I am letting go and letting God! Still here in the Wellnessland Wholeness Center in Cebu City, Philippines; but will checkout tomorrow and travel to the coastal town of Oslob, where I plan to spend a few days snorkeling with gigantic Whale Sharks and shooting a cover shot for my fifth book, just written here.
Yes, I have compiled a small book, Death Never Killed Anyone: But, Death Always Kills Every Body, full of quotations from my book, In Secret Diffusion, and my matching website of the same name. The cover will show me, freely swimming and perfectly safe, underwater in the ocean, consorting with sharks… known to be killers of all humans. Naturally, they are the objects of terror; just like death is.
Interestingly, these massive Whale Sharks don’t eat humans but cluster in a small bay because they are fed their vegetarian preferences so that we can meet them up close. Who’da thunk?
We’ve found an exception to the rule of our kneejerk prejudice! Same with death! Why do we so consistently panic at the thought or approach of it? Well, that’s what this long stay at WELLNESSland WHOL(Y)ness Ne(W)HEALTH Center has revealed to me. My philosophical pondering about that universal FEAR in everyone’s psyche led me to quickly produce this book, which will soon be propagated, like little chia seeds, free, all over these Philippine Islands. Let’s see if we can change that attitude to one of eager anticipation???? That would really be flipping things on their heads, wouldn’t it?
Well, you can join this experiment! When the booklet is complete in ebook form, it will be downloadable here. Help yourself and share it with your friends. Become a guinea pig and see if your Fear of Death is reduced by reading it? Become a lab rat in the name of science.
This weekend, twenty people gathered here at the Wellness Center for an overnight retreat. I was invited to be one of the speakers. I chose to weave the topic of Storytelling and Wordsmithing with the brand new international practice of Death Cafes . Google that. Lately, all over the world, people are gathering informally over tea and cake, to spill their guts about death. So, we did that and loved the sweet, teary, chuckling, cathartic results. This Center now intends to host a Death Cafe once a month!
I highly recommend that you try it, too! Ten people in a circle is probably perfect, but any number can be adjusted for. Homes, libraries, cafes. Just announce the meeting and let ‘er roll!
Wednesday, May 2: I’m in a very modern, brand-new, high-rise, hostel, the Lub-d, in Makati City, a section of sprawling downtown Manila.
I was at the sister hostel in Bangkok and knew this one would be very comfortable. It’s the newest hostel in the whole 7000 island Philippine chain. But, there are very few big cities out here and I’m keen to explore the smaller spots on the map.
I’m still sleeping off my overnight trip flying from Vietiane, Laos, last weekend; so I’ve merely walked through this particular neighborhood, ranging about for new restaurants to try. Though all the American chains like Subway, McDonalds and Wendys are ever-present too. I was thrilled to learn that the local taste isn’t dependant upon chilis and hot flavors, but consists of plenty of seafood, rice and veggies. Portions are huge and prices are low, so I get by on two big meals a day. Such a deal for really upscale living!
My eight-bunk, female dorm contains sturdy, curtained, cubicle beds and there’s a bathroom down the hall. So far, I have only a few roommates, but it’s so private and quiet that even at full steam, it would feel that way. My nightly rate is $15.
The atmosphere is still somewhat Asian but comes closer to the Western vibe than Southeast Asia. Maybe because everyone speaks English and there are all the familiar brands on the shelves. The weather feels exactly like Florida.
Now I’m planning my transportation to Cebu City further south on Cebu Island. It’s a 1.5 hour flight or a 26 hour sea voyage on a fancy cruiser ferry boat, and I’m leaning towards the water route as I haven’t done enough of that in my life. I’ve chosen a Health and Wellness nature retreat and spa as my accommodations there for as long as I decide to stay in that town, which is the second largest town of this country.
The photo course I was interested in isn’t available any more here; but I’m hoping I can find one in the college town of Dumaguete, where I’ll head after Cebu. I must start shooting pictures of my new life here, anyway; new skills or not.
This is a good possibility for a retirement, once I stop traveling. The country bends over backwards to attract retirees with a serious discount card (did I hear 20%?); a long-term visa; and a monthly living cost of $800 to $1300 per person, per month. And yet, high quality standards and excellent medical facilities. Social Security won’t send checks here, but it’s easy to have it deposited in a stateside bank and then accessed by ATM, as I do now. I’ll keep mentioning this attractive possibility as I learn more.
