Falkland Island Tour, 2011
Here is my daily journal / log from my adventure in the Falkland Islands earlier this year.  Wow, it was such a wonderful adventure.  I have so much love for the people I met there, and hope that I will get to go back again in 2012!
Saturday, 2.19.11 ~ Falklands, Day 1 (4:30 AM - 4:30 AM)
I was picked up at break of dawn from the Sheraton 4 points hotel by my new friend, Mauricio, and taken to the Santiago, Chile Airport
Airport, Santiago, Chile to Punta Arenas, Chile...
 a.  delicious gormet Snack pack
 b. Patagonia pass over & ice fields
 c.  Morning News movie in English!  Relief / mental rest from Spanish
Punta Arenas to Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands
 a.  Flight with Men’s a capella choir
 b.  Meet Roxy & Pete at gate.  
4.  Car drive to Roxy’s house, look at the Trough, get a bit to eat (deep fried fish & yummy potato
5.  Andy’s sound check.  Awesome voice & performnace.  
6.  2 hour nap
7.  Practice w/ Fighting Pigs
8.  Gig at Trough (Wham Dunk, Pieces, Air I Breathe)
After party with Paul at Paul’s house... music share w/ lots of folks singing & making music till 4:30 AM.

2.19.11 BLOG BLURBS ~
The delicious aroma of Hibiscus will undoubtedly remind me of Santiago forevermore.  I was up before the sun to gather myself out of the hotel.  I couldn’t resist the spread of fruit at the hotel before leaving, though.  It was divine.  My wonderful new Chilean friend, Mauricio, took me to the airport and helped me get sorted out there before we parted ways at security.  
The flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile was awesome.  It was a relief to have a movie in English after the brain work out I have had recounting Spanish.  But at the window seat, I spent most of the time looking out the window at Patagonia and the ice fields of Chile.  Unforgettable.  Plus, the flight snack pack was awesome.  
Waiting in the terminal to fly the last leg of the trip from Punta Arenas to Mount Pleasant (1:30 flight), everyone turned when a group of 20 men broke out in 4 part harmony singing ‘Happy Birthday’ over someone’s cell phone.  Turns out they are a Welsh a cappella choir also doing a tour in the Falklands.  I also got to meet Pete King’s wife, Rosemary (Rosey) King and her sister in the airport.  And upon landing, at long last, I met Pete in person (my primary contact in the Falklands and drummer for the Fighting Pigs) and their daughter, Roxanne (Roxy) King, who is hosting my stay.  Everyone is wonderfully kind and genuinely welcoming.  I love them all immediately!  And the weather is outstanding... about 69 F and SUNNY!  GORGEOUS!
I hit the ground running (musically speaking) on my first day here!  Upon arrival in Stanley (the capitol), I got to see where I’ll be staying -- Roxy’s cottage is absolutely lovely.  Then I met up with the Fighting Pig Band for a quick rehearsal for our performance that night.  I grabbed a quick nap, freshened up, and got to the Trough in time for my set a touch before midnight.  The performance was awesome, and after I was finished, I connected with Paul who knows my HS friend, Rachael.  (Rachael initially introduced me to the idea of going to the Falklands, so I was so excited to have a mutual friend with someone here.)  Paul invited me to come play at a party that was going on in town.  I ran the idea by Rosey who had told me earlier that there had never been a night time crime in Stanley, and she thought it would be a great idea.  So I went and had the time of my life playing music and listening to others sing and play... until about 4:30 AM!  An awesome First Day!!
Sunday, 2.20.11 ~ Falklands, Day 2 (up at 10:30 AM, asleep at 11:30)
Sleep in, recover from last night
Lunch with Rosey, Pete, & Roxy: Pizza!!
Gypsy Cove
Penguines!!  My first one ever!!
Sea Lion... RUN!
