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Pluma Hidalgo Finca

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

On the way back to Oaxaca City, driving the coast road to Highway 175 (the “new road”) we took the time to drive up to Pluma Hidalgo Finca in 2 feet of mud where David had worked for a year.  Workers from outside fulfilled their “tequio” hours by working in the finca. Photos are of the kitchen where we shared breakfast.

Earthquake Aftermath in Oaxaca

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Last weekend I caravanned with another car and a truck 7 hours to the Isthmus (to a tiny village near Santa Maria del Mar) on the Pacific Coast of Oaxaca State where 80% of the homes were down or condemned. I went with David, his friend “Cholo” and a female friend to deliver tarps I had purchased, food from the acopios (collection points) and medicine from Mexico City to a little village.

It was a pretty intense 2 days trying to coordinate with with everyone and the locals so everybody got fair amounts. We went to Juchitan to pick up stuff delivered by someone else. And then Santa Cruz to a Doctor’s house in the evening where we were given pozole and about 25 people had an “assembly.”

Then we visited a “homeless camp” and outdoor kitchen in Tuantepec…60 families with 160 kids. There were 6 homeless teachers who were teaching the kids. On the way out a man came up to me and asked “are you coming back?” Nearly broke my heart!

The first night we stayed in a teacher’s house in Tuantepec who gave Juana and me their bedroom while they slept on the floor! The next morning we went back to the Doctora’s house to sort food because the people in the acopios had just indiscriminately bagged big bags of food…sweets for the kids, big bags of rice etc. was divided. Tuna taken out and redistributed. And then everything re-bagged.

At the tiny village of Santa Maria Huamelula, people were gathered in the center and the head of the village announced our arrival with a microphone. The Dra and David spoke. 2 Navy trucks were there with several Navy guys standing around watching us. The “face” of the gov’t. No idea what else they were doing there.

So before coming back we spent the 2nd night on the beach and partied with some mescal we picked up along the way. Cholo was one of the guys who went with us. David, a 2006 Oaxaca activist, is mentoring his friend. Cholo was quite attentive to me because he knew I was tired from intense driving. After swimming and drinking mescal, he gave me a really long foot massage with hot water (best one I’ve ever had) and then climbed into my lap and snuggled. I told him I was looking for someone just like him only my age! Everybody laughed. He’s about 20. 😉

David said he had never really had a mom. He was really sweet in spite of looking and acting like a bad boy. So I think what he was wanting at that moment was a mommie. 😉

I sent the photo to the kids and Bob with the caption “Cholo my new boyfriend.”

Doug’s response was: Are you serious?
Greg’s response:
Oh. .

Well.. .. good

Of course I explained the photo after I heard from them. Haven’t heard from Josh or Bob yet and it’s been 5 days since I sent the photo! hahaha!

It was quite an adventure. At least I found out what my car, Nissan Xterra, is capable of. Part of the way ruts in the mud 2 feet deep and landslides on the 175 highway coming back. So much for the “new” highway!



Cholo and me

David and the Doctora

Doug, Josh, Polly, Greg Visit Me In Oaxaca!

Thursday, August 24th, 2017
[gallery ids="4998,4999,5000,5001,5002,5003,5004"][gallery ids="4993,4992,4991,4990,4989,4988,4987,4986,4985,4984,4983,4982,4981,4980,4979,4978,4977,4976"] I'm in Oaxaca for 11 years and all three kids decide to come visit me at once! Doug arrived August 29th but of course he didn't tell the others! When they heard he was coming then they all decided ... [Continue reading this entry]

Heli Skiing Bobbie Burns Canada

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
While temps are in the 90's here in Oaxaca, my oldest son is buried in powder near Calgary...a 4 hour bus journey followed by a 15 minute heli flight into the lodge in the Selkirk and the Purcell mountains. [caption id="attachment_3215" ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ao Nang Beach Krabi

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014
A lot of memories here where Doug and Luk lived 14 feet from the water on Khlong Muang Beach in Krabi until they nearly succumbed in the 2004 tsunami. Ten years ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Village of Two Houses

