experiential adventures learning about sustainability, balance and love.

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Where I am.

I find myself in a place I never thought I’d enjoy, with a love I never thought I’d be ready for. I am surrounded by people that are very difficult to dislike.

I am rooted so deeply that it feels as if I’ve never had roots until now.

I’m not alone. I’ve always loved the power of being alone, the power to decide my fate on a whim. Looking back on that feeling makes me feel like I brought a water-gun to a war-zone. This is something different than power. It is a peace. It is a connection so strong that it doesn’t make me fight for who I am, it reflects and resonates and builds amplitude and constantly reminds me who I am.

***

I have a small garden that I deeply enjoy. It seems like I inspect every leaf and flower at least 3 times a day. As if watching the hands on a clock move was the most interesting thing in the world.

This is the first garden I’ve started and had the time and energy to care for. I’ve started many seeds, planted many plants, but if not someone else’s they were simply neglected by me due to other responsibilities. My first garden was an experiment in neglect I’d say. Some plants do grow with the rain alone, but a nurtured plant stands high above one that’s simply living.

 

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Valentine’s Day White Stilton Lemon Cheese Crêpes. <3 Blueberry reduction and Ricotta.

I am ashamed to say I have never made crêpes until today. I’ve wanted to add crepes to my cooking arsenal for a while now. Yesterday while shopping for cheese at my local (non-local) organic food store, I came across White Stilton cheese with candied lemon peel. The small card near the smaller display of this fine cheese informed me that this would be great melted in crepes… CHANCE! The badass Frenchman inside me lit up, “Time to make some mutha fuckin’ crepes!”

I was concerned the blueberries would over power the Stilton cheese (what a waste that would be), but they definitely enhanced it! Some would say this is not a true blueberry reduction… I will not argue on the internet.

I use as many organic ingredients in my recipes as I can find and afford. I find they are generally of higher quality.

Ingredients:

Crêpes:
1 cup unbleached white wheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (I used 1/4 cup half & half and 3/4 cup water because I don’t buy milk often.)
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Blueberry reduction:

1/2 cup blueberries (I use cheaper, frozen Wyman’s wild picked blueberries. A huge bag cost $9. Taste great. Not certified organic, but wild is organic -unless they were picked from the side of the highway :))
1/4 cup Half & half
1 Tablespoon butter

Cheese:

1/2 Cup White Stilton cheese (with candied lemon peel if you can find it.)
1/2+ Cup Whole milk Ricotta cheese

Preparation:

Blueberry reduction:

In a small sauce pan melt better on medium-low heat. Add blueberries and half & half. Simmer for a few minutes stirring often until desired consistency is reached. Turn flame off and set aside.

Crêpes:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled (with butter) griddle or frying pan over *medium-high ~ medium-low heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.

Cook the crepe for about 2-3 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula; flip. Spread a narrow line of Stilton cheese, a slightly wider line of Ricotta cheese, and a line of blueberries. Cook another 2-3 minutes until speckled golden. Drizzle with honey and/or powdered sugar. EASY.

* I personally cooked these on a medium-low heat. As long as the cast iron griddle is allowed to warm up there is plenty of heat to prevent sticking and I don’t have to watch them as carefully. Mine came out perfect. Medium-high heat would cook them quicker but require more attention. I wanted a slow heat to melt the cheese anyway 🙂

Impressions:

The texture of these were awesome; like a thin eggy pancake. The Ricotta was a great filler cheese. Light on flavor but added a depth of texture and weight. Two of these small crepes were pretty filling. The blueberries were sweet but the tartness of the lemon came through, and the Stilton was present with it’s tangy-sweet-sour and very subtle sharpness.

Bad photo, delicious food.

Valentine’s Day Taleggio & Fontina Primo Cheese Pizza. <3

My lady is a lover of awesome cheese. This Valentine’s day I decided to make pizzas from scratch using some primo cheeses. This is not a “cheese pizza,” but I wanted the cheese to be in balance with the other flavors. I’m not a cheese expert, so I spoke to the helpful guys at the Whole Foods cheese counter. They suggested Taleggio as a strong unique cheese that would make a really special pizza, and mixing it with Fontina; a lighter flavored cheese that would balance the flavors. After sampling a few pieces I agreed.

