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Posted on Jan 31, 2014 | 7 comments

Saving the Kittens, Gaia, and the Elephants Because We All Can- World Travel Blog Environmentalism

Saving the Kittens, Gaia, and the Elephants Because We All Can- World Travel Blog Environmentalism

Meet God. She’s a sweetheart and always bows down to you in this shy, modest way. She’s beauuuuuuuuutiful and always smiling. She smells like dog, but so she should cuz she is one. I have no doubt that this soul cannot be anything less than straight from heaven. There’s not a mean bone in her body, and even if Juley growls or attacks her, she walks away, well, floats away joyfully. We’ve fallen in love with cats and dogs, sheep and goats, and even ants and crickets all over the world. We’re an animal-loving, cuddle-magnetizing bunch and no matter what kind of fur (or lack of) we are so grateful to love. That explains the scrawny kitten Kobi and the kids saved from the net in the market in Panagsama Beach, Moalboal, Philippines and why my darling Dahnya said what only a softy animal lover like us could understand. She said…. What She Said “You know Mom, I know this may sound mean but I’d almost rather the kitten...

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Posted on Jan 16, 2014 | 3 comments

Blacks, Blood, and BLS International Indian Visa Office- Houston, Texas

Blacks, Blood, and BLS International Indian Visa Office- Houston, Texas

So I sit here at the BLS International office and smile so deeply into my soul. First of all, I’m joyfully impressed that it is not the jungle I assumed it would be. There are no blood stains of the carpets, no recently added skulls hanging from the ceiling, and, yes, sigh, there are no hysterically pleading patrons pulling out their eyes and groveling on the sandy gray carpet for sweet asylum. Yes, I’m a full hour early for my 9:40 appointment and only now are people lining up, but, already the sun filtering though the windows, the soft tones of patient voices all around me, and feelings in my heart in this spacious office fill me with deep peace. I think of the kindly, gentle-toned, black man who helped me get untangled in the parking garage and the sugar-sweet black gentleman who bowed and waved his hand for me to enter the elevator before me as he kind-kindheartedly escorts me to the visa office. His smile, as he...

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Posted on Jan 9, 2014 | 27 comments

Christmas Break Reflections- Goa, India

Christmas Break Reflections- Goa, India

It’s the end of Christmas Break, the kids are outside building a fortress, and I’m here inside sucking on some holiday mint M&M’s. We’re like monkeys, minus the eating lice eggs part,  picking lice eggs out of each other’s hair as a relaxing pastime. Unlike it was in Houston, it’s hot outside, there are cows and buffalo roaming the streets, and no one, including me, wears deodorant. Sangita our maid/cook/gift from a heaven has quit after one day on the job. It’s been a week since my transition from daughter/sister to mother/wife. Though I had wanted a month in an ashram near here, I got instead a month of reenacting childhood dramas but with endings and hidden character feats I had previously been unaware of. As I told Yael who insisted I could all the work I had hoped to do with my childhood, nuclear family, “It’s so much more romantic, and safer in the ashram,” and so it would have been. Solai and I watched a hummingbird float...

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Posted on Dec 9, 2013 | 55 comments

In Memory of Reabon- Unsung Heroes: 2013 Best Family Travel Blogs Celebration Begins

In Memory of Reabon- Unsung Heroes: 2013 Best Family Travel Blogs Celebration Begins

A small handful of us white folk stood shyly at the back of an all-black Southern church funeral. I knew Reabon as the cheerful janitor who knew everyone’s name, and stopped, every time to ask how you were doing and wish you a blessed day. He was so very extra happy the week he fell and died, for his girlfriend had just delivered a baby girl, and now, “I’m a father!” I wanted to get up on that stage when the preacher called for anyone who wanted to speak on behalf of the deceased. I wanted to tell them what light he brought to our synagogue community, but more so, I wanted to tell them how I had lost $465 in an envelope with names jotted on the outside in blue ink, and how, Reabon handed it to me on Monday morning with twinkling eyes, and an angel-like, “We got to look out for each other Ms. Gabby, don’t we?” He walked away with a nod and a tip...

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Posted on Nov 28, 2013 | 36 comments

Your One-Stop-Shop Telenovela of Family Travel Blog Trekking Adventure Hell- Day 1- Annapurna Circuit with Kids, A Multi-Media Celebration

Your One-Stop-Shop Telenovela of Family Travel Blog Trekking Adventure Hell- Day 1- Annapurna Circuit with Kids, A Multi-Media Celebration

It is time to start sharing our Annapurna Circuit with Children experience. All of it, and not just the life-threatening parts including hypothermia, fever and an extreme case of lethargic child at 5,200 meters, vomit, diarrhea, and all those drop-to-your-death cliffs that left us so very shaken up as parents who made these decisions on behalf of their children. We’d want to give you all of it. The good, the bad, the ugly, the really funny, and the thoughtful. So, welcome to Day One! It’s a lovely collection of photography and video all reflecting what our first day on the trail was like. Highlights: Oh My God! We’re ridiculously out of shape, whimpy, and totally not ready for the physical and mental challenges before us. That will sort of be the ongoing theme, in addition, to tons of furry animals, unidentified shit of all shapes and sizes, break-downs, song, tons of laughter, some serious “God, why are we doing this thing again?” talks, and amazing vistas. It’s basically your...

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Posted on Nov 15, 2013 | 7 comments

Breathing-Taking & Heart-Warming- Diwali 2013 in Goa, India- Family Travel World-Schooling Delights

Breathing-Taking & Heart-Warming- Diwali 2013 in Goa, India- Family Travel World-Schooling Delights

My heart singith. Last week began Diwali and it’s been unreal beautiful. And as Jason Mraz sings to me Living in the Moment, I bask in the loving energy of our landlords, their endless gifts to us, and the joy of being in Goa, India and knowing that this is home. Sigh. Deep, deep sigh. Allow me tell you about the stunning little Hindu holiday called Diwali! Diwali The kids learned in the Vidya Arayna School that Diwali (pronounced: Di-Va-Li) was a princess who chose to renounce her kingdom-hood to escape into the forest with her prince. He was shunned away so that someone else’s plot for kinghood could bear fruit. She told him that she’d rather live a simple life with him in the forest than a fancy one without him in the palace. One day a demon saw Diwali and decided he wanted her. He turned himself into a glimmering deer with eyes blue like the ocean, fur yellow like the sun, and dots brown like the earth. Diwali...

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Posted on Nov 10, 2013 | 2 comments

Malaysian Dialects, Culture, History, AND Color-blindness- Comprehensive, Awesome Interview- Pillows and Toast Hostel, Singapore

Malaysian Dialects, Culture, History, AND Color-blindness- Comprehensive, Awesome Interview- Pillows and Toast Hostel, Singapore

Yeah, yeah, I’m rubbing elbows with the big guys, and yes, I could possibly still find in the deepest crevices of my heart, the metta (loving kindness) to still associate with the little people like you. *cough* Our stay in Singapore was blessed by so much love and joy. You can see it in Human Kindness and Humility,  All A Weary Traveler Needs, and The Ming Behind The Making of The Movie. And now, we bring to you one of those amazing video interviews that teach us about humanity, a people, their history and culture, and show us two of their finest men. We totally fell in love with this pair, and the staff of loving people they surrounded themselves with. Did you know that Singapore, like Israel, has a mandatory military? I did not. So much I got from one interview, even though, in all honesty, the behind-the-scenes bit you don’t see is that both were dying to finish with me already so that they could go play...

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