Stories of the War
Horticultural Show at the School
     a. beautiful fresh produce
     b. Men’s choir encounter
     c. Roxy’s winnings
     d. Auction
     e. Swimming Pool
     f. Stacy = radio station interview
    g. Cheryl = music teacher at school
5. Walk through town
malvina hotel: the Spaniards (Tony, Luis)
Lisa & BBC news woman / TV contacts
director of Men’s Choir
Chat with Roxy (ways of Falklands: religion, sex, community, gossip)
Dinner with Rosey, Pete, & Roxy (and Roo), Fish, cauliflour in cheese sauce, potatoes, salad with arugula!!
Chat with Pete (plans for my stay... performances and sight seeing) & music share.
Today was all about settling in and falling into the rhythm of the island.  I saw my FIRST ever PENGUIN, ran from a sea lion, ate delicious food, admired beautiful produce, attended a horticultural show, and saw some breathtaking landscape!
Monday, 2.21.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 3 (up at 8:30 AM, to bed at 12:30 AM)
Shower and ready for radio interview
Radio Interview with Stacy
Got Ts for Adam & Peter
Lunch with Roxy (pizza left overs)
Shopped Roxy’s Clothes
Andy Neate’s Assembly / connecting with Sherley (music teacher) / tour of school
Cafe in Town
internet, caught up on Facebook, Email, & Blog postings
hot chocolate & raspberry yumminess
Carlos -- polite owner
‘Home’ in time for light din din by Roxy & desert by Rosey (delicious)
Went for walk about town
Trouble working computer / skype to reach Will
Reached Will from Trough
  Rehersal with Fighting Piggies at Trough from 8:30 - midnight.
I just did a radio interview in Stanley at the station.  Stacy gave me a lovely interview and was a delight to talk with afterwards, too.  We were sharing notes about our favorite music, and I was telling him about some of my current favs in the US: Cage the Elephant, One eskimO, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, and when I mentioned Band of Skulls, Stacy knew just who I was talking about and played me the interview that he did with them recently!  AWESOME!!  My interview will air today at 12:30 and again at 6PM.  I’ll have a link to it soon.  And he asked me back to perform live on his show again this Saturday night.  I hope my gig schedule allows me to squeeze it in!!
Tuesday, 2.22.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 4 (up at 6:20 AM, to bed at 12:30 AM)
Take Andy Neate to Air Port... talk about music scene in Scottland, England, Ceck Republic, Canada / house concerts etc.
  Drive with Pete & Rosey thru funny sheep, staring cattle, to sobering memorials of the war.  Learning so much about the war.
  Drive to site with penguins and nova scotia like coast line... with land mine fence down.  Penguins super cute waddling out to water with fins help up and back in the air (for balance?) and entering the water.
Walk to town
Post office, stamps & mail letters
West Store to enjoy stamps and hot chocolate
Walk to Al’s to meet him & deliver seal darts
Walk east along harbor on ‘foot path’
Dinner with Roxy & Rosey... yummy desert / pudding pie
Talk with Will
Rehersal with Piggies till midnight.
Rehearsals with the Fighting Pigs the past two nights have been a lot of fun!  I’m very excited for our next show together this Saturday night at the Trough.  
This morning started with a trip to the air port with awesome Scottish folk singer Andy Neate.  It was great to catch a short bit of time with her.  After seeing her off, Peter, Rosemary, and I went on a
ROAD TRIP!  Today was mostly a tourist / sight seeing day!  I rode thru ‘camp’ (the country side where there are no roads) with Pete and Rosey through hilarious herds of sheep who leapt and bound all over the place; we cut through a herd of cattle -- all staring bizarrely at Pete (I told Pete that now he knows what it’s like to be a blonde foreign woman at the Trough); we ate delicious fresh sandwiches made at the local bakery (the most fresh tuna sandwich I’ve ever had, hands down); and we honored the injured and fallen at numerous war memorials.  I saw Gent-eau penguins for the first time!!  I split my side laughing at a couple of penguins who left the pack to waddle out to the tide for some dinner... It’s how they walk with their arm-fins back and out to either side that kills me!  (Between the sheep and penguins, my abs hurt all day from laughing so hard today!)
