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John Goosen knew exactly what he was doing.

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During the time that John Goosen was assaulting me, I found one thing very strange.  He would hiss insults at me as he twisted my wrists and shoulders, wrench me into wrestling submission moves.  Growl threats while throwing me around.  Spit in my face with his quiet words meant to tell me how much pain he was going to inflict on me, as he kneed me and held me down.  And then, after I would cry out for him to let me go; he would shout, “I’ll let you go as soon as you calm down!”.  That happened 5 or 6 times.  I would reply that I was calm.  “I am calm.  I’m completely calm.  Just let me go and we’ll talk about it in the morning.”

It didn’t make any sense to me at the time.  Even in the state of things, I was at odds with myself at how calm I was.  Part of my mind kept insisting that I needed to fight back, to get out, to shout for help.  But something kept me from doing any of that.  There was a calmness that I could not comprehend, but that kept telling me I couldn’t give him any reason to feel justified with what he was doing.  So why did he keep shouting for me to calm down?

It wasn’t until the last minutes, where he was choking me and banging my head against the walls, that I couldn’t stay calm.  The survival instinct was louder than the calm voice for just those last few minutes.  And even then, once I decided to stop fighting and let him kill me, I was crying for my children, for their loss.  I was crying, but I was not hysterical until I heard the knock on the door.

I remember thinking that the only thing he was truly shouting was for me to calm down.  It didn’t make any sense.

Immediately after I was assaulted, I went to the local police station.  They told me to go to the hospital and get checked out.

So I did.

As I left the hospital, with Caroline, John Goosen drove up.  He started shouting at me from the vehicle that I had to listen to him.  He had more to say to me.  He got out of the vehicle and took a few steps towards us, still shouting profanities, insults, and demanding that I listen to him.

I ignored him.  We kept walking back to the Police Station.

He got back in his vehicle and drove off.  He had parked at Louis and Caroline’s house, halfway between the hospital and the police station.  He was standing on the side walk, in the shadows of an already dark street.  Then as we got closer he started in again.

I kept walking.  Kept on ignoring.  Gave my report.

The next morning, I found out that during the time I had gone to the police station and then to the hospital, John Goosen had called my mama.

In that call he told her, in his best concerned voice, that he was so worried about me because I had been acting like I was possessed and that he’d had to restrain me to keep me from hurting myself or him.  What could she do to help him help me?

He spread rumors that I had been drunk and he had needed to calm me down.  Police went to ask others who had been with us that night, how I’d been behaving, what they thought had happened.

He knew before he even locked me in the room, how to play the crowd, so that he could avoid any consequences for what he planned to do.  He flipped his whole persona, put it all into place, acting the concerned citizen, immediately after he attacked me.

And then flipped back and continued to harass me afterward.  He tried to get me to react. Tried to find a way to make me do something to look the way he was trying to paint me.

He knew exactly what he was doing.  He wasn’t acting crazy.  He didn’t “have a moment”.  He didn’t just snap.  He planned it out.

His “calm down” shouts, were his alibi.  His call to Jean was an attempt to  deflect anything I said to her afterwards.

John Goosen knew exactly what he was doing the whole time.  It was a premeditated act of violence by someone who had done this enough times to know how to premeditate it.  He knew where to hit to not leave visible bruises.  He knew the twists and holds that inflict pain and injury without leaving marks.  He knew to say some things loud and everything else soft.  He knew exactly what he was doing.

I keep writing because I want his name to come up on Google.  I want someone else trying to find out if he’s OK to visit, to know that he’s not.  I couldn’t put him in jail where he belongs.  But I have to do something, to do my part in protecting his next potential victim.  How I wish that whoever else he has assaulted had written something I could find.  He had no concerns at all in telling me to look him up.  He knew nothing was out there.  He doesn’t now.

I know he reads this blog.  Now he knows his name and what he’s done is out there.  I will continue to put his name out there for the world to see.  This is the only way I have to try and inform, to protect.

#noonedeservesviolence

 

 

 

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The endeavor to walk in the world: Overcoming

The endeavor to walk in the world: Overcoming

HEALING

Through a variety of ways, I have healed internally much faster than anticipated.  Mostly, through determination to not stay stuck in a place of fear.  However, there have been some other wonderful helps along the way. That is not to say I am through with the process.  Hell no.   But I’m farther along than I thought I would be right now.  Much farther.

