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Stranger in a Strange Land Newsletter: July 2009

Stranger in a Strange Land Newsletter: July 2009

(This is the newsletter I’ve written since 2002 when I started travelling the world. All of them are archived on my site now: www.eligerzon.com/newsletters.php. Soon my blog will be directly connected to my site and I’ll post the newsletters there as well as e-mailing them. To receive them by e-mail subscribe here. I hope you enjoy them!)

Worldschool Japan, new skin, and Tweet your light

Dearest Readers,
I’m leading a trip to Japan this November with five unschoolers from around the country! Worldschool Travels! I’ve gotten the deposits and bought the plane tickets: LA-Tokyo round trip.

The age range is the same as last time: 15-20 years old. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun, see many beautiful things, and eat some yummy food too! Oishii! Each of us may come back somewhat changed having grown and learned some new things. Each person may be challenged in different ways but:

“The universe never gives us more than we can handle. A lot of time it feels like it does! But it doesn’t.” This is what Ricardo Sierra, director of Hawk Circle (www.hawkcircle.com) wilderness education school, said to a group of us before each of us went on a solo vision quest for 48 hours in 2001.

(I wrote about that experience in my first speech “On the Importance of Whole Soul Safety or The Real Reason to Rise-Out of School”)

And I’ve been reminding myself of that quote recently!

Last year, I wrote a newsletter about another vision I had while in a sweat lodge in Mexico of a bird, a phoenix even, coming half way out of its shell: it was already half way there, so no matter how it moved it was going to break that shell and come out; even if part of it wanted to go back in!

(You can read that whole newsletter here.)

These days I feel like I am out of that shell. Sometimes I feel irritated for seemingly no reason: I think I’m still getting comfortable in my new skin! Every once in awhile I’ll think, “Who is this Eli Gerzon guy?”

I’ve been writing a lot for my blog and many new people are reading and commenting on it and I’ve been using Twitter and Facebook. It’s very exciting and satisfying because you can see all these people “friending” you, “following” you, visiting your site, reposting your stuff, etc. It’s fun and it’s easy to get a little obsessed!

Many people get annoyed with this new technology and I can too, but ultimately I think it can be a great tool.

The challenge is to use the tools to share with as many people as possible and yet remember it is about shining your light. Regardless of how many people visit your site what matters is how many people really read it and take it in. And that’s going to always be a mystery: I don’t think you can know that.

It can be significant when you see lots of people view a certain post, especially if people link to it and suggest it to others. And it can be very significant when you get feedback: that’s always kept me going with this newsletter.

When people write back to me after I send out a newsletter I always let out a sigh of relief: I usually open up a part of my heart in my writing and never know if it’s something that will connect with someone else’s heart.

But what’s really amazing is when I haven’t heard from someone in a couple years, or ever, and they contact me letting me know my writing has meant something to them. I realize I had no idea it was affecting them all that time and so there may be others out there who I haven’t heard from, or will never hear from, who benefit from what I write.

In the end, that’s what it’s about: you share your light and accept that the acknowledgement and knowledge of what you have done, may not come to you in the time or manner you’d like.

But nevertheless, if you really try to shine your light, you’ve already done it, and the universe appreciates it and gets brighter because of it.

With all that said here are some of my recent blog posts I do hope you enjoy them!:

John Steinbeck Quotes – Travels With Charley: In Search of America – Great quotes from a Steinbeck book I read while travelling around Central America this spring and often mirrored my own journey.

My Unschooling and Trust Journey – I talk about the difficult times when I left school to unschool and how I’ve really learned to trust myself.

Unschooling and Trust
– This is an explanation of the real philosophy behind unschooling: trusting people with freedom. Seems to be one of my most popular posts.

Unschooler Peter Kowalke Interview about college
– I posted this on my site before but now I added photos and an unschooler has already left a very interesting comment about her experience with college as well.

Links to successful unschoolers – Links to blogs and sites of successful grown unschoolers: please add more you know in the comments sections as many already have! I find it inspiring myself.

Ten tips for learning languages – Some tips for learning languages i.e. Tip #3 Have fun!, #10 BE the Language.

I talked about how magical it is to hear from people a few years down the line but I really do love to here from people now especially through comments so others can join in!

I also added some new stuff my page clearly explaining homeschooling, unschooling, and worldschooling.

And feel free to friend me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/worldschooler

And follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/worldschooler

In the world of… reality, I’m also speaking at the Northeast Unschooling Conference at the end of August, even if I was slow sending in my bio and there’s only my name and photo on the site!: www.northeastunschoolingconference.com

May you effectivley use your Tweets and blog posts to shine your light on the world dear readers!

All the best,
Eli

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Filed under growth, Stranger in a Strange Land Newsletters, travel stories, Worldschool Travels

First week in Honduras: San Pedro Sula, Tela, and Utila

It’s been over a week since I last posted and since I’ve been in Honduras. I was in Copan for one night to see the ruins in 2006 but otherwise this was my first real time here. I was in San Pedro Sula for one night and Tela on the Caribbean coast for about a week. Right now I’m writing from Utila, the smallest of the three main Bay Islands that include Roatan and Guanaja off the coast of Honduras.

Utila is known for being the best place in the world to learn scuba diving and to swim with whale sharks. So I’m not sure what I’m doing here! Maybe I’ll take a course and do it or I might just snorkel around the reefs. Right now I’m just using it as a relaxing cheap place to chill, write, and collect my thoughts.

I’m still trying to figure-out how to use this blog. It’s a new medium with advantages and disadvantages and I’m trying to find my voice. How much detail do I go into about my time in San Pedro Sula or Tela?

Should I talk about how the food is surprisingly good? How the tortillas in northern Honduras are usually made from wheat and cooked in a way that makes them taste more like delicious nan from India? They’re called baleadas but should I talk more about the cheap ones you buy on the street like the ones I’ve been living off of in Utila that include just beans, cheese, and maybe some onions?

But I have to mention the one I had at a restaurant in the Guamilito Market in San Pedro Sula where you could add all sorts of things like meat and cream and how in my baleada I had a sweet fried plantain with some cream on the side and delicious steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and some beets.

Baleadas with broccoli, cauliflower, beets, cream and sweet fried plantain at Guamalito Market in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Baleadas with broccoli, cauliflower, beets, cream and sweet fried plantain at Guamalito Market in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

I’d like to mention two people I’d normally avoid but enjoyed talking to while eating that baleada: a somewhat incoherent old man and then an Evangelical preacher. The preacher used such familiar terms that it was very easy to understand his Spanish. About all I understood from the old man was that he used to build houses with concrete blocks and he was impressed when I said I was a landscaper/gardener.

In that back area of the mostly touristy market there were also many women making (corn) tortillas and other little shops for locals.

Making tortillas at the back of the Guamilito Market in San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Making tortillas at the back of the Guamilito Market in San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Visiting local markets is always one of my favorite parts of travelling and San Pedro Sula was no exception.

The very American "City Mall" in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The "very American" City Mall in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

At the same time I really enjoyed staying in my own room with Wi-Fi at Los Molinos B&B (contact them at  in a safe, clean, rich suburban neighborhood of San Pedro Sula down the street from the very American “City Mall”.

Well, there’s a lot more to mention from Tela and Utila but I’ll save it for the next posts!

And to stay at Los Molinos B&B in San Pedro Sula contact them here (in Spanish or English): losmolinos_sps@yahoo.com.

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