Global Citizenship Education Tour Thanks


Sorry for blog silence but there has been good reason as I have been wonderfully busy in global citizenship education since October and after finishing my Teaspoons of Change walk and ride in Japan. Also sorry for starting with such a long run-on sentence but I’m sure you have missed that as well… Just wait when I start posting my daily Teaspoons of Change from my trip!

So into the stats for those who like numbers and think they matter.

The stats:

  • 20141212_1411324 months (mid Aug – mid Dec)
  • 7 countries (Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong [China], Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia)
  • About 2000km of walking and 2000km of cycling before, during and after the Teaspoons of Change trip in Japan
  • 26 schools and institutions
  • 70 Global Citizen presentations – a mix of JUMP!, Global Poverty Project, Happy, simply, Teaspoons of Change, Polio Points and mainly my ‘holiday’ snaps from volunteering around the world
  • 5160 audience members – from grade 1 (5 years old) to universities student s and adults
  • DSC_4867$2500 total costs (including flights / food / accommodation / everything!)
  • $3200 given from schools and a few individuals in donations to cover costs (additional to the generosity they gave in hosting me and more)
  • $700 going to on-the-ground development projects in South Sudan next year!
  • Hospitality, kindness and generosity – infinite and priceless (thank you to so many people who hosted me daily and nightly!)
  • 20141113_142202Global citizenship education and experience FOR me – a huge abundance
  • Global citizenship education and experience FROM me – a teaspoons each J (and hopefully 5000+ teaspoons will multiply!)

As someone who wants to see access and opportunity for everyone, everywhere and forever I can only be positive and optimistic about the world, humanity and the future based on the incredible humanity and love shown to me on this trip and as always…

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I would hate to start to thank individuals as there are so many but ALL of you have been remembered in my head and my heart.

So from here I will be in Australia for Christmas with my family! Then off to South Sudan for the first half of next year working on Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) program. I will blog as often as I can from South Sudan so keep an eye on http://lunny06.wordpress.com/ but I will also repost blogs from that site to Happy, simply and Teaspoons of Change and I’m finally thinking of writing a book after so many people telling me to do it… (Do I have to? You know how bad my writing is!).

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In the second half of the year I hope to pass back though Europe (Jul/Aug) and Asia Aug/Sept) before I need to be back in Australia in October for my nephew’s wedding and a BIG Australian global citizenship education tour Oct – Dec (I even have the dates organised and will post below).

I am looking forward to a few weeks in the Happy, simply home in Aldinga and will be spending as much time as possible off-line the computer and on-face with family, friends, beach, hills, cricket, etc. (the best things in life in humans and nature)!20141215_160406

A big massive humongous THANK YOU to all those who have supported me for my first Teaspoons of Change trip and I can’t see my journey of learning, sharing and caring to see the end of extreme poverty, stopping anytime soon…20141027_121945

  • 15 Jun – 15 Aug Europe for Polio Points (UK, Ireland, Germany, …?)
  • 3rd week Sept Asia – Thai, KL,
  • 4th week Sept Asia – Singapore, Brunei, others…?
  • 1-9 October setup in Melb till 10 Oct
  • 12-18 Oct SA, 19-23 Eyre Peninsula and country SA
  • 26-30 Oct QLD (Townsville, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane)
  • 2-6 Nov NSW
  • 9-13 Nov VIC
  • 16-20 Nov NT
  • 23-27 Nov TAS
  • 30 Nov-11 Dec VIC
  • ??? Aotearoa New Zealand?
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A few thoughts at my highest point of vulnerability for the trip

Context for this letter…

I had been walking a week solid of over 30km a day and had received the most amazing hospitality and had also been outrightly rejected by others (a small minority). Looking back at that time it was probably at the height of vulnerability and taking on this new kind of experience and also being giddy with excitement at the unknown of it all. A few days later it all became a little more certain and then routine (not in a boring way but in a less vulnerable and known way)…

Hi World!

How are you doing? Hope it has been a top week for you!

I’m 500km into my 1000km walk in Japan and loving it – along with the challenges, discipline and determination that is needed.

I’m also being filled with a load of humility and gratefulness. I don’t always fit in with the world around me but I do fit in with the world of humans and nature and this kind of trip lets me do this on a very personal, raw and quality way that I get to cherish and learn a lot from. While some may think I am just going for a walk and not really having my shite together as a 36 year old with no house, car, family, job or other ‘things’ to show, I do these adventures to learn a lot about the world and people so I can become the very best humanitarian possible. I always like to strive for connection, experiences and to grow and this kind of a trip gives me huge lessons in all of these traits – plus I love it and wake up with 9 year-old-like excitement for each day.

My feet and body seem to finally be holding up very well and I am easily getting 30km a day and often 40kms a day. (NB. this was before I got shin splints later on…)

This trip is a completely interesting one and not like anything I have done before. It is a lovely challenge of mental, physical and emotional strength. I’m quite vulnerable to the world with this trip even though I am mostly self-sufficient but it does rely upon people listening to what I am doing, why I am doing it and being accepting of it to either allow me camp on their property or to ignore me and for me to be ultra self-sufficient.

