July 29, 2005
oh michigan, my michigan.
i am hoommmmme! it a wonderful feeling to have a little normalcy for the next days. the landing into detroit was one of the bumpiest i've ever had. i thought perhaps is was windy outside- nope wasn't the case.
i got home my mom made me a pie. and then went and hung out with jamie, baby noah, and tony. then i was going to head to the film however jamie locked her keys in her car and i didn't get out of there until after 10. that was a little disappointing. i proceeded to tony's where we shared africa and china stories/pictures. it was fun.
July 25, 2005
swimming on rooftops
so i've had a little break from the madness of traveling. saturday just layed around and read a book. then later that night i got to hang out w/ seth! [who was in swaziland w/ me last summer and he just got back into town.] we went on a sufjan illinoise hunt. best buy said it doesn't come out to august 9th... in their world maybe, but it was out the 5th. then to sam goody... then to barnes and noble... none had it. that was depressing. vertigo it will be thursday when i return to GR for a few days. after that search ate some chinese and we went and watched the island. i remember learning it was shot partially in detroit so i didn't know what to expect. i was initially turned off my the puma product placement in the first scene.
yesterday headed to blockbuster to rent a movie. rented the documentary the 5 obstructions... i was hoping for more than what i got. i enjoyed parts of the film. i also went kayaking on a lake on sunday. the thing about the lake was this...
the government bought the land and the houses that were on it. they needed another water source for atlanta and then flooded the nearby river into it. so below all the water is a bunch of houses and if the water gets low enough you can see the roof tops. it was kinda strange knowing that houses are below you.
i'll be in GR thursday.
July 22, 2005
does a thing exist? i've barely had any sleep the past nights... now i can't sleep.
it's not like i have jet lag or anything... i've only gone into the central time zone.
July 21, 2005
i arrived in tunica, mississipi which is one of the most racially segregated places in america... tunica county used to also be one of the poorest in america however due to all casino's that have landed directly on the mississippi river it is now one of the richest.
since so many people have been coming to the casinos they had to put a med station right next to the casinos because so many people were/are having heart attacks and other medical problems.
it's been really interesting being here. i've got to see the county... many rice and cotton fields. everything you would expect in the south. i went to a restaurant for lunch called the blue & white and outside they have brushes so when people come they can wipe off their mud of their shoes....
i tried some fresh fried green tomatoes.... they're pretty good.
in town this was a fairly odd old furniture sign i saw for coffins...
and then we went to the world famous Hollywood where the song "walking in memphis" and movie "the pelican brief" was written... perhaps when people enter they discover their hidden inspiration?
they were closed, so i couldn't enter.
graceland & washington
arrived at the airport around 10am hoping to drop off my luggage so i could wander around DC a little more. however, you can only check your bags in 4 hours in advance... so i wait until 12:01 on the dot... turn in my luggage, take the metro, and meet up w/ jenny at her work. she works about 4 or 5 blocks from the white house.... so i decide to take a look.
later that day due to storms flight got delayed to memphis... but on our way to mississippi we took a wrong turn and landed up at graceland!
even though it was at night it was great. i signed the wall outside and then learned that i saw the #1 and #2 most visited places in america--- the white house and graceland in the same day.
i was hoping to hear a little paul simon on the radio afterwards... didn't happen though.
July 18, 2005
washington dc- familar faces/rainforest convo.
after missing my 8am flight saturday morning- mainly because of a literally 1 mile line. i arrived in DC around 8pm after flying standby. many other people were in my position so i made some standby friends... we played a game of BS and wandered around to each DC flight hoping to get on.
i arrived in DC and from the airport took a shuttle bus to the metro station. i was carrying a buttload of equipment/luggage. so i took the elevator down to the subway, while i'm waiting i meet a man with a bike....
what do you got in that bag, a musical instrument?
-no, a tripod.
why do you have a tripod?
-i'm filming around the country
so the next steven speilberg one day, eh?
-i don't know... i guess. sure why not?
we could make a movie.
you know on the internet, those point and click for a buck.