When I think of awesome handmade pizza the first thing that comes to mind is a perfect crust. A pizza stone makes all the difference here, but I don’t have one. I hear that cheap ($1) unglazed ceramic tiles work well and can be purchased from the hardware store, but I had no time to drive around looking for one. I used a 12″ cast iron griddle instead, and it worked great.

On to the Ingreee’ds… As a guideline I recommend the use of organic ingredients whenever possible. I find that I usually end up with higher quality materials and a better tasting recipe. There are, of course, exceptions. This recipe will make 2 pizzas; one with tomato sauce and one without. If you’re going through all this trouble you might as well make 2!

Dough Ingredients:

1 teaspoon sugar (use cane sugar, yeast can easily break it down as opposed to honey or something)
1 Package dry yeast (or sourdough if ya got it. I’ve always wanted to use Ale yeast.)
1 1/4 cups warm water (too hot can harm the yeast.)
2 Cups unbleached white flour
1 Cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4~1/8 Cup corn meal
2 Tablespoons honey (optional. why not? honey rules.)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Dough Preparation:

Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 3/4 cups flour, honey, oil, and salt to yeast mixture; stir until blended. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (Use some corn meal here.) Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place the dough in a large bowl coated with olive oil, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into the dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide dough in half. Shape dough according to recipe directions.

Topping Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Taleggio cheese (or substitute another strong flavored cheese.)
1/2 Cup Fontina cheese (or substitute another lighter flavored cheese.)
1/4 Cup Criminelli Milano Salami (or some other nice cured meat. Pepperoni might overpower the cheese?)
1/4 Cup fresh basil; sliced thin (or substitute a few Tablespoons pesto.)
4 Cloves garlic; minced
4+ Tablespoons olive oil (used in garlic mix as well as coating the crust.)

Mushrooms:

1 Portobello cap
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 Tablespoon butter
pinch of sea salt
pinch of pepper

Sauce (for one pizza):

8oz Muir Glen Organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes (or substitute fresh tomatoes.)
1 Tablespoon minced onion (I used the white part of  green onions because I had it.)
1/4 heaping teaspoon oregano
1/4 heaping teaspoon thyme
1/4 heaping teaspoon sea salt
pinch of pepper

Topping Preparation:

Mince all the garlic; place in a small bowl with enough olive oil to cover; set aside. This will mellow and help spread the garlic flavor (optional; add herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano.)

Mushrooms: Chop portobello into thick slices. In a medium sized skillet heat butter and fennel seeds over medium-high heat. Add portobello slices moments later before butter and fennel seeds begin to burn. Add Thyme and a pinch of sea salt. Saute until portobello slices are nicely browned on both sides; add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic mixture just before turning heat off; stir. Place portobello slices in a bowl and set aside.

Sauce: In the same skillet add tomatoes, onion, oregano, thyme, and salt. Simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or so, stirring often to prevent burning. Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic mixture during the last minute; Set aside.

Pizza Preparation:

Pre-heat cast iron griddle or pizza stone in your oven’s broiler. You want that puppy HOT.

Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface (use corn meal.) Make a rim around the edge if you desire. Lightly brush with olive oil. Carefully remove the pre-heated griddle from the broiler; sprinkle with corn meal. Pre-bake the crust @ 450° for 4-5 minutes. (*** I forgot/DGAF to pre-bake my crust and it still turned out awesome.)

Spread tomato sauce, 1 heaping teaspoon garlic mix, and optional pesto on the crust leaving a 1″ border. For the no-sauce pizza add 1 heaping teaspoon garlic mix and a Tablespoon or so of olive oil

Sprinkle the fresh basil first (optionally add basil after baking.) Crumble the two cheeses; evenly distribute the two types! Spread the salami and portobellos evenly.

Bake @ 450° for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. (*** I baked the pizza for about 10 minutes @ 450°, then placed the pizza in the broiler for 1-2 minutes in an attempt to get that super-hot brick oven quality… Actually, as you can see in the photo above, I kept the pizza in the broiler too long; something like 3-4 minutes which left it a little black around the edges. Still delicious, but not perfect 😉 )

*** Be sure to re-heat the griddle or pizza stone in the broiler before putting the second pizza on!

Don’t forget the Liquor! I’m normally a beer guy. In my mind a tasty IPA will compliment anything (so uncouth.) But it’s Valentine’s Day! I know a few roads to my lady’s heart… A top notch Gin & Tonic is one of them.

