Bali: A Queen’s Suite

The sounds of dishes clanking and Harry’s powerful giggle woke me up at 6 am.  I peeked my head out the window and Harry’s Mom glanced over and shouted “Johanna. Mornin’. Breakfast?” I groggily made my way over to the sitting area. The Dhali Lama sat staring at me in a frame.  Limp, faded flowers surrounded him as he watched my every move.  Incense infused the air and got caught in my eyes. Pamphlets of yoga, reflexology, sound medicine and massage lay next to an assortment of essential oils. Harry was entertaining himself with an orange, bashing it against the wall in hopes it would bounce back to him.  A homemade hot pocket appeared on my plate. While I sipped my tea, staring into space, I brainstormed my rough plan for the day according to my senses. Harry’s Dad rustled around in the garden and approached me with heaping handfuls of  More

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The Next Chapter

Saying goodbye

Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009.  She spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment. More

Myanmar With Mo Mo and the Gang

His name was Mo Mo.  He approached us at 8 a.m. at the crossroads of sticky, sweaty Yangon, formerly called Rangoon until the military junta renamed it in 1989.  He was small, compared to Andrew, who towered over him like one of the Petronas Towers.  He was toothless, but knowledgable.  Frail, but firm. He casually followed us, until he noticed we had no idea which way was left or right. That was when he became our tour guide, personal assistant and friend.  He had the day off from his government job as a woodworker and had some time to kill.  He quickly grew fond of Andrew’s crisp, clean, plaid, brand name shirt and admired Andrew’s style, not just of his fine clothing selection, but of his privilege of traveling with two women. Andrew’s nickname became “John,” and he frequently received compliments on his beauty.  If he heard chatter behind him, he anxiously turned to Andrew in a frantic, “What’s the problem, John?”  Then demonstrating his impatience towards me as I would straggle behind taking in the energetic scenery of the city, along with a couple of pictures (or ten), he would then add “Where is she, John.  Where is she?”  He helped More

Introducing…Thai Curry in Korea

My mother Janice, a culinary queen and genius, frequently sends me recipes she has discovered and tested out. She does this forgetting that buttermilk, basil, beets and most familiar ingredients do not exist in my small, foreign town.  This has left me to search for alternatives.  In the beginning, it was two-hour bus rides into Seoul, 30 minutes on the subway, and I’d arrive at the international food marts. Aside from the exuberant prices, it always made for a grand adventure.  Following these quests, I carried back cans of salsa and black olives, fresh herbs, bags of legumes and large blocks of cheese to share sparingly. Despite the bountiful gains, this soon exhausted me and left my pockets empty. More

Yeosu: Sunrise to Sunset

Alleyway near fish market

Buddha’s Birthday served as a much needed 3 day mini vacation and just enough time for a 7 hour journey south to Yeosu, the coastal city of the 2012 World Expo.  We covered a lot of grounds in day one from our 4 am taxi adventure to catch the cloud induced “sunrise” at a Buddhist temple, to walking along one of Korea’s 100 scenic roads which led to a rocky, picturesque, yet artificial feeling island eqipped with a lighthouse, dragon cave and musical fountain, to the stinky fish market where we picked out a mystery fish to be slaughtered in front of us, then consumed raw with the help of dear friends wasabi and soy sauce.

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A Little Bit of Heaven

I took these photos over a span of the last 6 months.  I never pass by this tree without admiring it’s unique beauty and the atmospheric backdrop, depending on the season (usually between 5:30-7:30PM), that helps this lonely masterpiece of Mother Nature to stand out boldly among a universe of unrivaled creations.
 
 
 
 
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“Wouldn’t Life Be Grand” Wednesdays


I never used to look forward to my Wednesday teaching days.  My reasons vary, but I will not bore you with the details. Due to infrequent buses to this really rural town, my alarm goes off an hour before my usual wake up time. I take the local bus 20 minutes to the town of Jijoeng-ri, and am left with an awkward and uncomfortable hour of sitting in the teacher’s office reading in the corner, while the vice principal sits at her desk plucking her nose hairs and examining her wrinkles in a hand mirror.

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