s a volcanic crater that filled in with water.  The depths of the crater are completely unknown.  I spent my days here jumping off the dock, playing with the kids and eating good food.  Most of my nights were spent with a glass of wine sitting on the dock watching the horizon fade into darkness. 

Oh one more thing to say about El Salvador, go with someone who speaks Spanish.  It’s very dangerous.  There are armed guards everywhere.  Houses are blocked in and protected.  Men with guns watch your cars while you dance in clubs.  There are twenty something deaths a day due to drug related and gang issues.   So be smart. 

Nightclubs: Awesome.  

Peace and Love <3


****I actually lost all the pictures from El Salvador :(
I watched beach soccer there too!! It was super cool.  

River Tubing at Parrot's Nest

Parrots Nest is like tree house lodging.  It's just outside of San Ignacio.  One of the professors from the local college runs and owns it.  He’s this awesome surf-like computer geek adventurer who looks like he should be living on the Gold Coast in a shack, laying in a hammock.  He picked us up as we were walking down the street and invited us to try water tubing by his place on the river.  

***We met him at Greedy's once upon a time ago.

Next thing you know, we have music blaring and we’re speeding down a dirt road and through a jungle path.  I was pleased to emerge in a clearing with little tree huts and a river in front of me.  Really cute little place.  It's even on Trip Advisor.  Tell all your friends. 


We blew up tubes and off we were.  The current actually carries you in a complete circle, so it was really relaxing and actually really cool.  The whole run takes about an hour.  

NO ONE TOLD ME THERE WERE FRIGGEN ALLIGATORS IN THE RIVER.  That changes everything…if I knew that..I would not have gone.   Just saying.  

Peace and Love. <3

Sweet Ting


Another little place that deserves special attention.  Sweet Ting is the only cupcake and cake place I came across in all my time in Belize.  It was delicious.  They had Red Velvet Cake…enough said. 

Yummmyyy <3
Check out the Sweet Ting website:


This is a must stop when visiting or travelling through San Ignacio

Peace and Love <3

Something NOT to tell my kids one day...

Drinking in Melchor with the family <3


You know that part in Hangover, where everyone wakes up naked, with strippers walking around, stolen babies, broken glasses, missing teeth and a tiger in the bathroom with no idea what the heck happened the night before…yea, that happens in real life.  I woke up in Guatemala.  

It started off innocently enough, everyone was getting together and sharing an elephant foot.  

SLANG BREAK DOWN:  Elephant foot = 60oz bottle of Rum


Next thing you know theres banging on my door, beers in my hand, hitchhiking to the border.  

Taxi anyone?
Next thing I know, I'm sitting in Melchor (border city to Belize in Guatemala) with friends and strangers.  A family of Belizeans.  I’m cracking open my first Budweiser in months.  I’m being invited to a wedding.  We’re all hugging. 

Next thing I know, I’m in a van cab with 15 other Guatemalan cowboys chugging beers and eating Doritos.  

Hello Flores.  Flores is an island in Guatemala connected by a bridge surrounded by a lake.  You bet the very first place I went to was Burger King.  I haven’t had shitty food since December.  Flores is a very pretty little place.  Everything is painted colourfully, and the roads are like Mayan bricks.  Little shops everywhere and children playing innocently in the streets and hidden corridors.  People speaking in Spanish, very little English to be heard.  The night continued to a local Guatemalan bar, where Spanish dancing was the only way to dance.  People were shaking it, twirling, and spinning in all sorts of directions.  I went to bed and woke up in Guatemala.
Such a tourist in Tikal

The next morning, I awoke to the smell of tacos.  Mer and Ricky brought home 30 tacos.  No way were we going to eat those.  We found a little breakfast place looking over the lake.  We ate eggs, beans and salsa for breakfast.  In the shuffle to get home, we decided to visit Tikal.  



Tikal is unexplainable in words.  It is actually one of the larger Mayan complexes in existence.  Sky high temples dedicated to worshipping the gods and to symbolize their strength and power stood tall in front of me.  This was a phenomenal feat of construction in front of me.  This was the Maya.  This is was what they stood for.  Their power, their strength, their beliefs, their livelihood, everything in front of me.  Unbelievably cool.  

