Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sunday, June 12; 3:45pm

In the air between Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

(Writing in italics are things I’ve added just for this blog, they were not included in my actual journal)
…Let me try this again…
I spent a good portion of the flight from Chicago writing a very eloquent journal “piece” that was probably good enough to be in a book, but nobody will every know just how good (or bad) it really was.  You see that journal is now traveling the world in a Boeing 747, riding in the seat pocket of 34H, right where I left it when I got off the plane…So, I’ll try to remember the finer details of what was written and will add them throughout this new journal.
This would not be the last journal I would lose during my Borneo adventure…ugh.
At some point I came to the realization that my Earth Expeditions journey (my travels over the past threes summers: Mongolia, Namibia, Borneo) has been an unplanned, yet seemingly calculated trip through human evolution and existence. Mongolia showed me how humans across the globe were able to populate the world by traveling with their flocks (The nomadic herdsmen travel wide areas with their animals, moving often to find new areas for grazing, this practice has been lost on most of the world but most of the population of Mongolia is STILL nomadic). Namibia (Africa) showed me the landscape that ‘birthed’ our species and turned us into what we are today. The landscape and animals of Africa led our physiological and anatomical passage from an ape-like critter into…us: upright walking humans. Borneo will offer a glimpse into what we came from, an opportunity to look into the eyes of our genetic ancestors: the great apes.
~On leaving: Each of my journals from the past has a section devoted to my personal struggle with leaving the family behind. This on will be no different; There is added difficulty in leaving this summer as Rock (our 7 mo old son) has entered out lives and Christi just took a new position as the Senior Director of Nursing at St. V’s, a job that will no doubt consume more of her time. Rigley and Danger will have to take good care of Mom and Rock while I am away.  My last journal, the lost one flying around the world, is filled with pages about the family but I will spread my feelings throughout this new journal.

I am currently flying over the South Asian Sea between Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu (Borneo). Don Hoff (North Dakota) and Keith Meador (Kentucky) and I spent the morning walking the streets of Hong Kong, fighting through a torrent of rain (welcome to the tropics!). The main goal was to go to the pier to look from Kowloon across the bay toward the skyline of Hong Kong proper (Kowloon is a “district” of Hong Kong but not on the actual island of Hong Kong, it is located across the bay on main-land China). As we walked we sampled some of the local fare of spicy fish balls and fried Chinese noodles. The night before Don and I spent time walking the streets to see the night-life; a sea of neon and strolling people. Hong Kong (Kowloon) is impressively clean and modern; A beautiful city by any measure.
Me vs. Bruce Lee

One of the other main goals during our 10+ mile stroll in the rain was to find a new journal to replace my old one.  It was nearly impossible to find any sort of vendor or store-front that carried paper, or books or anything that may have been used as a journal. Most everything was closed because it was a Sunday. Finally we came upon a shanty-store with Chinese-made nick-knacks galore, they had a pile of journals (looking quite like they had been stolen from a hotel, not sure though because all of the writing on them was in Chinese).  I bartered with the owner and got two for 15 Hong Kong Dollars, about 90 US cents a piece! 

Another major issue arose in Hong Kong. Due to the rain, the intense heat and the humidity, my feet swelled and my Chacos (sandals) began to slice through my feet. By the end of our walk, my feet were cut and bleeding. This led to another shopping adventure, deep in the heart of the rainforest. More about that in a later post.
The streets of Kowloon are filled with vendors, neon, signs and double decker buses.

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