Best Words To Describe Travel

Image

Best Words To Describe Travel

“Don’t gobblefunk around with words.”Roald Dahl

Go

Explore 

Journey

Dream

Reflection

Away

Freedom

Destination

Roam

Discover

Relax

Adventure

Escape

Wander

Live

Here

 

Japan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Italy, Holland, Turkey, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Jordan, Cuba, South Africa, Brazil,  Australia, Mexico, Argentina.

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Advertisements

Working On My Bucket List

Image

 Working On My Bucket List

 “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a plane ticket.” unknown

Truthfully, anywhere in the world that I have not been before is a bucket list place for me. Life is short and we have to remember to live it to the fullest. Sometimes I visit places that should have been on my list but I did not know till I got there. Most of them come from books I have read throughout my life. I want to experience a place in the way an author has. My list makes me stop and think of what I want to experience in this lifetime. Having a bucket list gives you hope. There are places on the list I may never go to but the goal of a bucket list is to never finish it. The best lists are constantly changing. So, start writing.

Machu Picchu, Peru 

Moia, Easter Island, Chile

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain  – soon

Camino De Santiago, Basque region, France and Spain – soon

Canary Islands, Spain

Faroe Islands

Grand Canyon, USA

Angor Wat, Siem Reap,  Cambodia

Ferry from Gibraltar to Morocco (which i think doesn’t go anymore) 

Auschwitz, Poland

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Pizza in Sicily and Naples, Italy

The Algarve in Portugal

Church of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Greenland

Punta Del Este,Uruguay

Bahia, Brazil

Medellin, Colombia

Ushuaia, Argentina

Tigers Nest Temple, Bhutan

Taj Mahal, India

Terracotta Army, Xian, China

Faukland Islands

Boulder Beach, Capetown, South Africa

Gorillas, Rwanda

Viet Nam

Borneo

Sri Lanka,

Nepal.

Ethiopia

Fly safe.

JAZ

 

Ten Of The Most Corrupt Countries In The World

Ten Of The Most Corrupt Countries In The World

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. “Friedrich Nietzsche  

Transparency International, an anticorruption agency monitors the relationship between politics and money around the world. Measuring corruption is difficult and subjective, but  the group compiled a Corruption Perceptions Index. The lowest ranked nations were all plagued by “conflict and war, poor governance, weak public institutions like police and the judiciary and a lack of independence in the media.”

Fair  and just government rule is an important  step in pulling a country out of the cycle of poverty. When the government is corrupt, natural resources are destroyed. The death toll rises when people have to bribe for inadequate health care,clean water or food.  The first step to putting an end to poverty is putting an end to government corruption.

Unfortunately, there are way more than ten countries – many being in Africa. I compiled the ten from a few different lists. 

1.Somalia in Eastern Africa heads almost all the lists as the world’s most corrupt country. It has been there for the last ten years. Corruption in Somalia takes the form of mass murder.  Three decades of war and droughts forced half of the population to be dependent on foreign food aid shipments which are controlled by the local warlords. Desperation turns ordinary citizens into pirates on the many Somalian pirate ships to feed their families. Bribery, voter intimidation and no way of keeping track of the number of voters, makes change in government difficult.

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-5-58-14-pm

2. Corruption in North Korea is a widespread and  a growing problem. It is hard to get the facts because it is the most totalitarian Communist regime left in the world.  North Koreans assume that any official in a position to take bribes will. Corruption is part of the fabric of daily life. Strict rules and serious punishments imposed by the regime, for example, against accessing foreign media  are commonly evaded by offering bribes to the police.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 8.22.11 PM

3. Afghanistan is always in the top four as one of the most corrupt countries. The casual disregard of legality is noticeable. Most of the money from international aid never filters down to the people who need it. There is no punishment for corruption.  The interior minister was also made a drug czar which was too much for the international community to handle. Britain pulled their funding. Drug trafficking and vote rigging  are  very visible.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 9.03.13 PM

4. Sudan is one of the worst nation’s in the world for human rights violations. Corruption exists in every section of the economy and every level of government. There is no freedom of the media so it is hard for the average person to get any information. Bribery is necessary for any  public services and in dealing with police. The UN is ineffective  in this country because of government intervention.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 8.15.38 PM

5. Corruption is at the root of the power struggle in South Sudan causing the continued violence. Government officials have built personal fortunes while their country suffers and starves. Both sides have been blamed for mass rape, massacres, denial of aid, sexual slavery, burning of food supplies and villages, killing civilians and the use of child soldiers.  Both sides, have been looting the country’s natural resources and using international aid to fund their militias to fight each other.  There is no accountability for the atrocities and looting of state resources, or for the famine that has resulted.South Sudan is the world’s newest country (2011) and the hope they had five years ago is dwindling.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 8.18.49 PM

6. Angola is a country rich in diamonds, oil and serious corruption. The president is a billionaire. Government workers are rich. Villagers live without health care, education and adequate food. Angola has the  highest child mortality rate in the world which is mostly preventable.   Corruption kills. The US and western oIl companies have a great relationship with Angola. If we do not condemn it, then we have a part in it.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 8.46.49 PM

7. Not much has changed since the revolution in Libya in terms of corruption and financial mismanagement. The systemic corruption is not limited to a few institutions but becoming normal in people’s lives. The bribe culture still flourishes. The oil based economy is a huge source of corruption with  very little filtering down to the people who need it.

