• My last days–And back to San Diego

    Yes, the subject name for this email for this email sounds pretty daunting, yes? Some of you wrote in to say something after my last email, thank you for that.  Yes, I feel loved once again. Right now, while in the air, I have time to write, so I will, many words. If too many words, sorry, I am writing for me not you.

    With two days to spend in Christchurch until my flight out, I walked much and saw various things. The destruction from the earthquake is pretty severe. Many buildings (why do they call it a “building” when it is already built?) are still heaps of rubble. Cracks in the sidewalk and street are abundant. On and on I walked many kilometers. I went to McDonalds to check my email on their free wifi, nothing from you. Then, it was on to Hagley Park. I had been to this park at different times; a nice place. I had seen that this big park had various parts hidden away where I could put out my sleeping bag and snooze for the night (thanks again for the bag, Miguel.) You see, because of the loss of the money I had things are getting tight and I need to save, plus, it would be a fun adventure to sleep out in the park like a homeless person. Come to think of it, my house is up for sale now and I could be truly homeless soon.
    As I was walking through the park I saw a group of tents, the Occupy Movement was in town. I talked with some of them and it was difficult to see what their main objectives were. In my travels I had seen a few different encampments of this movement. Were they getting any results from there demonstrations? What did they want to change? Was this just a bunch of men and women who like to camp out in the city? In talking with a few of them things were a little confused, but sounded like their major gripe was the payment difference between the top people and the workers, a fair gripe. Yet, it seemed more like these people liked more to camp-out then to apply themselves toward the cause. Rather than just waiting for someone to come up and talk, they could approach people on the street and in cars to get the word out.
    Mike, an American, had been living in New Zealand for a number of years. He had gotten fed-up with the US and how things were run. He is not really a part of the occupy movement, just kind of hangs out with the movement sometimes. Because it was cold and I didn’t really want to stay with the occupy group in a tent, I asked him if he had a spare couch I could occupy for the night, he graciously said yes. Living in a nice place, we entered. Two rooms of the house have many books, he has a massive library. A smart guy, a new friend is met. He told me he had most of these books shipped from Chicago, where he is originally from. Mike is working as an environmental engineer, yet had time off now. He drove me to parts of Christchurch that had extensive damage.  Huge boulders blocking the road, many abandoned homes, people with many losses. Last night Mike learned to juggle, seemed to like his new skill. Thanks much for the ride to the airport, Mike.
    Right now it is 7pm, Mike left me off at about 5pm.  I’ve been reading and writing this to you. Before I came I looked on a map and there is some park land near the airport. My flight is not until 6:45 tomorrow morning. I didn’t want to ask Mike for a ride here that early, so I had planned to lay out my sleeping bag away from the airport at the park, but I think I will just stay up all night until I get my flight in the morn. I’ll let you know how it goes.
    It ended up that I stayed over-night in the airport. I met Teresa, from Germany, who was also staying the night until her flight tomorrow. We sort of supported each other in this. There were some couch like things that we got some shut eye while laying out, but guards showed up and said we couldn’t lay there. They showed me another location where people where sleeping on the carpeted floor. I laid down and slept for a time, probably got two hours last night, tonight is the flight to the US over-night, I expect I won’t sleep much then, either. I’m sad that I will never see Teresa again in my life. Like I wrote, people come into and out of our life so much, I want to remain friends with all, sad to say, it won’t happen. People fade out except for the memory.
    I figured out what must have happened to that envelop with about $3000 in it. On the last day in Queenstown I had ask the manager of the hostel if he would lock up my suitcases while I went for a walk. I believe he had seen me when I got money out to pay for the room. He seemed like a great guy, I even taught him to juggle. Before that time I had taken that bag everywhere with me. Later when I saw the envelope was gone I traced when I had gone earlier and also asked him about the loss, he said no he didn’t know what happened to it. I can’t trust anyone anymore (except for you, perhaps.) In the future I will keep all my important stuff in a waist belt and have no worries anymore. It’s so sad that there are so many people who will take personal items from you, something I could never do.
    And now I am writing to you from 33,000 feet up, since I’m no longer in a foreign country, I no longer have to use the metric system, but that is a much better way to measure. I just discovered something that made me quite angry. I had a small bathroom “kit” (no, not me) and I noticed it was missing. When I went through US customs while in Australia she took everything out of my bag looking carefully for ??  She ended up putting my toothpaste in a clear plastic bag and handed me that. I didn’t see that she kept the bathroom bag, she didn’t care. Yes, I will hijack a plane with a small tube of toothpaste and a four inch toothbrush. I hate idiot people who don’t think and just do—like the cops who took me away to be put in jail. She could have at least told me she was taking it. Now there is no way to go back and retrieve it, boy! Yes, I will be able to put another together, but this loss I am taking worse then the $3000 gone. Yikes, they’re all after me (I hope you aren’t, though.)  I try and do the right thing and all is get is this junk.
    Something else I was embarrassed to tell you about and wasn’t going to.  Recently at a place I was staying at I had my things laid out in the room I was in. I’m fairly certain I had my camera with me there. I am not certain, but there was another guy staying there. He’s a good person from what I could tell, even taught him to juggle, I would never accuse him of . . . but . . . it’s like I have a sign on me saying, take from Kit, he’s easy. And, hope you can tell, I am not stupid, I am careful with my stuff. I guess I just have to be extra precautious. The thing is, I trust people. Perhaps you can straighten me out, there are more good people in the world then bad¸ yes? just look at you.  I’m feeling like I want to build my tiny house on wheels which will have solar for electric and a rain water collection system, then park my new home in the mountains and live away from people for a time (of course, you are welcome anytime for a visit, I will have a spare bed.)
    Right now I am watching a movie while flying at 600 miles per hour.  In this movie a man is falsely accused and jailed. Seeing the jail cells, seeing the prisoners all dressed the same, understanding how it is to be in there. Being in jail was the very worst month of my life. Seeing those people in jail made me so angry. The time I had to spend there was so damaging to me, I can’t begin to explain. Much punishment for my body, much punishment for my mind. This is a life-long thing that changed my thoughts about life and the future.
    As I write I get angrier and angrier. Of course, my broken family comes to mind. My daughters are not connecting with me. Still never heard a good reason Mary Ellen left me. She closes up and will not communicate in any way with some people (actually many) who she deems not qualified to be associated with her any more. So, I am on that list of non-communication, never imagined I would be. I just don’t understand people sometimes, she could, at least, be friendly with me. Also, I thought I had a friendship with Carter and then he turned against me, that was a very strange thing for me. As I wrote before, people come into your life and go out of your life, I just sometimes wonder why, perhaps you can explain to me . . . ?
    Just asked and was told the flight is not even half way yet, already many hours flying. It’s funny, I am not at all tired, even with no sleep last night.  For me it looks like I will only get a couple hours sleep in 60 hours, curious on how it will feel, I’ll let you know.
    Battery life is getting quite low at this point, I will have to complete this later. Funny how the word “complete” means finish and also the entire essence of something. The English language needs to be re-written, it is so complicated and old. With computers we could design and construct a language that would be much much better.
    So, they allowed me back in the US, again. Right now I am charging my battery while typing to you. I miss the Australian and New Zealand accents, now it is Mexican and Americanish accents I hear. I am finishing this up at my mom’s now.

