Thursday, May 26, 2016

What I didn't ask the farmer in the Birthplace of Modern Man.

In Ethiopia, for the Myth Project, I needed an image, a symbol, to represent agriculture in a more ancient time.

Driving on a remote pot-holed road out to the Omo region, I saw the perfect shot about a 1/2 mile away. A farmer working with a wooden plow pulled by oxen. The perfect ancient agriculture image.

Now, looking at the photograph on my 5K monitor one year later and 10,000 miles away, I regret not connecting with the farmer. 

Here he is working with same tools used by our ancient ancestors in the birthplace of Modern Man—Ethiopia, Africa. But he is in the 21st century. What gets him up each morning? What is his perspective about life on our planet? What are his dreams?

I only have a symbol, without the person. I could have had both.

Oh, what a huge opportunity missed. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Can I see the bees that killed the attacking Muslims?

Bedik tribe village of Iwol in the remote southeast corner of Senegal, Africa.

In the history of the remote Bedik tribe in remote southeast Senegal, Muslims wanted to convert the tribe to Islam. The tribe didn't want to be converted. So the Muslims attacked. 

"It was terrible," explained Chief Keita. "Many Bedik were killed." Then the Bedik prayed. Their Spirits had mercy and sent bees to kill the attacking Muslims. 

"Yes, the bees live in a tree right near here in the middle of the village," explained Chief Keita. When I asked if I could photograph the bees, the chief replied, "of course you can." 

"They look like ordinary bees. I will show you where they live in a tree here in the center of the village. Right near here.

"And it’s totally possible to take a picture of the bees.
We can send a boy to see if they are there.  If they are there, you can go and take a picture.  If not, you did not come at the right time."

Here's what I saw.

Chief Keita explained that the bees live in this tree. Bedik tribe, Senegal, Africa.

From my journal that night:

As we waited for the messenger boy to come back, a gentle breeze came over us. Somehow I felt I was listening to a story that, like a musical score, needs to be interpreted to fully understand. 

I felt I was like Napoleon’s soldier who found the Rosetta stone, but instead of linking texts, might this be the Rosetta stone to a deeper understanding of the roots to today’s spiritual and cultural beliefs? 

Somehow here with the Bedik we still have a balance between Mythos and logos. Yet somehow clear understanding seemed tantalizingly just out of my reach.

Please respect that all images are copyrighted 
© Janis Miglavs 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

How an American can get wine from Ningxia China

Recently I received an email asking how someone in the USA can get wine from Ningxia province of China. Several times I've also needed to get any Chinese wine as samples for speaking events.

Getting the stuff in the USA, let alone from a specific province, is difficult and often the quality is disappointing. 

But if you have an unquenchable thirst for Chinese wine, try these:

1) Sift through this site, but know that many of the wines might not be available:

2) Dragon’s Hollow grows grapes in Ningxia only for export to USA. Founder David Henderson is a great guy with extensive trading experience in China. Try contacting him directly:

3) If you happen to have a friend in the UK who is coming to the USA, have them go into Berry Bros & Rudd at their St James’ to scout for Chinese wine. Or they can try the BB&R web site:

4) While I haven't checked lately, the Great Wall Shopping Center in Kent, Washington, did offer a bottle of Changyu wine for $18. (Warning, even though Changyu is China's largest winery, the wine should be experienced in the spirit of adventure without great wall-sized expectations.)

If you order or get Chinese wine in the USA, please let me know the outcome.

Please respect that all images are copyrighted 
© Janis Miglavs 2015