these here are the tales of...

Belarus (2) Canada (7) China (2) creative (4) Czech (5) dance (4) design (1) Egypt (3) Estonia (3) family (10) festivals (2) health (6) Indonesia (1) inspiration (14) Japan (2) Korea (1) language (11) Lithuania (1) London (2) nature (24) philosophy (6) photos (8) politics (5) roadtrip (4) studies (8) sustainability (8) Taiwan (38) teaching (5) Thailand (9) Turkey (2) video (3) wisdom (3) workie (2) yummm (6)

HOME - an amazingly beautiful wake up wall to what our planet is facing

HOME - an amazingly beautiful wake up wall to what our planet is facing

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dancing Days

Here is a wee-little-camera video (be forewarned of low quality) of my final performance after a week of Contact Improv Dance classes in Prague, as part of the Pro-ART Festival of dance, photography and acting. (I'm wearing dark red pants and a blue long-sleeve shirt with yellow stripes.)

Video: Contact Performance in Prague July 27, 2oo8

So what is contact improvisation dance? Two or more dance partners starting off with touch, playing with gravity, creating an unchoreographed physical dialogue, getting into athletic technicalities, having a whole tonne of fun. If you'd like to see more, there are videos of various skill and excitement on YouTube and maybe there's a workshop happening near you! ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where's Waldo?

Ana and Rich's version. Really, there is at least one of us in every picture! Happy hunting!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Laugh if you understand "russki"

So I'm trying to learn Czech. Considering that my native tongue is Russian and I speak better English, I expected that between the Slavic and Latin similarities I'd more or less be able to communicate and understand in no time. Alas, the road is longer than I expected.

Czechs use the Latin alphabet and it's a phonetically spelt language (whoohoo!), so after familiarizing myself with all the nuances of pronunciation (accents modify default letters), I can more or less read off the page. But as far as glimpsing the meanings behind these words...

Here are some examples of how Russian compares to Czech vocabulary. I've added English phonetic pronuncation and translation for each pair. (Czech on the left, Russian on the right).

jazyk [jazyk] = tongue, language - -язык [jazyk] = tongue, language
večer [vecher] = evening - - - - - - вечер [vecher] = evening
hluboký [hluboki] = deep - - - - - - глубокий [gluboki] = deep

Ok, so far so good. Here's where it gets a little tricker.

neděle [nedjele] = Sunday - - - - - -неделя [njedjelya] = week
stúl [stool] = table - - - - - - - - - - -стул [stool] = chair
život [zhivot] = life - - - - - - - - - - -живот [zhivot] = stomach
nebo [nebo] = or - - - - - - - - - - - -небо [nebo] = sky
opakovat [opakovat] = to repeat - -упаковать [upakovat'] = to wrap
sval [sval] = muscle - - - - - - - - - -свалка [svalka] = garbage dump

So... we've got words that range from being in the same family of meaning to something completely random. But my favourites, to completely confuse me, are below.

pozor [pozor] = attention - - - - - - позор [pozor] = scandalous shame
zákaz [zakaz] = prohibition,ban - - заказ [zakaz] = order
čerstvý [cherstvi] = fresh - - - - - -чёрствый [chyorstvyi] = stale
úžasný [uzhasni] = fabulous - - - - ужасный [uzhasnyi] = terrible

Hahaha.... Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Summer's Bounty

The heartbeat of my inner pioneer quickens at prospects of living in close quarters with Mother Nature, the source of all our nourishment and resources. In a densely populated city, it's too easy to forget the origin of everything we touch, consume and utilize for warmth and comfort.

Living beside a forest, admiring a garden full of plants and flowers, feeling each day's weather on my own skin, scratching itchy bites... It all makes for a sensory reminder that I am an intrinsic part of this larger whole.

The mushroom season has just started in Czech Land, but even the yellow patches of "little foxes" often smaller than my thumb make for a tasty harvest. Wild blueberries have been ripening with the sun's loving attention. Roaring thunderstorms have brought rain and hail in horizontal sheets, flashing lightning wrath and giving the thirsty ground much-needed drink. I'm even excited about the first tick I found on me, head buried underneath the skin. That novelty wore off quick, but insects are a small price to pay forthe fresh air, sun's heat colouring our limbs and sending us jumping in the lake, to come out looking for those perfectly ready strawberries and their tiny forest cousins waiting to be savoured in childlike blissful contentment.