    Today in San Diego I went to have a Mexican lunch, about three bucks. Usually in America I am used to $2 to $5 a meal. In OZ and NZ I was paying $10 to $15 (New Zealand dollar) a meal. So, big difference.

    Write you again soon>>>>>>Kit


  • Recovery?–From Dunedin to Christchurch

    Still punishing myself for allowing the $3000 to disappear. I was so careful the whole time, too. Slowly recovering, everything had been going so so good.
    My last night in Dunedin was spent with Miguel at a dinner party with some of his family. His mom died recently and the party was to honor her. A wonderful time was provided for everyone. When we first arrived I noticed a flat-bed trailer parked in the driveway and next to it what looked to be a tiny house, just like I will be building after I return. And, I was right, it was. Steve gave us a tour of what he had built, it was fabulous. He is building the little house for someone else, and he is doing a good job. I got some good ideas from him for the house I want to build.
    After my stay in Dunedin, I was back to Christchurch to stay with Ian and Verna, find them here: http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/berrnie/. This is a classy couple, and their home is exquisite. A comfortable and pleasant stay the whole time, some good new friends. Ian let me use his bike yesterday and I rode many kilometers all the way to the beach and around Christchurch. I used to ride almost daily for a workout, but have not for some time. My muscles and back hurt by the end of the ride. I did see much, though.
    Earlier I spent some time in a park.  A little girl was just summer-saulting by me, then stopped and waved hi. What perfect timing for this to happen, I had been quite down. I have to remember what is important in life and that things will get better. I also saw kids playing rugby and cricket, something you would not see in America. Seeing these kids helped me to get my head on straight again.
    Where Clinton and I went in the mountains