Saturday, December 19th, 2009
I got "home" late last night from a day trip to a "village" just off highway 304 in Chachoengsao Province about two hours east of Bangkok.  This visit had several advantages. I got to see my friends Dave and Syy again ... [Continue reading this entry]

Bang Phra Fishing Village

Thursday, March 27th, 2008
This week I went to Bang Phra fishing village near Chonburi on the Gulf of Thailand with my friend Jiraporn, Professor of Fisheries at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, who, with some of her students, are conducting a population study of ... [Continue reading this entry]

In And Out Of Bangkok

Monday, March 17th, 2008
Have become familiar enough with Asia that the usual things you notice on the surface aren't so eye-catching now. Am learning to adapt to surface cultural differences with less frustration. But adapting for a traveler briefly passing through is ... [Continue reading this entry]

Xalapa Veracruz

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
About 5 miles from Cuatapec, Charly and I caught the annual Xalapa (pronounced halapa) Fair the night before we took the comfortable 1st class bus back to Oaxaca. A small nino was earnestly helping his mom set up her display ... [Continue reading this entry]

Solitude In The Sierra Norte

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
In search of a little alone time yesterday, I drove 40 miles (but two hours) north of Oaxaca City up into lush, pine-clad crests descending deep into river canyons to the Sierra Juarez, the birth-land of Benito Juarez, Oaxaca's beloved ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Typical Sunday in Oaxaca

Monday, February 12th, 2007
Made another trip to the Tlacalula Sunday Market last week with my next door neighbors Ana, Steve and little Oscar. Bought some carved coconut shell halves made for drinking our wonderful Mexican chocolate and then in my impending senility just ... [Continue reading this entry]

PFP Attacks Nov 25 During Our Trip To Cajonos

Sunday, November 26th, 2006
I drove Lester and Max to San Pedro de Cajonos yesterday. Left at the intersection at Tlacalula and then an hour and a half up into the Sierra del Sud mountains. Beautiful drive. San Pedro hangs on ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tha Ton Thailand

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006
gatQye8keZlS3vpnwrOvxg-2006186163905868.gif Supuat drove me to Tha Tan...right on the Thai-Burma border directly north of Chiang Mai to see several minority groups, Lisu, Lahu, Akha and Longnecks, that live there. Last year in southern Yunnan China, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Elephants Monkeys & Snakes

Thursday, March 16th, 2006
A day trip north took me to an elephant training camp, monkey training school where they learn to twist off the coconuts and let them drop from the trees. DSC00474.JPG The snake show I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Koh Pha Ngan

Friday, February 24th, 2006
Doug Luk and I took a break from Samui and put the car on the ferry for the two hour trip north to the island of Koh Pha Ngan for a couple days. Almost no car and truck traffic, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Big Onion Tour

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
Big Onion Tours, the word "onion" being a play on the Big Apple, offers tours of neighborhoods of NYC. We chose the "immigrant tour" which shows how different ethnic groups variously settled and replaced other groups around the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Central Park

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
In any given week in the summer you can choose from any four or five street fairs and on this day we chose the Columbus Street Fair on the Upper West Side of Central Park. Stall after stall for ... [Continue reading this entry]


Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
Probably the biggest surprise yet in New York is discovering that Harlem is not the ghetto as depicted in years past. Sprucing up campaigns have left streets spotlessly clean...little old men with brooms like those ubiquitous to China and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Washington Heights

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
The "F" subway line, if you take it to the very end at the northern tip of Manhattan Island, lets you off in a Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights. Everyone on the streets and in the stores were Spanish-speaking giving ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hop On Hop Off Bus

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
A good way to get a good overview of New York and to get a good look at the architecture is to sit in the upper level of one of these buses and if you are lucky you will be ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Harley in Viet Nam

