First the bad news: Sorry that I lost my Canon G12 Powershot camera that contained most of my photos of Peru. I have given up hope that it will be returned. The best recollection I have is that I put it in a white plastic bag, tucked it inside the luggage that I put in storage in the hotel while waiting for my limousine service to the airport for my flight back to the US. In response to my inquiry, the hotel manager wrote that he has no information as to what happened to it. Hopefully, they will conduct an internal investigation and find the culprit who stole it.
When I received my recent credit card bill, I discovered that somebody had charged $156 plus change for a LAN airline flight in Lima – after I left Peru. My last credit card transaction in Lima was for several boxes of chocolates at the airport. (A Philippine tradition is to bring back something, especially delicacies, for one’s relatives and friends.) The fraud has been reported to VISA and I am now happily using the new card. The unpleasant incident reminded me of what the guide in Lima said on my first tour of the city. Our group was in the park guided by a woman. She was instructing us about the landmarks near the archbishop’s residence. A couple of black birds were sitting on a lamp post in the center of the fountain. “What are those birds?” I asked. She said, “They are vultures.” When I noticed a piece of raw meat on the ground, I asked her what it was. She said, “It is the remains of a tourist after he was eaten by the vultures.” It was very funny at the time she said it. In fact, that was probably the funniest remark to me during the whole trip. In retrospect, I should have considered it as a cautionary tale for my journey through Peru … and remember it for my future travels.
Last word about Machu Picchu: I am still in the process of integrating my experiences. So many threads are woven into the pilgrimage it is really difficult to sort them out. Was the mountain complex a temple, a retreat of the Emperor, a fortress, an astrological coordinate, a vacation resort, or whatever the original builder intended it to be? The conundrum is that we cannot really classify it as one or the other. In a culture like the ancient Inca’s there was really no separation between ordinary life, livelihood, religion, astronomy, relationships, geography, the earth and the cosmos. They were all a seamless part of the culture and the universe.
For this purpose, I have been meditating on that short but important 2 weeks of my life. Aside from the Lonely Planet and Fromm guides, I have also been reading books – Hugh Thomson’s “The White Rock: Exploration into the Inca Heartland,” Maria Longhena and Walter Alva’s “The Incas and other Ancient Andean Civilization” and Mark Adams’ “Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time. “ I have a copy of William Prescott’s “The Conquest of Peru” (originally published in 1847) but I do not know where it is.
Now the good news: My son Al and daughter-in-law Laura gave me a Canon EOS camera. I went to Dan’s Camera in Nazareth to look for an affordable lens with a telephoto and wide-frame capability and they gave me a quotation. So I will be posting and sharing hopefully better photos on my website when I return in early October from my trip to the Philippines, Bali and Burma.
May I call your attention to the flyer for my seminars in Manila sponsored by INAM Philippines. As you can see, there are several seminars – there is a Jade Mountain CNT seminar primarily for those who are visually impaired; second is Xing Shen Zhuang Fa, empowerment and qigong seminar for women “who have stress issues”; third is a regimen for “children who need special protection,” basically street kids (the instructors will be assisted by certified social workers in the two previous seminars); the fourth is a training for healers and therapists; fifth is a seminar on the solo fist form of Traditional Yang Family Tai chi chuan; and sixth and last is a special training in INAM TaoRen Terapi, protocols 1 and 2, that include the techniques developed for the survivors of the typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
INAM Philippines and I are asking those interested to make donations for these seminars. Proceeds of the seminar shall be used to support the treatment of indigent patients and provide capability building training to Community Health Workers and establish Community Health Programs in different parts of the country in order to make basic health services accessible and available to the poor.
My suggestion is that donations should be made out to INAM Philippines, a non-profit NGO, as the payee. You can either access their website at www. integratibmedisin. org or in the alternative, if you live in the Philippines, you can send the check to INAM Philippines at:
82A Malakas Street
Diliman, Quezon City
If you live in the US, you can send the check to me before I leave for the Philippines on July 24. My address is:
163 Willow Drive
Easton, PA 18045
Full disclosure: INAM offered to pay for my round-trip ticket but I told them not to worry because the flight is already paid-for with my IRA withdrawal.
Not mentioned in the flyer is the healing mission INAM Philippines and I are doing between July 26 and 31 in Homonhon, an island off Eastern Samar in Central Philippines. I do not know if you can find Homonhon on your maps but you can probably get information about it on google. INAM Philippines is organizing the residents of the barangay and villages of the different islands to meet in Homonhon for the training. The INAM staff and I are going to teach Jade Mountain CNT, my version of Chi Nei Tsang organ massage, and INAM TaoRen Terapi, the protocols INAM and I developed last January.
To me, it is important to teach different techniques of rehabilitation, healing and transformation, including qigong, Tai Chi, massage, meditation, and exercises based on indigenous culture and tradition. The Philippines particularly needs the knowledge because of a history of colonization – under Spanish Conquista and US Manifest Destiny – that decimated much of native traditions. It is also important to share this knowledge and discipline of transformation because, as the wisdom goes, it is better to teach a man to fish than to just provide a meal. The practices that we are teaching are part of the Asian culture of self-healing and Yang-Sheng or Nourishing Life and will hopefully help contribute to the people’s recovery and the culture of self-reliance, health and autonomy.
If you are interested in attending any of the seminars, you are definitely welcome. The exchange rate is usually PhP40/45 to US$1. We are not posting a different tuition fee for foreigners. INAM Philippines can help make arrangements for your accommodations near the venue of the seminars. Before or after the seminars, you can make your own arrangement to visit any of the beautiful places in the country: the Banawe Rice terraces up north, the beaches of Puerto Princesa and Coron, Palawan or the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan, among others. There are other accessible places in or near Manila – Fort Santiago (remnant of the Spanish era where Jose Rizal, the national hero, was incarcerated before his public execution in the nearby park), Taal Volcano (a lake inside a volcano inside a lake inside a volcano), Banahaw (the Philippine holy mountain) or the beaches of Batangas. I have posted photos of some of these spots in my website blog the last 2 years.
Blessings to you, always,