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


Expo 86



Cousin Jimmy sent this to me - what a sweet guy! A flashback to a time when I was more worried about my first pimple than whether Id be bike jacked in brazil.

What Song?



I drove all night, or Enter Sandman? over 24,000 kilometers driven, and about 900 to go before I reach the summit of my journey: Rio de Janeiro. Of course, climbing Mt. Everest is always that much sweeter when you can make it back home. I will do that. But first, I will enjoy life guilt free worry free for the next 10 days. My brand new battery is dead; something electrical is killing it possibly my headlights. I have suspicions of why and where but I wont say until Im sure.

I have a saviour in Rio! Her name is Katia, and I can stay at her home from the 1st to the 4th. Ironically I would have sent her the request first, but I thought her profile was so great she would already have someone on her couch. Instead, I picked someone who pulled out at the last minute - well lets call him the pullout couch. but now i feel strongly nothing will stop me, even me.

So much happens on the road everyday im lucky to catch 10 percent of it. I dont worry too much about names and places. that i can read in a book or on tv. the parts that interest me are the sudden realizations about life. For instance, the guilt I feel for not constantly working like a wasp. lazy, unambitious, dreamer, etc. I wonder how many people really thinking I am just fucking around on this trip? Trying to find myself? Vacation? Doesnt matter.

I had liquids coming out of me from both ends within the last 24 hours. My health was shaky at best when I got off the boat, but it hit a point when I stayed in the hotel in Salvador. I ordered a feel good omelette, but it was cooked like a pancake so it had some flour in it. Hit the eject button. Then I soiled the bed in the night. Never happened before in my life. I guess a preview of old age. So, staying away from any suspicious foods and meats, and things are solidifying.

Stayed in a weird Motel Sex last night, with all the sound, tv, air controls right on the headboard. It was on the side of the highway, then like a fort knox compound, a big yellow steel door, and an intercom with a box. A voice comes over the speaker, then insert your ID into the box. Bye bye passport. Drive around inside the wall until you get to your garage, pull down the blind, and enter the suite. First two channels were free porn. Despite the mood, I couldnt even seduce myself this night. Hardly slept having the same someone is stealing my bike dreams. You dont see any staff the whole time breakfast is served through a secret door, and all conversations are through the phone. The cafe de manha was the best Ive had.

Haven't talked much about the rain but I'm getting it now, and hard. Peering over my fogged up glasses and windshield soaked to the bones.

Just so many people yelling at me, giving me high fives in the air, smiling, thumbs up, honking...... its been that way for 6 months but its really coming on now. People know Im close to the goal and are acknowledging the accomplishment. No time to believe the hype.

So despite the battery problems, the only thing that will stop me will be a sign that says ~free assrubs~with a picture of perogies and salt and vinegar chips on the side. Oh boy i~m getting my grocery list ready for my return!

Salvador?


I found out my host has cancelled 2 days before I arrive in Rio. I've driven 1600 km in 3 days, and now another 1700 to Rio. I was going to stay today in Salvador, but it's too much driving to get to Rio by the 1st. So, I'll put out some more requests for a place to stay, and head out again. Damn this is a big country.......... Love you all!

The Impossible Dream (Man of La Mancha)

To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Safety First



Thank you Brazil for your speedbumps, the largest i've seen in 6 months. All the food exploded out of my cooler on one, and i had to stop and run back to pick it all up. I forgot about the police man last night that stopped me. We exchanged info for a minute then he asked me a question I didn't understand so i said so. I need to check your driver's license he said in perfect english. He also informed me Brazil requires an international drivers license but don't worry enjoy your stay in brazil. We chatted a bit after I asked him where he learned his english, and told him he could stay in my non-existent house in canada when he comes to visit. He said that would be his dream.

Breakthroughs today in dealing with pain, thoughts, and overall physical sensations. Any ambitious person can overcome their past regardless of what happened by learning, and practicing some very simple, (but not easy) skills that countervene a human's natural instinct to protect themselves.

