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December 2008

November 2008

Behind The Scenes: Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

DSCN2499 A few years back I did a show for The Travel Channel called Craving Adventure.  I basically went to Little Corn Island, just off the coast of Nicaragua, and just had a crew follow me incessantly for 10 days.  It was kinda batty having a camera up in my grill from dusk til dawn, but it's not til I re-watch the show (now and again) do I remember that madness (and joy) it took to pull that thing off. 

All throughout the show, my big thing was this hand-drawn map.  It was blank when I started exploring and I slowly dotted it in with little finds--like where to find homemade coconut bread, where to go skinny dipping, where to plop down in a hammock and never get up, etc...And, at the end of the trip, I put it in this small wooden box that a local made for me and hid it--so at the very end of the show, I could pop in the GPS coordinates where it was located.

Now, I know lots of people watched that show and I definitely know lots of peeps went to Little Corn right after it aired, all based on my crazy adventures on that remote little island.  What I'm wondering is did anyone find the box (lots of geocachers go to destinations exactly for this reason)?  Did it get swept away in a hurricane (see cracked sidewalk photo)?  Did a wild animal eat it (what would possess me to put baby chocolate globes in a box hidden away on a tropical island)?  Did a local happen upon it and claim if for themselves?  I guess I'll never really know.  Maybe I will make it back down there someday (in my sailboat, thank you very much)....and see if my treasure is still there. 

What I do know for sure is that I came back from that trip with a crazy tan, a deep respect for proper mojitos, a fantastic obsession with ropa viejo, freckles that never left my cheekbones and a great appreciation for not living on camera all the time.  That's not to say I don't have another show in the works--one involving maps--of lack thereof.  A girl can only live the big life without sharing it for so long...because one thing I've learned is that everyone is trying to find a spit of freedom and if I can help them get one step closer...well, why not?




The Boat (and me) Shall Reside on Isla Mujeres...


And, so you wanna know where I'm gonna move the boat? 

Well, there's a little island off the coast of Mexico (on the Carib side) called Isla Mujeres--it is by far one of my fave places in the world.  I produce pilates/volunteer retreats there; I escape there when I feel like I can't take another day; I daydream about it all the livelong day.

And, so now I must move the boat there.  Why wouldn't I?  It's a quick flight from Cancun to LA.  The beer is the coldest ever.  I can scuba and snorkel to my hearts content.  I have happy families that I've adopted there.  I can sail all over the Carib. if I want to, including a straight shot down the East Coast of Central America. I eat the best tostados, sopes, and pozole I've ever had in my life there.  I learned to make homemade ceviche there...and dream about it to this day.  I love exploring the little 5 mile x 1/2 mile patch of earth--and trust me, there is ALWAYS something to discover.  My hair looks absolutely fantastic in the humidity.  The mainland is a 20 minute ferry ride.  The slip fees aren't that outlandish.  I love watching the peeps who live on and visit the island cruise around on bikes, free as a bird.  I love swapping out books at Manana.  I love living in not much more than a bikini.  I love organizing free-for-all pilates classes for the locals.  I love drinking beer on ice---at 9 am.  I love even more a 8 am strawberry daiquiri.  I love sweating like mad and then just stripping down to the said bikini and diving into crazy blue water.   

Seriously, what more could you ask for in life?   





4th World Love: The Community Center Progress


I really can't believe that I took a photo of a house in Los Angeles, emailed it to my pal in Indonesia and said, please make the community center this color--I then get the photos of the paint job my funny friend Tindih did and whaddya know...they matched the color.  That is round about the coolest thing I have ever seen.

So, the community center is now painted--inside and out--English classes have begun, and it's a mere four months til I can head back over and begin to implement Phase 2 of 4th World Love's first big Indonesian project; a free-for-all community center on the remote island of Lombok. 

When I see these pics of all the peeps studying away, it blows my mind (they're all locals in Sembalun, and mostly porters and guides for Mt. Rinjani, the 2nd highest volcano in Indo).  I mean, I guess you can pretty much do anything you set your mind to if your heart is in the right place.  I don't have a ton of dough--all I did was care enough to see the light and then figured out a way to make it all happen. 

And--on a small side note, it was bananas on Tuesday night...all my pals in Indo were texting me every hour on the hour wondering if their fave guy, Barak Obama, had finally won the presidency.  They were as tuned in as we were here and straight delighted when he won.  It changes their world--not necessarily in the immediate--but, over time.  Just like free English classes do.

If you'd like to donate, please go to 4th World Love  (every donation is a 100% write-off); and if you donate $100, you'll be entered in our contest to win a free trip to Indo to volunteer with us this spring.  It's gonna be the funnest/best trip ever--volunteering, snorkeling, secret waterfall excursions, volcano trekking. 

What's a hundred bones for the opportunity to do all that good stuff?





Pupusa Love {From The Raving Dish}


The thing that caught my eye was the funky sign. Here I was, scouting around Lawrence Avenue looking for a bite to eat and I see this sign that says "Mekeni: Taste of Pampanga." Ohhhh, what's this I wonder? I would love to taste Pampanga, whatever the heck that is. After I peeked around the dusty door leading inside, I quickly grabbed a menu and realized it was Filipino food. And, further, it was a buffet. But, I took one look at the steaming hot box full of sauced-up meats and determined that my suddenly sensitive belly was better off across the street at the El Salvadoran joint on the corner.

Pupuseria Restaurant Cuscatleco had one lone couple chowing down when I plopped into my corner booth. I could see their plates of homemade food in the mirrors that made up the East wall. Lots of chunked-out pupusas is what I'm talking about. In typical El Salvadoran form, I immediately set to ordering some of those, as well as a hen tamale. Not to leave my good friends, the Mexicans, out of the bunch, I requested a nice big plate of huevos rancheros as well.




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4th World Love: Baby Rako Looks Like a Rock Star*


So, BREAKING 4th World Love news. 

Little baby Rako just got back from 18 days on Bali (his entire family hauled over from Lombok) where he had his cleft surgery.  He had to wait a bit because he was so tiny, but finally he was able to get in the door...I just got pictures last night and look how AWESOME his surgery turned out. 

This is what $280 bucks buys.  Just beautiful and mind-blowing all at the same time! 


So happy...