Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Scotty update!

Just got an email from our dear departed Scotto outlining his plans. After a little more than 2 months back in his native Australia after 10 years of traveling, our young wandering neophyte is on the move again.... destination Thailand this time. He says he's booked into a 10 day meditation session at a Buddhist temple and will see where things take him from there. Enjoy Scotty!

In other news, I recently finished reading "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down", an amazing book by author Anne Fadiman.

While this book is partially a case study in Asian immigrant integration in the Western world, exposing some major obstacles and failures of Western Medicine when dealing with shamanistic religions from abroad along the way, it is primarily the story of one little girl. Her name is Lia, and she and her family have suffered more hardships and overcome more difficulties than most of us can imagine. The Lee family is first and foremost Hmong, an ethnic group from Southeast Asia. They landed in California after being exiled from Laos and spending some time in refugee camps in Thailand. Lia was born in Merced, California in 1982 and relatively soon suffered the first of uncountable seizures caused by a severe case of epilepsy. The book details both sides of the resulting drama, from parents with a system of beliefs totally at odds with Western medicine and doctors trying (and often failing) to deal with the major cultural and language barriers thrown up between them and caring for this patient. It's a sad and tragic story, but also one of hope and perseverance. The love and devotion Lia's parents have shown for their children is admirable, the honesty with which Lia's primary care givers discuss her case is refreshing and will hopefully help to understand these types of situations in the future. I definitely suggest reading this book.

In camera news, I'm still playing... this week I ordered an adapter and a couple of filters. Also took some pictures to show off the zoom on this baby. Here is a construction worker directing traffic. Picture was taken at full (including digital) zoom from my apartment window.

Here he is again, this time using only the lens's 12x zoom.

And without zoom... can you find him?

Centre of the picture, to the left of the yellow building... see that little white spot? that's his helmet. Gotta love it! This will be great for wildlife shots in the future... hopefully monkeys in Nagano in a couple of weeks.

Anywho, better shower and head on in to work...

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