Traditional Bedouin Medicine

It was early in the morning, the light from the sun was just starting to crest over the hill. I was standing on some burlap bags, which had been carefully placed along the edges of the squares to keep the balks from caving in. Below me, a mix of students and veterans were digging away, hauling guffah1 after guffah out to the sift.

Watching others work in the early morning isn’t exactly conducive to staying awake, especially when it comes with a pang of jealousy. I really love to dig and sitting on the sidelines due to a wrist injury doesn’t exactly sit well with me. I’m sure this thought was written all over my face when Adel, one of our seasoned local workers, walked up beside me.

In a mix of my broken Arabic and his broken English, he inquired about why I wasn’t digging this year. I explained that my wrist was injured and that it had been that way for months. He said he had a cure for me and pointed to some grass, “Like this, but different.” Read More

Travelling Light (FINALLY)

Being a photographer has one huge con when it comes to travel: it’s nearly impossible to travel light.

Usually when I travel, I’m on a mission. It may be that I’ve been hired to be a dig photographer, or I’m freelancing, or I’m taking photos to sell to fund my subsequent travels. All of these things require that I take a huge chunk of my gear. Camera bodies, extra lenses, various cables, flashes, and miscellany – it all adds up to what I lovingly term a, “buttload.” Read More

The Big Three-Zero.

It’s my 30th birthday!

I know turning 30 can be scary for some. I understand it. It signals an end to the carefree fun and excitement that often defines being a twentysomething. Entering into your 20’s generally gives you a sense of authenticity to your adulthood, the dreaded suffix of “-teen” finally ceases to define you. Read More

Adventures in Glass Fusion

Earlier this month, I picked up a Groupon for a glass fusion workshop at Artopia. A couple of Saturdays ago, I went with my friend Evelyn to try it out.

We spent the afternoon cutting little bits of glass and layering them to make a group of pendants. Once they were glued and set, we left them in the hands of Artopia to be fired in the kiln, making them into blobby pendants. Read More

2014 in Planes

I’m getting excited for 2014. It’s been a long while since I’ve been on an adventure. Winters are always particularly hard on me. The lack of sunlight and cold temperatures tend to make me just want to hibernate. For the most part, that’s exactly what I do.

Being an even year, it means this summer I’ll be back in my second home – Jordan. I’m pretty excited about this season since one of my good friends from Edmonton is planning on coming with the team. I always enjoy showing new people are Jordan, but it will be extra special to do with Hillary. Read More

Moving and The “Mass”

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. The (mis)adventure of moving took place over the course of two weeks. It was unexpected, daunting, and not something I care to repeat any time soon.

The idea of packing up all your “worldly” possessions into boxes, bins, and wrapped up in blankets is overwhelming and decidedly confrontational. As you pack, the sheer mass of “things” you own makes itself so abundantly clear. I found myself feeling defensive over what I owned. As my boyfriend hauled things to the car, he didn’t say a word of complaint. I know he wasn’t even judging me, but here I was projecting my own sense of disgust over how much I possessed onto him. Over and over, I said, “I use that,” or, “but, I love that,” somehow trying to justify to myself why I owned the things I do. Not to my boyfriend, but to me. Read More

Looking for Lille

2013 09 14 - Lille Alberta - 5-5123h

In my quest to photograph as many ghost towns as I can find, I kept coming across notes about a little gem called Lille, Alberta.

Things looked great for Lille when it was first established in 1901. Within a few years, there were about 20 residences on the townsite, along with all the amenities like a hotel, doctor’s office, and a school. The coal mining industry in the area led to the construction of an expansive system of coke ovens, specially made in Belgium. Each brick was stamped with a unique number, shipped, and the ovens were reconstructed brick-by-brick in Lille sometime in 1903-1904. Read More

Travel as a Fitness Motivator & The Long Road Home

I’ve been debating writing this post for awhile now. In the last two and a half months, I’ve lost 30 pounds. Each time someone notices, they ask me, “What’s your secret?”

It feels like every time I turn around, the Internet is abounding with fitness posts. Spend any length of time on Pinterest, and you’ll see an explosion of information about the “right” way and the “wrong” way to lose weight or get strong. This food is safe to eat, this exercise is the best, and those exercises and foods we said were great last week aren’t good enough anymore. Read More

Do not praise selfish travelers.

matador

The above screenshot was taken from this article over at Matador Network. The website regularly features travelogues, some international news, and various other travel-related posts. I’ve been following them for a few years now and once in awhile, a post comes up that makes my archaeologist blood boil. Read More

Who goes and gets a tattoo just because they dreamt they had it??

I do, of course.

Last December, I went a got a second tattoo. I had this dream earlier this year that I was at a tattoo parlour, looking back over my shoulder into a large mirror, admiring a new tattoo. It was of a golden spiral: Read More