Go ahead and jump…might as well jump…

that’s right i’m here in the place so lovingly named by eddie van halen, PANAMA. I got here about 3 days ago and things aren’t just good they’re golden. i got a nice room up on a mountain for the first few nights and now i’m down in the city getting down, or up whichever hemisphere you’re in. Panama seems nice so far i’m going to get out and do lots of walking for the next few days until my peoples arrive. by peoples i meant the students i have on the trip i’m leading, we’ll be heading out of panama city going for a few day sailing trip followed by a 10 day stay on a small island off the northern coast, carribean style, then we’ll be bouncing around on some uninhabited islands for a few days kickin back and swining in hammocks pronounced with an “ock” not and “ick” cause that’s how it’s done. anyway, i’ll be around la ciudad panama para ocho dias, so say hello and if anyones is interested in an extended road trip, panama to estados unidas i’ll possibly be heading out late august, via costa rica, nicaragua, honduras, guatemala, mexico, and texas. be in the now. rock out with your…what’s that, there are kids around, oops, hasta la vista

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Every day, it’s a gettin’ faster

My trip to America has been going well so far. I’ve done almost everything I intended to do (operation buy blue jeans was a success)….except that I didn’t get the chance to see a rediculous amount of people. Sorry about that, next time, I promise. So where to now? Tomorrow afternoon I’m leaving Milwaukee and heading to the woods of woodstock Illinois (famous for being the filming location of Groundhog Day). I’ll be sleeping in my tent for a week during my Wilderness First Responders course which sounds like fun, I’m looking forward to a canned soup diet. maybe. From Illinois I’ll be taking a road trip to Larkspur Colorado, where i’m going to be doing another training course my new work for a bit over a week. and finally from Colorado I’ll be heading out of the US for a few months. I’ll be going to the San Blas Islands in Panama. I’m going to be leading a group of American Students on a trip. it’s going to be fun. I would be showing more pictures of the events of this past month in America but my camera broke in India and I’m delaying my next purchase until the camera I want is available in July (of course I won’t be able to get it until I get back in later August, damn the man). so to everyone i did get a chance to see It was lots o’ fun, and to everyone else, really i promise, next time. smell ya later

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Wish I was an english muffin,

….so i could make the most out of a toaster.

Like sands through the hourglass, and so are the days of our lives. Speaking of sand, I’ve left the desert. Speaking of deserts, they’re nice, they have camels, and everyone knows how fun camels are. So out of the desert and into the golden temple of Amritsar. The temple was nice, free bed, free food, turbans, it was good. I left after a few days to a place called Mcloud Ganj, home to the notorious Dali Lama, the main man himself. of course he wasn’t interested in meeting me, or giving any special teachings anytime soon so i took my little red bracelet and left with no new knowledge of my existence, oh well, maybe next time. from Mcloud Ganj I got word that I should go east into the himalayas, so i decided to give it a shot. I was headed for a place called Rekong Peo, I was told it was only a days bus ride away. Day one was a long bus ride to a place called Banjar where i was informed that the mountain pass was closed due to snow, I would have to spend the night. One night in the flowering apple orchards and wild beas river passing by my window, it was a nice layover. Day two, morning, bus to a place called Shoju, then a small truck to a place called end of the snow. As I had imagined but tried to not think about I had a two Kilometer walk ahead of me through the snow, over a mountain pass, as you may know I detest shoes and for that reason I had none. Walking on snow for 45 minutes up a mountain could be bad for the feet, so i did what any person would do in my situation, I wrapped my feet in towels and put plastic bags over them, duct taped at the ankles. worked like a charm, if charms were leaky plastic bags. but no worry, they held up almost for the whole walk and when i came around the corner to see the jeep waiting i didn’t mind the ice water that had gathered in my bags. the jeep filled up quickly with all of the locals and me (of course the only stupid foreigner, or any foreigner for that matter) except that there wasn’t exactly room in the jeep for all 20 of us, so me and about 7 others made our way to the roof, where i had a great 2 hour ride down the back side of the mountain…wind in my hair. I made it that night to Rampur and slept at a hindu temple. Day three started fine with a direct bus to rekong peo, and i could almost smell it when we pulled to a stop with a bus in front of us, a bus that was falling off the side of the cliff. there had been a landslide and either it hit the bus or the bus tried to run over the new ground and started to slide off the cliff itself, all the people got out but it stopped traffic on both sides, so we had to walk around the leaning bus to the other side where there were jeeps happy to take us the 15 minutes up the hill, and up we went. so I finally made it, not just to rekong peo but to the actuall destination of kalpa, which is a nice old mountain village in the mountains home to, ummm….hashish. apparently that’s how the village makes a good income, shipping hash to the rest of india, everyones gotta make a buck. so a few nights there and then up the long and winding road (I truely believe the road was narrower than the bus) to a place called sangla which is another tiny little mountain village in the valley surrounded by snow capped himalayas, nice. from sangla i sat (or i should have sat but there wheren’t seats for half the ride) for 26 hours to rishikesh. rishikesh was a good place to chill out for a few days and meet some good people, learned about different yoga and meditation things from old indians and isrealis. I said good bye to my “life on the road” two days ago when i left Rishikesh and made my way back to Delhi, where i’ve been making last minute shopping and preperations to get out of asia. So where does this leave me? a day and a few thousand kilometers from London. I’ll be meeting my brother in london and spending the next 10 days there until my flight back to milwaukee on May 1st. momma, momma i’m a comin home (was that ozzy that said that?). So this is the last you’ll all be hearing of my adventures in the east, my current plans change daily but are starting to look for firm, wisconsin/minnesota in may, illinois/colorado until mid june, then….panama. i think. until august. then on to the unknown. so if anyone needs to get a hold of me after may 2nd, i may be at my parents house 1-414-351-3059, I’m gonna be busy maybe but then again, maybe not. okay, get back to work, see you in a few