Found a dead crow sized bird, one that I included in a picture a couple weeks back. I decided to cut the head off and will cure the skull as a keepsake. Any suggestions on how to?

Wizard


It’s the night before we arrive in Belem, 2 days after schedule. Word is that we will be in the port at 5 am. My bags and personal items are all ready to go. I also elected to don all my leathers to not only be ready for the morning, but to stay warm on my final night. It was a glorious night for personal victories. My friend Lisa and the Ellingson family had taught me the Wizard card game back in 2001, and she had even bought me my own set for a birthday a year or so later. Despite the game’s popularity in my mind, I had only shared it with other people once in all those years. The second time was tonight. I was hesitant to bring it out although several people were avid card players on the boat. I knew I was unsure of some of the rules, and the instructions were not clear in that regard. But, I mustered my courage and asked 5 other people to join me in a game after dinner. To complicate things, we were unable to find a place to play, with the boat’s top deck windy, rainy, and the middle packed with people on the ground and in the hammocks. We tried the basement floor of the boat, and lucked out with the first mate’s desk which we took over. We had two other players who also joined us, but I had to send them away, as only 6 were the maximum allowed.

As expected, several unclear rules played themselves out within the first few rounds of our practice games. Some were getting frustrated and annoyed, but I stayed calm and focused, and believed we would see it through. As we solidified all the rules that weren’t clear, I made sure to write them down in the instruction book so that I would know for next time. I wouldn’t have done that if I believed I wasn’t good enough, and therefore wouldn’t need to, because I would never ask anyone to play again! Instead, everyone loved the game, and mentioned they would have liked that I brought it out sooner.

In earlier news, I made a pass at someone and asked if I had made her feel uncomfortable. I guess I just felt so damn comfortable speaking to her, I just did what I felt I wanted to. Isn’t that what everyone does? I ignored all the books and advice on women, and just went with my feelings. In the end, it felt a bit embarrassing, but much better to know I put myself out there, authentic and real. That’s what was cool. Anyways, it wasn’t that much, just a stroke on the arm. I also downloaded my photos onto one of the kids’ mom’s computer and she was enraptured by them. The Amazon was so interesting today; the passage became very narrow in places, and the shores often displayed homes or boats of some kind. I realized I hold a lot of tension in my body, and it is my job to remember to release it. I want to have kids I want to have a wife. I want to be the best man I can be. Not for my parents, or to compete with others, or to do what I am supposed to do. But to just be the best for others around me, to be ready and prepared when someone needs something, and also to be there for me. Feeling good, strong, and ready for the day. I’ve sacrificed myself by giving into ‘pain’, and not fighting to be the awesome guy that i know i can be. Again, not to be popular, or to get something, but just to live life in a different realm this way. I think children need teachers and mentors that are smarter, quicker, and more successful than any of the CEO’s out there making $12 million on the bonuses or stock options. I believe that if children have the ability to understand the differences between what they think, and who they can be, we can solve most of the worlds’ problems in one generation.

My hammock is swinging so much i’m banging into Mar’s head, who is sleeping with her head on the side. Perhaps it is time to join the sleeping regiment of hammocks......

Piratas


Wednesday was a beautiful day, especially after I decided to stop smoking, and start taking care of myself I was in a lot of pain for a couple days, and my mind was not cooperating, often sending me into bouts of despair about my ability to connect with people. So, I just decided I was going to eliminate anything that could make my life harder in the long run, and really commit to making myself healthier. It’s been done before, but every time I do it, I am blessed with a short run of optimism and hope for the future.. I did some stretches, chatted with Iris from Taiwan (really loved her quiet, relaxed way of listening to me), had some coffee, made a bracelet with the two Argentinians, as Geraldo patiently showed me how. Children from the riverside villages were frantically paddling their boats towards us, and someone was throwing plastic bags full of something to them, perhaps food. Later, a courageous group of youngsters tied themselves to the front of the boat, and climbed on like a group of pirates to sell their coconuts for $1R . I have yet to understand the children talking but they don’t seem to mind, often questioning me about this or that Maybe someday I’ll figure it out!