Later in the day I took a long walk on the east part of the foot path that follows the water’s edge of the harbor in Stanley.  This town is so beautiful!
I had rehearsal with the Fighting Pigs for the second night in a row... and the music is getting very tight very fast!  We have a big show this Saturday night at the Trough, and I think we’re all pretty excited to ROCK!!  
New favorite expression: When someone is drunk, they are “Gone to the Fairies!”
Wednesday, 2.23.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 5 (up at 6:30 AM, to bed at)
Teach at school from 8 AM - 12 noon  *** SONG: 369 by Cher... sung by India****
Lunch at Roxy’s with Roxy & Rosey
Meeting with Pete!  Gigs & schedule coming together!!
Plan for rest of my time here
to Malverna Hotel with Pete to solidify gig
Errands with Rosey:
 a.  jail / police office
 b.  bank
 c.  Stanley House
 d.  West Store ... for internet, emailing picture to Malverna for gig & rate
 e.  Nap - 2 hours
Happy Birthday to Sally / visit with Pete squared / Sorrel & Soffie & family over and more music sharing and fun!  6 PM - 11 PM
Gossip with Roxy & Rosey
I taught voice lessons at the school for the first half of the day today!  Teaching is so rewarding!!  The kids are all so very gifted vocally, and I’m excited for the strides that they were each able to make in a short time together.  It was wonderful to work with them!  :)  Lots of details in my schedule are being solidified now... I have quite a number of gigs between now and when I leave to return home in just a week and a half.  
Tonight was topped off by another fabulous get together with Paul, Paul, & Sally (Happy Birthday, Sally!!) and their beautiful family at their home with piano, guitars, and many voices singing.  I’ve really enjoyed observing the bonds within families here; they are vibrant and strong.  Folks took turns playing music and listening to each other, and all singing together!  It was positively heartwarming and great fun!
Thurday, 2.24.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 6 (up at 6:30 AM, to bed at 12:45)
Ride to Bluff Cove Lagoon
Performance at Bluff cove Lagoon
Performance at Stanley House
Rehersal with Fighting Pigs
This is one of the most wonderful experiences of my life!  
I’m doing lots of music stuff all the time, which makes my heart smile.
I LOVE everyone here.  Rosey, Pete, and Roxy King are Amazing!  They are some of the nicest people I have ever met anywhere ever!  And an added bouns: they are feeding me delicious food constantly (and keeping my sweet tooth very satisfied)!  What do we say at home? -- the way to the heart is through the stomach!!  I’m working on a resolution to step up my game on cooking / baking when I get home.  I’m not sure I can return to my former culinary dull-drum.  Must get some recipes from Rosey before leaving!
And there are PENGUINS!!!  And they are ridiculously adorable.  I mean, off the charts super duper cute.  If you don’t get all the raving about penguins, you’ll understand when you see the video I got today... including a little concert I gave for the penguins after I was off the clock singing at Bluff Cove Lagoon.
Speaking of, I had a very lovely time performing at Bluff Cove Lagoon today.  At almost any given time, there was a penguin coming out of the water onto the beach and waddling up the coast.  I was cracking up as I was performing with a perfect view out the window to see all this.  AND I got to stand right next to a cozy Peat Stove.  (I got to put the peat in the stove a number of times!!)  And in keeping with the food theme, the sweets and cakes at the cafe during breaks did NOT disappoint!!  :)
Pete & Sally invited me to practice on their piano anytime, so I did for an hour today after gig number one, and then I enjoyed a delicious dinner with the Kings, and then it was off to the Stanley House to do an intimate concert for the kids who live there.  (A number of the girls present were students who I taught voice lessons this past Wednesday, and it was fun to see them again!)  The performance seemed to be well received (though, hard to tell for sure with kids); it was especially fun when they all joined me singing and clapping on a few of the songs (a Johnny Cash number, and Air I Breathe).  I stole a half hour after my set to visit with the kids and sign autographs, etc... so Pete & I were a bit late to rehersal with the band tonight.  Despite a late start, we got through all the songs that will be in our set Saturday night at the Trough, and all are shaping up lovely.  In no particular order, they are:
Love Song
Killing me Softly
Air I Breathe
Finigan’s Wake
Desert Sky
Wham Dunk
Ring of Fire
I’m finding it easier here to not eat within 3 hours before bed (as pr doctor’s orders for the Acid Reflux issue I have).  