Click Here: 


****Just so you know, it's much cheaper to travel to Tikal without a tour.  However, if you're scared, a tour is defiantly easier.  Just know that you will get ripped off and prepare for awful tour guides who barely speak English. 

TIKAL IS A MUST SEE.


Peace and Love!!!

San Pedro

The Cancun of Belize.  San Pedro is one giant party and one hell of a good time.  I WISH I HAD A CAMERA!  Unfortunately, I’m an idiot and left my charger at home so I had to rely on other peoples pictures.  Anyways, not the point.  

San Pedro isn’t to far off from Caye Caulker.  It sits about 30 minutes further.  Its much bigger and has a faster pace.  There are clubs and bars and outdoor patios everywhere.  We met up with a friend of a friend, and let me tell you was he awesome!  We ended up getting so drunk at this bar with an LA-er.  We danced and sang.  We bet  on chickens at the Chicken Drop. 

The Chicken Drop 
  • Pick a number on the giant board of numbers painted on the floor.  
  • Place a bet. 
  • Pick up chicken.  Shake chicken semi-violently
  • Drop chicken on board
  • Hope that chicken shits on your chosen number. 

Yup, that’s the chicken drop.  We went to a club in the shape of a jaguars mouth.  It was deceivingly big.  Inside were levels and lights and lasers and phenomenal music.  I was very impressed.  After all,  I do love a good show.  

We went back to Rose’s (the place we were staying at) and I lunged part of my body off the balcony to projectile vomit off the balcony.  Oppps.   Too much fun in San Pedro.  
^^^^That would have been an epic picture.  

We met a couple somewhere from the USA.  We spent the next whole day smoking the local herb with them and drinking beer in the rain.  

Going back to San Iggy was bittersweet.   I guess we’ll always have San Pedro. 

Actun Tunichil Muknal

Sitting up in Handprint Cave
This was hands down my favourite part of my entire trip.  This was a completely unreal and amazing experience.  I felt things that were beyond my imagination.  Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM for short) was incredible. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got on that bus at 8 am that Friday morning.  I had heard ATM was beautiful.  I had heard that it was a spiritual experience.  I heard that it was the one cave you had to see before you left Belize.  I was more than pleased to learn that I was going to get a personal tour with an archaeologist who actually spent a great deal of time in the cave.  Sherry Gibbs was my favourite professor at Galen University as well; so hanging out with her for the day was awesome.  I was even more pleased with how good the price was; after all, being a tourist in Cayo means I’m always getting ripped off.  

We hiked to Handprint Cave first, and that was really cool.  It’s hard to imagine a giant skull looking out over the jungle. But that’s exactly what it looks like if you had the means to cut down all the overgrowth that covers it now.   I thought the painted hands littering the cave walls were even more interesting.  It really left an interesting mark on that specific ceremonial center.  Mrs. Gibbs talked about so many different functions that may have gone on in that cave.  She showed us where pots were found and she discussed how looters were still trying to carve the hand prints off.  

We then made our way to ATM.  A deep body of cave water joins the cave entrance.  I would imagine this to be an underwater river.  It was deep. Way deeper than I thought it was going to be.  NOT FUN TRYING TO KEEP MY HEAD ABOVE WATER.  I was terrified that my tattoo would get infected with bat poop or whatever else I could contract from that water. The rest of the cave took forever to get through. It was dark and calmly eerie.  Shadows danced off the cave walls from our little flashlights.  It was incredible to imagine the Maya making a similar journey with torches.  It was incredible to imagine seeing the same things someone from a thousand years ago may have seen.  It wasn’t until we reached the final stretch of the cave, heading towards the crystal maiden, when I suddenly felt wrong for being in there. 

Awful attempt at a picture in ATM
ATM is a beautiful, scared cave.  I understand why the Belize Tourism Board has opened it for business, it’s a wonder of the world and it really is something extraordinary.  However, it’s damaging and ruining a beautiful thing.  It’s really sad to see broken pots and broken sacrifices.  People just get so careless and its saddening.  Its disrespectful.  Its like walking into a Catholic Church and teepee-ing the main cross and then taking a shit on the alter.  That’s exactly what people are doing, coming in there and making a mockery of ancient Mayan beliefs.  Its deeper than religion, there's this feeling of intense body, soul and earth uniting, it just felt wrong to be there.  You leave with a sense of enlightenment and understanding, yet, you feel so bad about trespassing.

