I am now at a small family farm called Taiquén in the Chubut province of Patogonia in Epuyen just south of El Bolson. The word Taiquén is from the indigenous language of the area and means ´the sound of a waterfall,´which you can hear in the distance when the wind isn´t blowing too hard. It´s pretty quiet and peaceful here. Various birds and roosters (ours and distant neighbors´) pierce through the soft sound of the blowing wind. Taiquén is composed of Gabriel, his wife Cristina, their 3 year old son, Geni, plus 20 sheep, Nacho the dog and hens. They have lots of raspberries, which we have been harvesting along with loads of peas and carrots. I am one of 4 volunteers here - all from the USA.
Here is a view of the house which Gabriel built himself from mostly natural materials. On the left is the garage/workshop/living space where the volunteers live.
another view of the house from the edge of the woods. Rows of raspberry bushes are in front of the house.
Here is the green house made of adobe that Gabriel just finished. He started it in October and has built other greenhouses at 5 elementary schools in the region.


There is a hill behind the farm and last Sunday I climbed it. These are the views from the top of the hill. You can see Lake Epuyen in the distance.


my first week in argentina

On January 12th, I arrived in the large and hot city of Buenos Aires. That means that this site has now become a travel blog. On my first day, when I walked into my room at the hostel in San Telmo, I ran into Gabe as he was starting his day. We soon met up with Smiley and I spent most of my time in BA kicking it with the two of them. mi primera semaña en el sur hemisfero...
a rooftop view after a rooftop barbeque at the home of other wesleyan grads

live music in the streets of San Telmo

That´s Andy in the foreground, Gabe yawning and Smiley in the background with a large metallic flower - that closes every night.

Gabe in Smiley´s apartment with his brand new travel guitar

Traffic was held up by striking farm workers whom I guess were demanding higher wages. Meanwhile, I was on my way to a farm to work for free. Ugh. The bus ride from Buenos Aires to the mountains was painful. It started out at the biggest, most crowded and sweatiest bus station I had ever seen in Buenos Aires. I had reserved a full bed (It´s like flying 1st class I was told) on a bus to Barriloche. The trip was supposed to take 19 hours to get there plus another 2 hour bus ride to El Bolson. In my section of platforms, the electronic board said that there were 3 different buses all going to Barriloche leaving within 6 minutes of each other. I had asked a guy with the bus company if an earlier bus was mine and he explained that there were lots and lots of buses going to Barriloche. I met some young folks with camping gear from Buenos Aires who were on the same bus as me. Then, a guy announced that our bus would be leaving from platform 37. So, we stood next to platform 37 and waited. Meanwhile, other people were loading up on other buses to Barriloche but I trusted the announcement, the electronic board and the porteños (locals from Buenos Aires) and figured that they knew what they were doing and that I would follow their lead. Well, that was stupid. Our bus left and I had watched people board it while I stood there and waited. The guys of the bus company insisted it was our fault. So, we ran upstairs to the ticket office and I hopped on a bus 45 minutes later - a bus without fully reclining seats and that took 26 hours instead of 19 with lots of stops in small towns across the country. One advantage of this bus was that I got to see local farmworkers burn tires...

Traffic was held up at maybe half a dozen of these points. The men would hold traffic up for 10 to 40 minutes and then let one lane pass. The farm workers who were striking were not hostile at all. I guess they just wanted to interrupt traffic and they smiled as we drove by.

Ah. The mountains. Getting to the mountains after being in Buenos Aires was a relief. This is Lago Epuyen with Quiln? and Dalia in the foreground.


Camp Joy

In June '07, I moved down to the wondrous Camp Joy farm in the Santa Cruz mountains. I still miss that place very much. Here are some pictures from my time there. The latter 4 were made into greeting cards.

spiderwebs from my bedroom window

santa rosa plum


ode to 427 Fell St

Ahh, 427 Fell St. My home in SF for a year and a half. These pictures are from in front, on top and inside.

from the other side of fell

looking across the street

on the roof with logan

looking across the street

ah! wheatgrass!

more from my bedroom window...

out my window...

I used to work in my bedroom and all day I would look out my window while working on my computer. I would watch from above as poor men went through our trash and recycling bins.

and sometimes i was blessed with the privilege of watching a stranger urinate down below

sad side of SF

There are homeless folks everywhere in San Francisco...

and lots of folks rooting through garbage cans

bay to breakers

Bay to Breakers last May happened on a warm, sunny day. It was silly fun and stupid.

Of course, we had to take whiskey shots and shotgun beers in the morning.

the top of the hayes st. hill

the streets were sort of crowded.

although there were portapotties on every corner, there just weren't enough for all the beers and bladders on the streets. guys weren't willing to wait in lines dozens of people deep; they just whizzed on the trees.

who doesn't love SF?

in the park...

finally! we made it to the breakers at ocean beach.

the feather river

While camping in the rainy Sierras last Spring, I drove Marcelo's car the short distance back from the Feather River to the campsite. Later, when on foot, I realized that I was responsible for the death of this beautiful orange lizard. I didn't mean to drive over it and smash its brains onto the pavement; I could have walked.

The experience made me think a lot about the evil resulting from our automobile and oil dependencies. But I was still grateful for Marcelo's car for it efficiently transported us from the city of San Francisco to a verdant mountain valley with waterfalls, river otters, a glorious rope swing and lots of bright orange lizards everywhere - scampering along the ground and even seeking shelter underneath our tent's rainfly.

These kaliedoscope pictures were taken the same day...

austin cellphone kaliedoscopes

Last March I went down to Austin for the first time to attend the SXSW music conference. There was lots of really crappy music abound. The experience sort of encouraged me to get of the music business. However, I did really enjoy some of the music I heard: namely the Polyphonic Spree, Amon Tobin, Blonde Redhead. Fortunately for me, my brother Brian set me up to stay at his friend's house who was very hospitable. These pictures were taken with my cellphone while laying on my back on the trampoline in Kim's backyard.