Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban.

For more about how the Weekly Photo Challenge started, take a look at this link. For more about this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.







Of course.

Of course.





Skate park.

Skate park.


Re-blog: No Loss Of Words.

Reading is one of my loves. No one should be deprived of the ability to read. Reading & literacy are fundamental. They can literally save lives. Check this out and vote.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Almost a flip – then a flop.  Stubbed toe on that step.

Quickly she looked around.


No reason to feel embarrassed. Whew!

She knew she was early.

Planned it that way.

Must be first in line.

She looked thorough the wavy glass on the door – shadows or people moving there?

Nose to the door she searched.

Oh, a wave of acknowledgement from a blur.

Happy, she stepped back.

OH! A nose smudge. How could she be so careless.

They didn’t mind her coming so much. They knew she was quiet and considerate. And careful

A quick swipe. There. Better.

A careful glance around. Good. Still no one.

Maybe sit a bit.

The wide stone ledge was awfully hot. There was shade and a bench down the sidewalk

But no. The door would open soon.

She perched like a nervous bird.

Better not risk it.

Besides it looked like someone…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong.

For more about how the Weekly Photo Challenge started, take a look at this link. For more about this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

08.08.2012 – On the way walking to public transportation to get to work, I had the honor of finding this on the sidewalk, first thing in the morning. Because apparently, whoever it belonged to didn’t have enough time to throw it in the garbage afterwards. 😐

Oh look.  First thing in the morning.

Oh look. First thing in the morning.

Re-blog: Cleaning Out The Clutter In Our Homes And In Our Minds.

I’m agnostic, but can definitely identify with the overall theme. I have an injury which has kept me from doing lots of things (including extensive blogging – about 20 drafts still waiting for me) and as a result, my house isn’t in the best shape. Well, last night I finally folded all the clean laundry that’d been sitting on one of my couches for months, and I felt accomplished. Now I just have to put them away, which will be easy, and iron a few items.

It’s also very important to declutter one’s heart & mind; carrying around so much emotional & mental clutter (outside of genuine mental health challenges) is harmful to one’s overall health. As an expatriate, this can mean the difference between some resilience by adjusting to one’s new country and returning to one’s home country. Just take a look at the tags on this post to see what I mean, then read the original post.

Re-blog: Sometimes.

Similar to my medical challenges (hers seem worse than mine though), this expresses my sentiments pretty accurately.

Simply danLrene

I call this “Sometimes” because many who have loved ones that have chronic illness and chronic pain do not really get it because they do not suffer with it themselves and it truly is a case of you have to be here to really understand. A headache or a backache is not the same thing for they have an ending. You take some med, lay down and rest and when you get up it is gone or greatly improved. For the chronically ill and those with chronic pain there is no “gone” or “greatly improved”.

I have had many ask me to write on this topic. Some who have loved ones with chronic pain and chronic illness will understand for the first time, some will never get it because it means allowing yourself to really look at the pain of another and most people do not like to…

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Remember the riots?

Believe it or not, Monday 08.06.2012 marked 1 year since the riots in London (that also spread to other cities in the United Kingdom) started. I won’t elaborate (yet? who knows); however, here’s a blog post that does based on the writer reviewing what happened and its effects today. Below are my blog posts about the riots when they started. Take a look & reminisce or (if you didn’t know about the riots) learn.

The Riots

The Riots 2

The Riots 3 – Conversations

The Riots 4 – street debate

Riotous thoughts



Short commercial break: Speak truth to power (rapists edition).

I’m interrupting my normal “programming” for an important request.

This isn’t an expatriate post; however, I’m posting this as a service to anyone who has ever been raped or otherwise sexually assaulted. This young lady, Savannah Dietrich, was given a gag order in spite of the fact that her rapists admitted to the crimes against her but, like this poster says, I don’t have a gag order & will use the power of the internet for good. Whether this is about Savannah’s case or any of the millions of cases worldwide, speak truth to power. Name them, shame them, blame them. Please spread this around worldwide like the flu – link-back, ping-back, re-blog, whatever it takes (give me credit of course). Also give credit to the poster creator by clicking on the poster below. Thank you for your consideration.

Links about this case:

Sexual Assault Victim Faces Contempt Charge for Tweeting Names of Alleged Attackers (click on the links within this Jezebel link; they’re links to news sites)

Savannah Dietrich Doesn’t Face Contempt Charge For Revealing Names Of Sexual Attackers

Yahoo! Answers – Who raped Savannah Dietrich? (that’s right… names and other personal information included in this link)

Pass this around like the flu.

Click on this photo & pass this around like the flu.

Thanks & much respect to the blogger at cyber-logic.tumblr.com for making this poster after getting the idea from a friend.

It’s a small world after all.


I finished my last visit of the day (overtime of course) and, due to bus diversions, began the long walk into town to one of the main bus lines. I’ve walked down this particular road many times. My client lives around the corner from the road; sometimes I take the long walk as a form of exercise under the circumstances, and usually just walk past the little shops at the top of the road. But for some reason, I finally decided to take a look inside one of them.

I stopped in front of a chocolate shop to see what was on offer. I looked at the menu outside, which listed a number of chocolate products, and decided to go inside. It’s a small cafe – I think it only sells chocolate products – with small trays of chocolate samples that anyone can try. I walked in and said hello to (who turned out to be) the owner of the shop, a woman with (what is likely) a French-sounding accent, and she said “feel free to try the samples”.

In front of me were some trays, filled with broken bits of dark & milk chocolate, all different flavors. Dark orange & chilli, milk coriander & grapefruit, dark basil & lemon – just 3 examples of 14 different mixes. I tried each one and decided that my favorite is milk chocolate coriander & grapefruit. I can’t fully describe the taste, but the flavors go together well. I asked to buy 100 grams of that flavor, enough to last me for about a week. (That’s a long time for you die-hard chocoholics, I know.)

After I bought the bar, what looked like a bunch of chocolate balls caught my eye. I asked the owner about it and she said “This is chocolate from Panama (Wikipedia link).”

“Wow, what a coincidence!”, I said. “My maternal family is from Panama.” 🙂

“Oh wow! I’ve never met a Panamanian before.”, she said. “My friend lives there on the islands with the (Kuna & other) native Indians. She owns a shop and I get my cocoa from her.”

(I corrected her & explained that I wasn’t born in Panama; I’m 2nd generation American. But she still considered me the 1st Panamanian that she ever met. To my knowledge, there isn’t a large Panamanian population here, if any at all.)

We had some small talk; I explained my family’s roots there and she told me more about her friend living among the indigenous people there. She buys the cocoa from her friend, who ships it up here. She showed me some photos from her friend’s shop, including candid photos of customers buying different goods, and explained that she uses the Panamanian cocoa specifically for cooking (garnishes, etc.) I took a photo of the chocolate balls (see below) and promised to visit again.

The next day, I shared some of the chocolate with my co-worker D. She agreed that the chocolate is good as hell. That small seal of approval strengthened my resolve to visit again in a couple of weeks.

No matter where you go, you can find some version of your roots anywhere & join yours to those already planted. Encounters like this make me more curious about the world and how far the roots of my ancestors’ countries stretch around the globe. I can plant my roots anywhere, make a new home, and feel at home. It’s a small world after all.

Panamanian pure cocoa.

Panamanian pure cocoa.