Welcome to the Blog

Welcome to the space where I share what I am up to. (scroll below this for the latest post)

On this blog I post my latest photos, music I am discovering, thoughts that cross my mind, work-related issues, travels and other randomness. It’s like a personal diary that I share with those interested in what I do – but also where I archive memories for myself. Things in here can be serious or not – mostly they are just random updates. Anyhow, I’m here – so if you want to get in touch or ask a question, feel free to send me an email via the contact form!

Enjoy! :)

Corey Session

You know when you decide you’ll probably just have a quiet evening and then something beautiful happens unexpectedly? Well, on Friday, a friend called and suggested a spontaneous hangout session at my place. I didn’t see any issue with “can I bring a friend along?” – which is how this new person, Corey, found his way to my balcony.

Bliss! People who want to share their talents and skills make me so happy.

All you ever give me is pleasure, baby.

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Marvelously sexy discoveries and obsessions. Music, baby!

The funk and high pitched voice of this guy are a real treasure. And this tune – the complete adoration of a woman in the smoothest cheesiness that gives you the proper Maxwell/Van Hunt/Bilal/Marvin Gaye kinda’ feels – and the bass line..! Ay, no no no no!

Listen, kids and fellow soul junkies. Do it.
(But please do so through proper speakers so you don’t miss out on the bass)


Chris Turner – Liquid Love
From Love Child EP(2012)

And guess what.. there’s a completely kick ass drum n bass version of this (which is how I was introduced to this talent) but the drop is so damn hot that I can’t even share it. I’m keeping that baby to myself.

Weekend Vibes

Weekend

I’ve had a beautifully calm weekend on my own here in Belize City.

On Friday afternoon, my yoga studio, Om Shanti, had arranged a Himalayan Singing Bowls meditation with Taunya Laya Rivera, a master harmonic meditation practitioner from New York who had brought her bowls to share her good vibes and play for us.

Feeling the vibration from the bowls was a beautifully calming experience, and while I didn’t really meditate but rather listened to the tones (because I’m a sound addict), I went back home super relaxed and fell asleep. On Saturday I decided that I would make it a day where I did nothing at all. And so it progressed. I listened to music, watched a movie, cooked, read and called my grandmother. And in the evening I realized I didn’t have to go to work the next day either, so I drifted off into dreamland listening to ambient tunes and being magically calm.

Today I woke up and made myself a big breakfast and have since been enjoying the Belizean summer rain while working from home. It’s been shifting from beautiful sun to clouds bursting and warm rain cleansing the air. All so soothing, I’m still vibrating beautiful stuff. Thank you Taunya.

Himalayan Singing Bowls

WeekendWeekend

Himalayan Singing Bowls

Himalayan Singing Bowls

Himalayan Singing Bowls

WeekendWeekend

Weekend

Weekend

Weekend in the City – Pool Party, Birthday Barbecue and an Italian Dinner

Ilijas birthday

This weekend was a fun one. Isn’t it funny how a lot of things always happen on the same weekend while other weekends are completely quiet?

On Friday we hopped into Ilija’s car straight after work and drove all the way to Cayo to the Italian restaurant Casa Sofia where we had pizza, pasta and wine. We ended up spending all of the afternoon and evening there, and officially started celebrating Ilija’s birthday a couple of days too early.

The rest of the weekend offered a chill-out session and party by a friend’s pool on Saturday and Ilija’s official birthday barbecue on Sunday. Fun stuff!

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Habet pool party

Habet pool party

Habet pool party

Habet pool party

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Ilijas birthday

Territorial

If that Stephen Hawking supported Breakthrough Listen project was any successful, and we realized there’s indeed alien life nearby, would we then finally all get together as one in-group and share the planet if we found out there was something else we could refer to as “them”?

Via WUMO

While I’m extremely excited about living in a time when life on other planets might officially be confirmed, and witnessing the reaction of the masses, I’m not certain that we have done a particularly great job here, on our own planet. If other intelligence is as mean as we have been by nature, they will be suspicious – and they will want a war. If the scientists confirm that there indeed are aliens – foil hatters, conspiration theorists and power maniacs will implode. Many won’t be able to imagine an intelligent being with more power than man, or the idea that these beings one day might decide to come over for a friendly talk. People will quote obscure randomness from Nostradamus. Churches will ring their bells. Hollywood will go bananas. I’m imagining mass hysteria and chaos.

But hey, maybe they’re not only more intelligent than we are, but also beyond primitive attitudes of violence, racism and sexism.. and will just alien-giggle at us as if we were lost kittens trying to bite our own tail.

Maybe we could learn something new.

I’m thinking of much needed sensitization campaigns:
“This American kitten was found dying, what this friendly alien did next will leave you in tears”
Cat healed. Happy music. Funny cat video. Alien and cat-owner hug. Humanity survives.

Avina & Caroline Celebrate Life – The Belize & Mexico stories.

mex

Here’s an example of what celebrating life is all about. A video I made last month trying to summarize the fun we had when Avina was here visiting me in Belize and we spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Mexico. A beautiful couple of weeks in the best kind of company – a friend that you can relax and be yourself around, and dive straight into total euphoria with. Ella Eyre was our soundtrack for the trip, joy and spontaneity were our rushes.

Soundtrack: Rudimental – Waiting all night featuring Ella Eyre

See the photo blog posts and stories from the entire trip here:

mex
Avina on CC Island

mex
Christmas on the beach – thank you, Tulum!

mex
Playa del Carmen is for Dancing, and Surprise Cabaret

mex
Cancun Beach Fun

mex
Counting down to 2015, celebrating New Year’s Eve in Mexico

mex
New friends, wine, a boat, and yet another beautiful sunset

mex
Life is a Cabaret – last night in Playa del Carmen

mex
Tulum stories: The Moon is full and life is yours to enjoy, now come – dance and love.

