Thursday, 24 April 2003

Start with Yourself

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits,
I dreamed of changing the world.

As I grew older and wiser,
I discovered the world would not change,
so I shortened my sights somewhat
and decided to change only my country.

But it, too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years,
in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family,
those closest to me,
but alas, they would have none of it.

And now as I lie on my deathbed,
I suddenly realise: If I had only changed my self first,
then by example I would have changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and,
who knows, I may have even
changed the world.

Anonymous (written on tomb of an Anglican Bishop in the Crypts of Westminister Abbey)

Sunday, 20 April 2003

the only constant is change

it has only been a little over 2 months since i left singapore and so much has happened.. the war in Iraq, the SARS thing, Indonesia tightening its visa regulations, my car has been sold, a couple of changes in the art shop, some news from my family back home... it sems like the world is restless and even if you sit there and try not to do anything, things are just going to keep happening around you and affecting you anyway...

i figure that the wisdom behind this is: Since changes are going to happen anyway (whether positive or negative ones), we can forget about being apathetic and contented and hoping that the world leaves us in peace. All we can make sure is not to lose our heads panicking and reacting to the situations, and instead grab the bull by the horns, be responsible for our time and what happens to us (instead of blaming or sitting around complaining) and make the best of our journey here on earth..


i gained this wisdom consulting with the hummingbirds. ahem.

Friday, 18 April 2003

hummingbirds are humming again (a.k.a completing the circle)

we´re now back in sunny garopaba, completing the giant loop that has till now brought us across four countries, 12,000 km, 3 different climates, countless variations of skyscapes, landscapes, fauna and flora, 2 languages (portuguese and spanish) and some of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world, such as the Iguazu Falls and Perito Moreno Glacial.

we´re clearly overdosed on nature´s beauty and the friendly faces we saw along the way.. and now we appreciate getting up and not having to rush off to drive anywhere. i´m sleeping some 9 to 10 hours a night, and spending my time reading, watching the hummingbirds (i saw one yesterday with the most amazing green shade!), eagles, butterflies in the air and eating cheese omelettes, sausages and drinking coconut and strawberry yoghurts.. and watching the local folks fishing from the beach with nets (silvery 30cm long fishes and giant crabs practically swim onto shore to be caught! amazing!).. a very retreat-style lifestyle.. :)

I´m thinking and reading quite a bit about the SARS thing as well.. :( hope everyone is hale and healthy! stay positive and drink lots of water!!

Friday, 11 April 2003

SARS and waterfalls

the SARS thing is beginning to sound really bad, from what i read from Straits Times Interactive today.. there are even End Days prophecies floating around now, scaring everyone... cannot imagine what life will look like when i come back at the end of this month, after being protected from all the nasty things that have been happening in the world and back home..yes.. the fun will be ending soon... Kai told me about leslie chung as well.. gulp.. what´s happening??? :,O frankly, it`s hard not to be affected, coupled with the heavy feeling of knowing that all this travelling will be ending soon.. :<

heading out to the famous Iguacu Falls in Argentina today and then we´ll be heading over to see the falls from the Brazilian side tomorrow.. nice balmy weather finally :)

Wednesday, 9 April 2003

Chile - Argentina

discovered an exact replica of the Bali Kuta beach at Cachagua sans the commercialism, hippies, loud music and ubiquitous souvenir stores. the beach, with fantastically beautiful breaks of waves, was practically empty as it was way too cold to swim (except for some really determined people wearing wet suits, some giant pelicans and many seagulls). the journey along the pacific coast was amazing and the ocean really showed its might at several places, crashing with frightening roars and white foams against the sheer drops of cliffs.

we bid chile farewell today and head into argentina via the mountain pass.

Monday, 7 April 2003

SARS, Wars and conger eels

it seems like the SARS thing in Southeast Asia has really put Singapore in the spotlight for a while.. even the doctors in the little isolated island of Chiloe were talking about it when i was there!

it struck me yesterday, as we were zipping down the highway up to Santiago, that travelling through the continent of South America at this time has really cut me off (and in a bizarre sort of way protected/immuned me) from some of the less pleasant things that have been going on the world, and even back home (eg SARS). Since we started our journey some month or so back, we also haven´t seen a single mosque along the way as well, which meant that, other than watching CNN to know what has been happening in Iraq, the predominantly Roman Catholic population here are generally more concerned with the many domestic problems they already face and terrorism of the sort that the world is fearing now is almost non-existent here.. in fact, this has been the only time and place i´ve travelled and not seen the domes and crescents of a mosque anywhere i went.. very puzzling indeed..

anyhow, we got off the highway yesterday evening, after driving some 800 km or so and are now back at the coast! :) we will be spending today and tomorrow marvelling at the might of the Pacific Ocean and visiting this artist (another one of my friend´s friends) near the bohemian town of Cachagua before we cross back to Argentina over the 3779m pass near Aconcagua (the highest peak in the Americas).. hope i don´t get altitude sickness...

Saturday, 5 April 2003

not chilly in chile

the island of Chiloe was really quaint, though for some spooky reason, the cows moo all night, the dogs bark all night, the horses neigh all night, the sheep bleat all night, and seagulls kept flying round and round, screaming, making it extremely difficult to get to sleep.. in fact, we even heard these really weird wailing sounds that came from no beast or bird that we know, and only at night! We are guessing the presence of high levels of extra-terrestial activity on this island..

am still in chile, after visiting the beautiful national park of Puyehue and heading up to Santiago now... got infected by some malicious bacteria a few days ago and had to see a doctor to get antibiotics (for my sister: i got Ciproval) and to get some tests done.. but, as my friend says, i was surprisingly still "climbing up and down like a mountain goat".. hahaha..

got to go..another brief blog.. what to do...