quick summary of things that have transpired
Feb 16, 2006 - this post will probably be removed once i get more detail up. it's basically an email i sent to some friends, to summarize, but should be a good placeholder.
ok, i lied about the blog. actually today is the first high speed inet access i've gotten since 2 days in early jan. sad but time seems to be much more important that i initially anticipated (too much to do each day, and slow inet is not an option).
anyway, quick rundown on my life thus far:
went to burma to work with some buddhist monks in dec. got kicked out of the buddhist monk cult for not prostrating myself to their leader (i think). they lasted only 8 hrs, then asked me to please leave - i'm chalking that up to i-still-got-mojo! decided to travel the country more or less on my own, and had a dandy time of it. the military dictatorship is not as oppressive as the media makes it out to be. they're not nice guys, but there's a reasonably healthy economic system in place for a 3rd world country. one fucked up thing tho is that they have left hand drive cars and drive on the right hand side of the road (because an astrologer told one of the generals that the country should go more to the right). surprisingly people don't have accidents on a daily basis! ended up teaching american slang at an english school for 3 days (eg. "she's so bootilicious", "i want the whole damn enchilada", "we dont need no stinking badge" - i can proudly say that i've contributed to corrupting a whole new generation of burmese english speakers). went to watch "the transporter 2" with the students. they didnt understand a word but thought that all black people are criminals in the US. had to set that straight - hollywood's impact on detrimental ethnic stereotyping is amazingly far reaching and this was very sad for me.
headed to the indian desert state of rajastan in late dec/early jan with jonii and her daughter tane and one other friend. went out on a camel expedition for 2 days and ate gritty rice and curry - good roughage i guess? got to shit out on a sand-dune which was a rather pleasant experiece aside from being butt freezing cold. btw, camels stink. and their shit stinks far worse than human, and dont u let anyone tell u otherwise! they also like to drink beer, and kept eyeing our bottles when we were drinking one evening.
was in the himalayan foothill town of rishikesh contemplating life, the universe and other odds and ends in early jan. basically turned out to be a shopping spree for tane.
headed to the indian northeast frontier provinces in late jan/early feb until now. nagaland is where all manner of moving life is still consumed voraciously. let nobody tell u that only the chinese eat dogs. indians do too! and cats, monkeys and other goodies to boot. i only got to see the canine butcher, and the hamster seller (yes really) first hand... hung out with some tribal villagers who have a remarkably striking similarity in customs, physiology, clothing and habits to native americans (maybe a long forgotten link between these peoples?), and talked about rain water collection technology and wind power. unfortunately it was all talk! maybe i'll go back sometime and start things up.
now i'm in assam (also in northeast india) working with an ngo called the ant (theant.org), working on a bunch of tech issues. quite a dedicated group that's teaching me that the real challenges are far more social than technical.
all in all i'm learning a lot, which is exactly what i wanted, and having a great time.
i'll be back stateside on mar 22nd, so i'll give u a real rundown then. i'm in a city today, which gives me access to fast (256k) inet. otherwise i'm relegated to 19.2k or 32-36k dial up, with all kinds of dns issues!
hope things are going well with u, and that it's not too cold.