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Welcome To Vilcabamba
"The Sacred Valley of Longevity"


This Is A Privately Circulated Blog, scribbled exclusively for Friends & Familiars, that peers into and pontificates about Expat life in the hinterlands of South America.


Here you will find a series of curmudgeonly commentaries that I've posted from atop my rickety old soapbox for the past four years. And yes, there are indeed political rantings, so place your seats in the upright position and fasten your seat belts .... it may be a bumpy ride.



8/27/13

Sabre Rattling By Those Who Have Never Gone To War

I have moved this previously posted item up to the beginning, due to the recent continued bombardment of invective by our politicians crying for WAR against Iran and and Syria. It is well worth reading (and hearing) again. It is, in fact, my small tribute to those who have served us so well in battle, but who have been so ill-served upon their return by the very politicians and media pundits who sent them into harm's way.

As I see and hear those in congress, and those in this current administration, rattle their sabers and cry out for war with .....(insert your choice of countries here) ..... the majority of whom have never even served militarily, not to speak of never having seen combat, I'm reminded of a very old ballad sung by the late great Liam Clancy of the Clancy Brothers. It is a cautionary tale about the horrors of war presented in the lyrics of a mournful song, one which every armchair warrior and political hack urging us to war ought to take to heart.

8/9/13

Ecuador, A Banana Republic?

This is absolutely priceless. The United States of America, through its Ambassador, was waving her finger under the nose of the President of Ecuador, chastising him for something that the mighty US government didn't like. This was his response:

5/17/13

"The War on Consciousness"

There is a carefully buried explanation of the culture-changing use of "drugs" in Humankind's history. One of the better (perhaps even THE best) explanation of this was recently presented in a TED talk by author/researcher Graham Hancock. So shocking and controversial was this information that an anonymous "panel of scientists" demanded that it be removed. Happily for us, the outcry over this censorship meant that the original TED talk has found its way onto YouTube. It is likely that this is one of the most important videos in the Internet these days. Listen to it with an open mind.

5/4/13

Semper Fi

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused.

Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her, “Who was that man?” he asked.

The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.

“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”

“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”

“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed. I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey. His Son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this Gentleman’s Name? “

The nurse with tears in her eyes answered, “Mr. William Grey………”

The next time someone needs you … just be there.

5/2/13

A Teenager's Grasp Of Current Events

I recently asked a young acquaintance of mine if he could explain to me, in his own words, what was happening right now in the U.S. of A. Here was his response:

"President Obama had just returned from somewhere on Air Force One, where he had drawn a another redline in the sand hinting at war with someone. Federal Reserve board member Kim Kardashian had released a new perfume that could also be used as an alternative fuel a hundred times more powerful than gasoline and would solve America's energy problem. Lindsay Lohan has joined the Marine Corps, and she will report for duty immediately after her current home arrest for …. well, who cares. Oh, and the Fat Kid in North Korea cut the head off one of his generals after their latest rocket launch did not lift far enough off the ground. Let's see, oh yeah, the Supreme Court has thrown out the cases against the five largest banks .... again. Seems the trial judge wanted Jamie Diamond to serve a week in jail, and the Bankster threatened to crash the financial system. And that's about it I guess."

Hm-mmm, well how would YOU report the week's events?

4/22/13

Be The Drum Major In Your Food Parade

So, on a slightly more positive note than is my usual wonky-want, let me tell you why I garden for the bulk of my daily diet. I've found no better way to move my diet from merely OK to "Foodie Gourmet" than by embracing a plant-based, organic diet. But there are other important reasons, too.

My number one reason is that I don't subscribe to "health insurance". I invest in prevention rather than the cost of after-illness medical care. What it costs me in labor, seeds, water, a greenhouse and all other material that maximises the health of my fruits and vegetables is a tiny fraction of the budget-breaking required allopathic care after a breakdown of bodily well-being.

Not being addicted to any one dietary "ism". I supplement what I grow on a seasonal basis with an incorporation of oils, seeds, nuts and protein-abundant nutrients. These come not from Supermarket shelves, but from trusted local sources who use organic practices. In other words, I know where my food intake comes from, its freshness and its quality.

For me, there is an innate satisfaction of being able to walk out of my kitchen door and harvest from the garden a freshly picked meal. There is a familiarity with the food that simply cannot be found with similar produce and accompaniments displayed on the sterile shelving of a commercial market that was trucked in from hundreds if not thousand miles away.