Artistas




The 'New' Motor








Saturday and most of Sunday passed without a hitch, as we arrived in Santarem, ½ way down the river between Belem and Manaus. We left in the early afternoon, but realized we were heading back there and became suspicious. After some fussing and fretting, we found out there was a problem with the



motor, and we may not be able to leave until Friday, or almost a whole week. That was when all hell began to break loose.



Several of our new friends elected to leave. The poor Danish couple got shafted twice, and rumour had it they left without receiving their money back. That’s how upset she was at the way of life on the Amazon. The level of stress seemed to be higher with those who had made tight plans expecting a European-like efficiency in arrival time. Panic soon turned to acceptance, and the remaining group decided to decend upon Santarem on a Sunday night and make the best of it.



Monday featured a surprising cast of local heroes that took on the impossible task of getting the boat going again. I watched with interest as the welder cut open the metal wall surrounding the motor, wondering the scope of work to come. Hopes soared as we saw another motor on the back of a truck, and soon, it was on the front of another boat being roped up to hook on to the pulley wheels Tense moments ensued as the several ton motor was suspended between the neighbouring boat and ours, as the carrying boat pulled back to provide room. The men worked into the evening, and we all laid down our bets as to when we were leaving.



I heard the motor fire up early Tuesday morning, and although our final destination was still 2 days away, it felt a welcome blessing. A quick run into town was successful, as Gabriel grabbed some groceries for me while I found an internet shop where the owner spoke perfect English. We were told the boat was leaving at 10 am, and I was still on the computer at 9:55. Fortunately i ignored my mind’s prediction that the boat would be late again and ran back. Gabriel wiped his brow in mock relief as he saw me walk down the plank to our boat, and I felt i cut it very close We were on our way at 10:30, almost 48 hours after complete despair and worry.

Crianca


Hammock City





As soon as we drove in to the port, the men were on us. They whistled and shouted to get my attention but I knew where I was going, and was in no mood for distractions. Balark had already called the contact agent on the business card Tolio received for me two days early, so I knew the man would be waiting. Despite already having made a choice of boat to take, one short and persistent fellow found out the name of the company I wanted, and he told me to follow, running between cars. Balark wisely stayed back with his van and said “call me when you’re on the boat”. The traffic was too congested and there was no point. I felt vulnerable having lost my translator, but found solace in following the man through the labyrinth.


Within minutes of my arrival to the kiosk, my initial contact agent from two days before had left, and a group of people were telling me I had to ride my bike down the steep walkway to the dock. Oh boy. Up on the curb and across the sidewalk I was, as people scurried to get out of the determined Canadian’s way. I had 4 people hurriedly create a path through the crowd until we hit the dock, and I reminded them to continue. The dock consisted of two floating platforms, and although quite long, had a foot wide chasm between them, and one was about 6” higher than the other. After a moment’s hesitation, I gunned it over the gap with a loud bang from scraping the bottom of the bike. Finally, I was at the end of the docks, with one cheeky helper asking for ‘cem’ reals, or $60 CDN for about 5 minutes work. I told him to ‘pound sand’, and went through a diatribe of explaining to them that just because I was a ‘gringo’ did not mean i was rich. One woman really understood and smiled, while the others just quietly disappeared. I instead gave them $R20 between 4 of them, as they really did help out. It seemed I was at the end of my troubles, and celebrated with 1, 2 and then a 3rd beer.


By 12:30 pm, a ½ hour after we were supposed to depart, a wiry, septic old man approached me and excitedly told me I had to come back the way I had come. It was supposedly illegal for vehicles of any type to be transported on the passenger boats, but the crew always do it for the extra money. I confirmed with a nice man sporting a wart on the end of his nose that indeed I should follow the old man’s directive. I went back over the gap mentioned earlier, but this time I high-center the whole bike and have to be pushed over, with a disturbing bang.