Haven’t laid eyes on the famous turquoise blue water yet, but that will happen soon.
Open Letter To My Dearest Friend, Fawn Germer, And All Woman’s Leadership Groups Who Work Together to Change The World and Their Own Lives!
Here’s a shout-out to all wonderful, dedicated Women of The World! Together we can change things! I highly recommend: www.fawngermer.com author of Work-Life Reset! and many other excellent, motivational books. She knows what she’s doing and is calling you and me and everyone else, to combine to solve sticky questions and not to be frightened of their challenges!
To all women, everywhere, who gather to change things! I wish I could be there, to share your self-discoveries in your wonderful Work-Life Reset sessions. I’d love to walk along a beach or climb a mountain together as you change everything that needs changing in your life, your work, your family. I’ve never needed this sort of emergency brain surgery, as much as I need it right this minute. Or yesterday! But, I’m not exactly the one that I’m trying to change! It’s the whole, wide, bloomin’ world; beginning with our own country: America, The U.S.of A! And, I really, really need your help!
With a little caring. A little loving attention. A little effort from we, women….. we, mothers…. we, grannies! We can set this right again! So here I am, ostensibly hijacking my best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world, Fawn Germer’s Re-Set/Re-Do/Re-Learn/Re-Build Foundation and begging her to share this sudden, worldscale, journalistic discovery with you. I honestly, can’t imagine any other way to approach this problem so, I’ll share my yesterday’s journal entry to see if that will explain things adequately:
5:00 a.m., Saturday, March 17, 2018 –
“I woke up “Mad” today! I slept well, but I have changed recently. I am now TOUGH! I can feel it in the expression of my face, especially, the undeniable “glint in my eye,” mostly the left one; an expression which I can feel from the inside. When that face is there, I am fearless! More than usual! And, I know exactly what I’m doing….. but, not until I actually begin to do it!????
“The Holy Spirit was talking to me in fairly hushed tones, as I came awake in this Mixay Paradise Hotel in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, Southeast Asia. He was commenting on yesterday and my reactions to the shocking news of America’s Secret War, back in the Sixties, during the Vietnam War. All night, I had been trying to figure out what I could do about that! Then, at dawn today, with that new and unmistakable glint in my eye, I got up and journaled the following material:
“We live with an idea of our own Image!” As individuals, as Americans. We are naive! Yes, many of our assumptions are true; but not in-between the cracks. Things happened…. that were “innocent, in and of themselves.” But, they were terrible, nonetheless! This is true of nations, as well. Cracks appear, like the ones which felled the pedestrian bridge in Miami this week. What a visceral symbol for me! In my own State of Florida, and synonymous with the innocence I once had for my beloved homeland.
America had a “Secret War” (it’s actually called that) which we, Americans, have never heard about! For years, our warplanes deliberately dropped cluster bombs on sweet, innocent, uninvolved, Laos, the next-door country to Vietnam; just so they wouldn’t have to land with dangerous cargo still aboard. Maybe, those big, leftover cluster bombs would have killed the pilot if he had touched down too roughly; or sunk his aircraft carrier or blown a hole in a runway somewhere? Better to clear the cargo bay over Laos and dump the payload originally meant for North Vietnam! So, instead of a few Americans being blown up, thousands of Asians paid the price and are still paying it, half a century later. Very likely, this was SOP, Standard Operating Procedure. Simple practicality! One doesn’t question orders!
Every eight minutes, around the clock, for nine years, between 1964 – 1973, American pilots made this fatal decision. Also, bombing Laos was an official U.S. policy under both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, probably, to eliminate the Ho Chi Minh Trail and destroy North Vietnam’s supply chain.
Cluster Bombs were the instrument of choice. As sharklike as a conventional explosive, these bombs opened their jaws on the way down and rained metal beanbags, called Bombies, on villages below. Designed to kill living creatures, rather than destroy structures or blast large craters, these killers devoured life, itself. Seventy percent of the pellet-filled, orange-sized balls obligingly exploded on contact, as desired by our munitions inventors, and Honeywell Corporation, the US manufacturer. But, thirty percent of those, “death-waiting-to-happen”, Bombies still lie buried in Lao rice fields, in branches of trees; under soil where houses and roads are built. Villagers naturally recycle all found metal, making cups and utensils out of bomb scraps; so kids see a familiar object and pick it up to take it home. With their diminuitive name and size, Bombies look like yellow tennis balls. They feel like ordinary rocks when a hoe strikes one in a field. Water buffaloes set them off with one step into the squishy mud of their fulltime plowing employment.
