There is no such thing as chance.
Back in August, I had the immense pleasure of getting to host dear friends with whom I had traveled the year before in my home country of Malawi. I was so touched by the post that my dear friend / brother, Calvin, wrote up after the whirlwind time in Malawi. What made the journey and time together even more special is the way I had originally connected with Calvin and the Monsooners years prior-- basically encouraging travel to the African continent! Even more awesome was the fact that I got to connect with them in South Africa AND Namibia after Malawi.
Here we, the Monsooners are =), having visited 11 of the continent's beautiful countries and experiencing the diversity and culture that each have to offer. Check out more about the Monsoon Diaries, trips and framily here: all are welcome.
According to the rules of the universe...
And above all, (borrowing from Justin Timberlake) "what goes around comes back around"...It's been a while, but I'm back and hopefully posting more regularly!
I was connected to a friend of a friend in Israel. I felt like I was reconnecting with an old friend. He and I became fast friends and had quite the adventure and discussion as he took me on a midnight tour of northern Israel, and together, we watched meteor sprinkles (I hesitate to call them showers) under the Israeli sky. More details about our adventures and his work can be found on the +972 website under part 6 of the "Seven Nights" series.
The Baha'i Gardens in Haifa and Akko are among the most beautiful places I have been in the world, especially the Akko/Bahji Gardens. When you first see the gardens, even from a distance, they stand out from the rest of the landscape. There is a holy presence, and rightfully so, as the gardens surround Baha'i holy sites. I was taken on a tour of both gardens and provided with a history that connects the two sites -- which face one another across the Haifa Bay. The gardens are meticulously maintained. Many hours of hard labor go not only in to maintaining the gardens, but also logistics and innovation (for plants to use in the desert). My deepest gratitude goes out to those who help keep these slices of heaven on Earth amazing.
May these pictures of the Baha'i Gardens in Haifa and Bahji provide you with a taste of the extra-ordinary. There are also some pictures of the Old Town of Akko and one or two Baha'i locations therein, as well. A small sample of the photos are below.
Not all of the photo credits are mine. M.N. and random, kind strangers are also responsible for some of the pictures.
Massada. Where do I begin? Massada, by far, was my favorite spot in Haifa, let alone Israel. I understand it is where all the hipsters go. It is an artsy street. I guess some folks looked the part. But I felt that the street spoke to me. It told me it was a street full of life, intrigue, imperfections and beauty. It was all there.
Massada Street is just plain cool. There is street art -- murals, small pieces of work, messages; there are cafes and restaurants; there are shops; there are people bustling around; there is life. Yes, there is life on Massada. Humans old and young, dogs, cats, etc. They are all there, hanging out on Massada Street. Massada is where I went to enjoy solitude, light meals, tea breaks, people watching, shisha and music. Maybe, just maybe, when I am old and am looking for a place to settle down, I will go to Massada Street.
To check out Massada Street's cool street art, along with some street art from Tel Aviv that I also found quite neat, click here!
I am like a breeze -- you can find me...