Then I faced a narrow plank going into the boat, not even wide enough for me to put my feet down. A truck was already inside and had to be pushed back to make room. The 3 beers were feeling like a pretty bad idea by that time. With a little help and grace I was up and over the metre-wide space between dock and boat. I paid the old man $R5 for the help, although he offered to stay and tie up the bike. I was then ushered over to the desk manned by a younger be-spectacled fellow who politely asked for my ticket, ushering in a whole new mood. My original contact agent had told me it would be $R200 to transport my bike, but when the office man writes down $R600 I flip. After protesting angrily, I retrieve the agent’s card, and tell the desk clerk to call him to sort it out. It wasn’t the first time I had been misled by a local on this journey, but never before was it such a gross difference between fact and fiction. I had to let go of the $R400 that made me feel so rich, and forget about it.


My spirits soon exploded like fireworks, as I realized I would have 4 days with young backpackers who spoke English, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and playing cards. Another motorcyclist was on board; a Mexican who was on a similar journey to mine. France, Germany, England, Denmark, Spain, and Australia were also all represented, as well as an older Canadian/American couple travelling from Fanny Bay, B.C. The three European students travelling from Curitiba saved the last spot in an already impossibly crowded network of hammocks slung to the ceiling of the 2nd deck. I really was in a festive mood, and made an effort to chat with everyone. It was the first time in months that I felt really excited, and relieved about the type of people that surrounded me. I had forgotten how lonely I had felt for so long. I certainly didn’t mind our 5 hour delay (true Northern Brasil style), but the Danish woman was quite nervous, as she and her boyfriend booked a flight out of Manaus the same day we were meant to arrive there. I served as her translator, and did my best to calm her down.


We all slowly got to know each other, and shared our different cultural ideas. We were on the Amazon after all. Mingling with the locals, I am sure they were a little cautious around these strange people. We were all surprised with the quality of food, and prices of everything on the boat. It was kind of like a cruise for folks on an extremely tight budget, with music on the top floor and a bar. Everyone kept busy with an assortment of things, with Marco the German resorting to making blow darts he was taught to make from his jungle tour guide. I joked and asked if he was going to make one for each person on the boat. There were lots of kids around, and they became more and more comfortable with us as the day progressed. The night was surprisingly cold compared to the day, and I had to wake up, run downstairs and get my blanket.

Departures


Balark and i spoke a lot about racism down here in Brazil, and how the issue is becoming more prevalent, especially towards 'gringos', and perceived wealth. We were able to speak at length, as we were looking for a battery for the bike. Then, Kramer & Kramer, some laundry, then out for dinner near the Amazona Teatro and the square, where it took 40 minutes to make my Caipirinha, and that was before the fight between the two mulher vagabonds (females). On the way there we stopped at the grocery store and bought some food for me for the 4 day amazon boat trip. This is going to be quite the culture shock............ it ain't no BC Ferries. We will talk again in 4 - 6 days.................

Manaus







I left my ipod and 'portuguese bible' somewhere in Boa Vista, and it's been hard to let them both go. Horacious road from Boa Vista but I never thought I'd be zig zagging through pot holes in Brazil. Left around 8 am, and got into Manaus (about 2 million people) around 7. Found the mall that Balark, my host, mentioned but it was another 3 hours with some help from a local guy before we found each other. The next day included a breakfast from the maid Nazare, then Toolio took me down to Balark's lighting store, then down to centro to find a boat to get to Belem. I had my sights set on the 'road' to Porto Velho, but after my conversation with Balark last night, I changed quickly. It is no more than a communications path for telephone lines, and involves passages through rivers. His friends father, who is a minister tried the journey this summer (dry season) and came back with broken ribs, and had to be transported all the way back by boat.

Today Toolio and I did some shopping to prepare for the boat: rain coat, sunglasses, 3 souvenirs for mom & jodi, and heje (hammock) for sleeping. We had some laughs at the fish market as well, where they showcased all the local species. Many concerns with conservation, as the market was just full of huge fish, and I wondered who was eating them all. I love Manaus, and the Amazon area. Balark and Toolio are unbelievable hosts.