Death and disablement is America’s Legacy here in modern-day Laos! Every day of every year, for fifty-four years, and counting!
What are we going to do about this?
- Make it secret no longer!
- Send money!
- Open a GoFundMe account and fill it up!
- Prosthetics! These people need artificial legs, arms, hands and eyes! Medical care; job training!
- They need the means to carry on long after the war that they never fought in is over and forgotten.
- Friends! Most of all, they need us to help them to cope! COPE needs us to help them do the above, in-country tasks!
Girlfriends! How’s your Umbrage?
Mine, it turns out, is alive and well! You are motivated to re-set and redo your life! To get that glint back in your eye! Try practicing on Lady Laos; or any particular part of her. Fix your Inner Goddess! Let ‘er fly, in more ways than one! Get on the horn! Rev’ up your typewriter! Say your piece!
There are no devils to stop; no guns to put down. All that action was over a long time ago. The fighters went home, dragging their consciences behind them. They know what they did but nobody else does. It’s too late for recriminations. The Laotians put me to shame. I’m mad about this whole situation…. but then, I’ve just found out. You should be mad, too! Here, the people are sweet, welcoming and very, very spiritual! Oh my God, are they ever! But, they limp or hop, or wear prosthetics. Dominated by the past. Our past! And this is where we can help!
A group called COPE, Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise, is well-organized here in Vientiane and they do their best to fix the broken. Read about all this on YouTube and their own website, www.copelaos.org They don’t need volunteers, as far as I can tell. I tried. Those must come through United Nations NGOs. But, they do need ongoing funds, both to clear the land of buried UXOs, Unexploded Ordinance; and to pay for the manufacture of artificial limbs, which are carefully-crafted for each injured person. A child will need a new device every few months or years, for a long time. And, that’s only part of it. The whole person is treated for life. And, new injuries can occur every day.
You are Life-Changing, Direction-Crystalizers! You are the Leaders of the Free World, who want to break down barriers and make massive changes in your own selves and in life at large! Me? I just want to keep on traveling solo around the world at age 80 and counting, and to keep on discovering life’s glories. Hopefully, this is the only brushfire that I will come across.
The Laotians want exactly the same thing that we do. A Re-Set! A good life! Not hand-holding! But, they do need a Hands Up! And so do we, after this shock to our system! This dreadful secret, uncovered! Helping hands always pull a person, and a country, up.
Come on, Gals! It’s our turn now! Let’s cluster together like Mama Hens! Cackle in the Big Boy’s ears, if you have access to any. Insist upon reparations, as late as they might be in coming. I plan to visit our American Embassy here to find out just what our government is doing and for how long it’s been going on? Or not, and why not? Why isn’t the USA listed among the many countries that have banned cluster bombs? This is peacetime, except that, forty-four years after our terrible toys began raining upon this innocent, non-warring country, the babies are still being killed. My babies were being born when the bombing started and that was a long, long time ago.
This Secret War needs exposure. It’s not that we don’t care; it’s that we can’t care when we don’t even know about it.
Okay, Girlfriends! Show your stuff! Re-Set History! Re-Set the Future! Come to Laos and see what total forgiveness looks like! See what a peaceful presence and a complete lack of blame, hatred, anger looks like! Witness the results of a cheerful shouldering of life’s most dreadful visitations and inconvenient requirements. A complete lack of self-pity! An enormous vacumn of Beggary!
But, we all feel a thrilling jolt of joy when that first new step is taken! Let’s join hearts and hands and help these people heal. And within this completely unexpected challenge (who ever heard of little old Laos?) encountered in this retreat, from a long-absentee, old friend of Fawn’s, your own wishes for self-discovery will come true! I promise!
So, roll up your sleeves, my darling Daughters! You have a right, and an obligation here, to Bare Arms. And boy, do you know how to use them! Rosie, the Riveter’s got nothing on you!
- Write songs and sing ’em!
- Create poems and quote ’em!