Saturday, June 18th, 2005
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171162818157.gif June 10, 2004 While I was in Bangkok Bob flew to Vietnam. He wrote to say he had difficulties accessing the web today and spent most of the day traveling. His emails: Now in Da lat ... [Continue reading this entry]

Trekking Northern Thailand

Saturday, April 2nd, 2005
gatQye8keZlS3vpnwrOvxg-2006186163905868.gif As soon as we returned to Bangkok from Bali Bob took a train to Chiang Mai for a trek in northern Thailand near Mae Son Hong. I stayed in Bangkok to have some ... [Continue reading this entry]

Stamp-Out to Burma

Thursday, February 3rd, 2005
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171164904627.gif "Stamping out" consists of leaving Krabi Thailand at a border the case of Ranong the border is with Burma...and then "stamping" back into Thailand. To do this they went to the Thai immigration ... [Continue reading this entry]

Jinghong China

Monday, December 13th, 2004
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Photos While I was in Guizhou Province, Bob headed off for Putuashan Island and then circled back to Shanghai via Hangzhou...then flew to Jinghong to meet me at the Banna Hotel. We picked ... [Continue reading this entry]

Miao Village In Guizhou

Wednesday, December 8th, 2004
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171171225701.gif In Shanghai, exploring the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree web site, I noticed a query from a young woman from Kaili in Guizhou Province who was offering to arrange a homestay in a Miao minority ... [Continue reading this entry]

Great Days Great Wall

Sunday, October 17th, 2004
East China.gif Video E found the website ( and the adventure offered intriguing the beaten track, away from the Chinese tourist groups that follow a guide with a microphone and colored flag held high ... [Continue reading this entry]

Message from Ulaan Bataar

Saturday, October 9th, 2004
GyTjn0QZP9l6Qu21TubskM-2006198062551304.gif Greetings- Have been in Mongolia for the past week--initial few days in a ger bordering on a national park--lazy, relaxing days with hiking and Mongolian pony riding (when on the horse my feet nearly reach ... [Continue reading this entry]

Life in a Mongolian Ger

Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
GyTjn0QZP9l6Qu21TubskM-2006198062551304.gif Video Terelgj National Park, an hour by car outside of Ulaan Baatar, is a spectacular valley surrounded by high eroded rock formations, pine covered mountains and steppes carpeted with sheep, Mongolian horses and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hanging Out On Olkhon Island

Sunday, September 26th, 2004
Urr0g6ZfQ7ttYL19duYJfg-2006170133924757.gif After hanging out a couple days...glad to be off the train...Gregory, a former University teacher of German, drove Bob and I, three Germans and a Pole on a half-day excursion to the north of ... [Continue reading this entry]

Five Hours to Olkhon Island

Saturday, September 25th, 2004
7yBXvp82X2gVlMeZe25DiM-2006198051115673.gif The next morning we are picked up at our homestay in Irkutsk by a sullen driver who drives us five hours over pot-holes, through the taiga and across a bay of the beautiful blue ... [Continue reading this entry]


Sunday, September 19th, 2004
7yBXvp82X2gVlMeZe25DiM-2006198051115673.gif Yekaterinburg is most famous, however, as the place where Tsar Nicholas II and his wife and five children were murdered by the Bolsheviks in July 1918. Having seen where the bodies were interred ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Day With Sasha

Wednesday, September 8th, 2004
7yBXvp82X2gVlMeZe25DiM-2006198051115673.gif I had watched "Russian Ark," a movie about the history of the Hermitage before I left home so I was excited when we found Sasha, a university educated art historian, to take us ... [Continue reading this entry]

Traki, Karaites & Kibini Pastry

Sunday, September 5th, 2004
Trakai, on the outskirts of Vilnius, Lithuania, is a small settlement placed in the middle of five large lakes that is home to about 350 members of the Keraites, a minority community originally from Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) who later ... [Continue reading this entry]

Yichang & Yangtse Dam

Wednesday, January 8th, 2003
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif As we were checking into our hotel, Joe Peng, 30-something young entrepreneur that was with us on our trip up the little gorges showed up with four of his travelling friends: "Most ... [Continue reading this entry]