I’d like to maybe record a version of ‘Round here’ a capella here... or the johnny cash tune with the accordian player... and or... our version (Piggies & me) of Killing me softly
Friday, 2.25.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 7 (up at 6:00 AM, to bed at)
7 AM Group Voice Class at Stanley House (7-7:45)
West Store / Cafe ... hot chocolate, pastry
Fishing with Pete, DAY at the Malo!!!  Hike, berries, no fish... :)
Hymn sing along at the Cathedral conducted by Dr. Haydn James, featuring Comrades Choir -- the visiting Welsh Men’s Choir, and violin soloist Jamie Hutchinson.  Of the 12 hymns, I knew ONE.  
Haydn invited me to the after party, and I enjoyed a glass of wine and a chat with him about our national anthem & how it is performed.  
Sleep for 5 hours, then up at the crack of dawn to do a Group Voice Lesson for 7 of the kids at Stanley House.  Just wish there was time to give them more individualized attention & support.  
A few hours at my fav cafe... the West Store Cafe!  
Our plans for Volunteer point were foiled by the weather... so instead, I went with Pete to the Malo... perhaps one of the most beatiful spots in the Falklands.  I went hiking for a few hours, and then accompanied Pete fishing.  
A touring Welsh Men’s choir was on the island performing this week, and they were hosting a hymnal sing-a-long at the cathedral in town.  Conductor Dr. Haydn James had a wonderful program put together with entertaining insights into the lives of the composers of the hymns, a ravishingly lovely violin solo by Jamie Hutchinson, and a feature of the men’s choir.  After the concert, Haydn invited me back to a local spot for a drink at the after party.  I very much enjoyed his insights and opinions on national anthem singers in the US.  Food for thought...
Saturday, 2.26.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 8 (up at 9:00 AM, to bed at 12 midnight)
The gig tonight was a dream.  It was everything I love most about making music rolled into one night.  The audience was intimate and attentive (much like a house concert).  I did my quirky songs (including “Speedy” and “Ice Cream”), my sexy songs (“Love Circus” and “Wham Dunk”), a few of my favorite covers (“Ring of Fire” and “Vincent Black Lightning”) and a set of rock music, complete with full backing band, compliments of the Fighting Pigs.  I told stories about the music and shared pieces of my life that make it all more meaningful.  And the audience of 40 or so sat and listened attentively.  The show started and ended with Johnny Cash, which sandwiched the show in an American theme -- a nice touch since they love Johnny Cash here.  And for encore, I did “Round Here” a cappella the best I have ever sang it; I was shaking after finishing -- that is how deeply I felt the emotions of the words and music tonight.  God, I LOVE MUSIC!  I think this was the best set (song order) I’ve ever put together.  And I will definitely be using this set again... complete with combo of solo and full band presentation.
I sold around 15 CDs and the band nailed the tunes.  Want to record???  Before I leave.  ??
Sunday, 2.27.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 9 (up at 6:00 AM, to bed at 10:45) Volunteer POint
I didn’t ride the high of my gig long because there was interference from technology blues.  The computer I’ve been using to Skype with family back home is on the fritz.  And my Kodak Playsport Video and Still frame Camera is not working correctly.  I was unsettled most of the night last night trouble shooting how to make the battery charge -- nothing was working.  It was looking like I would not have a camera for my big day at Volunteer Point today (seeing the King Penguins).
But the King family came to my rescue... Rosie let me borrow her awesome Cannon camera, and Roxy took some video footage with her camera.  Maybe it was all for the best because I got much better pix with Rosie’s camera than I would have with mine.  Plus, Rosie & Roxy got pix of me with the penguins!