- Think up puns and spread ’em! They’re infectious! As you will soon realize when they start sprouting on your tongue!
- Do the audacious…. just like this letter is to you! Step out of the box and take a chance!
- And be happy, no matter what! Sincerely, incurably happy! Love humor so much that you can find it anywhere, everywhere! A page from Laos’ playbook.
- Let your words, sharp, pointed but sometimes, very funny, be your adorning!
- And, all I’m really asking is “SHOW ME WHATCHA GOT!”
- Send money to a dedicated account and keep it coming by sharing this appeal with all your friends and bigwigs who can get things accomplished.
Wish I could be there with you! But, this is pretty good!
Linda J. Brown,
We all know that Puns are the lowest form of humor. Right? But, aren’t they fun? The weightier the matter, the faster the flow of great puns! It’s simply our creativity trying to get our attention and to show us around-and-about the most solemn of subjects.
These are to be read simply as single headlines. I’m not trying to make a story here, though some subjects come in clusters (pun intended, I guess). And to get any sense out of this you do need to be somewhat informed about the Secret War of Laos, which is where I am traveling at the moment; and uncovering the SCOOP of the century! It’s a perpetual scoop, apparently, because “much” has already been written about it. Ish! Meaning that we, Americans, still haven’t heard of it. Check it out on Google and YouTube and then, do what you can to spread this shameful news. This egg on the American Face. Fifty years and counting!
I stumbled across the story in the COPE Center, here in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, while touristing through Southeast Asia. COPE is dedicated to clearing the UXO, unexploded ordinances, which kill and maim Laotians constantly as they work and walk the countryside. COPE makes prosthetics that allow them to survive. They need our support, primarily in the shape of money. They are not begging for it. I am!
When the oh so serious subject of America’s Secret War in Laos (see my previous blog) came to my attention; I found myself suddenly creating headlines and playing with words. I’ll share the pun-worthy results here, in order to give you full permission to slide gleefully down this slippery slope; even if you have a speech to the United Nations to prepare. Just try to imagine the subjects you could weave around each headline. And, there you will have it! Profundity! Keep paper and pen handy! These smarty-pants reproduce uncontrollably!
AMERICA’S TACTICAL TRAVESTY!
WOMBS OR BOMBS? TOMBS OR ROOMS? BOOMS CREATE GLOOMS!
LIVE or spelled backwards EVIL?
UNEXPLODED CLUSTER BOMBS – A BLAST FROM THE PAST!
BOMBIES – BLASTS THAT LAST!
LAOS OR LOSS? LOUSED OR LOST?
YOUR SONS, OUR SONS, MY SON!
SECRET WARS ARE NOT CIVIL! LET’S BE CIVIL TO EACH OTHER!
IF CIVILIANS ARE NOT SOLDIERS, THEN, WHY DID WE BOMB THEM? ‘SPLAIN THAT TO ME AGAIN?
WHERE WERE THE NO-FLY-ZONES OVER LAOS?
THEY ARE NOT ASKING FOR HAND-HOLDING! MANY LAOTIANS DON’T HAVE THOSE ANY MORE!
BUT, THEY DO NEED A HANDS-UP!
LET’S JOIN HANDS AND HEARTS AND HELP THEM HEAL!
A CLUSTER BOMB FELL, LIKE A NUT, ON THE HEAD OF HENNY-PENNY. SHE RAN TO TELL THE KING BUT NOBODY LISTENED!
WHO WAS HENNY-PENNY, ANYWAY? THE BUSY BODY WHO THOUGHT THE SKY WAS FALLING!
BUCK, BUCK, BUCK! IF THE SKY FELL, THOSE PLANES WOULDN’T BE OVERHEAD! EVERYTHING’S NORMAL, YOU SILLY HEN!
RELAX, HENNY! IT’S ONLY CLUSTER BOMBS; JUST LIKE EVERYDAY, FOR THE PAST NINE YEARS!
CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS THAT IT’S A BIGGER WAR THAN YOU THOUGHT POSSIBLE! LAOS IS THE MOST-BOMBED COUNTRY, EVER IN HISTORY! THANKS TO THE U.S! GUESS WHO GOOSEY-LOOSEY IS!
LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS! AND LOTS OF OTHER THINGS, AS WELL.
WHO’S MINDING THE ROOST, ANYWAY?