They Tell Two Friends and.......






















Our joke at the English school was that I was a new student from Bom Fim, and today was my first english class. When he asked me to introduce myself, I started rambling off in English at high speed.

Bizz-ay



Two women were sitting at the airport chatting and eating while I was on the computer Saturday night. I plucked the courage to ask them about 'Blue Vinyl', the club I intended to go to. They said it was fine. I forgot to ask them if my footwear would be appropriate, as some places are picky about it. When I did get there, after a quick run to a rare restaurant open here at 11 pm, he indeed said my sandals were not appropriate.

By the time I ran home and got shoes and returned, George Harrison and his cousin were waiting in the line and saw me there. The three of us entered after a $R60 cover charge. I mentioned to the cashier how ridiculous this was, and she laughed. Then it got stranger; once you enter, you go to another cashier, and pick the drinks you would like, up to a value of $30R. Then you get tickets, like a beer garden. Not so strange, but if you ordered a vodka, at $10R you have to spread out one can of sprite for the whole bunch.

Weird night; a couple were near the dance floor with the man's arms around the woman's waist all night - that's all they did. I guess when you have got someone you're into, you don't really need to do much else. Other women were too afraid to dance, and the music was just techno that wasn't really hitting the mark. Headed home at 3.

Up for 930 church service I promised Jordana I would attend. She was waiting at the door giving out pamphlets. As expected, it was evangelical, with a minister who spoke like the leader of the free world for nearly 2 hours straight. The congregation all were speaking to God and raising their hands, intermittently coming to the front to receive special attention. I didn't understand much specifically of what he said, but I surely got his fervour. At the end of the service, Jordana asked me to wait, for what I expected, was a special visit with the pastor. Finally one of his underlings came over and asked me about my trip. He needed to translate with a very dark fellow from Guyana, of whom I could barely understand myself.

Finally he decided he would take his town out to my motorbike and bless it. It involved dabbing olive oil in various places, with a final blessing of the 'team'. I don't believe in God, but if a religion is able to bring people together, and have them be happy and considerate of others, and loving then I'm al for it. Who else in this day and age would take the time out of their day to give you a special blessing before you travel? I didn't have to believe a thing about it, it was really a nice goodbye of them to create for me.

In the afternoon I watched a bit of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, one of the 3 movies I picked up as a pirated copy. Nalmir was racing at the Volta Rapida but I had to be over at Pimentel's house for the coleman lid repair at 4 so I couldn't do both without being late. Pimentel commented that Brazilians rarely make it on time, and will rarely show up if you invite them to a movie or something. I saw how easy it was, and how tempting it was to generalize, and see all Brazilians as hopeless people out of integrity. I know it was just his experience. Well, we played some badminton which was great fun too.

People



When do I really need to be around people? I can play video games, watch TV, go to work, eat, sleep and basically do things by myself, for myself for, oh, I'd say, about a month, maybe two. Then, I start getting feeling a bit off, so I start working harder, focussing on myself harder, spending more time by myself. It's my version of insanity.....trying the same thing with more intensity. So, now, on this life changing journey, I thought why not try a new way of living? A new way of not worrying, a new way of doing what needs to be done, and making every connection with other human beings count.

People! Fun, interesting, engaging, beautiful, thought-provoking. People! People! People!!!!! Let's throw out the cellphones, computers, TV's and get back to having fun with People!!! Real, live people!!!!!

From almost 5 weeks of hardly a soul to talk to, I have a full 3 days of activities. This morning, I met Pimentel (from the Guarana shop) close to 8 am, and we went to his small farm (12 hectare; = ???? acres) and I went walking around. Down at the River, I fooled around with the camera, then saw the trucks pick up sand for something. Then I trespassed through a barbed wire gate, and acted like I could be found out at any moment........ it was excilarating! Note to self: need some form of danger/excitement from time to time! I also bided the time by trying to catch lizards (which Pimentel correctly predicted failure) and helping water all his plants. They are still in bags waiting to plant in the rainy season in April.