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Like a band of gypsys, we goin down the highway

On and on it goes, where it stops nobody knows.

So last contact for you all was from sunny Panjim, Goa. A word to anyone who’s heard lots of nice things about Goa…They are all lies. The capital city and the surrounding cities are nice enough, but the beaches are crap compared to Gokarna, I only spent two nights there and then headed north. one night layover in some little town and on to Mumbai (Bombay), Mumbai was great, lots of good buildings and food and people. much nicer than most of the cities in india, also easy to be in a bollywood movie if you were to want that kind of fame and fortune, i of course am above all of that celebrity shit (i know i’m not but it makes me feel good to pretend). so anyway, about 5 days in mumbai and then i checked out, i went to a place called Aurongobad. This is a small, kinda worthless feeling, town near some nice old caves of sorts. i went to a place called the Ellora temples, which are baisically mountains of stone that were carved straight down becoming temples. crazy religious people, always digging out mountains into temples. there were about 35 “caves”, they were nice. next stop, again with a one night layover in a crap town called Indore, was Ahamedabad. Ahamedabad is awesome, the buildings are old and nice, the food is good, but the people are great. better than anywhere else i’ve been in india. People in a city of 4.5 million that act as if they’ve never seen a foreigner before, everyone wants to shake your hand and say hello, and it’s not like the rest of india where they follow those actions with a request for money, they just want to say hello. nice. hello. Also this is the city where Ghandi lived during his more influential years. so three days in Ahamedabad (A.K.A. Amdavad) and i headed out northstyle. I went to Jodhpur, which would be a nice city with an interesting hilltop fort but it was hard to concentrate on anything with all the people constantly asking for coins or chocolate or anything else i had (or didn’t have), of course as with any other beggars…they got nothing. Two nights there was enough, and now I’m in Jaislamer, which is on the Great Thaar Desert and the Pakistan border, many people come here to go camel riding and see desert villages, I think I’m going to pass. I had my camel riding fun in china. Tomorrow evening I’m going out to the sand dunes (in a jeep) and i’ll be there under the stars. It’s hot here in the desert. in two or three days i’m going north to the mountains. Himalaya style. Where does all this leave me on my homward journey? here’s the news as I know it for now. Lots of busyness until I fly out of Delhi on April 20th, change of plans slightly, I’m not flying to America. I’m taking a 10 day layover in London, which should be lots of fun. then on May 1st I’ll be flying london to milwaukee. yup, only a few weeks to go. Also my mom wants to have a party for me (for some reason) on May 27th. everyones invited, there will be lots of family there though. let me know if you’ll be in the greater milwaukee area in may, or maybe the minnapolis area for a weekend sometime also in may. I guess i’m rambling on again, so i’ll let you all get on with your lives.

