Friday, December 23, 2011

sea-land...






...haven't seen the sea much since arriving here in aotearoa, though last weekend i rolled out to the beach/surf town of raglan, about 40 minutes from hamilton...

it was my first sighting of the tasman sea and soon after, i went for a refreshing dip...

tomorrow i'm off to northland with my man pedro from sao paulo state, brasil. we're planning on rocking the cape reinga coastal walkway, where most certainly we'll be peeping the seas, from pacific to the tasman in fact...

listening the low end theory and prepping for some hiking, "so push it along, trails we blaze..." goes jazz (we got the...)"

love and health to all as 2011 and blends into 2012...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

p.o. boxes...



...in new zealand.

a mailbox round the corner from where i live.

hamilton, new zealand. december 2011.

love and health to all...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

there's a pot of gold...


after fish & chips and on my way home.

old farm road. hamilton, new zealand.

december 20, 2011.

love and health to all...

Monday, December 19, 2011

wheels...



nah d, not that wheels, though i do got a lot of love for y'all...

today, i got my first true ride. it took til a touch under thirty, but it's now officially registered via the new zealand transport agency. a 1989 toyota corona saloon with a sticker from the red iguana in salt lake city adorning the back. a big thank you to both shraddha and alison for that connection, the only hint a gringo is manning these wheels...

"today was a good day," sang ice cube way back when... and this day felt like that. i started the morning off at the hamilton central police station, where i dropped off a wallet that my boy joshua and i found over in the town of raglan on sunday. from there i linked up with my phd supervisor at one of the crisp cafes in hamilton that serves loves cafe. we sipped on cappuccinos and flat whites.

but most importantly we got a lot of work done, connected fully and finally, i'm beginning to visualize a creative and exciting path forward that is inspiring and will make the next three years of phd-ing incredibly fun, interesting and challenging... much much more to follow in regards to all that...

so i drove the ride home to old farm road. ran inside and slapped a red iguana sticker on the tail and then gave a gentle woot woot outside doctor j's tin shed to see if he was awake and would take a photo of me and my ride. he was and obliged...

this is me and my corona. and that's dr. j mid tire tread inspection...

love and health to all...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

sup doc...




it feels like its been raining here in the waikato region for more than a week straight and truth be told, i think it has been. mist and rain and spitting rain and drizzling and downpours have been permeating everything around, getting in between bones, manufacturing shivers and chills, reinforcing an omnipresent wet. i hope it stops soon.

on cycle, with chappals and boots too, i've made it to my office off and on for the past 2.5 weeks since i arrived here. there is a sign on the door of my office - "French Tutor." And though I am not the french tutor, i'm there anyway and soon there will be a french tutor too, an english tutor as well...

so this is my office on a rainy day. it's the corridor and hallway too and though you can't see it, on a bright and sunny day there is a view of a small mountain so many kilometres away, hinting at what lies beyond, tasmanian seas, farms set in fertile and green volcanic lands and used cars galore...

love and health to all...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

yo ump, what's the call?


upper west baseball memories going down in the bx...

gui and me. high school daze...

love and health to all...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

hare krishnas in the southern hemisphere...

video
auckland, nz last week.

filming some hare krishnas singing and dancing on queen street downtown auckland, a little before i scurried to catch my bus back to hamilton...

love and health to all...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

a conference at the marae...






this week i spent three days in auckland. the largest city in new zealand with a population of about 1.5 million, i had been in auckland 11 years before on the carleton college studio art in the south pacific seminar and returning to auckland was a reminder that just 90 minutes north of the university of waikato is a pulsating, vibrant, polynesian city, full of diverse people and creativity, not to mention an abundance of hills.

i was in auckland to attend the expanding documentary conference, where i presented a paper and a story on a panel that included 2 phd students, one from australia and one from the states.

it was my 2nd "academic" conference and i had attended a conference in new york city this summer that had been intense and not as nurturing and supportive as i had initially hoped, though in the end the nyc conference turned out to be great as well!

the auckland university of technology (AUT) hosted the conference and it took place on the marae of AUT. new zealand has some crazy progressive indigenous rights that i'm getting reaquainted with and mos def, this place still has got a long way to go, but it puts the rest of the world to shame. and i think shame would be a good word for it, as colonialisation has usurped the importance of oral cultures and radically altered the way we interact with our world. alas, AUT is built on maori land and an elemental and sacred space on the campus is the marae, a communal maori space. the marae is the building you see but also the green space outside, not pictured, and some surrounding areas.

shoes were taken off every time we all entered the marae and the conference itself began with a welcoming ceremony from a few maori elders including one man who went on about trip he took to new york city and how much he loved it there. i was beaming with pride on the low, until he forgot and asked, "what's that black area?" and i chirped from the side, "Harlem!"

all the carvings in the marae are done by hand and brothers and sisters, many a marae are found all over these two blessed islands dotted with volcanoes in the middle of the pacific ocean...

i linked up with some good peeps, documentary creators and makers and even a sister from south africa who is about to launch a hot method of media making for township documenteurs globally who will be checking out the internet for the first time via their mobile phones, yes i, it be true, our world expands far and wide to forests and fog, and with a camera and video "right in the pocket" as my man felipe says, changing the way we meet peeps and potentially flipping up third world cinema into it's next revolution. information and power is in the hands of the people, let us remember this siempre!

more next level academic and street corner poetics and purpose (sometimes rambling and other times not, to come from Aotearoa and beyond today, tomorrow and par so...

love and health to all...