It is a great social experiment and I am loving seeing what comes of it each day. I know it won’t become my normal life as it is as uncertain as it is exciting. However I am getting some incredible insights in to human nature, Japanese culture and the ways of the world. I am also getting to see and relate with nature on new, slower and more appreciative scales as well.

The other day I walked along the Oirase Gorge where I had been 18 years ago. I remember exactly how I had felt and my state of being when I was just 18 years old. I remember the tears that rolled down my cheeks as I saw the most incredible scenery I had ever seen at that time – which was a montage of every kind of autumn colour you can imagine along with the absolutely pure clean river water. As I walked through it today it was not the autumn colours and nature that primarily struck me, (as it is the wrong time of year for autumn but still stunningly beautiful), but it was that feeling I had as an 18 year old who fell in love with new places, new experiences, expanding my outlooks on the world and first recognising that taste of wanting to see anything and everything different in the world.

On this trip I am filled with gratefulness, gratitude, grace and humanity and I am also excited that each day I have no idea what will happen – will hospitality come from strangers or will I be resilient, resourceful and accepting if not accepted, either way it provides wonderful experiences and personal traits to practice and grow.

Why am I writing this to you all in the world? Because I always miss all of you I have met and don’t often have the opportunity to talk to you. I also get to think about all of you in depth and for a long time while walking 6+ hours a day! I love all the long and short relationships I have with family, friends and strangers. These are the memories and thoughts that often fill my head in the hard parts of the day when my body is tired and my mind needs a boost – thank you J

I am loving living with the excited uncertainty of what the world will throw at me next but certainly soaking up the humans and nature that comes with this kind of experience.

This is one of those moments when I get filled with the wonderful essence of life and commit to continue to follow my heart, passions and desires in life.

Big love,

d’Arcy. xx

Not quite right based on the Edmund Hillary quote of 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained' but I got the message :)

Not quite right based on the Edmund Hillary quote of ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ but I got the message 🙂

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Teaspoon: Humanure | Aomori – Yachi Onsen

Day 12: What felt like the real first day of the trip walking really started from today, hopefully without blisters or other interruptions…

Teaspoons of Change Day 12: Walking on my feet! From nice man place up Hakkoda Mtn Pass to bad man onsen – Yachi Onsen Date: Fri 5 Sept

Place: Yachi Onsen

Distance: 28.2km    Total: 318.8km

Time (moving): 4.58” (+1136m elevation)

Teaspoon of Change of the Day:  Speaking of pee… how bout the whole toilet situation… Humanure!
A few Extra Teaspoons:

  • The ultimate human good for toilets is… Compost Toilet!
  • If you are ready for the huge good leap that comes from using a compost toilet be sure to see the Humanure guidebook as we do need to be care when handling faeces as it has some baddies in it
  • Compost toilets are easy, don’t smell and are a massive positive impact in the world as opposed to shitting into drinking water that has to go through a huge cycle
  • Key to compost is lots of bins, lots of carbon (like sawdust / leaves) and a system that works – either separating pee and poo or a combined one that release liquid somewhere.
  • There are loads of examples out there like this one from the Simplicity Institute – add link here to compost toilet and a great guy I know in Aotearoa New Zealand who helps people convert to compost – either in emergencies of for better planet add link to Green … here
  • Compost toilets are all about getting a system, creating a habit and getting over the ridiculous social and personal stigma. I personally think there should be a great social stigma for using normal toilets that use so much unnecessary water, energy and resources!
  • If you need a few stepping stones to compost toilets then here are a few ideas:
    • The mantra: ‘if its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down’ if a good one
    • Think about getting a Japanese style toilet that fills the cistern from the top through a tap that you can wash your hands with (remember it is drinking water) and then your flushing water is at least a little bit of grey water – better than washing your hands in the toilet
    • Half flush and full flush toilets of course and even better are small devices you can buy or something heavy that allows you to only flush as long as is needed depending on the situation – add link to New Internationalist device here

Add your Own Teaspoons… 

Japan Appreciation Piece: The natural beauty of Japan is stunning. We often think of Tokyo or Mt Fuji but there is so much nature within Japan and the rivers, lakes and forests are clean and beautiful! 今日のティースプーンズ・オブ・チェンジ 日本語で:すごく大きなティースプーンズ・オブ・チェンジ ができたらはコンポストトイレを使います。
Photo of the Day:

The covered heated rice bed

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Glorious roads to walk along winding uphill to the top

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The top of the road 1044m!

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Just one of the stinky wonderful onsen ponds along the way…

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Views of Hakkoda san a mountain I hiked 18 years ago!

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Brief Summary of the Day: Having been so gracefully adopted the night before I woke up to an incredible breakfast prepared for me like a king – fish, rice, miso soup, mountain veg, egg and apples!

With the perfect fuel to get me up Hakkoda Mountain I charged up the first couple of hours. A stop off for a few hours at a resort hotel provided wifi and time to do the daily work I continue to do with a number of organisations, projects and interests.

The couple hour break had me rested and ready to smash out the rest of the accent to the 1040m pass and on a few more km’s to an onsen (natural hot spring).

