I know that pictures like this are not for everyone, perhaps including myself, but I posted it because of the subject and what it says. This shot is of orphans in Kampala, Uganda at nightfall. For whatever reason these children have lost all family and began to live on the streets. A Ugandan friend of mine who works with the orphans of Uganda told me that many of the children huff jet fuel to cope with life. Its a heartbreaking tragedy. The good news is that many Ugandans are starting orphanges so that these children can have a future.
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Growing up in Colorado I learned from elementary school that the two most famous things about my beautiful state were Mesa Verde and Alferd Packer. Packer is famous because he was lost in the mountains around 1870 and ate his friends. We were told that Mesa Verde is famous because it was the home of the Anasazi people. During our tour of Mesa Verde we learned that the term Anasazi actually means “soul eater” in Navajo, and the actual people who lived at Mesa Verde were the ancestors of the modern Puebloans. Archaeologists reckon that the ancestral Puebloans left due to famine, but also found strong evidence that these people practiced cannibalism. So ummmm yeah, come to Colorado for the scenary, then get eaten.
Filipinos are a people of the sea. From times long ago the people of the Philippines learned how to survive with the ocean and use it to their benefit. Boats and local fishermen just like these two are scattered all about the island nation. On many peers you can find old men casting their lines into the sea in the hope of catching a fresh dinner.
In Phnom Penh one of the most popular things for people to do is sit by the Mekong. Night and day people gather and simply talk. Merchants line the river selling food and chatting with anyone happening to walk by. Watching the Cambodian people sit at the river makes it easy to understand why they are called the happiest people on eart.
Walking around the Sydney harbor on a cold winter day I noticed this old, old wooden ship. If I remember correctly it was called thes Diversity and was from the civil war era. After walking by Diversity I stopped at a souvenir stand and bought a coin purse made from a Kangaroo’s scrotum. Australia is the land of wonder.
I had sworn off climbing 14ers four years ago, but a visit from my friend Mark convinced me to backtrack on my vow. During our five and a half hour ascent I regretted every moment of it. We wheezed up the mountain starting at 1:30 in the morning hiking in pure darkness finally summiting at 7:00 as the first hikers on the summit. Standing on top of the world, I was glad we did it, until dozens of other hikers came up after us telling us that it only took them 2 hours to reach the top. The deal is back on, no more 14ers, ever.
The gate outside Dachau reads “Arbeit Macht Frei” or Work Brings Freedom. Although no prisoners entered throught this gate, it is symbolic of the tragic and ironic struggle of all those were imprisoned behind its walls. The memorial only stands today because of the tireless effort of it’s survivors, thousands walk through it everyday so that we will not forget.
We arrived in Borisov, an industrial town placed in the countryside, around noon. We saw an old Russian orthodox cathedral and winded our way through the town directly to it. The church was condemned and undergoing renovations and being guarded by this man as he slept on his chair. He had soft eyes and a strong voice as he told us about his town, his church, and his life. He had lived a difficult life under communism, freedom, and then back to communism. He had long suffered from a drinking problem, and perhaps still did, but he found refuge in the church.