Then Pimentel and I worked on fashioning a new lid for my cooler. He convinced me he would like to spend some more time on it, and have a Brazilian gift to take back to Canada. So I'm going back there tomorrow at 4......... if I can find his house again!!!!

Then my 4 pm meeting with the football guys from last week. Soon we were playing 4 on 4, then 7 on 7, then 6 on 6. I was the quarterback, and we scored 4 touchdowns to their 2 this night. There was a moment when one of the players tried to take control of the huddle, but even though I didn't know how it was all going to go down, I took back control and called all the shots. Nice to have it work out, and the guys liked learning all the positions and English words. One of our players was basically fluent in English. We all went for Suco de Guarana after, and it just felt so damn good to be part of a team.

OH MY GODZILLA I WANT TO SCREAM!!!! I WANT TO LOVE, I WANT TO FEEL LOVE I WANT TO BE PART OF THE WORLD I HAVE SO MUCH ROOM IN MY HEART I CAN I CAN I CAN I CAN I CAN!!!!! CAN'T EVER MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME BUT CAN BE HERE RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW COURAGE!

We Ain't Stoppin' Yet

I'm just taking the world by storm everyday now. Of course I'm gentle about it! Regardless of feelings or thoughts, I'm just going out and starting things, creating things. I thought the motorbike had a serious problem, so I called Dave and Fenton, the owners of New Life in Williams Lake, and Daytona in Vancouver respectively, for advice. Instead of being shy and 'not bothering anyone' I thought I would anyways. Some great ideas, and words of encouragement for the continued journey. After it all, turns out the battery lost it's charge and is working fine now after a couple hour zap.

While I was waiting for all of this, I walked into a doctor's office to take a breather in the A/C. Was about 35 today. I asked the ladies about a massage, and they were friendly but not too helpful. A young woman came up and asked if I spoke German. Nope. She said she'd take me to the massage place by her house anyways. When asked about places to drink and dance, she said she was a Christian and did neither. Oh, I said, let's go see your church! I'll be there for the Sunday 930 service. So, we jumped in her car and drove there, but the lady wasn't there. So we went to another 1 place before finding one that could take an appointment. That's today at 4 pm $70R for one hour full body. Jordana asked what nationality she was A: "Italian"....... I asked her if she was 'bonita'. No response chill ran through the air.

Then, I followed my bliss and went back to the juice shop I found last Saturday after our football game. I had the jar of Acai again, and it was so good. I saw a table of beautiful women sitting there that had watched me as I came in, and was building up the nerve to go and talk to them. What do I say? How do I say it? I was studying my portuguese book like mad.........

A fellow was walking by asking if anyone wanted to buy pirated movies. I've spent $100R on movies at the Hobby Video Store in 5 weeks, so I thought I'd save the trip and see what he had. Sure enough, he had 'Despicable Me', an animated flick that the video store did not possess. And it actually worked later that night, although I had to persist and try two different movie viewers.

Finally I got up to pay the bill, and decided to ask the cook about acai and whether it can be grown here in Boa Vista. While I was doing that, a guy who spoke a bit of English overheard me, and invited me to sit down and talk about it more. From that, I followed him to his home and church by motorbike, where they were having a twice monthly ayahuasca ceremony. He is also giving me a tour of his fazenda (farm) on Saturday.

So, just a whole lot of life created simply from putting my desires out into the world for others to hear. Now to find some pirahna and tambaqui to fish!

Nonsense

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities."
Dr. Seuss

As I have been postulating, my mind certainly needs 'magic' as I call it. Mixing things up, things I can't explain, and things that just surprise me. I'm happier this way.

This quote reminded me of how to look at things. For instance, I had to jump start my bike again, and will have to again. Additionally, the day long repair of the oil leak (actually the 2nd attempt so far) has again failed, as I saw oil leaking out. I seriously considered having to jump start my bike all the way back to Canada, could you imagine? I remembered that my fear of not having money stopped me in my tracks of making a good decision. There is lots of money around, and enough to pay for my bike. I just need to be open to it, and see it when it passes by. To do this, I must be aware, and awake!

