Sunday, April 5, 2009
Time to blog!
Des Moines, Iowa, USA
It has been quite a while since I started this blog - with great intent to share information on my travels and life. Well, as per usual, things piled up and i just did not have the time or energy or motivation to get back to it. I have traveled to a bunch of new and exciting destinations since I wrote the initial entries and am bursting to impart the highlights. I quite often send long-winded emails to disparate sets of friends and colleagues and family about my trips and adventures. However, for many reasons I still think providing this information vis-à-vis the blog site of the Travels and Tales of the Chinese Buffalo would be a wicked cool idea! So, let the blog begin (sort of like the start of the great Italiano horse race - Palio di Siena). Speaking of Siena, I visited this absolutely and incredibly beautiful Tuscan city a year ago and will remember it as one of the most lovely places on earth -- Viva Italia!
I am now employed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and am deployed working on flood damaged sites in the Midwest (Iowa) -- AND I LOVE IT!!!!
I have traveled widely throughout this most interesting and beautiful state and intend to share some of these experiences with the blogosphere. I am going to make a point of posting on a regular basis and I do hope that some find it interesting. I have long ago found it important to treat every day as something special and to enjoy and appreciate where you are at at any given moment. I also try to reflect on the events in life that got me to the place where I am and to frame them from both a narrow perspective and that of a much broader picture that is my life.
The photo shown above is a marvelous Hindu Temple under construction a short distance northwest of Des Moines (where I currently reside). My job takes me into the field quite a bit to evaluate the archaeological potential of flood damaged properties across the state. I was driving with a FEMA colleague (architectural historian) and good mate of mine from Laos (Tai Dom) and alternatively chit-chatting about SE Asia and prehistoric Iowanian archaeological sites when we crossed the mighty Des Moines River, rose up a steep hill talking about how the area is a great location for Native American habitation when this large temple came into view (surrounded on all sides by cornfields). We stopped and investigated and took pictures. My thoughts immediately went to the interesting temples I visited in Southeast Asia and the Indian communities I have seen in Great Britain and Ireland and then got stuck on the fact that I have not yet visited Mother India -- an issue that will soon be rectified!
I have experienced another interesting part of the East Indian immigrant population in Iowa early on in my stay hereabouts - visiting the Maharishi Vedic Organic Agricultural Institute in Fairfield, (southeast) Iowa. I hope to find and post some of the images and notes I took of the Maharishi University during a cold Sunday in February - very amazing and worth a trip!