I hope they close it down soon.  But, I'm thankful I was able to experience something like that.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Famous in Belize


A friend of mine in Belize, named Gaby, designs clothes.  She’s an amateur with little experience, but very talented.  As far as I know, she’s never really had any formal training, so it's even more impressive.  She’s currently trying to make herself a name and break through in the fashion world.  One night, we were out at Greedy's Pizzeria and she asked me to be in a fashion shoot.  I said yes; Merry Ann, my beloved roommate was also asked to be one of the models, along with several other Belizieans.  Thanks to my parasites, I looked fabulous for it--minus my pale complexion.  

We had a fitting the night before the big day.  On the second day, we were up and about by 8 am.  We were in make-up for the majority of the morning and then the photo shoot started.  First was formal wear, I had a blue, green maxi dress.  The San Ignacio Hotel provided us with some food–not like I could eat, I wanted to vomit thanks to my little friends.  

The second half of the day was more fun because we went to Mahogany Hall.  We were dressed in fun clothes and everyone was getting silly.  

I’m now on a website and a magazine. 

Not going to lie though, the modeling life isn’t for me.  It was exhausting and honestly, I’d hate to wake up and do that every morning.  I also like food far too much to be skinny for a living. 

Check Addiction! out on facebook:


At least I can say, I was a professional model for a day.  I am famous in Belize.  

Peace and Love!!!


Parasites


I, Adriana, caught a parasite in Belize.  I fully blame myself for being dumb enough to try and drink local tap water.  I deserve a parasite.  


THIS WAS AN AWFUL EXPERIENCE!!!!! 

Hands down the worst feeling in the world.  I spent all of Valentine’s Day with my arms hugging the toilet.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t breathe and most importantly, I couldn’t eat.  Thankfully, someone, was kind enough to bring my poop to the local clinic the next morning, only for them to diagnosis me with parasites.  

I was bed ridden for about a week.  On the bright side, I lost like ten pounds.  JUST IN TIME FOR MY MODELLING DEBUT.  



Caye Caulker



Caye Caulker is an island (or a Caye) off the coast of Belize.  It takes about an hour to get there by water taxi.  On this particular trip, all of the exchange students decided to make a weekend trip out of it.  The sun was shining, the sky was clear blue, the sea was coloured deep shades of turqouis and everyone was in a phenomenal mood.  We sat on top of the boat taking it all in.  All I could think was: this can't be real life.  Imagine being this close to something so beautufl all the time.   Once we got to Caye Caulker we began hunting for a place to stay, everywhere was pricey except for one tiny place that was hidden between the streets; it was tiny little wooden shacks right on the sand.  It was about 15 dollars a night.  I wish I could remember the name.  It escapes me now.


We went to this place on the beach for a delicious lobster dinner.  It’s run by a big big man who grills fish as you walk by.  Later we found ourselves sitting in hammocks and drinking rum till early in the morning.  

We took a walk around the tiny caye, the roads all made of sand, the only vehicles permitted are golf carts.  You can see the Caribbean on all sides of you at all times.  

It was tranquil and beautiful.  

SIDE NOTE:  Do not get a tattoo in the Caribbean...it limits what you can do.  I missed out on swimming with the sting rays and the sharks because I couldn't get the tat wet!!!

Another reason to go back.



Peace and Love <3


Monday, July 30, 2012

Life at Log Cabins


Who was dumb enough to give me a machete?

What can I say about Log Cabins?  Well, it sure is luxurious.  I say this with sarcasm.  It turns out, I’m paying a ridiculous amount for room, board and food.  Did I mention the mosquitos?  They’re charming.  The best thing about Log Cabins is the air conditioning in our room. 

Not all is bad at Log Cabins.  After all, it is really nice place; or at least the general atmosphere is lovely.  It’s a bit out of town, and perhaps inconvenient.  I won’t lie, I spent many a nights or days lounging my hammock reading one of Che Guevara memoirs.  Sometimes I’d mix it up and I’d write in my little pink book.  Some days we’d sit by the pool.  Other days we’d drink.  On one particular day, we chopped coconuts and drank them.  I can’t say I’ve ever done that.   So in that sense, Log Cabins gave me some life experience.  