This is a bottle of Hendrick’s Gin and a small bottle of Amber perfume oil wrapped in banana leaves, azaleas, and vines from her small yard. 100% Biodegradable, 100% renewable 🙂

I didn’t think I cared much for liquor, but this stuff is distilled from angel’s tears and holy water. Apparently lime is a faux pas with Hendrick’s. They suggest a cucumber garnish!

Kale.Shiitake.Fritata w/ Spinach.Arugala.Daikon.Burdock salad!

I never use recipes… so this begins the log of my spontainious cooking.

Fritata:
-Heat up skillet with some coconut oil.
-Add just before oil starts to burn: 1/3 onion chopped, 6 kale leaves chopped thin, hand full of shiitake chopped. Saute for 5-7 mins or until it looks good to you.
-Add 1T Spoon shoyu and a splash of water (3-4T?) Cover and turn to medium-low heat.
-Add leftover/previously cooked Rice & Beans. 2/3 Cup brown rice? 1/2 Cup garbanzo beans? Stir and cover.
-Add 1-2-3 large cloves of minced garlic. Stir and cover.
-Drizzle with 1T toasted sesame oil and 1T shoyu. Stir and cover.
-Crack open 4-6 eggs. Sprinkle 1/4 or 1/2 t black pepper. Stir and cover. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 5-7 more minutes or until eggs are cooked.

Salad.
-Mix 50/50 spinach & arugala base.
-Grate daikon and burdock at a 50/50 ratio on top of salad.
-Add spashes to your taste – Olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar, Shoyu. A little black pepper. Rice vinegar would kick ass too.

Bigger Than Wall Street.

It’s culture.

Goldman Sachs didn’t invent the game. We did. Only we can change the rules.

Politicians didn’t create power. We gave it to them. We can take it back.

Corporations can’t buy us. We buy them. Let’s find out what we really need.

Josh

CT-90 conversion to CT-140! yx140 engine swap.

From Machines

So here’s my 1970 Honda CT-90 (90cc) right around the first day I got it. Pretty nice bike eh? only 1000 original miles! OK, fair enough fair enough, but how fast does it go? Engine screaming like a deep water oil drill, she goes 45mph on a flat surface – drill baby, drill! Plenty of speed for the forest trails ’round these parts, but for the street?, that just didn’t satisfy me. I need MORE.

From Machines

OH NOES!!! I GOT A FLAT TIRE! Well that’s just perfect. While I’m changing out the tire I might as well replace EVERYTHING else on the bike, eh?! eh!!?? any objections!?!?!?

So back to what I was saying before the unfortunate tire accident – MORE. How much more? hmmm does 50 more cubic centimeters of metal muscle sound good? yes, ok, now we’re off to a good start.

From Machines

Nude CT-90. Ok, we’re gonna move along and give her some time to get decent.

*cue engine entrance* Meet my new friend! a YX-140 engine from… *shhhh*china*shhh*

From Machines

Ya know what else? That red color doesn’t really suit me… and there are some rust spots here and there… ooo! ooo! sandpaper party! everyone get your particulate masks on!

From Machines

Completely n00d and all sanded down by yours truely. Now she’s ready to party, I have a feeling she’s not going to remember this come morning.

From Machines

Aweeee snap. Rustoleum flat black – the blacker the berry, the sweeter the motorcycle. Motorcycle juice, mmm. (And a glass of Belgian Wit – loosens me up so I can chit chat with the paint canisters.)

From Machines

Above: The crank case vent was hitting the frame… can’t have that. So i pulled it out, and redrilled the hole at an angle (pretty roughly I must admit.) It wasn’t a perfect hole, or a very good seal, it was just plain shoddy workmanship… That’s where JB-WELD comes in. Turn that mechanical frown upside down, top dead center. I tried to have the engine tipped over on it’s side through this so that metal shaving and JB weld droppings didn’t find their way into my brand new engine… I think it was 95% successful, the other 5% is vitamins and minerals.

From Machines

Above: Now we just need to add some blinkers (in 1970 motorcycles didn’t need blinkers I guess?) So I bought a cheapie $30ish kit. Just need to drill a couple holes… and…

From Machines

Now we’re in business! That’s the money shot!