[thinking in my head... oh know where is this going]
where they put those hidden cameras up in the trees in the jungle and you can watch the animals. we could make a movie about that.
-hmmm. i've never heard of that before.
you saw that family walking up the elevator, we could cast them as the "all american family" and set the plot around that.
the train comes. he wants to give me his phone number... i decline. we go into separate cars. maybe i shoudl have taken it.. was i wrong in this decision?
so that was the weirdest encounter i've had here. i then arrived at columbia heights and met up with jenny and lindsay... it was pouring. we were gonna go out for a drink but the streets looked like they were flooding. so we had a night in & it was just what i needed. we ordered some greek food and watched tv. just a lovely time!
the next day we slept in, went out for brunch, and went to the eastern market.
after that we walked around the capitol and other touristy spots in DC. i finally got some fliming underway along with some pictures. it was HOT out, worse than GA.
when i was in the airport saturday... i called kellie and found out that Stephanie was in DC for the weekend! i got to see her for 15 minutes before I had to catch the metro and go to my work site...
then when i was waiting for my ride as the West Falls Church Station... i looked to my right and there she was again... completely random, that was the best!
seriously seeing people i know in these places is great... since i'm meeting new people all the time.
right now i'm working and missing "screen on the green" on the national mall... free classic movie screenings every monday night. how i wish i was there.
i apologize about this post, i feel like it's all over the place.
July 15, 2005
so i finally recieved all the photos that people took from our experience in may! i am thrilled... here are a few from the 12 cds worth. i guess this is kinda in chronological order.... we had an 8 hour layover in amsterdam. then it was on to rwanda to work with people who have been infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. i'll start really working on the documentary after i am finished with my traveling job this summer.
the bikes were fantastic
kigali... traveling to cyangugu
working on a house... this lady showed me how to hoe properly. she would not leave my side the entire day.
kellie & me [we were supposed to make a face or something...]
visiting a school
where people infected/affected by HIV/AIDS get food from the USAID
this is how they take people to the hospital, their ambulence
outside the hospital before going to feed the patients
swimming in lake kivu
not really sure how to describe the experience. i hope the photos show how beautiful it was there... the people and the country.
thanks to everyone who made this trip possible... you know who you are. much love!
& i have stories so if you want to hear any let me know.
traveling through these small country towns remind me of where i grew up... the upper peninsula. [yes, i do admit i was a yooper until eighth grade]
harlan, ky where i was for a few days had all the makings of what i consider a small town: hardee's, iga, and a bookmobile. i probably should make a trek to the u.p. one of these days- it's been a long time.
DC is next in my book. i leave saturday morning. i'll get to see two friends while i'm there, jenny & lindsay. i've been doing a lot of traveling by myself and meeting some new terrific people... but it's nice to see a familiar face every once in a while.
July 11, 2005
the knife fight.
so to start off this story i guess i'll post a picture of the post office which, i think, shows how small the town is.
so tonight i drove down a rustic road. i came over a hill where two twenty something guys had their shirts off. i stop my car about 10 feet away, roll down my window and hear "i'm f***in comin` after ya!" in his southern twang. the guy who said this was pretty ripped and the other who was running away wasn't and had long hair down his back. the guy w/ the muscles had a knife in his hand facing down. at this point i'm not really sure whether or not to turn around or pass by. so i decide to pass, as i go by a couple on lookers wave and i wave back. everyone else in the neighborhood was either mowing their lawn or sitting on the porch. i guess a reguluar occurance in the backhills of west virginia?? perhaps.
about a block away i get out of my car so i can shoot some footage of the town. i wish i had a small camera on me so i could have taken at least a still of what i witnessed. i should have gone back to see what the fight was about and became a news reporter for the moment.
on another note....
i saw a fully functional coal mine today...