The fruit of my labour...with some rum.
I did enjoy the scenery.  I would wake up to birds chirping and the sun flickering through the thick window shades.  I shared a cabin with MerryAnn and we were lucky enough to listen to a woodpecker every morning at 6 am outside our Cabin.  Palm trees everywhere, thick bush backing onto a small cluster of rainforest and wild dogs were always in vicinity.  We fed all of them.  Not particularly a good idea…our landlord was unimpressed. 

I’d also like to comment on the service.  We had a cleaning lady come in and someone do all our laundry.  Danny was our bartender and cook.  Every morning we had breakfast at 7 am.  Most of our nights there included pool parties and local rum.  The staff was good about letting us run the grounds to cater to our needs.  Except for the security guard.  He was a bit weird. 

 So life at Log Cabins was not bad, just expensive.  We found accommodations downtown and later in Kontiki for very cheap.  We were paying like 200 US a month once we moved out of the Cabins. 

Mind you, I have absolutely no regrets about leaving Log Cabins and moving into town.  Our new set up was way better.  

Peace and Love.

Jaguar Paw

I realize I haven’t written in over a month.  Time here escapes me.  I get caught up in doing so much and doing nothing that I find it hard to write.   When I was in Armenia, my friends and I met a few tour guides.  It just so happens that they work at a place called Jaguar Paw.  This is a tourist destination that allows you to zipline through tropical jungles and cave tube through flowing rivers in some of the darkest caves.  We naturally used this new connection to our advantage. 

The one thing about Belize that everyone should know is:  if you’re white, you’re getting ripped off.
Great crew of people <3

I guess  I understand if you’ve got a week here and you don’t know any better, but living here, you realize there are ways to experience the best of Belize and still not spend everything you have. 
Zip-lining Jaguar Paw

The tour guides were kind enough to take us to Jaguar Paw free of charge.  All we had to do was get transportation there.  We found a van cab who gave us a sweet deal (something like 10 BZ dollars a person = 5 US a person). 

Fifteen of us piled into this van.  We had the windows down, the back door and truck open, and off we were on the well kept roads of Belize.  I’m being sarcastic when I say the roads are anything but outrageous.  By the time we got there, zip-lining was first.  It’s time I admit that I have a serious fear of heights.  The first drop is the highest, the second was the longest.  I made it since I’m writing this right now. 

The sky was clear and the day was hot, zipping through the tallest trees and through the green canopy was a surreal feeling.  By the time we reached the bottom, all of us were hungry and excited for cave tubing.



****side note**** there's a hilarious South Park episode about zip-lining.

Caving at its finest
After our meal and being in the company of great people,  we grabbed our helmets and tubes.  We walked a few miles to one of the cave entrances. The next thing I knew, there was a bottle of rum, some coke, and everyone was diving into the crystal clear water head first.  We splashed around and watched a few tours go through the cave, until we decided it was time for us to through as well.  The water was warm and the cave was dark.  Our headlights were the only lights flickering in the darkness against the walls.  We held onto each other or we were left behind to try and paddle through the cave.  By the end of it, we were staggering out of the cave with smiles on our faces. 

The entire day was exhausting but a lot of fun. 


Peace and Love <3


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tattoos fulfill a need to inscribe the self as an individual. -Margo Demello

there she is...
Clearly impulsivity is a problem for me...I was walking home last night and decided I was getting a tattoo.

And now, I have a tattoo.

I guess I've always wanted one, I've been talking about getting one forever.  I don't think anyone actually thought I'd go through with it.  I didn't ever think I would do it either.  I honestly don't know what came over me.  Maybe it's a combination of creating myself and the need to find whatever I think is missing in my life.  

I guess the next question is why a peacock feather?  Those of you who know me well, know that I have a weird thing for hawks and an even odder adoration for peacocks.   Maybe it's all the colours, or maybe its the alluring feather, I really don't know.  Another think that I like about the feather, its associated with Hera.  Hera is the queen of the gods.  She is one of the most powerful woman in Greek mythology if you ask me.  (not only am I an archaeology student, also have a classicist minor) I also looked up the meanings.  These are the ones I liked best.  

Peacock feather:

General
Peacock feathers represent pride, and by extension, nobility and glory. Peacocks are also known to eat poisonous plants with no ill effects, making their feathers a symbol of incorruptibility and immortality.