I arrived at the onsen just before 6pm jubilated having crushed 28km and with the thought that the kind-hearted people would accept me with letting me camp somewhere, an onsen bath and people to have a banter with having walked 5 hours on my own.

Unfortunately the response didn’t match my imagination nor even a slice of the kindness of my host from the previous night. I was told no camping, no onsen, no nothing… This put me in an interesting situation with day light now basically run out and no other place within 15km – which I explained to the cold-hearted stern faced man. Seems that was not his problem (which it wasn’t) but a little bit of humanity would have been nice.

I trenched out to the road to try and hitch to a nearby town or just find a small patch of ground somewhere but in the dark it was all futile. So in the end I walked back to the onsen place and followed a trial up a small hill, found a patch of lovely grass and forest knowing I wasn’t going to disturb anyone and set up camp for the night out of eyeshot from mean man and others.

Dinner was a little sad and fuming at how cold, ruthless and inhumane this man was but I also learnt a couple of good lessons:

  • With this kind of trip I am at the whim of the world and I have to accept where it sends me and any act of kindness or hospitality should be seen as a bonus not as an expectation
  • The other is that forgiveness is a powerful tool and it was a great chance to practice this

I was pretty bummed and seriously considering why am I doing this trip and how I feel about putting myself out into the world in this way but in the end one of my favourite saying won over all: todos conspirer para inspirer – all things conspire to inspire. Day done 🙂

Questions to Ponder: To flush or not to flush? Do you flush? How much do you flush? What do you flush? What is the best way to flush? 
Discussion Topic: What a world of difference it would make if we composted our own waste… why does mental image / societal norm stop one of the most significant goods you can do in the world?
Random Thought of the Day: toilet paper is perforated at a different length in Japan than it is in Australia (longer perforations in Japan) – why? What is the determining factor in length? – science, research, resources, profit…? And who makes that decision and makes it become national!
Music for the day: None – drunk on scenery

Podcast of the day: None.

Map of the day: https://goo.gl/maps/sIyq5

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Teaspoon – Golden Shower in the Shower | Ferry to Aomori and Walking!

So with my final hitch I made it to the ferry and it is all walking from the second I arrived on the shore of Honshu island… Be sure to think about urinating into drinking water instead of putting it down the drain with the oils and fats we put down the drain in our showers – or even better dilute and use in the garden!

Teaspoons of Change Day 11: Ferry to Northern Japan! Mori to Aomori. Once in Aomori its all walking from here! Date:  Thurs 04 Sept

Place:  Aomori

Distance: 16.7km    Total: 290.6km

Time (moving): 3.28” (+212m elevation)

Teaspoon of Change of the Day:  After a few heavier Teaspoons of Change in previous days I think this will lighten the mood…

Golden shower in the shower – Just as the Brazilian Government suggests – pee in the shower: link here

A few Extra Teaspoons:

  • Dealing with your wee is a very easy thing to do… Here are some easy solutions rather than pissing into drinking water and flushing it down the toilet for it to be dealt with over and over again using heaps of resources in water and energy…
  • Urine is sterile and safe (unlike faeces) you can technically drink your own piss but I am not one of those people – personal choices, decisions and actions…
  • Here is what to do to dispose of urine in the best possible way:
    • Piss into a bucket or some kind of large container; dilute with water (preferably waste water, rain water or water not from the water system) 9 parts to 1; disperse diluted urine on the garden and urea and nitrogen from piss are good for most of your plants; if things get a bit stinky or are killing your garden – especially lawn then you need to dilute more or use pour on more carbon dense material like big batches of dead leaves, lawn clippings, etc – all done and you will be saving the planet heaps in water, energy and using a perfectly natural and useable product!
    • Otherwise just take a piss in the shower – unless you use your greywater for something else!

Add your Own Teaspoons… 

Japan Appreciation Piece: I don’t know how much the Japaese piss in the shower as I haven’t given the survey yet but they do love a bath and cleaning themselves. Japanese person hygine is pretty impressive – if not overkill but the Japanese tradition of public baths and onsen (natural hot spring baths) is a wonderful part of the country and culture! 今日のティースプーンズ・オブ・チェンジ  ― 日本語で: シャワー中でおしこする方がいいですよ!ブラジルのコマーシャル見て下さい:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1BNhCJU0ow
Photo of the Day:

Window view from the ferry

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Arriving in Aomori… a little wet20140904_154532

My perfect bed for the night in a strangers home after knocking on their door…!

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The warm rice husk bath for aches and pains (real aches and pains like arthritis, cancer and more…

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Brief Summary of the Day:

A wet day to start but seeing the forecast and knowing that I didn’t have any presentations for the day in Hakodate I decided it was the last day I could rest my feet and really start the walk without a hitch or stop from Tohoku (Northern Honshu Island).

A farewell to my host from the night before – the lovely Dori who lives in Mori. I managed to get a hitch all the way to the ferry terminal with a guy who is an officiant at Shinto ceremonies (the guy who waves the white streamers attached to a pole).

