Wednesday, December 14, 2011

holiday cheers

i'm leaving tomorrow for a few weeks to tanzania. as always before a big trip i'm a little nervous, but giddy with excitement. i'll be working on my jewelry line with my maasai ladies as well as some other projects in arusha. i will also visit my adoptive family in nayobi. and i can't wait to use my new camera! so stayed tuned for a whole new load of photos.

in the meantime wishing everyone a peaceful and happy holiday season and a fabulous new year!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

field guide to hungary #3 :: winter

Looking For a Sunset Bird in Winter by Robert Frost
The west was getting out of gold,
The breath of air had died of cold,
When shoeing home across the white,
I thought I saw a bird alight.

In summer when I passed the place
I had to stop and lift my face;
A bird with an angelic gift
Was singing in it sweet and swift.

No bird was singing in it now.
A single leaf was on a bough,
And that was all there was to see
In going twice around the tree.

From my advantage on a hill
I judged that such a crystal chill
Was only adding frost to snow
As gilt to gold that wouldn't show.

A brush had left a crooked stroke
Of what was either cloud or smoke
From north to south across the blue;
A piercing little star was through.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

rethinking southern france

whenever i thought about southern france, provence always came to mind. but the whole southwest region of france next to barcelona is nearly as picturesque, less touristy and a joy to visit. it lays in the foothills of the pyrenees, next to barcelona and costa brava so the catalan influence can be felt at every step. its center is perpignan and the region is called pyrénées-orientales.

the last thing i expected in april was the snow that blanketed the region the night before i arrived. but it didn't take away from the charm of the small hillside villages and the delightful markets.

the snow made it difficult hiking up to the cathar castles, but perhaps just added to their magic. the cathars were gnostic christians in the 12th century. their castles nest on peaks and ridges, require scrambling up steep paths to reach, and once in the ruins, as the wind howls through the walls, one can only imagine how incredibly uncomfortable it must have been to live there.

being in this little visited region of france reminded me of the unexpected and pleasant surprises getting off the beaten path can provide.