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New Blog...Who dis?

Hello my friends. So much has happened since my most recent blog post. If you'd like to keep up with me and my travels/adventures, please see my new blog and subscribe at: www.chasinghygge.com Wishing you happiness today and always!

2 Minute Lense

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Ke Teng

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In Setswana, there is a phrase:  Ke teng.    Literally, these two words simply mean "I am here". When I first arrived to Botswana almost four years ago, this was one of the first things I learned not only because it was relatively easy to remember, but because it was used multiple times throughout the day.  Bush Fire, Gobojango, Botswana 2014 If someone asked "how are you?" you could answer "ke teng".  If they asked what you were up to, where you were, etc. the answer was always the same.   Now, seemingly worlds apart and a plethora of experiences later, I have had the opportunity to meditate a bit on this phrase and its actual pertinence to everyday life.   Sunset over the Chobe River, Zambia 2014 I have learned that "I am here" isn't as much of a physical state of being as it is a mental one.  To be present, one has to believe every aspect of their surrounding is their reality. In this process, presence

Landing for a moment

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I am always entranced by the fervidity of a hummingbird.  These remarkable creatures have the capacity to fly left, right, forward, backward, and even upside down.   Their feet are made for perching, and they spend the majority of their life hovering in flight.   Seeing one is always electrifying, because an individual knows that in an instant the bird will be gone, just as quickly as he came. I saw one once, with her long delicate beak, gulping down the nectar of a blossom in the sticky rainforests of Costa Rica and I realized that my insides resonated with this vibrant bird’s spirit. I have spent the past years of my life flitting from continent to continent, gulping down the nectar of various cultures that I haven’t had a moment to perch. I've been vagrant for so long, my soul has adapted a bit of a gypsy-like lust to explore and reconnoiter the quilts of land throughout the world.  I covet new places, new foods, new cultures to submerse myself in.  I crave the smells of

A letter to the universe

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Dear Universe, I am writing to honor you for co-creating 2014 with me. So much has happened this past year, and I need to take this moment to pay tribute. Club Atami: La Libertad, El Salvador I also want to invite those who are reading this letter of gratitude to join me in this acknowledgement to our Dear Universe, as we reflect on the past year together. 2014 has served as one of the most transformative years of my life, as I started it off discovering absolute strength, grace and stillness within myself while living in the chaotic wild land that is Botswana. I am ending my year having learned to accept, embrace and heal the  inner turmoil that came about upon my brief return to the United States, facing some tragic realities that have served as my greatest gifts, and embracing an entirely new endeavor altogether by moving to El Salvador. Learning to Laugh: Gobojango, Botswana It’s been a year of dissolving boundaries and confronting my every fear, standing amidst a b

Special Feature Post

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During mid-October I had the immense opportunity to play host to my parents who came to visit El Salvador for nine days.  Although we endured a 7.3-scale earthquake, fear of a tsunami and evacuation from the beach, and my dad's broken back, we had a blast.  I asked my dad to write an account of his experience here, so you may see this wonderful country in a different view and he graciously accepted.  Below is his recollection of the trip: --------------------------------------------------------------------- After months of having our daughter, Janina Victoria Yates, out in the world on her next big adventure, her mom Maria and I, Bruce, wanted to see how life was in her current country of residence: El Salvador.   My work gave me the "green light" to travel to San Salvador, El Salvador, where we met Nina on October 10th, 2014 during a typical tropical, third-world country night.   We were exhausted from having three separate flights and I had just broken my back at

Sing your Heart Out

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“Music can change the world, because it can change people” –Bono It was a cloudy Monday, not unlike any other morning in the mountainous town of La Palma, Chalatenango.   Students’ voices resonated from every corner of the building, and the school pulsed with vivacity.   As the usual pupils from Centro Escolar 22 de Junio stood in compliance in the great hall watching the Semana Civica presentations, more children clad in varied school uniforms shuffled in, eager with anticipation for the competition that was scheduled to take place.   It was as if the crowd ebbed and flowed with its own rhythm and repartee, and although the banter seemed to dull the nerves within the participants of the Choir Genesis, their uneasy smiles told another story.   Singing El Salvador's National Anthem in front of a packed auditorium For the previous two weeks, the members of the newly-formed choir had been practicing daily for this competition and the moment had finally arrived when they