My journey through becoming a shaman is slower than I expected, but far more powerfully healing than I anticipated.  It packs a punch and then I need time to process it all.   But, I am.  AND THAT IS AWESOME.  I am reaching and stretching and seeing life in bigger and better ways.  I am definitely more confident in my own abilities to trust my journey and its processes.  I am more confident in my spiritual strength and ability to follow my own path no matter who says what about it.

I have had to stare down my childhood and many of the ways that my parents, but specifically my father at this point, primed me for abuse in my future, albeit mostly unknowingly.  And I have had to work through the fear, very real and serious fear of confronting him about it.  But I’ve done it.  And he’s listened.  And though it was incredibly scary, it has been equally freeing since.

I am sifting through the book of my life and placing bookmarks between the pages I need to work on.  I am unfolding the page corners that I had dog-eared for quick reference; the stories I keep thinking back on, that keep me from growing.  I am going back and making new notes on the memories to remind little me that we figured out that problem.  And I am holding my book with newfound love, wrapped in my arms, against my chest; whereas before I held it at arms length, always afraid it would open to the wrong page when I wasn’t looking.

I am ready to travel and teach again.  I am ready to meet new people and find more joy.  I’m ready to start being me again.  And it feels pretty damn good.

RESEARCH

My research and discovery process is and has been enlightening to both the awareness that is already out there and to the still greater amount of awareness and education that is needed.  I have discovered terms I had never heard of, yet know the details of intimately, like Gaslighting.

Unless you know the term, you can’t find it as a form of abuse.  There’s no Google lookup for the individual terms within the forms of abuse, that I’ve found anyway.  It takes looking through hundreds of other avenues to find the term, then start looking that up. I’m working on changing that.  I’m collecting terms.  In fact, if you know of any, please comment, I need the help.

Boy have I had my fair share of gaslighting!  Look it up, you’ll be amazed, enlightened, and hopefully strengthened in your understanding of abuse, how to spot it and stop it.  And I’m starting my own new term, Halfening, the victim-blaming coddling of an abuser for fear of repercussion, after those that did it to me.

FEAR

I don’t like to think that I’m afraid of the unknown.  I actually like heading off into some new adventure, not sure what to expect or how things will turn out, who I will meet along the way, but ready to find out.

However, the unknown of where and when my next adventure begins…….   I am not liking this unknown at all.  I actually pretty much hate the interim.  It causes me panic and to make decisions too fast in order to at least be headed in a certain direction.

BUT HEY, I am in learning mode.  So, even though I’ve had a couple different opportunities to just head into the crazy wild blue, I haven’t taken them.  I’ve given more thought, I’ve taken more time.  I am learning.

LEARNING

I’m still working through the fear of trusting myself.  It is frustrating because I know that I made a fast decision to head off to Mozambique, but I also know that I was guided there.  I trusted my guide and I am actually coming out of this far stronger than even I would have guessed.  But, I am keenly aware that I was guided there to find out that I don’t know how to see the signs of abusers.

I asked for understanding of what happened with Sven.  I thought I had figured out my confidence, my refusal to put up with abuse, my love of self.  And then bam, confidence shaken.  And on the heels of that, Willem Johannes Goosen, aka John Goosen, of South Africa, happened.

This lack of confidence is a layer of the thick blanket of victim blaming that we hold onto.  It is both safe and suffocating.  I need to trust my gut and the results of following my gut.  Sven went against what my gut told me, but he worked until he convinced me.  Mozambique was completely following my gut.  Bad things happen no matter what.  Great things happen no matter what.

During the time I thought Sven and I were moving forward, I was so happy. I was so in love.  I had a great time, and I don’t regret one minute of it.  People ask me if I ever think of revenge; plot for someone to beat him up or something.  I don’t.  Truthfully, the best revenge is that he lost me.  I’m pretty awesome.  Don’t abuse me, and I’m top freaking notch.  That’s his loss not mine.

Mozambicans are wonderful people.  The local people amazed me in so many ways.  The scenery was wonderful and I am so grateful to have been to Africa.  And because of what happened in Mozambique, I have learned what happened with Sven, and what happened with the ex-husband and the few other ex relationships along the way.