I’m still just breaking her in, so no top speed runs yet.

So here’s the run down:
New engine should get 100mpg. Hopefully I can cruise at 55mph in traffic (I will probably need to adjust the gearing.)
New engine kit cost : $300ish
Blinker kit: $30ish
ehh I don’t feel like doing a final cost run down, but it was worth it dammit! There are only about 20 parts on this entire motorcycle, and the tires are cheaper than tires for my bicycle (WTF?)

I got a lot of my parts from “DR ATV” and I got my yx-140 engine kit from T-Bolt USA which is the best deal I could find that included the carb, CDI, etc. I had good experiences ordering from both places.

Other than the engine vent needing to be moved, this engine fit PERFECTLY. The intake manifold and carb also fit PERFECTLY… well, when fully torqued the carb is just barely resting against the frame, so I may use a drill and slot the holes on the intake manifold where the manifold meets the engine. That should allow me to rotate the carb away from the frame about 1/2 a centimeter or whatever i need.

This page helped me swap things: http://www.dratv.com/ct.html as well as the Honda Clone yahoo group The honda clone group has an image folder with good (better) wiring diagrams.

This is totally my little dream machine now. It sounds really small, and it is, but it hauls ass, and is just as capable off-road as it is on the road. Insurance is DIRT cheap and I can ride 250 miles on the 2.5 gallon tank (for $7 dollars?)

Three Sisters Gardening – Guilds, Companion Planting Corn, Beans and Squash.

I’ve been reading up on companion planting during seed selection time and I came across some good info about the “Three Sisters.” The corn provides a stalk for the beans to climb, the beans fix nitrogen and feed the corn, and the squash provides a low cover crop, deturring weeds and pests. The Indigenous North Americans have used this example of a plant guild for ages.
This page: Celebrate the Three Sisters: Corn, Beans and Squash gives a great run down on the technique.

Instructions for Planting Your Own Three Sisters Garden in a 10 x 10 square

When to plant:
Sow seeds any time after spring night temperatures are in the 50 degree range, up through June.

What to plant:
Corn must be planted in several rows rather than one long row to ensure adequate pollination. Choose pole beans or runner beans and a squash or pumpkin variety with trailing vines, rather than a compact bush. At Renees Garden, we have created our Three Sisters Garden Bonus Pack, which contains three inner packets of multi-colored Indian Corn, Scarlet Runner Beans to twine up the corn stalks and Sugar Pie Pumpkins to cover the ground.

Note: A 10 x 10 foot square of space for your Three Sisters garden is the minimum area needed to ensure good corn pollination. If you have a small garden, you can plant fewer mounds, but be aware that you may not get good full corn ears as a result.

How to plant:
Please refer to the diagrams below and to individual seed packets for additional growing information.

1. Choose a site in full sun (minimum 6-8 hours/day of direct sunlight throughout the growing season). Amend the soil with plenty of compost or aged manure, since corn is a heavy feeder and the nitrogen from your beans will not be available to the corn during the first year. With string, mark off three ten-foot rows, five feet apart.

2. In each row, make your corn/bean mounds. The center of each mound should be 5 feet apart from the center of the next. Each mound should be 18 across with flattened tops. The mounds should be staggered in adjacent rows. See Diagram #1

3. Plant 4 corn seeds in each mound in a 6 square. See Diagram #2

4. When the corn is 4 tall, its time to plant the beans and squash. First, weed the entire patch. Then plant 4 bean seeds in each corn mound. They should be 3 apart from the corn plants, completing the square as shown in Diagram #3.

5. Build your squash mounds in each row between each corn/bean mound. Make them the same size as the corn/bean mounds. Plant 3 squash seeds, 4 apart in a triangle in the middle of each mound as shown in Diagram #4.

6. When the squash seedlings emerge, thin them to 2 plants per mound. You may have to weed the area several times until the squash take over and shade new weeds.

three sisters guild diagram permaculture
Links to Legends about the Three Sisters:
http://www.birdclan.org/threesisters.htm
http://www.schoolnet.ca/aboriginal/7gen/creation-e.html

Further Reading

Creasy, Rosalind, “Cooking from the Garden”, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1988
Eames-Sheavly, Marcia, “The Three Sisters, Exploring an Iroquois Garden”, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University, 1993
Hays, Wilma and R. Vernon, “Foods the Indians Gave Us”, Ives Washburn, Inc. NY, 1973

After Amami… Busking in Kyushu and Escaping the Tsunami.