Ancient Greek Meanings
In ancient Greece, the peacock was the patron bird of the goddess Hera. According to myth, she placed "eyes" on its feathers, symbolizing all-seeing knowledge and the wisdom of the heavens.

Hindu Meanings
Hindu mythology associates peacocks with the god Lakshmi. The feathers thus represent his qualities: kindness, patience and good fortune.

Buddhist Meanings
Buddhists associate peacock feathers with openness, since the birds display everything when they spread their tails. Buddhists also ascribe great meaning to the bird's diet of poisonous plants--the ability to thrive in the face of suffering.



- complements of: http://www.squidoo.com/peacockfeathertattoos




Peace and Love!!




A little bit of archaeology on Burns Ave...


POTS

Quick recap: Burns Ave is one of the main streets in San Ignacio, the city I’m currently living in.  I guess they were working on the pipes and doing a ton of digging.  Mid-way through the project they found something spectacular.  They found complete pots.  Not just any pots, but late preclassic maya pots.  For those of you who don’t know this about me, I’m in archaeology.  The reason I came down here was to pursue something that would give me back the passion that I think I lost over the last 4 years.  And here it was.  Pots.  Things that I've only seen in pictures.  However, I missed the opportunity to dig with the archaeologists once they took over the construction site and dubbed it an archaeologtical site.  This is entirely my fault by the way, for not wanting to dig under the hot sun and partially because I didn’t know students could volunteer until it was too late.

After a couple of days of digging, another amazing discovery was uncovered: bones.  Now, they were certain they had stumbled across a burial site. 

Cleaning books with fellow classmates and Ryan
The wonderful thing about the burial is that it's average.  Completely average in the sense that it is a Mayan villiger.  An everyday person, just like me and you.  Unfortunetly, its a partial.  This could be due to the fact that a bulldozer and plow were tearing up the streets earlier.  We actually don't know.  The skull was missing.  

Another week or so passed by and more digging continued and more pots were discovered.  In wonderfully good shape.  Now, here’s the exiciting part.  Both of my favourite professors here are amazing archaeologists - it's been fantastic learning under them. 

Thanks to Sherri Gibbs, I had the privliage of cleaning and taking care of the remains that were uncovered!!!!  I also had the job of putting together the pottery shards and broken pieces of the pots with Jaime Awe.  

I am absolutely stoked to be working on this project.  

Meet Cayo =)



I did something impulsive.  I GOT A DOG.   He's the cutest little thing in the world.  His name is Cayo.  I decided to name him after the district I live in.  I thought the name was fitting- perhaps exotic in actuality.

Welcome to my family <3


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Island Where You Can See the Future



There are two islands — known as the Diomedes, about two and a half miles apart — right smack in the middle of the Bering Straight. One of them, Little Diomede, belongs to the U.S., and has a hardcore, weather-bitten population of about 150. The other island, Big Diomede, belongs to Russia and is uninhabited. The space between these two islands marks not only an international border, but the International Date Line as well, making it possible for the folks on Little Diomede to wake up on a Sunday, pour themselves a cup of coffee, and peer across the water to Big Diomede, where it’s already Monday.


Read the full text here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/104762#ixzz1uzQytdHV
--brought to you by mental_floss! 





***THIS LOOKS AWESOME.  I want to go here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I eat merely to put food out of my mind. -N.F. Simpson


Welcome to Armenia.

Just last week I had the privilege of going to a tiny, remote village in Belize called Armenia.   To avoid confusion for the geographically inclined, Armenia is named after a place in El Salvador.  It was settled by El Salvadorians.  The place in El Salvador was long ago settled by Armenians.  All confusion is now averted.

All you need is good friends, good food and good memories <3
The discussion began when I met Carlos' roommate for the first time.  The conversation quickly turned to food and I began complaining about how I'd like to experience a real Belizian home-cooked meal.  Duck (the roommate) immediately offered up his mother's services and invited us to his village.  No sooner had the words left my mouth and we were already planning our trip.

