one hour no power

ok so i know it's short notice but tomorrow, july 1st from noon to 1pm everyone concerned about the environment is invited to shut down all power for one hour. that means computers, lights, cars, radio, and even cell phones. initiated by a guy in the uk it is meant, “to raise awareness of our collective ability to tackle climate change through our everyday lives.” come on it's only an hour.


as Henry said

Before coming to Hawaii people told me that this trip would change my life and that I would come home a completely different person. Now as I reflect on these last 3 months I realize that that's a lot of pressure to put on this trip and on myself. So not to disappoint those of you that may have been hoping I would come back different but it didn't take long for me to realize that I am the same person in Hawaii as I was in Cincinnati. That's not to say that I haven't grown or that there haven't been changes. There's a little more color to my skin, my hair is a bit lighter (if grey counts as light) and longer. I'm a bit calmer. I've fallen in love with papayas and yoga. I've learned that I am better behind a coffee counter than I am in the coffee field. I can surf, well almost. I can rumba and swing, well sort of. I can rock a weed whacker and I kind of understand 4 wheel drive. This has definitely been an adventure. It has also been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It hasn't been physically terrible, definitely not what I expected, but not terrible. Emotionally though, this has been a challenge. This type of adventure tends to attract similar people. The lost souls, traveling without responsibility and working to discover themselves in the beauty of the land. But I wasn't lost, a searching soul of course, but not lost. It may have been easier to travel 3500 miles from everything familiar if I wasn't leaving a great life behind. As I studied the architecture of time passing I thought a lot about that life and who I am in that life. I realized that while my scenery may change who I am is the same. I am still goofy, passionate, sassy, dorky, and playful. I am still analytical erring on the side of critical. I'm still tough...sometimes too tough. I'm still strong...sometimes too strong. I am fiercely loyal and protective of the people I love. I remain hungry for the truth and dedicated to finding it even when it frightens me. And while hard to keep in balance with my skeptical nature I am hopeful, knowing that I need hope like my own blood. I live with intensity and wear my audacity like a skirt. I am still an idealist, maybe more than ever and I will continue dreaming big dreams. I guess being away from all of the people and things that I have associated with my identity has taught me more of who I am and has helped me to learn my name. Henry Miller said, "I wish to become more and more myself as ridiculous as that may sound." So in keeping with his words, I have grown but really just into myself.


Victory for Ethiopian Coffee Farmers

Ethiopia has been seeking trademark for it's coffees, Sidamo, Harar, and Yirgacheffe. Last summer Starbucks prompted the National Coffee Association to file an opposition to Ethiopia's application for trademark. Because of this the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected the application. Since then Oxfam America has led a campaign urging Starbucks to sign the agreement. And it was just announced that Starbucks has signed a distribution, marketing and licensing agreement that recognizes Ethiopia’s right to control the use of its specialty coffee brands. This is a great victory for the farmers and could bring them millions more in annual revenue. Yes!!!


Meaningless Blog to Accompany Meaningless Work

Another day of sorting coffee beans made interesting only by making up games to play. Music is always a trusty friend when you're trying to pass time. So as I began sorting coffee beans this morning I opened itunes and since I couldn't be bothered to make a choice I decided to rely on the shuffle. The interesting thing about shuffling 10,000 songs is that the transitions can be a bit awkward. I find that the computer often chooses things I probably wouldn't. Like that obscene collection of 80's tunes that I really don't want people to know that I have but I just can't bring myself to erase. And then I find that I'm pleasantly surprised by albums I forgot I had or just haven't heard in a long while. Then I start to play games like guess who this band is within the first 15 seconds of the song. If I'm correct then I see if I can name the song and the album. Rarely do I get all 3 correct. But today's transitions have been entertaining in and of themselves. One such strand of songs was as follows:

1. starting out with the always great Neil Young
2. ...moving right into Moby
3. ...so excited the next one was Magnetic Fields
4. ...here was the shocker Nat King Cole
5. ...a tune from Amelie
6. ..."it's a mother&#@%$*" by the Eels
7. ... Jon Brion
8. ...Sufjan
9. ...Ravi Shankar
10. ...DJ Shadow

The abrubt song changes have kept me alert in anticipation for what my computer will choose next.

11. ...Harry Connick Jr.
12. ...Pat Benatar
13. ...Lou Reed


Under the Milo

One of the things this city girl misses is being able to walk everywhere. So today I parked in town and decided to walk the mile to the Japanese Gardens. My plan was to spend some time there with Al Gore's newest book, Assault on Reason. Mother nature had something different in mind. I was enjoying the walk with the wind blowing and the temperature dropping. I felt as though nature knew I needed that walk and was therefore conspiring to make it as pleasant as possible. But the wind seemed to be blowing a bit harder and there was this strange sweet smell to the air. It reminded me of that juicy fruit gum. I looked up and saw the darkest cloud moving towards me. Unphased and determined I continued until I noticed that not only was there a dark ominous cloud moving towards me from the west but there was one coming from the south as well. These clouds seemed to be closing in on me with their fingers stretching out trying to grab hold of me. Then came the rain. I realized I was in trouble. There was nowhere to go and my book was going to fall victim to this afternoon shower. I ran to a nearby milo tree and hid under the canopy of it's large branches. The rain finally settled into a slow drizzle but I stayed under that tree. I found comfort in it's covering. I will always be amazed by how unpredictable nature can be.

And in case any of you are questioning my sanity with the whole juicy fruit thing, it turns out that there were golden shower trees, "sweet peas," lining my walk.


For the Love of Goats

Since I've been here I have done my best to paint a picture for you all of what life here on the island looks like by using words, stories, and pictures. After seeing something for the second time today I have realized that by leaving this out I have failed in accurately describing this place.
A man walking his goat.
Now as I said this is not the first time I have seen this. The first time was a few weeks ago and I laughed it off thinking it was just some crazy guy who wanted to go for a walk but didn't want to be alone and since he had no other companions decided to put his goat on a leash. Seems like a likely explanation, right? Then when I saw it again today I started thinking that this might be normal Hawaiian behavior.
Truthfully I don't know much about goats and haven't given them much thought but being that I'm one who enjoys looking a little crazy I'm toying with the idea of trading my dog, Kenya for a goat when I get home. If it doesn't work out at least I can get some yummy cheese out of the deal.