I need to trust my gut and press forward with the decisions I make based on my instinct, without fear.  That blanket makes it safe to say, “if only”, “why didn’t I”, “I can’t”, “I shouldn’t”.  Those things feel safe, like they will keep me safe, but bad things happen no matter what.  Hiding from my path doesn’t keep me safe.  Running into or away from, doesn’t guarantee safety.

Just like I keep telling my little step-neice, it’s ok to make mistakes, that’s how we learn.

and

GREAT THINGS HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT

ANOTHER DREAM

I need to stop worrying about safe and put my focus on non-abusive.  I had a dream last night.  I was swimming deep in the ocean with a group of whales.  They kept coming over to me and then going up to get air.  Somehow I was not needing to go get air, yet they kept insisting I should.  After I did, they showed me where land was and so I went up.

Everywhere I walked there were snakes. They were mostly out in the open, yet all of them had only their head and part body showing, the rest curled up in their hiding places.  A few were slinked back inside their hideout.  There was a child with me, and we were walking together.

I was not afraid of the snakes, but I knew I couldn’t give them any energy/ acknowledgement/ attention or they would bite.  I had to teach the child to see without giving acknowledgement, to not be afraid, not be curious or get too close.  The scenery was varied as we walked, rocky, grassy, outside, inside, and there were snakes in a snack booth and a book case.  They were talking to us, some trying to be helpful, give advice, offer to get things for us, but we had to remember they were still snakes.  If we gave them any acknowledgement, they would bite us.

There were many blue things as well, blue was a significant color.  There were people, men, women, children all around us, some talking to the snakes, some not.  Some were holding the snakes, some were collecting them, but many just ignored them.

Snakes and whales have interesting meanings in dreams and as power animals.  I’m curious to see what comes of this.  But I woke up feeling very good.

That’s all for now follks.  I’m doing really well.  I’m looking forward to my next adventure.  I’m singing, crying, laughing, and otherwise feeling the feels of life and loving it.   Go be awesome today, I plan to.

 

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The endeavor to walk in the world : Colors.

The endeavor to walk in the world : Colors.

They say when things get tough, that’s when you see people’s true colors.

In each of my trials, I’ve been shown the “true colors” of my friends.  I’m lucky to have so many good friends.  I appreciate all the calls, messages, shows of support, and offers to hang out now that I’m stateside again.  And, I truly appreciate my online friends as much as my in-person friends. 

Blog of many colors

Right now I’m coming to grips with how this atrocity even happened.  I was handling all that Mother Nature was dishing out; no electricity, no running water, violent storms, horrendous heat, Typhoid Fever, with a fair amount of grace I think.  And then without warning, at the end of my weakest state, John Goosen went on an unprovoked ape-shit rampage and decided to fling me around like a rag doll to make me listen to his drunken rant.

Some days are good.  Some days are bad.  That’s normal.  I write more on my good days, but lately it’s writing about my bad days.  That’s also normal.

I value being able to read through other blogs to see the uplifting and helpful information out there.  Feeling like there is a community of people who understand the process I am going through is so wonderful.  Sometimes it can be difficult for my in-person friends to understand.

And then there is always the hope that through this blog someone else can be helped as I work through everything and keep living the day to day as well.  Life goes on and this is how I’m trying to learn as I go.

All the Colors change

Once something traumatic has happened, you see the world differently.  I see the world differently.  Not better or worse, just different.  Things that were once important aren’t any more.  Things that weren’t important suddenly are.  Everything is colored a little differently.

Different or not, I’m still trying to walk through this world. I’m still trying to learn from this and become a better person for it.  I still see the beauty in the sunrises and sunsets.  I love listening to the birds in the morning and the coyotes in the evenings.  I enjoy conversations, cold beers, painting, reading, laughing.

But behind it all I’m trying to find my voice, give voice to those who don’t have it, and blaze a trail for change.

I pick at and piece through the trash pile that is the ways abusers work.  It is alarming how often I pick up a piece of that trash and think, “Oh, that looks familiar, that must be mine.”  Only to turn it over and see an Abuser’s name on it. It’s a bit disheartening to see how pervasive the blaming/ shaming way we treat victims is. 

