Pages From My Skin

Friday, February 20, 2009


My life has taken so many turns
Evolutionary changes I cannot fully articulate
Insides out
Heart evolved vulnerable
Blood pumped beyond capacity
Poetry & Storytelling
Reflections I forever reminisce
Turns that have brought me to you
Beaches and black nights
Stars and still water
Raging waters and beige rocks
Sun and cold sand
Hot nights and moon blinks
Eyes earned reflection
March 1st: I leave to Iquitos, Peru
The largest city in the world non-accessible by road
10 days in the jungle
New pores scheduled to blossom
4 day hike to Machu Picchu
One night in Aguas Calientes
2 days to Lake Titicaca
South America's largest lake by volume
Nearly 4,000 feet above sea level
Flights booked
Buses/Trains to take
Mountains to climb and waters to wade
Spirit expand

Saturday, February 14, 2009


On our way to Mindo, Ecuador to view the Butterfly Farm...

Nick, Sam, Hillary, Tommy & I took a bus from the city. It is normally a 2 hour ride.  Along the way, we received word that there was traffic up ahead due to a mud slide. The bus driver decided to find an alternate route instead of waiting the estimated 30 minute delay. Along this route, there was a truck that flipped over ahead of us. So, that caused another delay. Eventually, the bus driver went mad and drove off the road. Everyone on the bus was confused. He ended up going up a muddy one-way mountainous path. There was rainwater and waterfall debris making the thin road even more muddy. 

For a Honda, Toyota, I would say, "This road was a tight squeeze."  For a bus the size of a Greyhound, I would say, "What the HELL is this bus driver doing!!??" The driver's helper went around collecting an additional dollar from everyone because after already driving the expected 2 hours, this new route was going to cause us to arrive in Mindo an even 2 hours later. Hesitant, we paid. However, by the time we got HALF-WAY up the mountain, the bus driver was desperately speeding while beeping his disturbing horn trying to make other trucks aware that...uhm...he may be on the road to causing a head-to-head on collision. As we got higher up the mountain, the road got thinner and thinner. 

After awhile, I began FREAKING OUT!!! We were all at the back of the bus and could literally feel the back tires dragging along the edge of the road. There were no rails or additional space for protection. We were looking down several thousand feet to an abyss of rain forest. Eventually, we could not even see the side of the road...MEANING our left-back tire was on the brink of skidding off the mountain. MEANING...we and everyone else on the bus would be going with it. All of the passengers started bugging out! I was screaming, "Holy shit! Holy shit!!!" That was all that could come out of my mouth. Seriously...I was scared for my life! Nick had even began texting his Dad, "Just in case I don't make it" messages! (What a jerk!) Eventually, we forced the bus driver to stop the bus and let us off. The other passengers couldn't believe it. They were asking, "Are you REALLY getting off! Are you walking back down the mountain? Do you know where you're going?" There was this one group of girls with sheer fear in their eyes. We told them, "We don't know where we are but we'll take our chances deserted in the rain forest than on this damned bus!" Sure enough, we got off.

With all of us trying to recover from anxiety attacks, we tried to relax and regain our composure. We were all still talking about how we just managed to escape death and how we were scared out of our freakin' minds! After walking down the mountain and trying to hitch a ride, a random pick up truck stopped. We immediately hopped on the back and got a ride all the way back to Quito. Lucky us! The driver wouldn't even take our money for gas. The Sun came out and began to shine above us. We got in town early enough for almuerzo and ate with new senses of self. PHEW! What a way to spend Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I missed a few entries but there is much to be said.  In sort:

Love is building and learning
Dreams unfold unconscious manifestations
Las Carradas de Peguche son "Ananay" (Kechwa for beautiful/irresistible)
Went salsa dancing last night and let's just say I'm a tad bit rusty
(Got some new moves though!)

Full Moon renewed ventricle flow
So much culture to reclaim
People are as beautiful as you allow them to be
Internal tattoos inhibited
I am learning

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


So far, I have applied to four Language Schools in Quito, Ecuador. One required that I take a 100-question-English-test. Phew! Looking for a job has been a real trip! I spent over 5 hours walking around today alone. I've got a good feeling about one place though. I have an interview tomorrow morning. We'll see what happens...

Walking around Quito has provided me with a great sense of direction. Many of the streets here are labeled with dates. For example, the main road here is "6 de Diciembre" which stands as Quito's Date of Independence. There is a major bus that runs on this road called the "Echovia" which only costs 25 cents. These buses are no joke though! You get NO MORE than 10 seconds to hop in because when the doors close...THE DOORS CLOSE!!! So fast that they can probably cause you to lose your damn arm if you're not quick enough. I have yet to actually sit on the bus. It is usually so packed that people are crunched up next to each other pushing to get in and out. Reminds me a bit of the NYC subway system during rush hour...only with less rails to hold on to.

Another interesting aspect of Quito's streets is the lights. First of all, at night, you will find that no one follows the red light green light rule. Last night, we were in a taxi that passed every single red light. This is because the streets are supposedly a tad bit more "dangerous" at night and most people are not trying to wait for a red light to turn green when they're at some shady corner. Also, there is this...bird sound that is played at just about every cross street. Basically, this sound is supposed to help organize how and when people cross the street. At first, I thought there was a bird in the trees. Then, after walking 10...15...20 blocks, I figured one of two things, either: 1. There is a really big bird following me or 2. Quito's government is not a very big fan of the simple hand that lights up to indicate "Stop." (By the way, you have no idea how beautiful my living room view is.  I happen to be looking at it right now. I have three open windows that oversee the city and in the distance you can see Pichincha which is...pretty much an active volcano not too far away from where I'm staying. Yeah, you don't normally get that in the Bronx!)

In other news, we are going to order a 2-for-one pizza special tonight and celebrate what Nick & Sam have established as "Movie Night." We are going to watch "Que Tan Lejos" which was filmed all around Ecuador. I'm excited to see it! I haven't spoken this much Spanish in a really long time. Also, last night, I met a girl named Johana who is really good friends with Nick & Sam. Thusfar, she has been absolutely amazing! She's going to see if she can hook me up with a used bike so I can train while I'm out here. This will be a great way to prepare for my cross-country bike trip in September. The altitude here is powerful. I've already gotten lightheaded a few times. I've also noticed my shortness of breath when climbing steep hills.

So much more terrain to cover. So many more people to meet and locations to explore. 
This is barely even the beginning...

Monday, February 2, 2009


Last night, I was literally the last one to get through customs and receive my luggage.  Nick & Sam were waiting for me on the ramp as promised.  We took a cab to their place which was unlike anything I was expecting.  They said it was a modern building but was really nice!  I'm staying in the living room on the pullout couch.  Quite comfy!

I was sooo hungry after my 8 1/2 hour, we went out to eat at this spot called "Dragonfly" in Mariscal which is more of a late-night-tourist kind of area.  The food was good but I'm sure, as Nick suggested, there are much better places to eat...and cheaper!  We watched the end of the Superbowl which was pretty disappointing. (Need I explain?)

All in all, I'm really excited about this 3 month adventure and series of life lessons which I'm sure will be undeniably worth it.  
The road is unfolding...