It was a blistering hot Thursday morning when I woke up. All of my things were wet because I was using my friend’s hand-me-down tent for storage. It wasn’t quite rain proof. In fact I wouldn’t even call it water resistant. So it didn’t fare well in the intense tropical rain the night before. My hiking pack was starting to show signs of mold growth. All my clothes were dirty. I was tired. I was hungry. I was spending too much money living at a festival. I woke up with an intense desire to be somewhere else that day, and I was going to make it happen.

After the festival all of the ferry companies (only two on the island) were booked up for a week, but one of the companies had 2 ticket cancellations. I could buy the ticket if i came into the office quickly. I immediately set off on an escape mission which involved hitchhiking to 3 different places to collect all my stuff and exchange some dollars into yen so I could pay for the ticket. After I had my ferry ticket in hand and I was waiting in the 70’s feeling sterile terminal for boarding to begin… I started to feel a little bad about all the people I was leaving behind. Some of my favorite people there didn’t even know I was leaving because I didn’t run into them that morning to say goodbye. Oh well. We are meant to be connected to some people. Some meetings are fleeting though. Ichigo ichie. “One meeting, one chance.”

The youngest lady on the island.

^^^^^ I asked this Obaa-Chan if I could take her picture. She smiled and agreed, and then started walking out of the frame, and over rough terrain I might add, she was determined. I tried to explain to her “no, I want picture you!” but it was no use. She smiled and pointed to her banana trees in the back. They were green, so I didn’t assume she was offering them to me. haha.
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I packed into a big room on the ferry with maybe 200 other people. The floor was packed with sleeping bodies! The aisles were packed with shoes and bags! The entrance lobby was full of more bags and surfboards! Most people who came to Amami for the eclipse had to camp due to the small amount of lodging on the island, so almost everyone aboard had a giant hiking pack or some huge bungee-cord monster on wheels that they dragged around. It was packed and noisy and just… just… I went out onto the top deck. Ah, space. We were surrounded by intense darkness, but you could see some lights far on the horizon, probably fishing boats. There are beer vending machines on all ferries in Japan. There is no better place to drink than on a ferry. The tilting of the boat back and forth gives you the sensation that you’ve drank twice as much. So I sat sipping a cheap Kirin beer -staring into the darkness, processing everything that had just happened in the 2 weeks that I stayed on that little Island. And of course! Once again feeling that completely enveloping sensation of traveling to a place completely new.

When the ferry arrived in Kagoshima everything was grey. I knew rain was coming soon. I had planned on hitchhiking, but it’s pretty hard to get a ride in the rain. If the driver doesn’t accidentally hit you due to low visibility they are more likely to think you’re insane for standing in the rain than to feel sorry for you. I decided to take the train.

At this point I’ve only got a small amount of money, and I’ve been in Japan long enough to know how the train system works. This is how I met Tact! You see, Tact and I were riding a train sitting across from each other when we were unexpectedly asked for our ticket. We each had to pay $22. After paying the train guy we both looked at eachother and loudly whispered “KUSO!” which means “SHIT!” We were instantly friends. I spent the next 3 days traveling with this guy. Any time we got into sticky ticket situations Tact would use his Jedi mind trick powers to get us through. I played the part of foreigner guy who can’t speak Japanese and doesn’t know what’s going on. I spent 5 months in Japan mastering this role.

Tact was a really cool guy. My Japanese was good enough, but mostly, his English was good enough that we could have pretty detailed conversation. He’s an artist/illustrator who works in Japan. He was traveling with no tent or sleeping bag. Inside his really small backpack he only had some clothes, fish tins, a small camp stove, and a ton of Sea Shells from Amami! haha. I respect people who travel with so little.

