Habits of Disgust

We recently visited a Kamsá curandero, or medicine man, in Putumayo (Colombia). Through conversation and a quick revision, Taita Juan made a few general diagnoses for each of us. I have a nerve issue in my right leg causing discomfort; Ignacia has stomach problems fed by stress; Lucía, digestion. Elisa?  “She’s perfect,” I say. As […]

Want to be Unhappy?

For Pat, the journey became overwhelmingly difficult. He struggled with regret, as many are inclined to do. While he moved forward developing his tremendous talent as a reporter and then editor and marketing genius, he never stopped looking back. Remorse became an obsession and triggered bouts of mental illness, depression, and anxiety. These challenges knocked him into dark places. A nagging of the soul dogged him for years.

Paramo Burning

A few months later, FARC’s arsonist episode no longer mattered. The entire páramo was burning. A 10-meter wall of fire spread across the high mountain wetlands driven by wind and heat. As the fire intensified, so did the heat, evaporating surface water, burning through century-old plants, and catching rabbits and deer in mid-flight, leaving only the ashen outlines of their bodies in its wake.

The Last of the Kokonukos

Kokonukos is a mountain range with few trails and few people have summited its highest peaks. Here, the chronicling of how we follow an aging kokonukos guide into the clouds,across a mossy carpet, to the top of the range’s highest volcano, Pan de Azúcar.

The Mighty, Mighty Páramo

Today, you hear more about Colombia’s páramos. The altitude and exposure to extreme swings in temperature and weather make páramos something like enormous islands, floating among seas of tropical jungles. Survival under extreme conditions have resulted in a population of plants finely tuned to shielding high levels of UV rays, trapping and managing water, resisting wind and freezing temperatures.

Stand and Deliver: the Nasa Struggle for Autonomy

The FARC have since left Jambaló and the country’s recent ceasefire has brought peace, but the conflict has continually held Jambaló back in rural development: only five of its 35 villages (veredas) have access to potable water, there is but one paved road in the entire municipality, and over 1,000 families still lack access to fertile crop-growing land.

An Arhuaco Solution to Man’s Disequilibrium

The bees try really hard to protect their hive and their honey, and maybe that is part of why Osvaldo identifies the activity as theft. For him, it would be the same with cows, sheep, silk worms or oysters. We are the species specialized in taking. Over a lifetime, we take much more than we give, and though we are capable of giving, we rarely do.

A Life Less Restrained

My brother Josh and I wrote down a few key memories meant to highlight the many facets of our late brother Pat’s personality, the way he lived life and is compassion for all living creatures. This is a sample of what we came up with. Enjoy and reach out to your loved ones today. Life is fleeting, you won’t regret it.

El viaje de la Lucía: el cuento de otro nacimiento

Sin casa de nuevo, estábamos en un ferry cruzando el estrecho de Gibraltar. 10 kilómetros de océano, separando el norte del sur. Nuestro camino por Etiopía, nos trajo nuestra primera hija, y cuando tomamos el vuelo de salida nos metimos en una odisea que no sabíamos que terminaría con otra hija nacida en otro país.

Climbing Botswana: The Edge of the Kalahari

Kgale Hill, Gaborone’s most famous hill, offers granite cracks, face and friction climbs on a large variety of textures and rock for such a small area. The word Kgale means ‘a long time ago’ and the large quantity of rock polished by generations of baboons gives you an idea of just how long ago Kgale goes.

Looking at Life through a Lebanese Lens

I like Lebanon, emerging from the sectarian mess is a picturesque landscape that combines the inviting Mediterranean with what can only be called Levantine Alpine, snowy peaks, limestone walls and Cedar forests. As a tourist destination, Lebanon stands alone in the region providing even the most experienced traveler a glimpse of something totally unique, where culture, history and geography blend a fascinating fabric of existence.

First Hike: Lost in the Andes

I can still remember leaving the trail. It was a worn, dusty path that we had followed from a small lake tucked back in the evergreen forest of the Southern Andes. Ahead of me, an austere landscape of volcanic upheaval, a sea of basalt stacked against a steep shoulder of Volcano Casablanca. The skies were as clear as my 26-year-old mind, and although we couldn’t see the top of the volcano, its geographic position was predictable if not downright obvious. If this is the volcano, all paths lead to the crater, or so went the logic in my head.

You’ll Get to the Top and Remember James Garrett

Holed up in a traditional dance club, Garrett was immersed in Ethiopian dancing, shaking his shoulders and jumping up and down, the energy levels of this 63 year old climber defied nature. The next day, Garrett flew solo to Namibia, roped a random German guy into helping with belays, made the long trip out to the Spitzkoppe and put up a route. How many sexagenarians are doing this with their time, resources and abilities? Nobody I know is like James Garrett.

How Tameru Set a Guinness Record Without a Corporate Bank Account

By awarding records in the interest of profit, Guinness treats talent and people as indispensable commodities. They’ve sacrificed their history of spotlighting the incredible and inspiration and have diluted it with corporate values and the capitalistic obsession for money. A sad truth in a changing world where nothing is sacred.