July 10, 2005
it's been a day of travels.
i left geogia around noon. then headed north toward north carolina... where i decided i would call my former roommate to see if she was around. i was 45mins outside of ashville and got a hold of her! it really made my weekend. after the disappointment of my cousins not coming, i needed a little reminder of home.
driving through the mountains today was a treat. i really enjoyed it.
this is a street in ashville... i liked the downtown at least. there are a lot of hippie shops everywhere you go though.
now i am in the hills of west virginia, where the roads really aren't marked, so you wonder whether or not you are still on the same road. it's an adventure and i like it!
hopefully tomorrow i'll have interaction with locals.
July 8, 2005
so i going to see my cousins this weekend. we were going to i guess you could say, 'live it up' in atlanta or something. stuff happened, like getting a speeding ticket and now no more coming to GA. oh well... my other cuz just moved about 2 1/2 hours from here. but since the hurricane is gonna hit or the remnants from it on sunday morn 'not gonna risk it.'
so tomorrow i guess i may head into the ATL on my own. maybe go to the underground or something. not really sure.... so tonight i'm reading a book. it's nice.
next week i go to west virginia and kentucky. i'll leave on sunday. i'm driving a really old station wagon... i hope it gets me there and back. haha. i'll probably post a picture tomorrow when it's light out.
it's not that old.
July 6, 2005
you gotta roll with it.
so i'm not heading to mexico. but i did go to atlanta for the morning...
there is another project brewing which might mean of going to more places. where? not exactly sure. i guess it's good that i like randomness and rolling with the punches.
also i'm out of touch with the world-- news wise. i got an update from mikey v today on all the most important news like... 5 new family guy episodes have been aired. luther vandross died. batman begins is a pretty enjoyable movie.
anything else i should know?
i listened to NPR on my way to atlanta today & that was nice... which makes me think if the US doesn't start respecting the enviroment and dealing w/ global warming... the earth isn't gonna respect us. hence more probs will be coming our way.
July 4, 2005
the DR was beautiful. i was in the city of san juan which is in the mountains and is a lot cooler than other parts of the dominican... sometimes 10 degrees cooler, which makes a huge difference. the heat was bearable, not as bad as i suspected.
this picture was taken on our last day in san juan. one of the hosts drove me around on a motorcycle to film the country side since most of my time was in the city. everyone in san juan seemed to own a motorcycle or moped... it was main mode of transportation. stop signs, stop lights, weren't recognized... you just beeped your horn when going through. however, it was a little different in Santiago and Santo Domingo... they used theirs since both are larger cities.
each day in the city the skim ice man would come by where we were staying. skim ice is like flavor ice... but TEN times better. they were refreshing after being out in the hot hot heat.
this was the fresh pineapple i bought off the street only 1 buck!
this was one of the traditional dominican meals we ate for breakfast as i mentioned in the previous post. i ate the plantains... yum!
besides meeting the people i learned some of the history. i didn't know much about the DR before going... besides knowing that Christopher Columbus first landed there. what I didn't know was that when he landed he killed off pretty much the whole Indigenous population and today most Dominicans are mixed with African and Indian blood... there are no original full blood Indians in the DR-- which saddens many people there.
overall the trip was great! i loved being able to walk around the city and on my way back to santiago took a fantastic bus with air conditioning and really got to see the country.
my last night in the DR was in Santiago and met a girl from upstate new york who was studying there for the summer. i hung out with some of her friends and we went to the monument and just walked around. it was fun not having a camera strapped to my side.
so i returned sunday and had a layover in miami. even though the DR is so close, it was weird returning this time and having to actually talk to people to get things. everyone spoke spanish and since it was my job to stay behind the camera and not get too involved with the group i was with i didn't talk much.
so being back in the US [even though i feel the DR is SO close] was a little odd after being away only for a week. even though i couldn’t speak the language-- people were so hospitable and friendly. so i was a little disappointed at the american attitudes coming back in the airport and actually having to talk to people again. haha. i'm fine now... it was just strange because i didn't feel that way coming back from rwanda. [i hope to have a cd full of pictures from rwanda at the end of the week. i hope to post a few soon!]
i'll find out tomorrow if i head to mexico at the end of the week. it's been a YES, then a NO, now a MAYBE. so we'll see what the boss says. at this moment i'm back in GA. next week i will be in atlanta... that's for sure.