For example, we all have heard “there’s a way victim’s walk, or hold their head, or (….) that clues abusers in that they are a good target”.

First,

and I want to scream this at the top of my lungs,

NO ONE SHOULD EVER. BE. A. TARGET. 

It doesn’t flipping matter if PersonX walks around with a real sign that says, “I let people abuse me”, PersonX should not get abused.  PersonX should not be a target.  PersonX should feel and be safe.  End of story.  Even if the sign has shiny flashy lights with arrows.

No one should be a target.

Think about that for a minute.  If PersonX has poor self-esteem, (and that shows through their posture), there are people out there who are compelled to hurt PersonX because of it.  Abusers look for people who already feel inferior, then Abusers humiliate them, isolate them, manipulate their emotions, make them feel crazy, makes others think they’re crazy. 

And instead of denouncing the Abuser, instead of stopping the Abuser from finding and hurting others, the general population looks at PersonX and says, “hold your head up more, walk straighter so abusers won’t target you”.  Everything gets shifted over to PersonX.

Why are people so afraid of Abusers that they can’t stand up to them?  I stood alone in trying to get people to see see John Goosen as an abuser.  The other people in Mozambique were so afraid to stand up to him.  He needed to work. He needed his space.  It wasn’t good what he did, but he’s sorry.  He needs medication.

Not a single person, other than myself, looked at him and called him out.  Not one person actually stood up to him, except me.     

It has been enlightening to say the least, to realize every single person I’ve discussed abusive situations with has given ways to change PersonX.

Ex:   “I’d try to get them alone to tell them I could help them if they leave the abuser.”

“Abuser has a (…) problem.  PersonX needs to be more understanding.  I mean get away, but then they need to worry about themselves, not Abuser.  Good riddance, they can deal with themselves”

“If you just tell them to leave, they say ‘it’s only one time’, or ‘Abuser loves me’.  You have to give them little examples how to leave without really saying they need to.”

“I don’t understand why PersonX would go back after that.  PersonX needs to get their head examined.”

Not a single person suggested that the Abuser needs to change. 

The Abuser straight up thought, “Hey PersonX looks (insert adjective of choice ie, lonely, sad, etc.).  If I make them a little less (adjective) they’ll take any shit I dish out.”  “If you feel bad, I want to make you feel worse.”  “And I’m going to make you and everyone else think it’s your fault.”

And everybody else thinks, “PersonX should’ve made themselves look less like a victim.”

This is what abusers do.  They work the whole scenario from the beginning.  From the initial lure to the end, everything and everyone in their environment is part of the set up to get off scott-free.

Our True Colors

I think we are so entrenched, as a general population, in generations upon generations of dysfunctional families, war torn memories, secrets, and lies that we don’t even know how to see the first red flags anymore.  Abusers have done such a trick on the mainstream psyche that when we finally see the red flags, we all point fingers at the victims.

But how can we stop the abuse from happening if we start at the end?

What do you think? 

As you’ve heard/ read my and other stories, how many times have you asked the ‘questions of change’ to the victim rather than the abuser? 

How can we change that scenario?  How can we really stop abuse if we don’t change it?

 

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I forgive you

Dear Louis and Caroline,

I am writing to let you know I forgive you.
I forgive you for writing your Facebook post.
I forgive you for feeling you needed to write it when I had only ever sung your praises both publicly and privately.
I forgive you for writing it while you knew I would be flying and unable to read or answer it until after all your friends had seen it.
I forgive you for deleting any responses my friends put on it and then making it only for your friends to read.

I forgive you for believing that such a violent act against another human being needs nothing more than his say so that it won’t happen again with no consequences.
I forgive you for taking such a harrowing experience and trivializing it.

I forgive you for lying to me about what you felt I owed you.
I forgive you for lying to me about paying for the classes I taught.
I forgive you for believing that asking to settle between what I owed and what the classes cost, was asking for money.

I forgive you for not emotionally being there for me.
I forgive you for blaming me, instead of John Goosen by assaulting me, for the inconvenience of my staying in your home and eating at your restaurant.