DON’T ASK FOR WHOM THE COCK CROWS! IT CROWS FOR ALL OF US…. EVENTUALLY!
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE DAWN! COFFEE AND ROTTING CARCASSES!
SPILL YOUR GUTS, AMERICA! CONFESSION IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL!
AMERICA! YOU BIG BULLY! LOOK WHAT YOU DID!
LOOK THE OTHER WAY! WHAT BALLS? THESE ARE OBVIOUSLY FOR TENNIS!
TENNIS ANYONE? LET’S GO BAT A FEW BALLS AROUND BEFORE BREAKFAST. THEN, WHEN THE EGGS FALL, WE’LL EAT!
OH GOODY! RATTLES FOR THE BABY!
TALK ABOUT BURIED TREASURE!
ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES, GALS! WE HAVE A RIGHT TO BARE ARMS!
CIVIL WAR=EVIL WAR!
MOM, UPSIDE DOWN, SPELLS WOW! AND DAD, WITH AN E, (enemy) IN THE MIDDLE, SPELLS DEAD!
WARFARE OR CARFARE?
LET’S LOVE LAOS, AMERICA!
AMERICA’S MURDEROUS EGGS – CLUSTER BOMBS
AMERICA HAS LAID AN EGG THAT WON’T GO AWAY, UNTIL WE EAT CROW AND MAN UP TO OUR RESPONSIBILITIES! DOES THAT NEED MANSPLAINING, ANYONE?
ORGASM NOT WARGASM! MAKE LOVE NOT WAR! PEACE, NOT PIECES! (Not mine, originally.)
AMERICA’S SECRET WAR, OUR NEST OF BOMBIES!
WHAT DOES ONE DO ON THE WAY HOME FROM A BOMBING RUN? YOU DUMP YOUR LEFTOVER BOMBIES ON BABIES IN LAOS!
WE’VE JUST FOUND THE CAUSE OF PTSD! THE ONLY CURE IS TO LOSE YOUR MIND….ER, MEMORY! OTHERWISE, THE BRAIN-BOMBING IS NIGHTLY. EVERY EIGHT MINUTES!
BOMBIES FOR BREAKFAST? THEY LOOK JUST LIKE GIGANTIC RICE KRISPIES!
U.S. PILOTS BOMBED LAOS EVERY EIGHT MINUTES FOR NINE YEARS ON THEIR WAY BACK FROM VIETNAM…. IN ORDER TO LAND WITH NO DEADLY CARGO. MIGHT BLOW THEMSELVES UP, YA KNOW! OR THE CARRIER. CAN’T HAVE THAT, NOW CAN WE? THEY’D COURT-MARSHALL YOU!
NORTH VIETNAM INCONVENIENT? BOMB LAOS INSTEAD!
THERE’S NO DECLARED WAR WITH LAOS, BUT WE STILL KILL AND MAIM THE INNOCENT EVERYDAY! FIFTY-FOUR YEARS AND COUNTING. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR LIFETIME IS THAT?
AMERICA IS GUILTY OF THIS! WAKE UP, AMERICANS, AND SEE WHAT YOUR MILITARY HAS DONE!
MAMA HENS UNITE! LAOS HAS STUMPS TO FIX! THEY NEED PROSTHETICS!
THINGS FALL AND HIT US! SOMETIMES, BOMBS! SOMETIMES, TREES! SOMETIMES, TRUCKS!
HOW DOES ONE CELEBRATE WINNING A SECRET WAR? HOW DOES ONE WIN AN UNDECLARED WAR? HOW DOES ONE SILENCE THE NOSY, NOISY NEIGHBORS, WHO PRY INTO YOUR CLOSEST SECRETS? YOUR SHAMEFUL, CLOSET SECRETS? BUT WHAT IF YOUR NOISY FAMILY GETS NOSY? STARTS ASKING PRYING QUESTIONS? GETS OUT OF CONTROL? CAN YOU SILENCE THEM? DOES YOUR GUN HAVE A SILENCER? WHAT IF IT’S NOT IN YOUR CONSTITUTION? WHAT IF EVERYTHING YOU WERE FIGHTING FOR IN VIETNAM IS NOW HELD HOSTAGE IN YOUR SECRET LOCKER? HAVE THE COWS COME HOME? IS THERE FREEDOM IN YOUR HEART? AND IN YOUR SPEECH? DO YOU DO UNTO OTHERS? WHAT DID YOU DO, THAT THEY ARE SO AFRAID TO SPEAK UP….. OR MORE LIKELY, ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL?