Monday, December 05, 2011

dairy lands, regional city living & showering under long white clouds...





this is my street. i live right down that driveway and the home on old farm road where i live is tucked in off the street which is nice. though time and again i do love to sit on a stoop and watch the world go by...

these are the views from across the street. looking left, then looking right. rural regional new zealand city lands. hamilton, new zealand, the 4th largest city on this country of two big islands.

when asked about hamilton, people tend to love that it's near much. one coast, the tasman sea to the west, 40 minutes away. and the pacific ocean, about 90 minutes east. tea estates and farms with avocados and macadamia nuts are around this town. hamilton't farmer's market is full of yummy goodness, strawberries and blueberries galore, rocket (also known as arugula), fish and lamb of course...

hamilton is near everything and soon i hope to find out what it's near besides green fields of dairy cows, which i love too...

and the shower, yes this is the outdoor shower i tend to bathe in early morning. washing under blue skies and white marsh-mellow clouds. after all, this is the land of the long white cloud...

love and health to all..

Saturday, December 03, 2011

rolling while healing...




back in the day my family used to drive a vista all around. the car, which we still own but is on its last days, was a ride that defied generations, technology and even lives. often people get attached to a ride, but the vista is and shall i say, was special.

in my travels as a young lad, i saw the vista throughout the world. and for me, the sightings of the vista brought a smile to my face, the names bestowed worldwide offered an added intrigue to the car. in vietnam there it was in blue, called the chariot. here in new zealand, the first time i visited to study in early 2001, i saw a white vista rumbling up a hill in auckland, except it was the space wagon! what a name for a car i remember thinking...

in this surreal shortened week, due to time zones and new hemispheres, it's summer! didn't you know... i bought a bicycle. my roommate (well, sort of), joshua, a phd student at waikato from florida, who lives in a small tin shed in the garden of my crib, offered to drive to a used cycle shoppe here in hamilton, nz. it took some time to test ride a few bikes, different styles and in the end i picked the one that seemed right. it was made in new zealand back in the day which made it even better.

sadly, i'd guess there are more car names on this planet than bicycle names. and i wonder, do you think there are more bicycles or cars on this globe? anyway, i've seen some interesting cycle names, like the road king, representing out of t.o. but joshua, before leaving the store smiled at me and said, "dude, healing! that's a beautiful name for a bike!"

and truth it is. i'd like to think that when i'm rolling i'm healing and it feels that way. bikes are like that for me, any kind for that matter.

alas, i live in a small regional city called hamilton new zealand. it is, if i may say, in the middle of nowhere. 1st and foremost the country and secondly, the city. new zealand is a small country and to access the natural beauty, the mountains and rivers and oceans, requires exploration and preferably a car too. it's day 4 since i arrived on wednesday and this bike makes everything seem better and closer.

so there you have it. writing this blog post, i've been sipping on my first cup of chai. which makes me happy too, like a bicycle. new zealand is an interesting country. and along with somalians, cambodians, folks from thailand and taiwan, indians and fijian indians, pakistanis and omanis, not to mention americans and kiwis, this town and country, less than a week in, though quiet and laid back like no other, seems to have a lot to offer. only time will tell...

this is the used bicycle shoppe which is right next to a new indian sweet shoppe. and of course, a close up of healing.

love and health to all...

Friday, December 02, 2011

waikato living...




the university of waikato is in the small city of hamilton, new zealand smack dab in the middle of the waikato region of the north island of new zealand, an hours and a half or so drive from auckland (an urban of a million and a half and the largest polynesian city on the world), over the bombay hills, the lush green turns into mad dairy farms. fonterra, the largest dairy company in the world is based in hamilton. goodness, a lot of largesteses for such a small spot.

on some crazy steez, i live here now. yup, truth indeed, i'm a phd student now. word. and words and imagery, i'll be here getting my research on, on the daily, monthly, yearly. three years of funding and work i gots going and going i'll be doing...

so i'm sitting in my new office. the first office of my life. the door says french tutor, but he's long gone. i got a view of mountains in the distance and these lands are lush. greener than green, but not ireland. different and at the bottom of the globe or the middle of the globe, depending on how brothers and sisters situate themselves. new zealand, the last land mass inhabited by humans. i believe...

i got here two days ago and getting my bearings i saw in the distance mad big buildings and i thought it was the city centre but alas, it was actually the university which sits atop a big hill and has big ole and new buildings...

so here are a few snaps from my first day here. making my way up to the university to meet my supervisor, this is my walk and now cycle ride (more on that soon) to this wananga institution...

so check in now and again for news on this project and journeys - new zealand, australia, asia and beyond...

love and health to all...