The ferry was a disappointing but typical Japanese experience. Having explained my trip and doing it all as a volunteer I thought they might have been able to give me a free ferry ticket as I have often received in numerous countries when they hear why I am doing a trip and that I am doing it all voluntarily. Japan is a strange (and annoying) contrast that they people individually are wonderful, kind, hospitable and generous but as soon as they work for a company with rules then NOTHING is possible. It is so sad to see people can’t/don’t think for themselves and they become a company machine not a human being… Anyway disappointing but not the end of the world.

It was a very exciting prospect from the moment I arrived in Aomori. My foot was well repaired, I had no idea where I would stay each night and my only objective was to walk south towards Nagoya and see what would happen…

Question to Ponder: How do we feel about all of us pissing in the shower? What is there not to feel good about?
Discussion Topic: Do you piss in the shower? What is with the taboos and cringe around pissing in the shower (ala Seinfeld episode of the urinator)? Why do we use drinking water in toilets and how can this change?
Random Thought of the Day: How many houses in the world could you rock up on their door step and ask to stay the night with them accepting you in…?
Music for the day: Some comedy music that I seem to be into at the moment from Weird Al Jankovik, the Rubberbandits, Fog and Smog and Reggie Watts – see them all on youtube!

Podcast of the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1BNhCJU0ow and of course we all love the Seinfeld episode that makes peeing in the shower feel taboo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOlGMPE68Bo

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Teaspoon – Buy Nothing New | Niseko – Mori

Again it was another day of walking and hitching as the feet try to get themselves right for a walk only policy for once I reach Honshu Island!

Teaspoons of Change Day 10: Walk and hitch again… Niseko Hirafu to Konbu walk and hitch to Mori Date:  Wed 3 Sept

Place:  Mori, Hokkaido

Distance: 16.7km   Total: 273.9km

Time (moving): 2.47” (+160m elevation)

Teaspoon of Change of the Day:  Buy Nothing Day / Buy Nothing New Month
A few Extra Teaspoons:

  • Following on pretty closely from yesterday’s Teaspoon of Change is a great campaign called Buy Nothing New Month in October each year add link here
  • The idea of buy nothing new month is that almost everything can be made, reused, shared, bought secondhand or not needed
  • Look at the buy nothing new month website but essentially it is a month where, other than essentials, you don’t buy anything new
  • I heard about for the first time last year and did it while living in Uganda – which was cheating a bit as I could learn from the people there very easily how to repurpose and learn to live without. My challenge was breaking my sunglasses on the 4th of the month and repairing them continuously till the end of the month by which time I had learnt to fix them almost perfectly and used them for the next 6 months before they got proper smashed…
  • There is a much deeper meaning and mindset behind buy nothing new month – it creates a lot of community, sharing, viable alternatives to new and mass produced and is relatively easy to do once you take your mindset out of instant replacement and easy come easy go
  • Another great campaign that has been going for a long time is Buy Nothing Day which is usually 29 Nov and where the campaign asks people to buy nothing on this day and see what it does to your mind and habits – it is a very interesting day…
  • If I really want to get on my anti-consumerism bandwagon I would suggest looking at ideas and websites like culture jamming – sticking a finger to big advertisers, ad-busters (awesome), downshifting, the book No Logo and a bunch more propaganda (that I love) if you wish…

Add your Own Teaspoons… 

Japan Appreciation Piece: Consumerism is a weird thing here. Some love it and breathe it and others are pretty good about not accumulating much stuff as most people can’t because they live in small houses with small storage space… 今日のティースプーンズ・オブ・チェンジ  ― 日本語で: 何も買ってない日と何も新しい物買ってない月!新しい物のいがいがなまらいいですよ!
Photo of the Day:

Remember sharp curve and Run Attention!

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Mt Yotei Zan!

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Brief Summary of the Day:

A slower start to the day as I had an application to fill out on the possibility of joining WHO for the ebola breakout in west Africa – see what happens…

It was a beautiful and relaxing walk from Hirafu to route 5 15km away. Also lovely was to catch up with a former student at the adult language school I used to teach at in Canada. Tomoko has an exciting year ahead opening an izakaya to complement her wonderful tiny homely Thai restaurant, Tuk Tuk in Hirafu!

As always the walking is the easy part and from there it was a number of different hitches to get towards the goal for the day which was the town Mori, where I was to spend the night at a JET’s home.

The hitches were fun and interesting but the waiting boring and frustrating but that is the nature of the hitching game…

In the end I made it to Mori at 5.55pm as my expected ETA was 6pm!

A very pleasant evening with Dori and JET friend and a review of plans, weather forecasts and maps.