I just want my life to look, and feel just fine no matter what is happening, or what is going on inside me. I can do that just by remembering what I have learned.

In other news, I came out of my room yesterday to 4 SWAT guys in black holding large machine guns. Didn't bother me none. They decided to take over the gymnasium for recon practice.

Getting reports from Rio of several floats that were destroyed in a fire. Would never have heard of this news unless I was going.....

Tuesday night I attended a Roman Catholic service. I know I'm not supposed to go through all the actions that a baptized RC person would, but I felt compelled to kneel down. I did not go up to the front of the church, nor did I do the cross on my chest.

An Idle Mind

Quote of the Day: It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen.

--Jerome K. Jerome

I understand it all now. The world, or the consumer world needs to have an instruction manual for it. The average North American eats 150 lbs of sugar a year. This is preposterous to anyone who wants to live a healthy, happy life. So many drugs are available, without much in the way of counselling after someone's trip. Lights, music, traffic, all-night parties it's just a constant rattle of stuff to be done. It's why I had to quit at least one job - it was just too noisy to concentrate.

Additionally, I've learned today that some human minds, like mine, can go to some pretty scary places when alone. But I've come back to tell the tale, and I know exactly how to go in, and come out whenever I want. This is exciting news. I feel I understand alcoholics, drug addicts, schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, anxiety, suicides. We really have a big big brain that has a little trap door in it where only the most curious and internally preoccupied go. Opening that little trap door often has a lock on the inside, and once fallen through, can be almost impossible to get back out. But there is a way, and for those who really want to live a decent life, it can be done.

I want to live a decent life.

Splutter







Well, not much to talk about today except that it was one of my favourite. Sitting on a park bench designed for feet not to touch the ground, and leant back, I ate 5 mangos that had just fallen off the tree. Then, I watched an army of ants move an impossibly large piece of something through a myriad of concrete pavers. It was a joy to just watch them work together to haul it through the crevices, and over the long distance, with a bigger ant finally coming in for the harder parts. Just simple pleasures, and feeling how much pain in my body, head and heart I've tried to ignore for so many years. Just being quiet, and being. It was pretty sweet.

I'm not the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, nor do I receive invites to the Playboy Mansion, nor was I the winning quarterback in the SuperBowl. But boy am I happy just being, breathing, living. I'm excited about it.

I just casually went into a couple stores (one Cowboy store) and learned some words for horse, farm, cowboy etc. This is one way, besides actually working in a new language, to quickly learn Portuguese. In typical guy fashion, I did my once a year clothes shopping at the first store where someone gave me attention. I got some shorts, and a shirt. The lady at the till was so excited she told me to wait, for what I wasn't sure. In a minute she had a lady from Guiana come over, so that she could interpret all of her questions to me. Had a friend wonder aloud why I always wore shirts that were too tight; I took her advice this time and got a size larger. Does feel more comfortable......... she also told me once the only time she liked me was when I was dancing with her. Nice. But, it was a sign that I was only free and open and in the moment at those times with her. Other times, I was rigid, and worried about what to say around her. Weird.

The bike needs to go back in tomorrow as the mechanic found out the whole engine has to come out so he can get at the little piece where the leak is. Only R$100 for all that. So we'll see if that fixes it.

I just realized how many people I've tried to be, in career, in friendships, in relationships. I remembered back to a time when I actually believed someone could love that shy, minnow catching, comic book reading, billy joel loving farm boy. But that is my centre, and that is where I gain my strength from. Trying to go for a career in something that has nothing to do with my history is surely a challenge, but it requires an inordinate amount of support, coaching, money, training, time and patience. Why not just do what I was born to do, and the type of environment I lived my first 5 years of life in? Not pushing myself enough? Not challenging enough? Not good enough? Fuck you. I don't listen to you anymore.

