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Posted on Oct 8, 2013

Our Trashed Home, Being in the Now, and 10 Crazy, Odd, Cool Unknown Facts About the Canary Islands

Our Trashed Home, Being in the Now, and 10 Crazy, Odd, Cool Unknown Facts About the Canary Islands

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Kobi and I are working passionately on being in the present moment. On living this moment, then this one, then this one, and when we got pictures from the real estate showing our house trashed, our furniture in the rain and sun, and the damage and unpaid rent and bills by our last tenants, it took us a bit to recollect ourselves and remind ourselves of a few things. Right now, we are here in Nepal and there is no value in drowning in the anger, frustration, and pain of seeing our beloved sun-kissed, mountain-side home trashed, the grass where we played now sand, and the garden and home looking like a total dump. No point in living mentally in Israel when we are now here in Kathmandu, Nepal buying cool tribal masks to send to that beloved home.

It is material and we are more; it is there, we are here; it- we will solve in the future, we- we can solve now. And so, with remarkable speed, we bounced back to playing our newly addictive Cabo card game and wolfed down some steak. Along the way, I learned some super cool, crazy facts about the Canary Islands. And this and all of that and a thought or two on education, I’d love to share with you now.

It’s real. Join me for the entire spiraling, colorful journey.

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The Spiritual Now

And while we’re working on our spiritual now (Kobi and I have been meditating together each morning!), we also stay fueled and excited by all the amazing possible plans that may bring us our next reality in the future. We’re absolutely giddy over the kids attending the Vidya Aranya School in Goa, India. As I wrote in Facebook this morning:

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I have so much more to say about this and about education in general, what we study, what we didn’t plan on learning (hysterical!), street smartology, what the road has taught us, and how sometimes it’s not fun (the comments are the best!), but ‘Focus, Gabi, focus.’ Yes, the future.

Spain Is On My Mind

So, in the future, future we’re looking at Spain. Three years away future for all the amazing reasons we’ve talked about here.  My friend Heidi at Wagoner’s Abroad is a huge influence here. But will we ever want to leave Israel again? Will the kids lovingly accept and want to live a family life without pets for we won’t leave any behind like last time and break the hearts of furry and non-furry ones again? I do not know.

But, in honor of thinking/dreaming/sighing and us always accepting that life has so many awesome turns and curves and angles we never expected……. Spain’s famous Canary Islands have popped in my bucket list radar.

Yes, friends. It is time for another spontaneous, crazy, did-you-know-that, unexpected world history lesson with Gabi Klaf.

10 Crazy, Odd, Cool Unknown Facts About the Canary Islands

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10- Cuz One Capital Just Ain’t Enough

The Canary Island have not one but two capitals. I know. As if we needed to complicate things any more cuz as is I’m that one person who gets lost when everyone says, “Oh, it’s just so easy. You can’t miss it.” Oh, but, yes I can. Two capitals: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

9- Whistle It To Me Again

Yes, don’t whisper, don’t speak, but whistle it to me. Turns out that from La Gomera, Canary Islands there is this rare whistling language called Silbo Gomera. Few tribal peoples around the world speak/blow this dialect (God, I always wanted to say that!). It was created to speak with others over great distances and is still used and taught in the schools of Gomera today.  Handed down over centuries from master to pupil, it is the only whistled language in the world that is fully developed and practiced by a large community (more than 22,000 inhabitants). Soooooo interesting I had to youtube it (yes it is a verb!) and have included two really interesting videos about it.

*If you only watch one, the first one is shorter (2 minutes) and is really sweet, interesting, and cute. But, if you’re a history detail-liking sort and want a great, longer (10 minute) comprehensive history lesson, go with the second one.

 

So, if I do the ‘woo hoo’ whistle at a hot guy, what am I really saying in the native tongue?

8- It’s All About The Dogs

No, unlike what I thought, Canary Islands are not covered by lovely brightly-colored birds who sing. Canary Islands derive their name from the Latin, which refers to dogs, probably sea dogs, or sea lions. Turns out, just maybe, that when settlers first came to the island, there were many sea lions (which aren’t there today) and the islands got their name from that.

7- Smack Dab in the Middle of Everything

The Canary Islands are closest to the equator than any other island in the world.

6- Diving With Sea Turtles

The Canary Islands are famous for the endangered loggerhead turtle, the largest hard-shell turtles in the world. Unlike in Panagsama Beach, Moalboal in Cebu, Philippines where we had the esteem honor of diving with sea turtles around 80% of the dives, we’d be so fortunate to catch a glimpse of these nearly-gone lovely sea creatures. We would definitely enjoy diving in the Canary Islands. Oh, I’m missing sea turtles right now.

5- Murder and Mystery on the Island

In 1927, the famous Agatha Christie visited the Canary Islands. While there, she started two of her best novels, “The Mysterious Mr Quin” and “The Thirteen Problems.” Both novels take place on the islands.

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4- “The Best, Jerry, The Best!”

Canary Islands have this huge carnival every year in February. It draws in a million people annually and is debately this amazing must-see-it-before-you-die life-changing event. I figure in three years, the kids would totally be mature enough to handle whatever some breath-taking Latino festival would blow our way.

