New terrain means coping with new pollens

Monday, 4PM, El Viajero hostel, Cali

Spent most of yesterday juggling files from computer  and new camera to new 1tb hard drive.  By the time I was finished, six hours had passed. At least I had had the benefit of the pleasant sights and sounds around and in front of me.

When I wrapped up all my clumsy gear;  charging cords, computer, card reader device,  usb cords for hard drive and for card reader device, I was tired.  I had emptied a 16gb sd card onto the hard drive. On the computer it indicates that there is 14gb available empty space on the card. When I installed the card into the camera I was not pleased to see that there were still vids on the card and that it seemed like there was not nearly 14gb of empty space. I don’t get it. Do I have to ‘reformat’ the card or something?  Did I screw up something by deleting ’empty folders’? Should I have just emptied the files, not the folders? Mystery to me.

The weather turned  a little last night. It got overcast and sprinkled a little. It is normal for there to be afternoon showers here, followed by clearing. The temperatures range from 80 something to 50 something in fahrenheit.

A few minutes from the door to the hostel is a shop that vends a few food items.  Last night, I opted for a couple of arepas.  These are like a cross between a burrito and taco, but deep fried on the outside for flavor. Inside the pocket is beef or chicken or egg depending on your choice. I got the beef.  I always put a little picante sauce on items like this. Very tasty. Very filling. At a buck and a half apiece they are a bargain.

Laid my body down on my lower berth bunk about 10PM. Began to notice that my breathing was not optimal. I had asthmatic symptoms. I had noticed in previous journeys to Central and South America that I am subject to these occasional attacks. I had an inhaler. The medicine is called either ventolin or salbutol.  The inhaler I had was unfortunately empty.

Laid on my bed panting for air and did my best to not disturb my fellow roomies.  Got up every hour on the hour all night long. Did not get any real sleep. Rest, yes, sleep, no. About 8 AM, I walked about a block away to a pharmacy. Learned later that it is open 23 hours every day (closed from 7 to 8 AM).  Immediately put the inhaler to work, right in the pharmacy after paying for it.

As a child I got asthma regularly.  Am told I almost died at age 2 from it. Was placed in an ‘iron lung’.  I remember suffering greatly around ages 8 to 14. Then the symptoms seemed to get less and less. Living in NH for 34 years I can not recall ever having to use an inhaler.

My anecdotal report is that my body has not adapted to the new pollens to which it is now being exposed. My hope is that I will continue to adapt. One thing is for sure. I will now make sure that I have an inhaler that is not empty or nearly so.

Met a motorcyclist traveling from Ushuaia (tip of S. America) enroute to Alaska.  He’s from Barcelona and plans to bike the world before he’s done. He’s riding a Yamaha 650 dual sport, decked out with all the goodies. He’s even got heated hand grips. Boy, I could have used those a few times on my previous jaunt. I offered a few tips as he is heading North. Biker etiquette is to just tell of your experiences and leave it at that. He’s going to have HIS journey, just like I had MY journey.

That’s how it is with all of us.

Travelers (Viajeros in Spanish) and long journey motorcyclists notice that we are consciously exposing ourselves to new things all the time. That’s the whole point. We learn more about different terrains, different foods, different music, different emphases from different localities. We also learn a lot about ourselves.  That may be even more important.

What may be closer to an accurate description is that all humans are immigrants. All humans migrated from one place to another from our very origins. We continue that process to this very day.

If we think of the image of earth from space, we cannot detect any single human being. (I know that technologies now exist that makes that possible). The image I am talking about is the ‘big picture’.  The blue ball with the cloud cover scattered here and there.  No borders. One earth.

If we click to a closer magnitude we see less of the ‘whole’ and we begin to see ‘parts’ of the whole.

What I like to contemplate is that humans are only one ‘part’ of the ‘whole’. We exist as individual parts in a field of ‘wholeness’.  When I contemplate this, I contemplate the idea of no separation. In those terms, I, my individual self, is an integral part of the whole.

We are all part of an ever changing series of events.  What I am composed of came from this background unfolding of processes and can never be truly ‘separate’.

We are ‘one thing’.  Perhaps more telling is that we are ‘one process’… unfolding simultaneously.    We are part of a mysterious ‘whole’ and perhaps it is ever so.

Till next time, dudes and dudettes