Nobody wants to really deal with a depressed, sad and lonely person. If this describes you right now, don't expect any sympathy. It's not personal. Most people have very little experience, patience or understanding to deal with it, so you will have to deal with it yourself. It is not you, it's just a behaviour. People are not rejecting YOU, they are only avoiding dealing with something they feel uncomfortable about. So, be a shiny happy people, and hide the unhappiness. Save that for close friends and family, therapists and yourself. You can do it all by yourself if you have a bit of experience with it and common sense.

God, the women are really beautiful down here, and take care of themselves.

Finished the day off with Toy Story 3. I had bought a horrible pirated copy in Costa Rica in Spanish, and it wasn't the same. This time, I could follow. What a great story about knowing what really matters, letting go of the past, but creating a wonderful future for someone else. Also of note, Lotso, the big fuzzy pink teddy bear was just so full of anger from his past, he was unable to let it go, and the story showed the outcome because of it. Angry people often forget what they were angry about; the simple reason is of something that happened to them as a child, and they were triggered again. That time when they were sponges to the world, they sucked in some meanings to the world that allowed them to survive, but they would have to take off that armour to love truly again. Correction, I. I actually laughed a laugh I didn't even know was mine. THAT'S how much I've covered myself up.

The Best Job

I have the best job in the world. Pay is non-existent, long hours, boring as hell sometimes but it is still the best job. That job is to create a one-of-kind mixture of past, present and future of me, now. Always NOW. To be the best me - one that is grace under pressure and hardship, patient in times of loneliness or confusion, a guy that lights up a room for people when all they see is darkness, and one who always remembers to come back to centre camp, 'home', whenever things get too much.

I enjoy my own company. Company. The business of me. And because I am connected to everything around me, organic, and inorganic, the business of me is one in which everyone, and everything around me profits.

Part of that will be to find a place to stay in Rio de Janeiro during the busiest, and most expensive time of the year, Carnaval. Couch Surfing, and old ESL students will be my first order of business. I've got to have a replacement lid on my coleman built out of wood, and an oil leak fixed. Also, polish some more Portuguese, and look for interesting, engaging things, like a fishing trip on the amazon, or an acai berry farm. Money will all sort itself in the end, ups and downs. Always has, and always will.

Bitter Truth........ but sweet

I've lived three lifetimes in one, and I am blessed for my experiences. But I, like Icarus, have flown too close to the sun, and have fallen to earth. Grounded, and safe, save for a few aches and pains, I begin the journey home, to my centre. My place in the sun, feet firmly planted on the ground.

It's a Bug's Life







The ants have really fascinated me.













Especially walking down the sidewalk, with a procession of them hauling their leaves, stems,and goodies back to the nest.








It's funny to see all these little bouncing pieces of litter take a tumble everytime the wind blows too hard.




Then the gargantuan task of lifting their prize all the way up the side of the concrete and down into the nest. Unbelieveable.





















Inspiring how they just do their jobs everyday without a complaint or thought.



I took a photo of a yard protected by a high concrete wall, with broken glass embedded into the top. Like the wall, I am so scared of letting dangerous people inside, I also deny the great people access as well. I must work hard to stay open, and let people in. Turning the bend on a 2 hour walk today, I suddenly had this feeling of prosperous friendships, wherever I am. To just walk in to a great buddies' house that's full of life and energy. All I need to do is create that! The next door neighbour saw me checking out the parrot on the wall, and came out to let me put him on my hand. It was really quick; I stayed in one place long enough to make a new friend by letting go of my fears. The barking dogs tried to scare me off, but I was so intrigued by this parrot just walking around, I had to stick around. My curiousity is what will keep me connected to others.




Antsy?


Like entering a imaginary world in miniature..........










This type of ant uses saliva to make the sand they dig out of the nest into transportable chunks


























The soldier ants are quite aggressive, running 3 football fields in their distance to challenge you








With large pinchers, the soldier ants are able to cut down blades of grass. They often cut them down, and deposit them near the main hole, for reasons unclear.





Did not sustain any bites from them at all.

Videos of my journey

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