I forgive you for accusing me, not John Goosen, for any part of the missed honeymoon time of our friends.
I forgive you for saying I “complained”.
I forgive you for only helping me move my things after being asked to by the honeymooners.
I forgive you for refusing to help me to have John Goosen arrested for his crime of assault and battery.
I forgive you for calling me selfish because I hadn’t gotten over it a mere 9 days after having been violently assaulted.

In replace of anger and frustration, I give forgiveness and compassion.
I give you a brush, with a mirror, for your daughters.
I give you a long, two person hammock that will easily fit two very tall individuals.
I give you all the things I left you, knowing that you could use them well.

I know that you both are also victims of the abusive cycle. It hurts me to see two sensible people behave the way you have, but I can
understand the need to find release from such a frustrating situation.  I understand it’s easier to release it on someone who isn’t there.

It hurts deep inside a person to know that they have been, and are friends with someone who is a violent abuser. You have long known that John is verbally assaulting at most times, that he becomes physically aggressive and out of control when he drinks, and now you know he is actually emotionally capable of killing someone with his bare hands.

That is hard to deal with on a very deep level. A level that many people don’t like to uncover and look at in themselves.

I didn’t like looking at that part of me when I was married. How could I love someone who hurt me all the time?
But I’ve already had to take that part of me out and give it a good long look-over. I’ve already spent many years and dollars on dealing with that part of me.

I’ve already had to deal with knowing and understanding the capabilities abusers have; the capability to look remorseful in order only to escape consequence; the capability to use faces, lies, and time to change how people see what happened.
I’ve already had the experiences that show me what to do in this situation. You haven’t.

I’ve had someone stand up for me before and have learned how to stand up for myself because of it.  You haven’t.

No one likes to stare abuse in the face.
People want it to go away. They want to think it isn’t really true, it wasn’t that bad, he wouldn’t really do that.
Because it’s easier that way.

Humans like things to be easy, simple, and not abusive. But this situation isn’t any of those things.
I only know what to expect and what to do, because I have already overcome it before.  You haven’t.
I don’t blame you for wanting things to go back to normal.
And I forgive you for expecting it to.
I forgive you for the pain you have caused me in addition to the pain of having been assaulted by your friend.

From this second on, I completely forgive you both, Louis and Caroline.
I cut my cords to you both with forgiveness, compassion, and love. Forgiveness of the acts, compassion for where you are, and love for who you are and what good you did do for me.

I forgive you.
Good-bye.

 

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Victim Blaming, one of the worst parts of violence against women

I have arrived in Albuquerque.  I am home safe with my mama.

The craziness of Mozambique continued as two men attempted to mug me and take my purse as I walked back to the hostel from eating my last meal in Mozambique.

I discovered something interesting about myself in that moment.  No matter what those two men said or did, I fought for my purse and my safety.  I kicked and yelled and flagged down a passing motorcycle.  I kept all but one shoe.

Why couldn’t I fight when my former friend assaulted me?  I’m still working on that.  Part of it was because I knew he would feel even more validated in hurting me if I had fought back.  And part of me just couldn’t.

That is the part of me I am really struggling with and need to work through before I head back out into the world.

Mom and I are going to be doing a lot of energy work in the future for this.

When I had arrived in the US and was able to get internet again, I found that I had been tagged in a harsh victim blaming post by the husband of the couple that I have previously been thanking for their help-

Though I understand their desire for things to be like they were before all this happened, for the bliss of ignorance, their post really hurt me.  All of the times I had asked them what I owed them had been met with “nothing, this is what friends do”.  Telling them that my mom was sending money, they just needed to tell me how much, and they said none.

Now it is all being reneged because they don’t feel I should continue to press charges.

None of us had done much sleeping.  All of us were trying to continue doing what we needed to because life goes on.  But, I was slowly being outcasted by them.  All the ways they were “helping” me, they began to see in a negative way, because I wasn’t dropping the charges.

My belief is that it’s because I was the reminder that things weren’t normal any more.  I was the one living in their house, so I became the easy target for displacing all the frustrations of the situation.

The sad truth that seems to be missing in their argument, is that none of the need for their help would have been necessary had my “housemate” not been aggressive, abusive, and finally assaulted me.

None of my living with them, or need of translation help with the police, or any of the kindnesses they showed me would have been needed if it weren’t for his actions.