So I get the ultimate win, win, win situation with better health through a better diet at a far less cost per meal. Not too surprisingly, almost everyone in my neighbours are doing the same thing on their property. Look around and perhaps you will find the same thing happening where you live. If not, I'd suggest that you get in front of the emerging parade and lead the way to better health.

3/22/13

Stumbling Into Smurfville

I haven't spoken of Vilcabamba lately, been too busy spouting off about geopolitical matters that rankle me. But I'm still very much here ….. and thriving rather than merely surviving. It's like being in a Smurf village, where the residents are all brown and white instead of blue and living a kind of fanciful life of leisure.

Vilcabamba continues to grace its inhabitants (local, indigenous and expat alike) with clean water, clean air, clean food and a relatively unpolluted environment. While we don't have chemtrails and governmental mind control technologies invading our lives, we do have an increasing amount of electromagnetic radiation from cell towers and WiFi routers. What happens when human population centers are flooded with massive amounts of powerful wireless microwave radiation? Nobody really knows ….. yet.

But we will soon. Because we are being exposed to 100 million times more Electromagnetic radiation than our grandparents were, and cell towers are making that number grow exponentially. If you can make a call on your cellphone, then you’re in an area that’s saturated with cell site microwave radiation. And this includes our own hidden-away Sacred Valley of Longevity. Those who know about these things are raising their voices in alarm, but few of our residents listen or understand.

We are a strange mix of visionaries, cranks, crazies, misfits, geniuses, goofy free-spirits and wild-eyed anarchists; a witch's brew of people, if there ever was one. Neurosis abounds, particularly in terms of the End Of The Worldists, freaks, backyard mystics, New Age Gypsies (those we used to call 'Hippies', with nowhere in particular to go and plenty of time to get there) the sleazy spiritual entrepreneurs offering their brand of 'Enlightenment' via jungle 'ceremony' and marketers of supposed Healthy Products and Super Foods, plying their fear-encrusted wares online with PayPal.

It seems to be quite difficult for such a group to remember that we are guests in this tiny pueblo and and not try to continually re-mold it into what better fits our gringo comfort zones ..... or worse. As you can imagine, "do-goodism" on the part of foreigners who can neither speak the language or understand the culture is rampant, a contemporary version of the Colonial "White Man's Burden" (of bringing modernity to our little brown brothers.) But we are muddling through, thanks to the great forbearance of our sweet-natured Ecuadorian hosts.

Then there are the rest of us. Those who mind their own business, tend their gardens, try to learn the language and interact comfortable with our local neighbours. These are the ones who are trying to learn how to live Alone Together in a place far distant from the places of their birth. They are too busy enjoying their lives to spend much time musing about the latest conspiracy theory or wondering exactly who makes up the Illuminati. That we leave to the Wayfaring Strangers who meet daily at Charlito's Bar in the village.

Is Vilcabamba still the 'Shangri-La of days gone by? Yes and no. Like anywhere else in the world, it is what you make of it. Our tiny hamlet is growing and thus necessarily changing in many ways, some of which is creating friction in the clash of cultures. If you come it ought to be in the spirit of loving adventure, not out of fear of that which we want to leave behind or the hope of finding greener grass elsewhere.

1/16/13

Oh Most Evil Malady

Alas, I have been diagnosed as suffering from Writer’s Tourette. The symptoms are stuttering sentences, jerky paragraphs and inappropriate cuss words flung hither, thither and yon. While attempting to affect a cure, my posts to this Blog will be less frequent …. and shorttttttttttter.

1/10/13

Nothing But INSANITY!

After studying three separate government reports predicting a coming “financial doomsday”, Martin D. Weiss, chairman of the the financial rating and counselling firm the Weiss Group, Inc, said this:

“When our leaders have no awareness of the disastrous consequences of their actions, they can claim ignorance and take no action. Or when our leaders have no hard evidence as to what might happen in the future, they can at least claim uncertainty. But when they have full knowledge of an impending disaster …. they have proof of its inevitability in any scenario, and they so declare in their official reports … but STILL don’t lift a finger to change course …. then they have only one remaining claim: INSANITY!“

But it would be insane to actually believe that the nation’s money masters are truly insane. Thus, the only alternative is conspiracy. The financial meltdown happened because it was engineered to happen! -

The Trillion Dollar Conspiracy – Jim Marrs

Hm-mmm, ya' think? Na-aaaaa!

12/27/12

Is Time Speeding Up For You?


According to the late Terance McKenna, ethnobotanist, philosopher and psychonaut, time is indeed accelerating faster and faster. The golden-tongued Troubadour of Consciousness describes the process in the short video below.