Question to Ponder: Could you live without buying new stuff (minus essentials) for a month?
Discussion Topic: What habits would form if you couldn’t just buy new stuff? How would this impact on people and planet? Is it better to feed into the system of unsustainable exponential economic growth or what are the real alternatives? Does buying less have to lessen your quality of life?
Random Thought of the Day: Hitchhiking sucks when no one picks you up because you can do much while waiting like eating, reading or writing. I prefer to walk and hitch but it doesn’t seem to work very well in Japan – not sure why… Compulsory picking up hitch hikers would be awesome!
Music for the day: None but wanted some for the long hitching waits…

Podcast of the day: Two great podcasts here: one from the ABC conversation hour with the founder of Buy Nothing New Month and a great green thinker from the UK add link here and a recent podcast from the Story of Stuff on sharing (which will be a Teaspoon of Change in itself)

Buy Nothing New Month Link: http://www.buynothingnew.com.au/

Conversation Hour Podcast: http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/local/melbourne/faineconversations/201310/r1182690_15137594.mp3

Story of Stuff Podcast: http://storyofstuff.org/podcasts/sharing-part-two-start-sharing/

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Teaspoon – Money Free Day | Sapporo – Niseko

The trip was on a bit of a new track with the combination of walking and hitching but the statistics only capture the walking!!! 

Teaspoons of Change Day 09: Walk and hitch – walk Sapporo to outskirts and hitched to Niseko Date:  2 Sept

Place:  Niseko

Distance: 22.0km  

Total: 257.2km

Time (moving):   3.45” (+277m elevation)

Teaspoon of Change of the Day:  Money Free Day or devaluing the value of money
A few Extra Teaspoons:

  • I am fortunate that money is not the first priority in my life – this is partly due to circumstance, partly due to choice and partly due to practise. I think when most people live with less money or even no money (by choice) the world benefits
  • Less money and wanting less money usually means less stuff
  • When we have just enough and that becomes plenty then what more do we need with more money
  • Most will think money is security but money is not a real thing and if the world changes rapidly tomorrow money will of irrelevance – personally my security is in knowing how to do things, knowing people, communities and sharing with others
  • Money is not evil it is how it is used that can have negative impacts on people and planet – more stuff, less money for others and either greater environmental degradation or greater human inequality is when money is not good for people and the planet
  • Giving money is a good Teaspoons of Change but more importantly is how that money was made to give in the first place. If we make money through exploitation on people or the planet and then give it all away we are still at net 0 which is ok but the point of Teaspoons of Change is to aim for maximum help and minimum harm – so how do we make money while helping the planet and people (with as little harm as possible) and then give money to help others – a double bonus, think not-for-profit and social entrepreneurship
  • Having lower expectations of money and its role in life allows for more dreams, more time and usually more happiness – each year I get to think about what my dreams are for the year and then act upon them – money is rarely a factor is I know how to live simply and happily – http://happysimply.wordpress.com
  • A couple of great resources for you on moneyless lifestyles and thinking:

Add your Own Teaspoons… 

Japan Appreciation Piece: The Japanese people and culture are great at living life without money in some respects. They love festivals, occasions, dancing, creative arts, martial arts, catching up with people, gardening, care and maintenance of things – bonsai trees etc… All aren’t dependent on money (but often do involve money of course). Pachinko is the exception! 今日のティースプーンズ・オブ・チェンジ  ― 日本語で: お金は一番大事なことではない。。。もとつくないお金があったらふつに人と地球に援助な影響があります。
Photo of the Day:

Leaving the streets of Sapporo (again)

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Brief Summary of the Day:

Another departure from Sapporo just a week after I had departed thinking I wouldn’t return!

Once again it was a 18-20km walk through the city to reach the outskirts of town to get a hitch towards Niseko where an old student of mine runs a great little Thai restaurant called Tuk Tuk.

My hitch from the edge of town took a little wait of around 15 minutes or so but I was then picked up by a couple with their two small children who were on their way to Niseko!

A typical lovely ride with people to get to know them, swap some stories and culture and make use of the space that exists in most car journeys.

I was delivered to the door at Tuk Tuk – with incredible Japanese hitching service. I caught up with Tomoko but she had a bunch of stuff to do as well as myself resorting out my trip since losing time due to blisters…

A very pleasant evening sat around the counter of Tuk Tuk having chats with clientele, Tomoko and her partner. I even went to sleep in a bed – the first bed I slept in since arriving in Japan a few weeks ago!

Question to Ponder: What does life look like when you take money out of the equation…?
Discussion Topic: Can you live with no or less money – what effect would it have on your time, habits, activities and relationships with people? Would you do Money Free Day
Random Thought of the Day: I think I only realised for the first time today that people sometimes make profit not for greed and making a stack of cash but maybe for keeping a safety net if their job or business fails… I had never thought of that before. So this makes social enterprises and not-for-profit even more impressive…
Music for the day: None, all happened too quickly!

Podcast of the day: Moneyless Man podcast – a must listen! http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/radio-documentary-moneyless-mark-boyle-freeconomy.html

 

Map of the day: no time…

 

 

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Teaspoon – Join Forces and Movements | Horobetsu – Noboribetsu

Sorry have been doing a lot of walking and not a lot of interneting so you will have to just get blogs as they are served… This one is from a week ago but just going to air now. Be sure to check the global day of action for climate change with AVAAZ on Sept 21! Currently going strong! 

Teaspoons of Change Day 07: Horobetsu – Noboribetsu Onsen and the Hell Festival (finding the onsen after walking to the wrong one)!