I didn’t do this.  I didn’t ask for any of this.  This is not my fault.

I desperately tried to be as little a burden on them as possible.  I began eating as little as possible.  I helped with the house and girls whenever they asked, and have still been met with this painful reminder that people will attack when your back is turned.

I can’t blame them.  It’s human nature to want things to be “normal”.  It’s normal for people to take the path of least resistance.  I left, I’m not volatile. He’s still living there, they are still living there. I’m the least resistant path to displace the frustration.

Victim blaming is just as much a part of the abuser cycle as the abuse is.  It’s what happens when those around don’t want to think about it anymore.

I just didn’t expect it from them, so it hurts more.

Please, all of you out there, don’t revictimize by displacing blame.  It makes it so much harder to follow through.  So much harder to fight the good fight when you feel isolated and alone.

So much easier for abusers to feel empowered.

Now I am being labeled as a “psycho” by them for continuing to believe that justice needs to be served. He’s not a psycho for having assaulted me, I am for pursuing charges.  He doesn’t need consequences that will follow him so that others will be protected in the future.   Because in their eyes, I should let it all go, on his word that he will get help. I am the one who behaved wrongly by continuing the process.

And he is taking all this in.  Realizing he’s gotten away with it, for the time being, again.  He is being empowered by their actions.  And they don’t even realize it.

I surely wish that this will never happen to them or their daughters. I can only hope that no-one in their family goes through what I have, but if they do, I hope even more that their friends don’t do this to them afterward.

This is one of the worst parts of violence against women……

 

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You see it’s all about that bed, bout that bed, no kidding

You see it’s all about that bed, bout that bed, no kidding

It would seem that my prior non-diseased self may have underestimated the amount of time it takes to recover from Typhoid. Apparently 5 days is not long enough. Nor is 7, or 8. Yes, I am still spending most days in bed.

The frustrating part is that while laying here, I feel fine. So I get up and try to do something…… then, it hits me. The weak, dizzy, tired, must go back to bed feeling.

Sunday I thought I’d fight through it and just go do some easy walking around, conversation, no big deal. I sat most of the day. However, Monday found me so damn drained I laid in bed for the majority of it; not even able to complain.

Today again, I feel ok while sitting here, but not once I get up and do anything, drained. I’m eating though. Getting my veggies and meat and starch. I have a sugar craving like I’ve never had before, so I figure why not? I’m eating anything I can right now. I’m eating at Escondidinho, instead of bed, so I’m getting a little exercise on the walk there.

The progress towards a school is, albeit slow, still marching on. Education is my life, even when in Africa, hahaha.

So, in my boredom I’ve been going through some of my photos and I’ve selected a few of my favorite sunrise and sunset photos from the last 2 weeks. Here ya go.

I'm amazed every day at these beautiful skies.

I’m amazed every day at these beautiful skies.

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Mother Nature creates beauty that is awe inspiring.

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I think I hear music in the air ❤

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My rooftop is one of my favorite places!

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The small fort is on it’s own little island that is only accessible by foot, and only during low tide.

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Can you say wow?!

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That’s the continent on the other side and two fishing boats.

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Yup.

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The color contrast made me speechless.

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Night night sun…… Thank you for your colors.

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A creepy crawler on my bed. Not a great bed fellow……

I’ll put a few photos of me up once I don’t look as sick as I do right now. No one wants to see this mess. But soon I’ll be back at it. Beast mode will continue. And so will my journey through education.

 
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Posted by on 03/03/2015 in Uncategorized

 

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2 days in a row with electricity!!!

2 days in a row with electricity!!!

It is really humbling and amazing when things you have taken for granted most of your life become luxuries to be celebrated.

I got to take a real shower. I got to turn on the tap and brush my teeth! Conserving bottled water and only brushing my teeth once a day, SO glad to not be doing that for two days now.

Running the AC at night and not sweating through sleep-difficult nights is such a rich luxury I want to kiss the AC machine.

Life is good.

It’s an interesting phenomena that even with everything seemingly wrong, I’m learning how to make my time right here.

In Turkey, I had money, I was saving money, I could go see a movie or go to a mall. I had an oven, beauty products, my choice of hygiene products, but I was miserable.