    But then, it was back on the bike in the evening. I was planning of riding to a hostel that is on the way to a free Christmas concert held in Hagley Park. So, I get to the hostel and asked and they do not have any room. On the way out I passed Clinton, who I spent time with in the mountains before and I wrote about. I had some of my best time on my trip with Clinton driving and touring together. One of the places we went to see was Milford Sound, a fantastic place. Take a look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milford_Sound.  How strange to run into each other like this. This nice hostel Clinton was staying in used to be a jail, people sleep in the cells that housed prisoners in the past, here it is: http://www.jail.co.nz/. Seeing the inside of the jail and the cells brought back memories for me, some bad ones. Take a look if you have not seen these:
    After we broke out of jail Clinton decided to join me to see the concert. So we walked over, as I pushed the bike. At first there were not many, but more and more people were there, I heard earlier there might be close to 500,000 attending. A concert of various music and bands, hard to see the stage, though. There were two big screens broadcasting the show. Look here: http://www.christmasinthepark.co.nz/christchurch.html.
    Today is Sunday, looking forward to returning to the US on Wednesday and starting the next portion of my journey, yet not sure why I am feeling that way. It has been a long trip over here, and ever changing, which was nice.
    Write to you again soon>>>>>>Kit

  • The joy, the loss–In Queenstown

    Monday, November 21, 3am–Slow to start, bad allergies at first, this sickness has invaded my body. Perhaps a cold, maybe flu, I feel terrible. I don’t like waking and getting up so early, but did not want to wake the two other guys and the girl who are bunking with me in the same room, so up at 3am. As you would know, there are sickness bugs over here my body has never had to deal with before. Now it is the next morning, feel better today. I tend to wait until I see the sun has risen a little before I get up, often just laying there, waking between 5 and 6am often. Not even keeping a clock or time keeper with me, going by the sun.
    Eating well. This morning fresh fried potatoes with onions, again. Every day I am eating my 4pm salad. Developed this habit about 18 years ago, every day about 4pm I eat a salad. I guess it’s a good habit to form, yes?
    The mountains outside Queenstown, very nice, as you see
    So, I have about 9 more days with nothing to do while in New Zealand, any ideas?  Right now it is 7am and I have the whole day ahead of me.  I want to move on away from Queenstown, but which direction. I will be eventually flying out of Christchurch, so I guess I should aim toward there. Thinking about hitchhiking, never have done that before. Queenstown is much of a tourist destination, many stores and places aimed toward that crowd. As you would know, I am not so much a part of that crowd. Come to think about it, not sure what “crowd” I would fit into. Not the juggling crowd, not the salsa crowd, not the church crowd, perhaps the “Kit” crowd? Want to join me, there’s plenty of room.
    Darn, there was one travel company who did not have any seats for the bus from Queenstown to Dunedin. I went to another and they didn’t think there was anything available. I was all set and looking forward to hitchhiking to Dunedin. I’ve never hitchhiked and thought it would be a good time to start a new adventure.  They called on the phone and there was one seat left, so I bought my ticket and leave about 3pm. Perhaps I will hitch from Dunedin to Christchurch, I’ll let you know.
    Right now I am at a walking mall in Queenstown, very nice.  There are so many shops here, and tourists to buy, of course. Yet, I have no interest in buying things, have all I need.
    Well, it happened today. And, everything had been going so smooth and perfect.  I keep all my cash separate in an envelop that is in my small case on wheels that goes everywhere with me, this was (yes, I wrote was) income from the workshops and book sales that I never made an accurate count of. I kept this money so well organized in the envelope, I can picture it now. This afternoon I looked for the envelope, not there, not anywhere. Looked many different times, thought it would turn up as my wallet turned up. I did not have the money counted, between two and three thousand gone, just like that. I went to the places I remember going today, no one found anything. I went to the police department and filed a report, they will email me if someone turns it in, although, I don’t see why they would, who wouldn’t keep an envelope with a bunch of cash and no identification?  I was careful, not fully conscious of who was watching when I got into this envelope. Did someone see where I have it and steal my money? I think that that’s what happened, theft.  I wrote before that losing hundreds or thousands does not hurt for me, but boy does it sting. It’s like the envelop simply disappeared. Could have been theft, yet no one knew where I had this envelop, I think anyway. No one could have known where I had the cash, or I could have put it down somewhere. I’m feeling like such an idiot, really hurts. Very careful the whole time with this, too. Do you know, is this loss something I can write off on my taxes?
    As always, I will find a way to get through this, as hard as it is.  As you know, I have been having a fantastic trip, but that is no excuse for the loss. I can picture that money now, neatly put into the envelope. The important thing is I still have my computer and can write you to, more important than money to me. This loss, as all the others, will be included is the book I want to write. Just reading this and editing on the next day I felt the hurt.
    Here is where the outline of a book I have worked on about my first accident is:
    take a look, let me know what you think. I have about 200 pages of notes and ideas to jump forward with toward this book. But, I have many more loses and changes to include since the time I wrote that outline. Many of you wrote to me saying that you think I am a good writer from what I have written to you so far about my trip, thank you for that. The book I have in mind is one that, I hope, will change humanity toward the better (or, am I thinking too big?)  My plan is to find a good ghost writer (although I’m afraid of ghosts) to help me finish a book on loss and growth. I have a massive amount of material to work from, including these emails and blogs I have sent you about my trip.  I think it might take two or three months of intense work between me and the ghost to complete the job. Now, where would I find a good ghost writer, any ideas? A line comes to mind, “Who ya ganna call, Ghostbusters.” This person and I would have to become friends and work well together.
    23 November—Woke about 3:30 with pain of loss on my mind, and my tinnitus blaring in my ears. I’ve already pretty much gotten over this loss. But, help me figure the total loss out. The income would have totally paid for my trip, and then some. With the loss I am out the income made plus the plane ticket and expenses to be here. So, it seems that I have lost double what I could have had if the money did not disappear. All confusing, but does not matter in the end, life goes on. Today I will have to go to a bank to see if my debit card will work in their ATM to get some cash (I believe it should). There is food left that I have with me, such as peanut butter and jelly for lunch sandwiches.  I’ll write you again with a better story of life.
    Back in Dunedin again staying with Miguel, a very kind sole and good juggler. I want to help him get his street juggling act together and going. I will take the time to see more of Dunedin.
    Bye for now>>>>Kit

