This blog's for ME

Almost 25 years old, asking my parents if I can sleep in their bed with them. I had thought I was going to be the 25th Prime Minister of Canada. Things had changed. 10 years later, I was still a scared little boy. The time had come to slap myself awake. One Saturday morning, November 19th, 2009, I declared to the world I would be riding my 10 year-old motorcycle from Vancouver, BC Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and back.

The official departure was August 28th, 2010. A group of well-wishers saw me off at 8:03 am.

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro around 6 pm March 1st, 2011.



My return to Vancouver came on July 5th, 2011 about 2:00 pm.

Drug & alcohol abuse, ADD, social anxiety, health, chronic pain, night terrors.

So many concerns. But I am far more interested in this question: Do I have the capacity to make this trip despite all my shortcomings?

My mission: To inspire myself to face my fears, enlighten myself on how all living things can peacefully co-exist, enjoy every moment, and see the world as plentiful and generous.

Go ahead. Call me crazy. Call me anything you like.

I'm out to save my world.



I LOVE YOU ALL



Questions, comments, concerns, threats? Contact me: jason.chapman99@gmail.com


One Life One Chance

Travel through Baja California has been sensational, in many ways if not to awaken the senses. Amazing vistas, the smell of charcoal burning in stoves, and a chorus of exotic birds mingling with early morning rooster crows, and barking dogs. Several stretches yesterday of blown-out roads, and construction which made for slow going, but the only highway menaces were the rotting carcasses of the odd pet gone astray. I took it all in stride; I was riding my motorcycle in Mexico, an experience I had never even dared to dream just one year before!

Cactus farms were quite fascinating, and a reminder this wasn't Kansas. They love them here, as a vegetable variety, that tastes similar to a combination of a zucchini, and cucumber. Do not try this with the one in your kitchen window, as they are not the same. Overall,
it's a very fertile area, with alien-like mounds set in mathematical distance from each other. These are built to minimize weeds, and allow for easier pulling of veggies, which are planted on top.

I believe the things we should really be scared about are the things that don't even cross our worried minds. A stop in town is met by two large German Shepherds who don't like motorcycles. I stay calm, and turn off the bike as soon as possible. The auto shop owner calls them off. A peace offering: pork chips, to somehow ward off any bad puppy mood. As soon as the bike is started, they act up again. I yell at the younger one to go home, and I need to everytime I rev it to get on the highway. The deep dirt mixed with gravel, combined with the threat of a dog attack required some attention. Here's a pic when we were on the same side; I still sensed he wasn't too keen on me leaving.

My promise to stop earlier, and avoid night-time driving paid off as it should. Around 7 pm, after stopping at the Mercado for supplies, a final 'camp' sign just outside San Quintin (san kwi-teen), or more accurately Los Cardenas, about 300 km south of the Tijuana border. A dirt road turns into another, with a garden grove of hundreds of trees neatly planted in lines with green grass planted in between. It could have been a backyard in Chilliwack. I mention this to Ed, the caretaker of the property, and he confirms my suspicions. losolivosrvpark.com is around $6 a night, in stark comparison to the KOA in San Diego.
That was exactly how it was developed. A couple from the other B.C. spear-headed a non-profit organization, funded the start-up cash, developed a board of directors, and bought a piece of property made into a campsite, and base camp for volunteers, who are picked up in San Diego. When they arrive, they form groups, and start creating projects for the local community. Here is their link:

http://www.onelifeonechance.ca/index.cfm

They may build a house, or cook a supper, but whatever they end up doing, the transformations are profound, for both the giver and receiver. Shoes, for example, are in such great need here, that people are moved to return home without their own. The people have tears in their eyes they are so thankful because it may be the first set of decent shoes they've ever owned. The pair of shoes you have on right now would be fought over if given the chance.

To the right is Ed, and the bus they use to pick up volunteers. He's a fellow blogger, writing about his experience down here volunteering his time for others. http://edinmexico19.blogspot.com/
He has most kindly allowed me to hook up his telcel connection directly to my computer to speed things up a bit. This company is owned by Carlos 'Slim' Heju, currently the richest man in the world ahead of Buffett and Gates. As there are no income taxes in Mexico, he must have a few connections here to have catapulted himself into the upper echelon of rich. Landlines are hard to find, so any wireless, or cellular connection is often the only way to communicate - and it all funnels through the pockets of 'Slim'. His mere existence must give some people here a bit of imagination to think of what is possible, regardless of your nationality.

As I write this, all sorts of travel advisories are in effect for Mexico, according to my mother. Puts a guy at ease.

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