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Tulum mornings

mex
Turtle photobomb in Gran Cenote, Tulum

mex
Day trip to Altun Ha

This was a trip that will stay in my mind as a cherished memory for a long time ahead. Tack älskling!

Freedom!!

freedom

Pharrell just dropped a tune rocking a very important message, an beautiful video, and of course his indisputable super talent in lyrics, vocals and dancing. The voice, the man, freedom!


Pharrell Williams – Freedom
Released 22 July 2015

Hold on to me
Don’t let me go
Who cares what they see?
Who cares what they know?
Your first name is Free
Last name is Dom
We choose to believe
In where we’re from

Man’s red flower
It’s in every living thing
Mind, use your power
Spirit, use your wings
Freedom!

Hold on to me
Don’t let me go
Cheetahs need to eat
Run antelope
Your first name is King
Last name is Dom
We choose to believe
In everyone

When a baby first breathes
When night sees sunrise
When the whale hides in the sea
When men recognize us
Freedom!
Freedom!
Freedom
Breathe in

We are from heat
Electric wonder
Does it shock you to see
He left us the sun?
Atoms in the air
Organisms in the sea
The sun and, yes, man
Are made of the same things

UNICEF Belize: European Union highlights story from Belize

European Year for Development

A story I wrote about an NGO that UNICEF Belize works with in the south of the country has been chosen as the July highlight for the European Year of Development 2015 and translated into 23 languages! I’m very glad that the little country of Belize and the work that this great NGO is doing are getting more exposure internationally.

To read about the lives of young girls in Dangriga and the work of POWA in English or other languages, click here: https://europa.eu/eyd2015/en/european-union/stories/week-29-empowering-one-girl-time-belize

“The men approach us with little suggestions at first. A beer, a lunch for letting them hold our hands or maybe even touch a breast… Then they take out the big guns – they offer to pay your school fees, pay your mother’s rent, take care of the house bills… It’s really not easy to say no when you are in our situation.”

Read the full story, in English, below:

Michele Irving, surrounded by some of the POWA sisters outside of the newly built POWA house. Photo credit: © UNICEF/Belize/2014/Caroline Bach

Dangriga looks like the cover of a travel magazine. A tropical paradise in southern Belize, a place to relax under the sun and enjoy the palm trees and turquoise waters. What onlookers may not know is that it is also the district with the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in the country, HIV prevalence higher than anywhere else in Central America, and a place where violence and poverty are an ever-present reality.

A group of teenage girls and women gather in the main room of a small one story building and place their chairs in a ring to prepare for a POWA session. POWA is short for Productive Organization for Women in Action and has been active in Dangriga since 2003.

“Being a woman in this community is not the easiest task,” India, 19, shares. “We are the main targets here and you will often see older men prey on younger and vulnerable girls”

Sitting next to her, Kenima, is only 15 years old but has already been a target. “The men approach us with little suggestions at first. A beer, a lunch for letting them hold our hands or maybe even touch a breast… Then they take out the big guns – they offer to pay your school fees, pay your mother’s rent, take care of the house bills… It’s really not easy to say no when you are in our situation.”

Young girls in Dangriga find themselves lost in a system where they aren’t expected to have ambitions to ever provide for themselves, and where their own mothers feel that they have no other choice than to encourage them to accept these offers to save the family and put food on the table. The high HIV prevalence in Belize confirms this reality, as rates are highest among young girls and old men, many of whom unknowingly keep spreading the virus. Teenage pregnancies are the main reason for school dropouts, and sexual abuse is one of those things everybody knows about but too few dare to report.

Michele Irving, the coordinator for POWA, explains, “We work on the self-esteem of girls, on keeping them in school, teaching them about safety and trying to keep them away from dangers. We target girls at risk and we try to support them with school stipends and giving them practical skills that they can use to secure their own income and become economically independent. All of this to keep them away from falling victims to this horrendous abuse of power.”

POWA’s initiatives have been supported by UNICEF and the European Union since 2006. Under the leadership of Michele Irving, POWA runs after-school programmes for vulnerable children, literacy and school completion programmes for women, an HIV prevention and stigma and discrimination reduction programme, and conducts extensive work on empowerment of women and girls.

“Rather than thinking that you have all the answers to people’s problems, you create a space where people can create trust to transform their own realities,” Michele explains. Sexual abuse is so commonplace that mothers, most of whom have probably gone through the same situations, often choose to not see it. “They will tell you to forget it and never mention it again,” one of the girls whispers.

“But now, when the male teacher in class says something nasty in our ear, or when men try to touch us, we scream, we say no, we report,” Kenima shares with a confident voice. “Nobody can tell me that it is ok.”

Michele continues, “my passion comes from seeing lives transformed. I know I can’t save the world, but I can save one, two, three of these girls and help by making one day at a time better, by giving them the capacities to change their own lives.”

In fact, by changing the girls’ lives, Michele and the POWA programme do much more. They break the law of silence, change the power dynamics and create role models for other girls to follow, allowing them to grow to be concerned, protective and empowered women.

Kenima, 15, holds her sister’s 5 month old daughter, Jahrida. Photo credit: © UNICEF/Belize/2014/Caroline Bach

Photo credit: © UNICEF/Belize/2014/Caroline Bach