Date:  30 Aug

Place:  Noboribetsu Onsen

Distance: 21.7km  

Total: 206.7km

Time (moving):   4.05” (+673m elevation)

Teaspoon of Change of the Day:  Join the force that is the movement to see a better world for people and the planet

A few Extra Teaspoons:

  • There are plenty of great people and organisation out there doing great things. They feed on the 5 seconds, 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 lifetimes you can give to them. By giving I don’t always mean money – sometimes they need you voice, your ideas, your opinions, your skills or your heart
  • The little teaspoons of time, effort, heart and mind we can give to these organisations and people go a long way
  • Example: I helped run a political and public awareness campaign across Canada in 2012. Because I had support from just a few 1000 people and a few 100 more wrote to their government I was able to not only meet with the Foreign Minister but organise meetings and photo opportunities with the Minister and Bill Gates, the Pakistan and Afghan Presidents and more… I was just another teaspoon of many from Rotary, Gates Foundation and more that eventually tipped the scales for $240m to be used for the global eradication of polio – every step is just a teaspoon at a time – there are loads more examples
  • I am hesitant to tell people who to support as I think it should be based on your own interests and passion and starting to find more about the topics and issues you care about but… here are a couple
  • My favourite is AVAAZ – 38 million people from around the world who care about global, local, social, environmental and other forms of justice for people and the planet – with this many members worldwide AVAAZ can strategically take a seat at pretty much any table to talk about the well-being of people and the planet Join here – http://www.avaaz.org/en/
  • From my old stamping ground and an organisation that I will say I am always a member of is the Global Poverty Project their bent is to see extreme poverty eradicated by 2030. I have absolute conviction it is possible but it needs Global Citizen to make it happen – join here http://www.globalcitizen.org have largely in each country there is a citizen’s power type org you can support and learn from Get Up (Australia), Fair Agenda (gender equality and justice Australia), Action Station (Aotearoa New Zealand), Story of Stuff (Canada and globally) and many many more…
  • Do you simple research on the topics you care about and I can guarantee you there are great people doing great things to make the world a better place for people and the planet
  • I take pride in trying to know as many wonderful people doing wonderful things so if you searches come up dry send me an email and I can point you in the right direction
  • Plus you might like to share the Teaspoons of Change concept with other so they can have a gander at small but important and effective teaspoons of choice and action that has a positive impact on people and the planet!

Add your Own Teaspoons… 

Japan Appreciation Piece: FESTIVALS!!! The Japanese do festivals so well… So many, so diverse, so much fun. I love them – seasonally, spiritual or just an excuse to get dressed up, eat certain foods, hang out with people and usually have a drink! One of my fav pieces of Japan are the festivals!

今日のティースプーンズ・オブ・チェンジ  ― 日本語で: 何でもの問題ですばらしい人とそしきがあるよ!トピックあなたが気にある援助な影響手伝えられますよ。例えば:AVAAZ JICA Red Cross ともともと

Photo of the Day:

Happier to see I was a little more above the 6m I was at the day before for a tsunami…

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Some of the steaming vents and waters of Noboribetsu onsen

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The kids were getting a little scared with this one but this is the Hell Festival!

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Nothing better than a Japanese festival!

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Brief Summary of the Day:

Great to have shared some time and space with Mark the JET and English teacher of Horobetsu. I plugged in Noboribetsu Onsen into the google maps on my phone and set my course which looked like a lovely 15km walk through county roads to an onsen (natural hot springs).

Assuming that digital maps don’t lie I followed this lovely course 15km and 700m of elevation to a place that seemed to be called Kakaru Onsen and also seemed to be not having a Devil/Hell festival and didn’t seem but actually was another 15km from the actual Noborbetsu onsen and Hell Festival. Luckily someone overheard my conversation about me asking if I was at Noboribetsu onsen and the swearing under my breath and they picked me up as I walked towards the other onsen. If my feet were up for the challenge it wouldn’t have worried me so much but my feet are still in the knives being shoved into them kind of feeling with each step so I happily took the lift.

At the real Noboribetsu onsen I took an onsen to relax mind, body and soul (and mainly feet!) and then took a bit of a stroll around the amazing hot pools and fire breathing ground.

It was also the aannual Hell Festival of Noboribetsu and so I joined in the festivities with my mate from Shiraoi and a bunch of other JETs from all over Hokkaido.

Great parade, dancing, costumes and brilliant atmosphere of festival!

The night finished around a campfire with a little juice box sized sake and banter – happy dreams…

Question to Ponder: Do you have an interest or passion in a topic or issue? Do you support a cause/topic/issue? Who? How? How do you want to do more? Is knowing about a topic enough to make a difference? Is the world getting better or worse (watch out that is a big one…J)? The power of people – bullshite or good shite? 

Discussion Topic: Do I have the power to make positive change?