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-38-43-pm

8.In post war Iraq a corrupt political class has pillaged the country’s money, forcing corruption at every level. The senior political leaders have taken most of it. Organized corruption syndicates run the country and militia. Plunging oil prices and the War against the Islamic State are putting Iraq’s dwindling finances in major jeopardy. Corruption exists because it is allowed to exist. Having being governed by a dictator for so long, the people don’t understand self governance.

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-6-57-33-pm

9. The Myanmar government has acknowledged the problem of widespread corruption. it will take time to have an impact on all the private sector and government corruption. Land ownership and the jade business are still run by military.  Multiple exchange rates and corruption are serious barriers to trade and investment in Myanmar. Nepotism, personal connections and bribery are more important than qualifications.  Myanmar is one of four major producers for opium and heroin. Money intended to help the  public is more often used for personal gain.

577375_592627760766502_1861736977_n

10. Corruption seems to go hand and hand with human rights violations and Venezuela is no exception. Government funds meant to serve the people are mismanaged, stolen or spent. Medicine and food meant for the poor are sold to other countries.Venezuela is an oil rich country and the fact that so many live in poverty without government aid is shameful. There is so much corruption and mismanagement from the government to the private sector that food and medicine are rotting in warehouses instead of being distributed. Journalists who try to report anything are jailed.

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 9.25.34 PM

Other very highly corrupt countries are Haiti, Guinea Bissau,  Eritrea. Syria, Turkmenistan, Yemen, Uzbekistan,Burundi, Cambodia, Zimbabwe,Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fly safe,

JAZ

First Food That I Want To Eat When I Revisit A Country

First Food That I Want To Eat When I Revisit a Country

“Like I said before. Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”Anthony Bourdain

 Japan Sushi at Tsukiji Market, any dessert made with yuzu or green tea.

IMG_2295

 Turkey Pide, fresh pomegranate juice, anything with eggplant, and any dessert made with semolina.

IMG_4166

 Croatia Fresh tuna and bean salad, grilled calamari and swiss chard.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.11.59 PM

Cambodia Fresh coconut water and amok (I loved Cambodian food).

IMG_2683

 Greece Avgolemono soup, baklava and Greek salad (feta, tomatoes and olive oil don’t taste the same anywhere else).

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.14.48 PM

 Italy Pizza, pasta with fresh tomato sauce and basil.  (My dream is to go to Sicily and eat pizza).

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.44.58 PM

South Africa Biltong (Im not even a meateater and I love it).

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.09.26 PM

Israel  Falafel and Hummus.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 11.55.40 PM

Colombia Guanabana juice and Arepa con Quisito.

IMG_3818

Spain Churros, hot chocolate and real gazpacho.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 11.17.34 PM

 Panama Sancocho soup.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.46.16 PM

Netherlands Pofferjes and poached egg on brioche with smoked salmon, (first time that I have had that).

IMG_9094

Brazil Tacaca with shrimp and fresh acai ( not the watered down sugary stuff we get here) in the Amazon.

IMG_4520

 Thailand Thai iced coffee.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.43.21 PM

 Peru Ceviche with giant corn.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.19.39 PM

Argentina Alfajores from Havanna.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.18.02 PM

Mexico Tacos, guacamole, mole or really anything in Oaxaca. (except not a fan of the crickets every day)

IMG_0019

USA When I come home I want a turkey burger from Golden State in LA.

IMG_2055

Fly safe,
JAZ

Around The World With Beaded Bracelets

Around The World With Beaded Bracelets

“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten, – happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.” Brenda Ueland

That should really be the name of my blog. I don’t know when it started but I buy cheap ethnic bracelets in different countries around the world for myself and gifts. People like them. (temple cedar bracelets – Viet Nam)

DSCF4946

I try to spend under five dollars a bracelet and buy them in markets or from street vendors. A dollar or two is even better. (ceramic – Mexico)

DSCF4943

It is an easy to pack gift and a nice memory for me of a country I have been to. I mix them all up and wear them almost every day. Today I am wearing Argentina, Mexico, Myanmar and Thailand. (Myanmar, Thailand)

DSCF4952

It’s good to buy indigenous jewelry because it helps the local communities. Many countries have stores or markets that feature local artisans. The bracelets are made from wood from local trees, nuts, seeds, glass, silver, tin, brass, bamboo, woven, pottery and even plastic. Sometimes they have religious significance and sometimes only decorative.(Peru)

DSCF4939

My favorite one comes from Panama and is made from a tagua nut which is known as vegetable ivory. Due to tagua’s properties in color, appearance, hardness and feel like those of natural ivory, it is being substituted for the latter one. This helps in the depredation of elephants while at the same time keeps rain forests from being deforested which in turn favors the ecosystems and the environment.

