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Awkward one

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In search of the Kalinga, project by Frederic Wissink 

the Kalinga village of Buscalan sits high up in the Cordillera Mountains of northern Luzon, Philippines. Although all of the tattooed warriors are now gone, the village is teeming with tattooed elderly women that wear the artistry of the last Kalinga tattoo artist: 89-year-old Whang-Od who learned the art of batok (tattoo) from her father.

Whang-Od is a graceful woman who despite her age continues to work in her family’s rice fields nearly everyday. That may seem like nothing special, but then again Buscalan sits high atop the ridge of a mountain that dives 1,500 feet down towards a raging river that feeds numerous terraced rice fields below. Every morning at sunrise, Whang-Od scales down some one-thousand stairs that shimmer in morning dew passing waterfalls and lush foliage in her worn-out flip-flops that have lost their treads. After reaching the river, she heads one mile upstream on a series of treacherous and muddy footpaths that eventually lead to her family’s rice terraces. She works all day until the heat of the afternoon sun drains all of her strength.

Just after 4pm, the trek back up the mountain begins and Whang-Od now has a fifty pound basket of rice attached to her forehead with a tumpline. Singing a few melodies along the way, she takes care to not miss a step and slowly, and very methodically, she plods her way up the staircase that seems to have no end. Once she reaches her hut, the rice basket comes to rest on the creaky wooden floor and then she immediately begins to prepare her dinner consisting of rice, greens, and a little pork that was gifted to her. As the sun starts to fade, crisp mountain air begins to permeate the cracks of the wooden walls of the house and Whang-Od moves closer to the fire in her kitchen where she always sleeps. Tomorrow, she will repeat her routine as she has for over seventy years.

Whang-Od tells that when she was twenty-five, the man she was in love with died in a logging accident. Instead of looking for a new husband, she dedicated her life to tattooing and now sixty-four years later she is the last practitioner of an art form that many  scholars believe is nearly one thousand years old.

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The Blue Arch of a Mosque in Esfahan
Photo and caption by Tandis Khodadadian (Woodland Hills, CA); Photographed April 2013, Esfahan, Iran
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Poliosis is a condition in which there is a lack of pigment in the hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, which appear whitish, grey. The condition normally occurs in patches. It is often associated with vitiligo, alopecia and forms part of the Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome.
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Traveling on only $500 each allowed us experiences that we would have missed if we had waited for “ideal” circumstances. We slept under the stars in New Mexico and stayed at the houses of total strangers in Denver. Strangers in Flagstaff let us eat at their graduation party and park rangers in Utah told us where to find free camping. New friends from the Internet bought us doughnuts in Chicago and old friends from the Internet insisted on paying for every expense in Detroit. We viewed incredible sights, met the kindest people, and made lifelong memories.

Sacrifice for your dreams; it’s worth it.


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Colorful boys from the Surma tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Surma People, also known as the Suriis a pastoral people live in the southwestern plains of Ethiopia.  They Speak the  Nilo- Saharan language  in the Benchi Maji Zone of the Southern Ethiopia, to the Sudan border and across the border in Sudan.
Cattle are important to the Suri, as it is a status. In order for a man to marry women in Surma (Suri ) tribe, he must own at least 60 cattle. Like the other Omo Valley tribes and Massia, the Surma will use the milk and blood from the cow. During the dry season, the people will drink blood instead of milk.  Some Suri drink the fresh blood of their cattle during the Blood meal ritual. It consists in making a small incision in the cow’s carotid artery with a special sharp arrow in order ro make it bleed almost two liters of its blood. The warrior has to drink the entire content in one go as blood coagulates quickly. Sometimes warriors do not manage to drink all of the blood contained in the calabash in one mouthful, and vomit all the blood they swallowed .Surma believe the cow’s blood is full of vitamins that enable warriors to be fit.

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The Five Lands project by Ozgur Baykal

The Five Lands is a string of five fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera (region Liguria) which until recently were linked only by mule tracks and accessible only by rail or water.

An ancient system of footpaths is still the best way to visit the villages

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photos by yaman ibrahim in west java, indonesia

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"Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is ‘Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home."
Nick Miller, Isn’t It Pretty to Think So? 

(Source : psych-facts)

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New friends for my room
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Pep Avila, Vedanthangal, la posibilidad de un sueño

Vedanthangal is located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadul, in Kancheepuram district, 80 kilometers southwest of Chennai.

The village consists five small villages in which live 3,700 inhabitants. The majority of residents is dedicated to subsistence agriculture (rice, fodder, and dhal- a type of lentil) and to raising livestock (cowsgoats and buffaloes female).

The 70% of the villagers are dallts, a marginalized community within the Indian caste system. The members of this caste are doomed to live forever in a state of extreme povertyMost of them can not own land and to survive tehy have to engage in the work that rejects as unworthy the members of the other castes.

Since 2005, Laia Foundation works to help the development of Vedanthagal.

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"Everything is perfect Right Here, Right Now. And Right Here Right Now is all there is.
Forget about the past. It does not exist, except in your memory. Drop it. And stop worrying about how you’re going to get through tomorrow.
Life is going on Right Here, Right Now — pay attention to that and all will be well. Embrace the present moment with gratefulness and wonder, and you will turn it into whatever you have been waiting for."

Neale Donald Walsch 

(Source : yogachocolatelove)

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I asked Mikey today if he needed anything.

He replied, “A new life”