Random Thought of the Day: If Australia was to take on festivals what kind of festivals could we scheme up beyond sport and getting drunk…

Music for the day: Just the sounds of nature to take me up the hill and through the forests – beautiful natural scenery and sounds

Podcast of the day: Actually I did get in a 15 minute episode of Sam Simmons for some stupidity/hilarity…

Voice recording of the day: don’t know how to add it to blog

Map of the day: https://goo.gl/maps/WSGWr

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Teaspoon – Fridgeless | Muroran – Horobetsu

Not a day of walking highlights as it was mainly along a busy commercial road but some good opportunities to think of Teaspoons of Change! Also allowing my feet to try and heel a bit…

Teaspoons of Change Day 06: Higashi Muroran – Horobetsu Date:  29 Aug

Place:  Horobetsu

Distance: 12.7km

Total: 185.0km

Time (moving):  2.18”

Teaspoon of Change of the Day: Frigid Fridge Users (and vending machines) – living life without a fridge…?
A few Extra Teaspoons:

  • Do we ACTUALLY need a fridge or in the least a large fridge or tow fridges? Humans lived a long time without fridges and most of the world still doesn’t have a fridge.
  • I do see a need for a fridge beyond a want but a fridge is an absolute luxury not a necessity in the big picture of things
  • A significant Teaspoons of Change in regards to fridges would be not having one. A big but slightly smaller step would be having a very small one that is used as needed and a small step would be moving to just a small simple fridge
  • The biggest mental barrier to needing and using a fridge is always having had one and having your habits fit around the use of a fridge
  • I’ve luckily lived in places and countries where most people don’t have fridges so food is bought, consumed and leftovers soon eaten or given to animals or composted and it is honestly that simple
  • I have two small self-sufficient homes called Happy, simply (http://happysimply.wordpress.com) and they both have fridges but the fridge is an esky (cooler/chilly bin) dug into the cool earth under shade and with a bunch of insulating properties. They primarily to give a little extra shelf life to anything but not to preserve and have on hand everything all the time. I believe it makes me eat better, form better shopping habits and keeps my interaction with my community through the market or local food seller’s closer…
  • Some things are easily switched from fridge needed to longer-life or from bulk to where just enough is plenty – plus you will save the money you spend on keeping a fridge on buying things a few cents more expensive in smaller quantities or if you buy from markets it is usually costed in weight regardless of size!
  • I read an article the other day that said the average western family sized fridge (normal size) uses the same amount of electricity in one year as the average Ethiopian would use in one year. When I walk through Japan and see 100’s of refrigerated vending machines it has me thinking about all that electricity and the waste behind it
  • A couple of good teaspoons: don’t buy from cooled vending machines – they are a huge waste of electricity and an unnecessary convenience and if people stop buying from them people won’t make money on them and they will stop stocking and producing them – better for the planet!
  • The extra beer and meat fridge is a huge example of over consumption for the use that it gets. Have less drinks or cool drinks a few hours before you are going to drink them rather than have them cool 24 hours a day for the once a week or once in a blue moon you need a bounty of cold drinks and in that case get an esky and ice…
  • If you are worried about food waste then adapt your shopping habits plus you will be surprised what doesn’t need to be in a fridge
  • No fridge is a great way to also discipline yourself in not buying stuff that will not be used fully or quickly and minimise waste incidentally
  • The first few weeks of no fridge is a little shock to the system but it soon becomes the norm and as someone who likes a Friday evening beer – cool to room temperature beer is fine once you get used to that as well… Living in Uganda last year most people choose to drink their beer room temp as that is the norm and the family I lived with used to have a fridge but saw it a waste of electricity and money when they just eat everything they have…
  • Fridge free is a good way to be!

Add your Own Teaspoons… 

Japan Appreciation Piece: This is a country that is clean! Sometime too clean for its own good as there is a slight unnatural fear or feeling of things being dirty. It is a nice sense of pride that Japan has on things being clean! 今日のティースプーンズ・オブ・チェンジ  ― 日本語で: れいぞうこがいりますか?なかったら大きい援助影響あります!やってみて?!
Photo of the Day:

The wonderful contrast of Japan – manicured trees and a coke vending machine…20140829_144243 (787x1024)

 

 

I also discovered Japan has a bunch of tiny houses – of course! I found a place that makes them and has them out the front for sale – this one will set you back $8000 not bad!20140829_145048 (1024x1006)

 

 

 

The other discovery I had for the day were the tsunami level signs and at 6m it have to be a small tsunami to survive it…

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Brief Summary of the Day: Again a slight sad day as I was not steaming full-steam ahead towards Nagoya as I would have wanted as the stabbing pain from acute blisters had me alter my course from the 30km to the next town south to 12km to the next town north heading back from where I had come… It meant I could go for a shorter walk, meet with a JET English teacher and test the feet on a shorter walk.

I said a farewell to my lovely hosts in Muroran – Ivan and Mao as they went to work and I stayed behind to do some more work before leaving around noon.

Not an amazing day of walking as my path was on a busy road mainly filled with strip malls and shops as far as the eye could see and the legs could walk. I did pop out at the busy ocean highway for a few kms – not that I could see the sea from the highway more that I knew I was near it!

I rolled into Horobetsu and worked a while before catching up with Mark the local primary school English teacher and fellow Aussie.

The highlight of the day and possibly my lifetime was singing a Spice Girls song with Mark still sober and getting applause for our rendition of Wanna!

Question to Ponder: What would my life look like without a fridge? How does knowing your fridge use the same amount of electricity as the average Ethiopian make you feel? What are the small steps towards possibly becoming fridge free… 
Discussion Topic: Would / could / should we live without fridges?