Here, well, I have none of that. In fact, I have the most of nothing I’ve ever had, but, I can do good work here.

The construction company that has me doing their accounting asked me to teach a few of their workers English. We’ve only had 4 lessons but I am being stopped by people on the street every day now, to ask about English classes for themselves or their children. There is a desire to learn.

As far as I have heard so far, there has never been an English school here. And with the tourism industry about to boom here, what with all the hotels and museums currently in construction, there is not only a strong need, but a strong desire to learn.

I’m trying to find ways to make a living here while doing research into the needs. It’s a struggle, like I said, everything is seemingly going wrong. I wasn’t able to exchange my Turkish money, so I have none. My visa is setting up a daily fine that I can’t pay, plus the cost of the new visa once I get the fines paid. I have to figure out how to pay that while not making any money. My work at the construction company is paying room and board, so I have a roof over my head and food to eat, (with electricity I also have running water again !).

Luckily for me, being dirt poor is not new, I can do this too. Especially when I get to see some of the most beautiful scenery of my life.

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the office

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My room

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More of the wonderful things I get to see each day

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I got desperate for something sweet and wanted to make some cookies with my last egg…. I tried, that’s good. Right? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s funny, I asked my mama to send me some goodies while I was still in Turkey. Now those things seem so trivial, salsa, dried green chile, comfort foods. I still want paint, mosquito repellent, crayons….

I haven’t worn a stitch of makeup since I left Turkey. My needs to get by have been drastically altered, for the better I think. I look around me and see such poverty, yet such joy in life. People of all ages sing as they go down the street. It is not unusual to see people dancing wherever they are.

But it is also not unusual to see people just sitting. There is very little work here. The schools on Ilha are the best in this part of the country and many children are bussed in to attend. But the local children can’t afford it. They walk around the island all day, rolling tires with sticks, drawing in the sand, but just meandering around until night time.

I know I can do good here.

As I continue my research, I hope to begin posting more about the history of Ilha de Mozambique…. a place I am beginning to love.

 
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Posted by on 14/02/2015 in Expat, health and healing

 

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Here’s to a month

Yes, I am still on Ilha de Mozambique and enjoying it immensely.
The country is still flooded, there’s still no electricity other than random generators, prices on everything are going up because there’s no transportation abilities with some main bridges in the country washed away, cell phones are the only way to get internet and there’s only service once in a while, but I’m healthy and taking it all in.
I’ve gotten pretty good at washing clothes by hand with only a little water, drawing water from the well and boiling the heck out of it. Thank everything I’ve been an avid camper most of my life, it’s kind of like long term camping really.
I hear we might get power restored by next week but everyone tells me not to hold my breath for that….
In the meantime I’ve been taking in some of the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises I’ve ever seen. I’ve sat under completely dark skies and seen a sky full of stars. I’ve been swimming in the ocean, treasure hunting, and learning about the dark but fascinating history of this island.
Here are a few photos 🙂

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I am also truly seeing the effects that come from generations being withheld an education for the purpose of keeping laborers servants.
It sets my mind to purpose.

I’m getting my feet here, meeting people, and learning quite a bit about living with only a little.

I’m safe, healthy, and happy, just wishing for the power to get restored sooner rather than later.

Live life to the fullest.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 06/02/2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Well folks, it’s official, A New Year is about to begin

A NEW YEAR. A new start. A new/ old type of job. A new country. A new continent.

I will be taking a short leave from teaching and doing some nice quiet paper pushing for the time being, in Mozambique, Africa.

I’ll be living on a small island off the mainland recuperating, and centering myself again.

I am always grateful for learning moments as well as teaching moments. Turkey has taught me. And as I needed to let go of this place, a new opportunity presented itself. Where one doors closes, another opens.

2014 was a year of discovery for sure.

I managed to visit Hong Kong (airport haha), Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, the US, Jamaica, Germany, Czech Republic, Turkey, and Greece this year!

I gained even more insight into myself, what I will take, what I won’t, what I can take and what I can’t.

I’ve opened up and drawn myself in, in an ever ebbing tide this year. And right now, I’m leaving the drawing in phase and heading into an opening up phase.

I wonder what 2015 will bring.

 

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