Down The Yangtze

Monday, January 6th, 2003
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Side Trips on The Way At 6:05am a tour guide knocked at the door...follow me, follow me now, he says! We saw the ghosts...a series of temples in the dark of morning called the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Panda Research Base

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif An early morning one-hour ride on Sam's Guesthouse bus took us south of Chengdu to the Panda Research Base where China is trying to keep the Giant Pandas from disappearing into extinction. It ... [Continue reading this entry]

Volcanos in Tengchong

Saturday, December 21st, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif A young Chinese woman on the bus had struck up a conversation in English...telling us about the sights around Tengchong. We thought that maybe we could pay her to guide us to the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Big Noses In The Back Again!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Bus to Dali As we pulled ourselves up into the luxury express bus we felt that we were living large...we wouldn't have local color but we would have comfort for a change. Jana, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Conversations In Tiger Leaping Gorge

Saturday, December 14th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Wednesday Dec 11 In Old Town Lijiang, Bob joined us for breakfast at our hotel at 9am; met Li at her hotel at 10:30 for minibus trip up the gorge. Bus had no shocks ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Saturday, December 7th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif China's greatest river, known by Westerners as the Yangtse, is called Jinsha Jiang by the Chinese. It's origin is in Tibet and runs through Tiger Leaping Gorge near Lijiang, east to Chongqing, on through ... [Continue reading this entry]

Mobbed at Yangshuo

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Southern China Guangxi Province Tuesday Nov 26, 2002 At Yangshuo we were mobbed by women selling hotel rooms. I stayed with the backpacks while Bob and Jana looked at a few rooms. We chose ... [Continue reading this entry]

To Guangzhou China

Friday, November 22nd, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Friday November 22 2002 Hong Kong to Guangshou Across the street to noodle shop for breakfast. Sat with woman who worked as a buyer for a British department store & whose English was very ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, September 25th, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif September 24 2002 Bob left Hanoi right away on the train for Sapa near the Chinese border to do some trekking among the colorful minority villages and then to spend three days in Halang Bay ... [Continue reading this entry]

He Ho & Inle Lake

Monday, August 26th, 2002
Burma.gif August 26 2002 It is possible to take a ferry up the Irrawady to Mandalay but we chose not to do this because we heard the ferry was government-run and we tried very hard not ... [Continue reading this entry]

Talad Nam Lam-Paya Floating Market

Tuesday, August 6th, 2002
Our friend, Jiraporn, who lived in the U.S. ten years and has a doctorate from Oregon State University in Fisheries and is now a lecurer in the Department of Fishery Management of Kasetsart University, generously drove us to the weekend ... [Continue reading this entry]

Jaipur City Tour

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2002
Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and sits on a dry lake bed surrounded by barren hills at the top of which you can see fort-like edifices and the surrounding fort walls. The all day city tour bus with ... [Continue reading this entry]

Pushkar India

Sunday, July 21st, 2002
The driver has to ask 5 times for directions to Pushkar (no male pride here). Upon entering the village a guy sitting at a table lets down a red and white pole barrier and asks for a 15 rupee ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chittorgarh India

Sunday, July 21st, 2002
On the way out of town the next morning, I am not surprised to see a dead cow that had been hit by a car. "The government will come and pick it up for the hide, (an hopefully not ... [Continue reading this entry]

Mr. Singh’s Rickshaw In Udaipur

Sunday, July 21st, 2002
We take the offer of Mr. Singh, the Sikh driver of an auto-rickshaw, a small, noisy, three-wheeled motorized contraption with no doors, to take us around the narrow streets that are filled with cows, people, dogs, pigs, men in dirty ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ghandi-India To So Africa

Thursday, July 18th, 2002
In my last story, I mistakenly said that Gandi was born in South Africa. He was not. He was born in 1869 in Porbander in the Indian state of Gujarat where his father was chief minister. He attended law ... [Continue reading this entry]