Friday, November 4, 2011

ten states later...

we left Machias, ME on Sept 9.

Since then- we've done presentations or workshops in ten states (including Ontario). Miles traveled? Meals shared? Rocks collected (for a nephew who loves rocks...)? New friends made?

shoot. who knows. Sometimes- it feels a bit like a broken record... but... it can all become part of the whirlwind.

Mostly, I haven't taken that many photos. And while in Ontario, i left my camera behind (but thanks to a great kittycat and zebracorn (aka: nate and brea), it should be to me via mail when we get to beloit). Which is to say- these photos are just some clips. From a few places along the way-- next time (when I have my camera back, when i take the time to take photos tyler has taken, when i'm not on the road...), hopefully I'll have some more from this time period, and new things too.

Here goes...

{Nikki at Chutes Park- Massey, Ontario- early in the morning on our way from Maine to the Upper Peninsula. When we crossed the boarder- the boarder patrol was not to keen to my journal stating we were camped there under not super legal conditions. I was not too keen to boarder patrol reading my journal...}

{stopping to check the truck- which turns out- was the alternator going out in the middle of the UP. no good. The photo? well- it's for miss recent... while I don't think of food in terms of nuggets, she, and apparently canadians sometimes do}

{a short break on the beautiful lake superior}

{In Minneappolis, we tried something new and totally different. At the Minnehaha Free Space- a radical community center- we were asked to do a workshop on popular education tools. Here, we're doing something called the Tree of Knowledge- which challenges us to rethink 'knowledge' and gain understanding of what our communities already know, and what we want to learn.}

{Tyler leading a mind mapping workshop at Minnehaha. Overall- the 2 hours slot- which was JAMMED full of sessions, went well I think. and- like many times when you try something new- we learned ALOT of things and hopefully can do it even better next time!}

{Lemonade and books... with our tour host Nick who set us up with a full on schedule while we were in Lincoln, NE}

{While in Lincoln, we went to a child care service offered during ESL classes. For the most part, the kids were not that interested in our graphic, but some of them are were- for sure}

{A lot of the families that go to these classes are refugees- Lincoln being a city where refugees often get relocated. Our language and cultural differences became really clear- but... beehive posters really do work as a good way to break some of those things down and... allow us to just color some pretty pictures together for a while}

{at Indigo books- we had a FULL house for our workshop}

{we had small groups- to share stories they see in the poster and share it with everyone else. we asked folks to look at connections between MTR and tar sands- as the proposed Keystone XL pipe is set to go through NE--- and folks there are working REAL hard to make sure that doesn't happen}

{At a vegetarian Cafe- McFosters- in Omaha Nebraska- a family stopped by to check us out- and their little boy LOVED playing hide and seek between the banner}

{on a day off- we visited nikkis friends Sarah and Chase- and went out to Chase's uncles farm- Irick Farms.}

{It wasn't warm anymore- but... I still made sure to get in the last swim of the season in the spring fed pond- and nikki got time to catch up with her friends}

{before leaving the farm- we had a chance to pick some food- green beans and squash. we cooked it, along with the fish Chase caught, that night for dinner}

{setting up for a presentation in Lawrence, KS at the Ecumenical Campus Ministries}

{We went for a hike on the campus prairie preserve... it was really beautiful}

{Neil gave us each a gift--- hand sewn, hand weaved, hand died hats! so we now all have matching ones}

{staked heads. all with hats}

{In Colombia, MO- we did a few small presentations- including one on the FTAA- free trade area of the americas- graphic at a Food Not Bombs meal}

{we tried to focus in on food- because like many parts of the US- Colombia is bought and paid for by a dirty industry--- monsanto. their agricultural dept at the college there--- gets lots of cash from monsanto. i wonder what their research says about it...}

This last photo- is from about a month ago. which is to say- theres a lot more (i think. either way- they are for later).

I've been making an intentional note of writing in a journal every night. I think I've actually done that, which, is pretty cool (i think). It's been really nice to keep track of whats happening, catch the small things and the big ones too. Being on the road, meeting amazing new people (which- the beehive has this trick of bringing the best, most inspiring people together from each community... or so it seems at least. its a good trick...), and working very closely with 2 others... you learn a lot about yourself. It's kinda hard to put those lessons down on paper (err- screen?), but it's kinda like being put into a pressure cooker--- things speed up and i feel like i learn more about myself more quickly. maybe sometime i'll figure out how to share those lessons...

those lessons are the small things- though they sure do have big impacts on my life- the internal thoughts and reactions, the 'next time i'll be able to react differently/communicate more clearly,' the small personal interactions that shines light on why this work seems important...

and then- there are the big things. the clear and obvious-
and totally amazing thing

When going through Ohio (a time when I completely failed to take photos... common! really??) i got to meet my new nephew- frtiz. and celebrate kaylas 2nd birthday. and have a big ol family meal (family, babies, bees, mattie... oh my!) to celebrate my mamas birthday. hung out with emma, saw her cool new job place. plus! i did a presentation in my hometown- and met some new folks- and, and, and! family. friends. connections. ohio. it's ALWAYS a big deal.

We've gotten to see many 'Occupy' whatever-city, hear lessons from those involved, see and listen in on general assemblies---- watch it all. from the outside. And of course, sharing thoughts from folks far away (like New Orleans, NYC, Boston...). It's been pretty amazing. Some days- I feel like it's all a show. Other days, I go 'holy shit,' this is for real. it's starting something real. (check this tumbler post- this isn't a campaign- that i really enjoyed from a friend)

My mama is heading to DC this weekend- to be one of over 5,000 participants in getting down with some civil disobedience to stop Keystone XL pipeline (Tar Sands). Wish I could be there- but so stoked my mama is going (may or may not have talked about that during a presentation...)

I found out Sonia is planning to stay in Ohio now that she and James are back from their year long global travels... that rocks. I can't wait to hear about what they'll be up to...

My amazing mtr stopping friends have found themselves in and out of court- for the tree sit they did this summer. And, since being on the road- I've gotten to stay with Becks (just a few days ago) and am now staying with Eli. Win, win, win!

there are probably other really big things. and LOTS of small things.

And now- I'm sitting in the University of Michigan Union (student center), blogging through a fuzzy head (i'm getting sick-- oh no!), while we wait to set up our table for the NASCO (north american students of cooperation) conference.

From here? kalamazoo, chicago, beloit... (etc). a few more weeks of tour before we settle in for our winter beehive meetings in early december....