My boy tact! we rode trains for 2 days straight.
^^^^^ Tact sleeping on the train next to my beefy pack.
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We stayed in Kyushu for one night; in Oita city. We weren’t really sleepy, so I suggested we look for a place to go busking. Busking is playing music on the streets (in hopes) of attention or (usually) money- CD sales or donations or food or alcohol or anything, and of course for the joy of it! -sometimes only for the joy of it. I played my flute for some extra money. Tact tried to sell some of the t-shirts he designed and had screen printed. First I wanted to make a sign saying “okokoro kudasai,” [like “heart please” or “mind/attention please”, an old phrase] but Tact said “nagesen kudasai,” [“money please” but also a very old phrase, so he said it would be funny. but it is still very direct for Japanese] would be better. I made $20, tact made $0. I met some really nice people that night too. It was my first night busking. It would not be my last!

The next day was grey and rainy again. The rain constantly fluctuated it’s intensity. Usually just a steady drip, but sometimes a fierce downpour. Apparently we were crossing the path of a Tsunami that caused some landslides in western Kyushu. Anyway… it was nothing dramatic like that for me. It just meant seeing many flooded lots, yards and gardens (but no houses) outside of the windows and having to bear riding in a train going… unbearably slow. I’m not sure of the reasons, but sometimes for an hour at a time we would slow to what felt like 10mph, and in between we would only speed up to 20 or so. At one point the train stopped and told us we had to board buses to get to the next 3 stations, and continue by train from the 3rd station. And then it was all gone.

To be continued… つづく
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I’m staying busy in Oregon! It’s been pretty warm the past 3 weeks, in the mid 90’s. I’ve been camping out every night. I helped a friend work on his strawbale/COB cottage project the other day. I only did carpentry, no mud work, but it was nice to see the house in this stage. I could still see almost every beam in the house and how the house was put together. I have lots of time to relax, practice my flute and read. Working the soil in the garden is very meditative also. I’ve been working long, relaxing hours.

Mata Ne!

Okay okay. I’m back in Amerikuuuhh. Amami Oshima!

So I made it back! I actually came back! I’m surprised too. I’m now in Oregon working with a cool guy to get his farm started. Working in the garden, working on new gardens, and working on various construction and destruction projects. I’ll get to that later though… let me try to retrace my steps.

So… Amami Oshima. What a ridiculously hot and beautiful place that was! I was able to volunteer at the total solar eclipse festival there. That meant working for a week getting every thing set up in the blazing heat. We had more break time than work time, usually. People who worked under trees for shade slowly moved their work in orbit around the trees as the sun arced through the sky. From 12-3 all was silent. everyone clung to the shade, tried to sleep, or at least rest, and prayed that the ocean breeze find them.
We Hung out under the shade of palm trees. From Spain, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Russia, France, Turkey, Australia, South America, South Japan, North Japan… some people from just the other side of the island. It was a good wave of energy we were riding together. Many of us found ourselves randomly drawn to this place on an impulse. With not much time to plan we found our selves riding a ferry or an airplane. With that feeling of suspension every nerve in your body experiences the sensation of travel. Suddenly you’re going somewhere far away. Somewhere separated by enough time and space to be perhaps, vastly different.

Alice-chan. Mendokusai girl!
Ferry to the Mountain Tropics.
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Ferry to Amami Oshima
Ferry friends. I wouldn’t have gone to the festival if I hadn’t met these kids.
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Constructing main stage at eclipse festival.
Constructing main stage!
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Spring workin' her body.
And later, dancing under the main stage.
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Susumu serves the takoyaki with grace and style.
I really love Takoyaki. Grilled octopus balls! Served on a shrimp cracker with mayonnaise. I ate so many of these! The owner started giving me freebies and I helped him translate his signs into english for like 8 balls. Some of you may not know, but that’s a lot of octopus ball. I need that recipe.
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My friend Diana eating Takoyaki in Amami. Photo by Goto Mah
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Almost gone.
The Moon’s shadow is doing it’s thing.
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WTF!? WHERE DID THE SUN GO?
Moon eats Sun.
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I could write so much more about this island experience… but for now, I’m going to move on. I some nice videos I shot here, so I’ll be sure to cover it later.

Amami Oshima, Japan – Total Solar Eclipse Festival.

Riding the ferry to Okinawa I met some people going to volunteer at a Total solar eclipse party. I decided I would get off the boat early and go with them! I’ll be camping on the beach helping set up the event for the next 3ish weeks. This is a short and sweet post… the amazing details surrounding how I got here and the story of how it all happened will have to wait for now. Mata ne!