PUPPIES!!!!
Last Sunday at noon, Carlos, MerryAnn, Ryan, Meredith and I jumped on the express to Belmopan and started the interesting journey to Armenia.  Remember when I said the bus was an experience worth experiencing once; well it's also a huge pain when trying to travel long distances.  It was hot and crowded.  I somehow managed to get a seat beside a heavy set woman displaying a rather large box on her lap.  As the woman snored without a worry in the world, I couldn't help but notice that there was a tiny eye staring back at me from the holes cut into the box.  I was now fully aware that there was something in the box.  I HAD TO KNOW WHAT IT WAS.  I started leaning back and cranking my neck at weird angles hoping to catch a glimpse into the box, when suddenly, we hit a huge bump and the woman awoke from her slumber.   I could see she was getting sleepy and about to plunge back into building castles in the air.  I quickly said: "I'm so sorry, but I NEED to know what's in the box".  To my pleasant surprise, she said "PUPPIES".   The rest of the trip to the Belmopan bus station was the best bus ride ever.  It was filled with a solid hour of puppy play for me.
Armenia
****Keep in mind that Carlos was laughing at me the whole time for being ridiculous about trying to peak into the box...half the bus noticed what I was doing...

The bus ride from Belmopan to Armenia was short and felt like only moments.  One second we were on the bus, the next, Duck was walking us up a muddy path to his lovely, rustic home.  Although it wasn't very big, and by all means, not up to North America standards...it was a place that poured out love.  It was a family home.  Modest yes, but so much was going on.  The TV was playing, the youngest sister was running around the kitchen, the other sister was sitting in on the couch of their 3 bedroom wooden home sketching a picture of bird.  The other sister ran around the home doing household chores, Duck's mother hustled around the attached kitchen speaking in spanish.  Carlos and Duck were lost in a conversation of their own.  Two dogs roamed in and out of the house.  A cat purred and curled itself beneath my legs.  This was Belize.  The essence of Belize.  There was no noise.  Not a trace of city sound.  Everywhere was a luscious green and the smell of freshness intoxicated my senses.  The sky was grey and the wind was misty on my skin.  I was so enthralled by my surroundings that I barely heard Carlos ask me if I wanted a beer.

We made our way down to the only bar in Armenia.  I wasn't surprised when we were the only ones there with the inclusion of a few drunk old men.  We ordered a round and the drinking began.   Only moments passed when one of Duck's sisters had come to summon us to dinner.

A real Belizian meal...
Fried rice.  Beans.  Fried plantain.  Stewed beef.  Hands down the best meal I've had in Belize to date.  It was an outstanding meal.  It was perfect.  I can't begin to describe how it felt to feel Belizian.  This is what culture is.  This is what learning about a culture should be.  It's about becoming immersed in it.  It's about experiencing culture for what it really is:  life as they know it.

The top of the mountain
After the meal, the drinking commenced.  There was quick reunion among friends that I guess Carlos hadn't seen for quite some time.  The next thing I knew, we were climbing the side of a "mountain".  There I was in flip flops, hiking up a trail through bushes and getting tangled in trees.  It was a short climb to the top and the view which unfolded before me was spine-tingling.  Only a picture could express what I wish I could say.  A portrait of hills coloured the backdrop.  Green hills rolled into the distance without end.  The grey sky, which would normally be seemingly dull, only made the view look picture perfect.  We laughed and took a million pictures of whatever we deemed appropriate.  When the sun began to set and darkness was invading our space, we hiked down the "mountain" and continued drinking.   But that's neither here or there and not something I need to talk about.  Our night escalated with rounds and rounds of beer and a couple bottles of rum.

****SIDE NOTE****Ryan ate a termite.   He said it tasted like mint.

A beautiful view in Armenia 
By 5 am, we were all wide awake with hangovers and breakfast being served to us.  She out did herself again.  Eggs.  Bread.  Beans.  Cornbread.  Papaya.  Every bite was savoured and every bite more delicious than the last.  We hitchhiked from Armenia all the way to Belmopan.  100 km/hr in the back of a pick up truck.  We stopped at a gas station, bought coffee and reminisced about the night before.  We jumped on the first bus at the station and road all the way home.  By 10 am, I was safe and sound in my own bed, finally getting the rest I needed.



At least we made it home in one piece...
All in all, the weekend was a complete success.  I was completely content.  I look forward to many more experiences like the one I had in remote Armenia.

My suggestion:  make friends.  Locals will love you and take you in as their own.  <3  Belize is an amazing place.

Peace and Love,

Adriana