Life in New Caledonia
It’s taken years, literally years, for me to get it. With a recent trip to New Zealand, thus leaving New Caledonia for the first time in 9 months – and with a recent study of the differences between island and mainland life – something clicked.
I’m guilty of projecting my mainland life onto my requests of island life. Dreams of choice, good prices, efficiency in government and administration; dreams of vision, order, healthy competition, a commitment to excellence. All those dreams frustrated on a regular basis that send me snorkeling, hiking, swimming to remember what I love most about island life.
When we arrived in New Zealand, it was “Christmas”, as our son termed it. Life was suddenly easy, possible, friendly, pleasant, wonderfully full. Gone were the complications in trying to book an excursion, or to find out what we would need for an excursion. Gone were the closed offices, the non-existent websites, the people whose job it wasn’t was. Here, suddenly, next to everything was do-able! Safety was a priority, order and cleanliness were priorities. The environment was a priority – and so were children! Oh my!……………
Life in Russia
“For Buryats Lake Baikal is a sacred and holy place. Historically, Baikal has given people food, fish, water, and there are many legends about Baikal,” says Masha Bambuyeva, a Buryat native of the north Baikal town of Severobaikalsk in Siberia, Russia.
While travelling in Siberia and reporting on the area surrounding the world’s deepest, oldest, and most voluminous fresh water lake in the world, I have heard as many tales of Baikal myths as I have witnessed breathtaking landscapes.
I am not the only one captivated by the majesty of Baikal. “The amazingness of Baikal,” reflects Marc Antemann, a Swiss traveler. “How big and peaceful, and quiet.”
With the gorgeous scenery and peaceful solitude, one can imagine the effect Baikal had on its first settlers and inhabitants. It is not a reach to imagine that these settlers arrived during the short summer, but soon realized the harsh winter was just a price to pay in order to balance the gifts of the lake.
But it’s more than just beauty and fish and freshwater. Everyone is talking about how Baikal has a strong energy; some say there is magic.