Also check out a great blog from a great source of information and inspiration I draw upon – The Simplicity Collective and their blog on living fridge free: http://simplicitycollective.com/living-without-a-fridge

Random Thought of the Day: Why or how does a country have millions of vending machines but another country have millions without access to electricity…
Music for the day: None… too fast and was enjoying walking and thinking Podcast of the day: None but check out The Simplicity Collective blog – continuously!

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Teaspoon – its empty :( | Forced Rest Days due to blisters

Sorry folks just a few stats for today as the days after Shiraoi were spent healing blisters… It was also a couple of nice days in Muroran with Ivan and Mao, my lovely hosts there!

 

Teaspoons of Change Walk Rest Day: Higashi Muroran.

Date:  28 Aug

Place:  Muroran, Hokkaido

Distance: 10.6km  Total: 172.3km

Time (moving): 2.07”

 

Teaspoons of Change Day 05: Shiraoi – Higashi Muroran. Sadly only a little walking, some hitching and some limping…

Date:  27 Aug 2014

Place:  Muroran, Hokkaido

Distance: 8.1km   Total: 161.7km

Time (moving):   1.45”

More Teaspoons of Change tomorrow… 🙂 Until then enjoy horrible pictures of blisters…

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Teaspoon – BYO | Day 04 Shikotsuko – Shiraoi

Unfortunately the big day of walking from the previous day seemed to have caused havok on my feet but luckily I got about 30km along on this day before the crippling effect of the blisters hit… Was a beautiful day of mostly off-road walking with wonderful surroundings to think of various Teaspoons of Change!

Teaspoons of Change Day 04:

Shikotsuko – Shiraoi. Mostly off-road walking but the blisters in full crippling effect!

Date:  26 Aug 2014

Place:  Shiraoi, Hokkaido

Distance: 41.8km  

Total: 153.6km

Time (moving):   7.08”

Teaspoon of Change of the Day:  BYO (E) – Bring Your Own (Everything) – anything only used once is probably not a good thing
A few Extra Teaspoons:

  • The possible exception to this Teaspoon of Change is (except maybe toilet paper and condoms)
  • If you know you are using something that is only going to be used once then there is probably a good alternative – think about that alternative and turn the alternative into the habit
  • A few examples – take your own plastic bags or eco-bags, in Japan I always carry my-hashi (my own chopsticks instead of the wooden throwaway ones), when getting take away food take your own reusable container, cups for coffee/drinks, plate and utensils to a BBQ (go on be the weird one who does that – until it becomes normal and cool and you were the pioneer) + many more…

Add your Own Teaspoons… 

Japan Appreciation Piece: The incredible lava flow thingies that I walked passed on the lower side of the Tarumaezan volcano. Huge and directed to flow lava from an eruption to the sea not the cities… Wow! 今日のティースプーンズ・オブ・チェンジ  ― 日本語で: 自分の物持って行って - マイはし、エコバッグ、コーヒーカップ、何でも!
Photo of the Day:

These are the lava flow thingies…

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Brief Summary of the Day:

A very early start as the sun rises at 4.30am here in Hokkaido and it is now nearing the end of summer! Plus I also know the Japanese are generally early risers and would spy my tent and sneaky sleeping spot so best to be up at least with them!

A beautiful day and warm from the morning but luckily the first 25km was along shaded forest roads without another human or car to be seen – lovely, although I did need to make frequent shouts to try and keep the bears away!

By the time I had been through the forest, past the lava flow thingies and down the road a bit I was at the Japan sea. Wonderful to see the sea but not so wonderful to see the quality of beach and rubbish on it.

My first break for the day though was in the forest looking directly at the ticking timebomb that is the active volcano of Tarumaesan. The next break a few hours later was on the grey beach where I put my blistered feet into the ocean hoping it would help.

Unfortunately the walk became a bit of a battle against the blisters but I managed to keep moving making sure I didn’t stop to reach my friend’s place in Shiraoi in very good time before 3pm.

I slumped down in pain, managed to wash a few items of clothing and myself (in cold water of course) and almost passed out in pain on the futon mattress on the ground prepared for me. I would have slept but the throbbing and piercing agony from my feet wouldn’t let me sleep.

However it was all mostly forgotten when I caught with my old mate who was teaching in Japan when I was last time and is now teaching in Japan again for the past few years. A great catch up playing the what did you do game for the past 12 years each.

A brilliant dinner of a huge sandwich on the waterfront barrio overlooking the sea. I then got a few foot management supplied and hobbled to bed.

Question to Ponder: Where can I BYO? What do I need to BYO? When are the times I forget to BYO? How can I avoid those BYO forgets…? 
Discussion Topic: BYO – the challenges, the logistics and the benefits – don’t get guilty, get organised and feel good when you do remember to BYO
Random Thought of the Day: How religious are the people in Japan? I have no idea and what relationship Japanese people have with religion… I think I like their approach in that they make religion work for them not vice-versa maybe hence they are born Shinto, married Christian and die Buddhist…

 

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