Starting with an affirmation

As the freedom of this epic journey starts to permeate further into my reality I am overwhelmed by the love and generosity of the beautiful community here. I’ve tried several times to capture my appreciation in words with little success. Rather than continue to blunder through that line let me get back to brass tax…

Last night I raised an additional $200 for my future permaculture aid work efforts. Despite what the ChipIn sidebar says, I am now a mere $50 from reaching my first goal of $1000 to carry the seeds of permaculture to parts of the world that are, for one reason or another, most in need of this revolution in ecological land management.
I never imagined I would come this far and, even more so, be so well received by you all. I’d like to take this opportunity to reaffirm my conviction that I intend to show you how your contribution has made a difference in the world. This is not some large faceless charity you’ve contributed to and I will refrain from trying to guilt you with images of starving children. I intend to pull back the veil on some of the root causes of poverty and famine and expose real solutions that demonstrate that the potential for abundance can be found anywhere.
That’s a tall order, I know. But I don’t have any hesitation in saying your contributions will go toward accomplishing just that. I’ve separated the donated money from my personal accounts and travel expenses. This will help to ensure that each dollar donated goes directly to these goals and I will not withdraw on that money until I feel I can justify its use toward that end.
jennajasso.com

Indeed I feel very fortunate to be in a place were I can take this leap and experience life in this way. None of this has come easy and I have no illusions about the incredible challenges that lie ahead. I arrived here through hard work and dedication, however, what I’m doing is not extraordinary. Rather, it is the result of applying myself to what I truly believe. Life is what we make it…

YOU make it amazing!

To all the people who have inspired me and helped to make this journey possible…
~My Deepest Thanks~

Evolution

“Does it feel weird?”

A mix between loss and gain. Opportune blessing strung together through separation and farewells.
How does it feel? How’s it going to feel?
As more and more of my past is trimmed away I keep wondering how this is going to all turn out. My mind pacifies itself envisioning scenarios of other world views. But, how can I envision the world to come without the lenses only experience can provide?
I think the trick to evolution is letting go of all this. The filters that disguise our reality eventually inhibit our experience. The optometrist told me I have perfectly healthy eyes as I sat wondering why I was paying for a new pair of glasses.
What is it like to leave the door open on your future? Does it feel weird?
Only if you are tied to your past. Some of us are… painfully so.
Evolution doesn’t often happen without some discomfort.
Every time a bird moults its feathers, and a snake sheds its skin, as painful as it might be… new opportunities emerge. Minor adaptations that can build into competitive advantage… or increased cooperative associations! 
Your mind has the same potential. By shedding your mental dialog which, for all intents and purposes, is the skin of your mind, you open yourself up for new opportunities… 
Evolution.

Developments…

…you know, besides the blog’s new facelift!

So I hope you like the new look. I figured it would inspire me to write more, well… inspired? Yeah, so far so good, right?

I suppose I could tell you about all the things that have transpired since my last post. I’d like to tell you that I got all my little ducks lined up and everything is ready to go for my adventure down under. Well, the truth is, I haven’t really made much advances in that direction. Don’t get me wrong, everything is still go… I’ve just been too wrapped up in other things to make any headway on this particular aspect of my life.

If you’re following this blog and find my lack of updates boring… I hate to break it to you, my activity will probably only decline once I actually leave. I know, I’m not exactly inspiring readership here. I suppose I could fill you full of false hopes and promises of how committed I am to this blog and how I’ll be updating every evening to share the play-by-play of my daily activities and fill this whole thing with such valuable and riveting content you wont be able to pull yourself away… naw, you’d see right through that.

Truth is, there really IS a lot happening in my life right now. In the midst of working long hours to package up my position at Wheatsville Co-op for a smooth transfer and continuing to be a committed board member I’m also working on several garden projects; helping to build and establish a sizable aquaponics system; working to establish Community Cultivators as an effective organization that will continue to develop in my future absence; working on several permaculture projects including, most recently, an adventure in natural building; video editing, blogging, and somehow managing to get listed as a assistant/apprentice teacher on the Austin Permaculture Guild website.  In case you’re wondering… I’m not planning on doing a whole lot of teaching before my travel plans kick in. And now to contradict that statement, I will be giving a short talk on Permaculture to Wheatsville staff at our monthly communication meeting.

Whew… it didn’t feel nearly as daunting until I wrote it all out. What am I doing here blogging? It’s spring (in Austin)! There’s a million other things I could/should be doing right now!

Well, the honest truth is that I love you people and I want to keep you engaged and hope that my experiences, related through this weblog, will educate and inspire you to follow your own dreams!

Ok, don’t want to get too sappy too soon. I’m sure it wont take me long to gush all over this blog about how home sick I am and how I miss everybody and… blah, blah blaaaaaaa….

For now, You’ll find I’m probably going to be putting more attention to the Community Cultivators blog space. Practically speaking, it’s not going to be easy to keep up with both. So, going forward… I’ll only be updating this blog when I have something really valuable to share about my travel plans and arrangements.

In that respect, be expecting an update in the not too distant future about the “Yard Sale, Bake Sale, Silent Auction, Potluck, Party, Fundraiser, Fun Time Extravaganza!”

And yea, I’d explain more, but that would take away all the fun and suspense and leave you with little reason to return.

As promised…

I’ve set up this blog site to capture the ebb and flow of my upcoming adventures in Australia and beyond. As of Monday, Valentines Day, I will be a mere 7 months from embarking on my expedition to discover the Art of Cultivation. With any luck, around this time next year I will be leaving Australia for further adventures. I hope to use this blog to journal my journey although there are likely to be challenges to that aspiration.

Challenge #1 – I’m not exactly the most literary person. I would rather absorb the environment around me than record it for posterity’s, or any other’s, sake.
Challenge #2 – My internet connectablity is expected to be limited at best while in Australia. Those limitations might only increase as I travel to so called “underdeveloped” parts of the world to preform aid work.
Challenge #3 – Given challenges 1 & 2… I may decide I’d enjoy my experiences more if I stopped putting effort into documenting and just enjoyed the world around me, sans technology.

In any regard, don’t expect me to take this blog too seriously. Doing so would surely cause me to loose interest long before Challenge 3 even had opportunity to manifest.

So now that the ground rules are established (really… this is like a terms of use agreement for me!) Let us talk about the adventures I’ve already begun to encounter as I plan for this trip.

Today I spent my morning looking into visa requirements for US Citizens traveling to Australia… easy. They have a 3 month Electronic Transportation Authority document that is similar to a visa. So, rather than having to apply for a visa and get all personal about the nature of my travels, all I need is $20, a passport and a brain enough to input information on a website. Done.
The advantage of doing the ETA over a visa are all about price and convenience. Of course, I may run into trouble when they ask me for “onward travel arrangements”… meaning they want me to prove that I will be leaving their pretty continent prior to the expiration of my ETA. I’m hoping to leave that leg of my journey open-ended with the intent that I don’t really know what my “onward travels” will take me. Well, I guess I can cross that bridge when I get there?

What ‘eve, in the mean time I’ve got to prepare myself financially. Be on the look out for future updates detailing my attempts to raise funds for the aid work leg of my journey after the PRI internship.

Stay tuned…