The biggest change has been our pup, Chica, a pitt bull. I'm getting lots of exercizing walking & discovering different beautiful places in Sonoma County... wineries, parks, even some outdoor malls.... She needs lots of attention and so that means not much dance for me anymore (hey, I already had cut back a lot from all my herbal studies!!!!), but I get a lot of time outdoors in nature!
We had one big scare & that was that she's allergic to bees. On a walk to a local park, she collapsed & I was thankful to get her to a vet in time. I would like to thank a wonderful Mexican soccer player and his compassionate wife (who pulled him out of his game) by assisting me. He carried her & ran all the way to the other side of the park to put her into my car. TGI futbol!
Balik Sa Dagat ~ Bangka Journey ~ Laga, CA Circle ~ Kalingafornia Laga ~ here we are joined together on a journey to bring celebration of Filipino culture & heritage to Santa Rosa for it's Luther Burbank parade. It was tons of work, but also tons of fun! I am so thankful to be immersed in a friendship circle that is doing really good work in revitalizing our traditions, which is very hard to do in the diaspora. Congratulations to us all on our hard work and commitment to keeping our traditions strong!
Speaking of traditions here with my kids & Rara Tou Limen, with Portsha Jefferson & Daniel Brevil, with fabulous music, choreography, vision, and spiritually fulfilling community offerings. Aibobo!
SF Carnaval is not complete with my menina ~ Our sisters dance with different contingents, but we always bring spirit on strong for healing for our communities ~ I am thankful for my sisters, who have held me up when I was down. Meci ~ gracias ~ arigato
The Giants series & our victory was a highlight for me! These two little girls have brought tons of joy to my life and each others. We took a great road trip with Aja to Oregon this year too and every family event is complete when the two girls are together. May these cousins enjoy each other's company, comfort, laughter, joy, learning, and support forever. May their lives help make a better world for everyone!
American Herbalist Guild's Herbal Symposium. I loved it, learned a lot and earned a certificate in the Medical track. Interestingly, I met fabulous folks in the Diversity Committee and hope to continue to build a relationship with them and see the progress of the AHG in providing accessibility and diversity in Herbal Medicine. While the Symposium was filled with a number of informative sessions, as a person of Color, I was disappointed with how few of us were there and the lack of many of us teaching. In any case, there's always room for change, and with the state of our world with it's intolerance of other people's class, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality & gender, we can use some change. Here I am with Christopher Hobbs & unknown friend. He was the husband of Leslie Gardner, my gardening & herbal mythology teacher from the California School of Herbal Studies and Founder of Sonoma County Herbal Exchange. Our Rootie 2013 group loved her immensely and we were her last class before her transition. RIP
Kawa Ariki Training we had from Maori Healers, Atarangi & Terrence Muru and Manu Koreha. I've been studying with the Maori Healers for a bit and this training of mirimiri, romiromi and spiritual healing has been developed by the Maori Healers, who are making a worldwide impact by sharing their ancestral knowledge beyond Aotearoa.
& here's a sample of how to use your feet, besides walking... Feel like healing? Follow the Maori Healers and schedule a session when they travel to your country... or visit them in Aotearoa... your life will never be the same again and you will be grateful for it.
And finally, before the December holiday, the meninas traveled to Thailand to witness the beautiful wedding of two of our favorite people in the world ~ Anthony & Boonchalong. This adventure brought us to Chiang Mai, Phuket & Bangkok, a diverse rural, beach, urban trek with time with learning about Thai culture, tradition, religion, food, plants, dance, and music.
My favorite times were early morning (yes, 4 am) food prep and mother/daughter Thai conversations & then... dancing with Thai mom before eating breakfast... and of course, eating scrumptious Thai local foods, prepared with loving hands and even delivered from villagers.
It was a wonderful adventure, unexpected for me as I had never thought I'd ever visit... but now, I hope to return one day to learn even more.... anyone joining?