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Everything that keeps us together is falling apart

Why is it every time I write these things it feels like it’s been a year since the last one? (I’m going to try and include paragraphs this time so Aaron will read it).

So it all started on a not so quiet little beach in the town of Varkalam (I always wanted to start a story that way, unfortunately i don’t know how to finish it). Yeah, so Varkalam was rockin, I had an awesome valentines day bonfire on the beach with my lovely german friends and the random austrians who showed up for a bit. the rest of the week there was just being lazy and checking out the miles of empty beach with huge cliffs on the side. It was a good week.

After Varkalam I headed up to a place called Allepy where I took a government ferry through the back waters (rivers and lakes connected by many canals) for about three hours to a place called Kotayam.

From Kotayam I took a bus into the mountains to a small city called Kumily which is the entrance to a national park where there are supposed to be lots of wild animals. I’m sure there are lots of them, just not where tourists are allowed to go. I saw plenty of monkey’s and some wild pigs, a few elephants, and some birds. I really wanted to see the tigers though, to no avail, i went home tigerless.

Onwards from Kumily I headed to a higher mountain “hill station” called Munnar. Munnar is full of tea plantations and it’s got some really nice mountain scenery and good people. It’s also cold at night so it was good for sleeping.

Leaving Munnar, I headed to Kochin. It was okay there but nothing really special, I did buy a new book there though. The book was really good, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

I went to another hill station after kochin, a place called Ooty, It also wasn’t all that great, especially after seeing Munnar. But the bus ride out of Ooty was really nice, it went winding through a really nice national park where I was able to see lots of animals (again no tigers).

After a long day on the bus I made it to a nice city named Mysore. Mysore is actually really nice, lots of things to do for a few days, and really cheap food (which makes me happy). I guess Mysore is where lots of Incense and Perfume oils come from, they tell you that constantly as they try and sell you them, I was able to escape without buying anything (this also makes me happy).

From Mysore I went to three temples in one day which sometimes feels like 2 too many, but not this time, I went to one place called Saravanbengola and then to Halebid and finally to Belur. All of them were interesting enough with lots of crazy carvings. Good sunset too.

Leaving Belur early in the morning I was able to take the 12 hour (multi)bus ride to a “surreal” village called Hampi. Hampi is really actually similar to Angkor Wat in Cambodia (for those who have been), except that in Hampi you kinda live in the middle of all the temples. There so many of them that I couldn’t see even half of them, although i really only went looking for two days, i think it would take weeks to see them all.

From Hampi I took the bus back to the coast, to the wonderful little town of Gokarna. I stayed on Kudle beach at a place called Sunset Guest house. It was great. An entire week of nothing. sitting on the beach with some rockin Swiss people, swimming at night seeing the phosphorescense (or plankton, or whatever they’re called), eating some good seafood, hmmm…… still makes me wonder why I left.

Oh yeah, I know why I left! I came to Goa. I got to Goa yesterday, I’m still in the capital, Panjim, and tomorrow I’m going to the beach again (Goa’s beaches are known for being more crowded with tourists and stuff but we’ll see).

Oh yeah, one more reason I left! I guess I can tell you all this now, since I’m at the end of my update. I’m coming to America (picture me as eddie murphy). I’m flying from Delhi to Milwaukee sometime around May 1st. I’ll be in Milwaukee for about three weeks and then I have a training course for CPR in Illinois for one week then I’m off to Colorado for another training course for 10 days. what’s all this training for you ask? It’s for my new job. I’m going to be a tour guide. I’ll be taking groups of American youth overseas (I’m thinking China but I don’t know yet). I’ll be leaving at the end of June, and I’ll be going and coming twice until August. So, I’ll be in America for at least one month this year. As far as what I’m going to do when the job is finished in August, I’m still not clear. I’m thinking either making that run for the border (Mexico to south america) or trying to work for a while in Europe (southern, Switzerland, France, Spain, or Italy). I’ll keep you all updated as it goes around in my head.

I don’t think I like this paragraph thing, this may be the last time I use them. Ever.

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