Monday in a Picture – Dutch Pancake Party

I know. I know. You may have seen the title and thought, “I didn’t know that Kirby was going to the Netherlands”. I didn’t. I arrived in Philippines after a wonderful time in Vietnam. As I do when I get to most new cities, I checked out what was going on in the local Couchsurfing community. Manila was no exception. Some locals and travelers were getting together to walk around and explore Manila a day after I arrived. Perfect!

A group of about ten folks showed up in the park for the day’s activities. What I didn’t know was that the day’s activities would conclude in a Dutch Pancake Party at a local hostel. Robin, a self-described Dutch nomad, started throwing these parties some years ago. It all started with a conversation about food. Someone who was hosting Robin asked him to make some Dutch food. He admitted that he didn’t know how to cook, and made the only thing he knew: a Dutch pancake. Following the excitement of the first, he organized another, and then another. Now, Robin has hosted more than 100 of these events in more than 80 cities.

It was really cool to see all of the people coming together to share in pancakes. There was a very social atmosphere that extended beyond Couchsurfing. Good times were had as many pancakes were devoured. The above picture was taken before the event started as we were making pancake batter.

Be kind to yourself.
Onward.

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Sweet Dreams – Trees. And no borders. 

Because I am posted in a country where I might contract malaria, I have been given an antimalarial medication called, “Mefloquine”. One of the side effects of this medication is lucid dreaming. The following is what I dreamt last night (as best I can remember). 

I was living somewhere more central in Africa. Maybe Rwanda.  I had come back from vacation in Kenya with friends when there was breaking news. There would be a stateless Africa. No more countries. No more borders. A political map of Africa would look much more like a topographical map. This wasn’t in ancient times. It was pretty modern. 

In order to make this work, there was a summit of all world leaders. It was like the United Nations, but presidents, prime ministers and monarchs sat around the table instead of ambassadors. The meeting was held in a top secret location. Hillary Clinton was there to represent the United States. She was the president. Because the meeting location was so secretive in the dense jungle, Air Force One wasn’t used. There was instead a modified sea plane that could also work on land. It was massive, and may have rivaled Air Force One in size. As we were leaving the world leader meeting, I noticed that Bill Clinton was there. He was walking just a few steps ahead of his girlfriend. It struck me as odd and admirable that Bill Clinton was carrying his own luggage. One of the other people told me about how he and Hillary had an open marriage. 

Before we were to take off, one of the plane’s staff suggested that we go for a hike to see the massive sequoia trees. Everyone agreed. The staff member leading the hike said that it was get very muddy and swampy. As we were hiking, I understood what that meant. My shoes and legs were covered in mud and other elements of Earth. The plane staff member said that it would just be a bit further and encouraged us to continue. We did. We were rewarded with the biggest tree many of us had ever seen. It was massive. Part of the inside had been cut out. The tree was part of a housing structure deep in the bush. We walked inside the housing structure and looked around. The part of the house that included the tree was the kitchen. A large part of the tree trunk was removed to add a dining room in the tree. There were even stairs in the tree that allowed you to go up in the tree trunk. 

As the Clintons and everyone else looked around, I wandered through the housing structure into a sunny room with an altar and various religious things in the wall. 

Be kind to yourself. 
Onward. 

Sweet Dreams – Fanboy

Because I am posted in a country where I might contract malaria, I have been given an antimalarial medication called, “Mefloquine”. One of the side effects of this medication is lucid dreaming. The following is what I dreamt last night (as best I can remember). 

I was with a large group of people. They may have have been classmates. They may have been teammates. They may have been my Peace Corps Swaziland cohort. We were in a restaurant waiting to go somewhere or do something. There were maybe 50 of us. The restaurant was a cross between a McDonald’s and a Starbucks.

Anyway, I get up to go to the counter to order something. In my periphery, I notice a man sitting down. To my left. In the distance. Holy shit! It’s Dak Prescott. I get out of line to nervously and eagerly approach. I try to put a sentence together, but manage to say something unintelligible. He’s cool. He shakes my hand. No big deal. He smiles and gets back to whatever he was doing. I don’t even go back to the counter. I go back to my group to excitedly tell them that Dak is there. They don’t seem to care as much as I do. I tell them that they don’t understand, and that this is like meeting the president of the United States. They blow me off. 

Fast forward. We’re in the same place. But they now offer banking services. Dak is getting a new bank account. On his way out, he jokingly offers me his signature. On the back of his card. I’m still so giddy and excited. 

Be kind to yourself. 
Onward. 

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