DSCF4922

I also buy ethnic designed bracelets for myself. When I wear them, they remind of the special day in the country where I bought them. (Myanmar, Cambodia, Murano glass – Italy, Argentina, real coral-Croatia)

DSCF4935

DSCF4924

DSCF4941

DSCF4926

DSCF4950

Another important factor to consider is that making things by hand provides work to thousands of people in these poor countries giving them and their families a better life and the opportunity of offering their children a better education. (shells-Panama)

DSCF4928

Shopping for bracelets is perfect street consumerism for me.(Coca nut -Argentina)

DSCF4944

There is the thrill of finding the bracelet among the crafts and tourist crap. I know these look touristy but there was a beach in Panama that was covered in these pinkish orange shells so they remind me of that beautiful beach. Yes I brought home a bag of the shells also.  (Panama)

DSCF4945

IMG_3752

Then there is the delicate negotiation of getting the right price without insulting anyone.There is the danger of going too low and the stupidity of paying too much. (plastic- Turkey or anywhere that has real Turquoise)

DSCF4954

Finally we have the adrenalin rush of the purchase. (Aborigine – Australia)

DSCF4948

It makes my world better and their world better. It’s a win – win situation.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Ta Prohm, Cambodia – The Tomb Raider Temple

Ta Prohm, Cambodia – The Tomb Raider Temple

“Indiana, we are simply passing through history. This… this is history.” Raiders of the Lost Ark

I know – wrong movie but it was such a good quote for this. Yes, Ta Prohm is the temple where Angelina Jolie played Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Disturbingly many more Americans probably know where Angelina Jolie is right now and do not know where Cambodia is. Some may know the Tomb Raider temple is in Cambodia. (The Tomb Raider tree)

IMG_6323

Ta Promh has been left the way it was originally found.

IMG_6348

The jungle had completely engulfed the entire complex when it was discovered in the last century.

IMG_6339

It was amazing to see how the massive trees have grown around and atop the structures, their roots seemingly strangling and holding up the temple’s towers and other buildings.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.30.07 AM

At Ta Prohm you can start to appreciate what the first explorers saw when they re-discovered these temples.

IMG_6328

It is easy to relive the emotions of the French naturalist Henri Mouhot when he came across it hidden in the jungle in 1860.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.28.27 AM

Ta Prohm was dedicated to the family of Jayavarman VII as shown by the inscriptions on the stele ( stone monument) The inscription lists many of Jayavarman’s ancestors, as well as giving details of the construction. Perhaps most compelling though is the information the stele gives about the people whose lives revolved around this site. Nearly 80,000 people were involved in serving the temple, coming from over 3,000 surrounding villages. The stele also mentions that there were 102 functioning hospitals in the Kingdom. Numbers like this give a fantastic insight into the sheer scale of the Khmer empire at that time.

The structure measures 145 by 125 meters and has a maze of courtyards and galleries, many impassable because of the dense overgrowth of creepers and roots.

IMG_6350

IMG_6351

I had to put this photo in of a Cambodian butterfly at Ta Prohm Temple. Thanks for taking this Kim. I needed to use at least one of your “National Geographic photos”. Most of the photos atTa Prohm were taken by Wong Kimsian.

IMG_6326

The “jungle temple” is best visited early in the morning when everybody else is at Angkor Wat to get your best photographs of the ongoing battle between nature and architecture.

IMG_6334

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Animals I Met When Traveling

Animals I Met When Traveling

“Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.” Alfred Montaper

Kangaroos Australia

IMG_3249

Tasmanian Devil Australia

IMG_3210

Baby Wombat  Australia

IMG_3195

Koalas Australia

IMG_3215

Sheep Australia

IMG_2042

Cat Turkey IMG_4504

Deer Japan

IMG_1160

Llama Peru

IMG_2550

Iguana Panama

IMG_3409

Elephant Thailand

IMG_3244

Parakeets (Emilio White) Argentina

mail-37

Coati Argentina

IMG_1388

Cow Cambodia

IMG_6380

Monkey Cambodia

IMG_6172

Water Buffalo Viet Nam

IMG_5444

Louie Miami

IMG_3289

Fly safe,

JAZ

DSCF0129