OUT WITH IT NOW, CONFESSION IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL, UNCLE SAM!
Happy Punning, Punsters of the world! www.copelaos.org.
Almost two weeks ago, I flew from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Barcelona, Spain, and have been staying in the St. Christopher’s Inn Hostel here. Christmas passed quietly and I’m looking forward to the same sort of New Year’s holiday, where I’m enjoying the balmy, sunny weather and getting some of my neglected writing work accomplished.
The nine Christian sects controlling the church can’t agree to move the ladder some ancient workman left. The tiny Coptic group insists that it stay there because “nothing can be changed!” But, I’m sure that they simply enjoy exercising that kind of control over the more powerful churches of Christianity. The ladder is wooden and has been replaced over time, but it’s always there. History Rules!
Last night, for the second time on this solo, around-the-world jaunt, I taught some fellow-hostelers how to Jitterbug! That’s the fast, Rock & Roll Dance that I used to do in The Fifties, when I was in high school. Unfortunately, our favorite teen dance has practically disappeared from the planet these days and nobody has even heard about it. I discovered this fact at the Hostel Euphoria in Tallinn, Estonia, when I heard their band playing all of my old favorites. The only way I could conjure up some dance partners was to teach them the steps. We all loved the results and I vowed to find other teaching opportunities.
That was last August and I didn’t pursue it until the chance happened, almost accidentally, here at the lovely Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv, just before I fly to Barcelona, Spain, tomorrow morning. I must get my videotaping act going, though. I came completely prepared to film this class; but got so wound up in selecting the music and setting up my computer, I didn’t even get the cameras out. When will I start recording this trip?
This dance was the last fast-dancing, Ballroom Touch Dance where the man leads the woman. In 1960, Chubbie Checkers introduced The Twist, where the partners faced each other and wiggled to the music, with no spins or even steps. Kaboom! That was that!
Dance Liberation! No more touching or Leading!
Much less fun, though the same amount of exercise! Boogie-Woogie is coming back in style, but it’s a strange conglomeration of the Lindy and some athletic show pieces, with women being thrown overhead and underfoot for the international competitions. You’ll find it all on YouTube. At least, I’ll do my part to bring a little authenticity to this modern-day interpretation of dancing. No problem that mycontemporaries who also danced this in high school, are pushing eighty. Let’s get out there all you 1950s graduates and set the record right! It’s great exercise!
My story is the same as it was a month ago, except that I’ve covered different ground. I flew from Paris, France to Tel Aviv, Israel on October 29 and it feels as if I’ve been here far longer than just three weeks. Maybe, TIME just expands here, or something that mysterious? Maybe, it’s because I caught a cold during my midnight layover in the Cairo, Egypt airport on the way, and I haven’t shaken it yet? Still coughing, hacking and feeling lazy with it, though I have stayed on the move, spending a week in each of the three major cities.
The first week, I stayed in the Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv, enjoying the warm weather of my new latitude. Paris was definitely showing signs of Fall. Then, I took a Sheroot (a small bus/large taxi) for two hours to Haifa, up on the northern coast, where I stayed for ten days in the Port Inn and enjoyed wandering about in the city of Mt. Carmel. It felt wonderful to have chosen a hostel that was still in the flat, port area; as the mountain rises very steeply, just a few blocks from the water. Then, a few days ago, I took the bus to Jerusalem and am staying in another Abraham chain hostel. Next week, I’ll shift over to the Stay Inn Hostel, which is closer to the Old Town. I’ll blame my cold on the lack of photography but here are some few that I have taken this month. In my walking explorations in this hostel’s neighborhood, I discovered the nearby Marketplace, or Souk, which bustles with life and interesting activity; plus piles of merchandise, fruit, vegetables, meats and tiny restaurants.
Here are some miscellaneous shots of some curious things I’ve seen lately.
On my 79th Birthday, September 10, I came north in Russia to walk along the White Sea in Archangelsk…. The name commemorates the Archangel Michael. Who better to ring in my 80th year? It was a gorgeous, warm day, and my friend Karina from my Hostel Troika, suggested we take a walk along the White Sea Beach.