  • A new adventure, alone again

    Clinton and I parted ways yesterday. He had wanted to spend time alone out in the wilderness. My time with him was some of the best on my trip, we saw much wilderness, mountains, rain-forests, snow, sheep lands, the sea and more. I had gotten used to being with him, now all alone again.
    Clinton dropped me off at a hostel, once again, on a lake, checked in and went to my room. This place is more expensive than most I have stayed at, $36 a night. Slept well, yet woke at 3am and jumped on my computer (no, not physically.) I had paid $10 for 24 hours, so I wanted to get my money’s worth. I often wake at that time anyway. A big place with many there, once again, just another place to sleep, nothing special about it at all.

    Left this hostel at about noon, I knew there were other hostels in town at a lower price. The first one I went to was sold out. The next had a bed at $26, so I dove in. In here with four Germans, the two girls have a separate room. They are speaking German and English off and on. Yes, just another place to sleep, yet comfortable. When I awoke I had to pee, the room was so dark. Finally made it out and did what I had to, must have been 3 or 4 in the morn. Went back to bed and just stayed there until the sun was up. Here they are–www.kiwi-backpackers.co.nz

    Yesterday I had a scare, could not find my wallet anywhere. When something like this happens my mind does not go into the panic mode. Right away I click in the solution mode. My mind starts searching right away for things I need to do—who to contact about my cards and such. But, I just kept a minimal of stuff in my wallet for the trip. My PA driver license, my debit card (that needs a pin number), my health insurance card and a small amount of cash (I keep the rest in a bag on wheels that goes everywhere with me.) So, as they say here so often, “No worries.” Anyway, today I searched through where I keep the other money and found it—relief. In a way makes me feel like a fool, but, I guess, I don’t care.
    Seeeeeeeee      ya>>>>Kit