3- Island of One Hundred Volcanoes

Lanzarote, the easternmost region of the Canary Islands the island, is only 60 miles from the African coast. The last time one of its volcanoes blew its top, it formed an addition thirty-two volcanoes. Hmmmm… I didn’t know that volcanoes can make volcanoes like that. All of the islands were formed from volcanoes, that I get, but didn’t know that volcanoes make more volcanoes. It makes sense I guess, I just never, ever put those pieces together. 🙂

Clearly, we could live in Spain, and travelling to Lanzarote would be this exotic, Latino-flared hop, skip, and a jump of joy away. O-lay!

2- Because Every Island Deserves A Good Camel

This one totally made me go ‘duh!’ because, clearly, obviously, any ed-u-ma-cated person would logically deduct that camels live on tropical islands, right? The only native camels (camelus dromedarius) found in Europe are from the Canary Islands. I know! How cool is world history with Gabi!

1- Killing Me Softly With His Song

So, not only will we have to learn Silbo Gomero [Whistle Language] (in addition to rejuvenating our Spanish), but we’ll have to let the kids kill each other. Turns out the Canary Islands have their own sport of wrestling, which may be the actual origins of wrestling in the world. They call it Canarian and it’s their very own sport of pride. So, OK, kids, while in the Canary Islands (which is technically an archipelgo*** anyhow), you can kill each other, beat each other up with my complete blessings. Maybe we’ll finally win something from all of the non-stop bickering.

***The archipelagomo Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, and islets La Graciosa, Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Isla de Lobos.

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Closing Thoughts

We promise to keep you on your toes, to keep sharing the truth as we see it, even if it’s madly unpopular. We’ll keep answering all of your tough money questions and money how to’s (our amazing e-book), and we’ll keep crying in the rain when it hurts, and laughing really hard when we don’t know what else to do. Also, or no, just because, or rather, hey! (that’s a good one, hey!) if you haven’t read I Know Nothing (And 99 Other Things The World Has Taught Me) than you really haven’t fully read who we are. There are also more embarrassing things I probably shouldn’t have published, but those are gems you’ll have to search for yourself. When you find them, you’ll know. (Leave me a comment, so I’ll know you’ve been and I can blush properly.)

PS: It does not help to find out that the tenants have broken into our storage and stolen God knows what, have trashed some major appliances and furniture, and we think have moved out with a lot of our possessions. We didn’t plan on having to buy new furniture and appliances but now that they’ve been left outside and/stolen, I guess we will. Oh, and how we invested in that garden. Breathe. It’s done with. So, enjoy some pics of our house before we left and a few more nice ones of that magical (once upon a time) backyard (scroll down for the yard), and we’ll just go play some Cabo. 🙂

PHOTO CREDITS!!!! I love giving talented artists their credit. Love it! Aren’t they marvelous works? Knocked over chairs, omg cool meditating chakra pic with yellowmagical sunset, Lanzarote coast with volcanic boulders, cool guy at the carnival.

Comments

comments

8 Comments

  1. So sorry about your house honey, I won’t tell you what I was calling those people, but then I remembered to breathe and that yes, it’s a house and not a life, but still the air is blue over here. Love to you all, and “this too shall pass”.

    OK, only The Klafs could make me want to visit The Canary Islands, it’s not high on my bucket list! Spain defo-in fact a tour around Spain until I find the perfect spot LOL (there will never be a perfect spot for me, I’m too fickle). Here’s hoping our paths will cross some day soon, hopefully in Spain, but anywhere will suit me.

    Love Melanie.x

  2. Really sorry to hear of your home. It must be devastating having that happen when you are so far away and powerless to do anything about it.

    Great facts in this article. I love the whistling language. It is such a great tradition and I think that lady in the first video is right. The modern phone should not threaten the language.

  3. Oh man, I feel for you about the tenant thing – that really, really sucks!!! We’ll also be renting our house out while we travel (we leave next summer), were planning on storing our stuff in the house in a locked storage room, and hope to heck that we won’t have any issues. AAAAAAAHHHHHH! Your post brings on all the fear I have about what might happen…

    Anyhow, hoping karma is real and those scummy tenants get what they deserve someday! And as for you, wishing you a fabulous time in Nepal!

  4. So sorry, to hear about your house, Gabi. That makes me so sad for you. Your attitude is inspiring and encouraging. I will be in Spain in April! Maybe you guys could make it there by then!

  5. To my inspiring long distance friend – Oh Gabi you are so sweet. You are a constant reminder to me “live in the now!” and this is a great example. I am sorry to hear about your house, but thrilled about your future plans and new school for the kids. You of course are our inspiration too, so we announced this week that we are officially going to SE Asia in late Spring / early Summer. Perhaps we will cross paths one day in person. Who knows? 🙂 I can believe it will happen and I am sure it will.

    • thank you dear heidi, my personal online fairy. thank you. i love you. it’s just a house. live in the now, yes, my life project! i hope we get to chill in the same place for some time but if not, we’ll stay as we are, which is also beautiful. se asia- wow. welcome to another world. i love you. gabi

  6. What monstrous tenants! Your attitude is admirable — and your post is plucky. All good wishes as you stay in the now in Nepal and look to a bright future. It’s a big world!

    • terry. what a joy to have you around and saying hi. yes, our attitude is all we’ve got, no? the situations are not in our control but our reaction to it is. sounds so wise and calm when often we are not, but it sounds good and yes, this is how we took this as the next way to let go and clean. loving you terry. gabi

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