Technology really sucks sometimes.  My new Kodak Playsport Camera won’t turn on or take a battery charge or anything.  But the Kings came to my rescue... in more ways than one:
Roxy & Rosie brought their cameras to help me get footage and shots (and I’m sure the shots on Rosie’s Cannon will blow away what I would have gotten with my Playsport)!
And the King Penguins are so beautiful, it was easy to forget that I was pissed off at the inconvenient technology glitch.  
Seeing THOUSANDS of penguins in one place: Kings, Gentoos, Jack Ass... Penguin Borrows, Penguin’s running after each other, Penguins walking is straight single file lines, Penguins tripping across the rutts in the road to escape the Land Rover...
Cook out in back of Land Rover
finding and picking wild mushrooms (the aroma was unbelievable)!
2 hour 15 min drive out and back... 4 1/2 hours there.  Flew bye.  Core body work out when driving through camp... who knew?
Monday, 2.28.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 10 (up at 6:20 AM, to bed at)
Plane to the west departs at 9 AM (check in at 8 AM).  45 minute flights.... two of us flying.  Staying with Ben & Claire.  Keith is picking me up.  Mechanical bull ridding night / sports week!!
Today was an awesome and memorable day.  The 2 hour inter-island flight (small plane that seats about 10) saved no breath-taking view with islands and so blue waters below.  I got to sit in the front seat with the pilot and wear head phones with a mic and ask him questions -- he pointed out seals along the way and other cool wild life!
I arrived at Fox Bay to perform for Sports week - a 3-4 day event that hosts competitions.  My early arrival of 11 AM meant that I could attend the sheep shearing competitions.  It was one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen -- the way these men maneuver the sheep is unbelievable... it takes them about one minute to take the wool off one animal and it looks effortless.  A new friend, Karen (a biologist from Colorado) wrangled me into the ammeter round -- my teacher was the fastest sheerer in the Falklands.  It took me a half hour to sheer this sheep, and it was as hard as I imagined it would actually be.  The sheep was propped up against and held by my legs and knees at any given time and the sheering tool was heavy and vibrated powerfully in my right hand; left hand angled the sheep and pulled wool away.  When I finished I was completely exhausted and my hands were dripping with sweat, wool oil, and a little bit of blood from the sheep!  But I received a rousing applause and a lot of respect, I suspect.  
Next, Dae (very musically gifted new friend & Islander)brought out a few guitars and she and I took turns singing for everyone in the grass.  It was a lovely listening audience... and unbelievably warm weather with a crisp sun beating down on us.  We all pealed down to our tank top layers, rolled up jeans, and took off shoes and socks.  After the event was over and everyone had their fill of the barbecue, everyone went home to eat and get showered.  I didn’t have a change of clothes except to sleep in because my baggage weight allowance was taken up mostly by my guitar... so I just did my best to freshen up from earlier.
I took a nap, and arrived back to the PM sporting event in time to catch the tail end of the mechanical bull ridding.  I knew I could count on Karen wrangling me again into a ride.  After I and all else were done with the bull, it got packed up and I did a long set of muisc, and then we all danced the Fox Trot until 2 AM.  
The lovely couple - Ben & Clare - who is hosting me tonight only live a few paces from the event hall, so I walked back to their dream get-away of a home under the cover of the most unbelievable stars you’ve ever seen, where a soft black cat named Montey capped off my night.  He met me at the door here at Clare & Ben’s at 2 AM where I sat for 20 minutes marveling at the milkey way.  Then I coaxed Montey to snuggle in bed with me, and he did all night long -- purring and being totally lovable!
Tuesday, 3.1.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 11 (up at 9 AM, to bed at 12)
Chillax at Ben & Clare’s house with Montey... write a few cards (to Roxy & Ben / Clare).  Mostly, enjoy their incredible home, awesome view of the bay, and some solitude & sunshine out of the stoop overlooking the harbor.  Picked up plane around 1:30... Piolet was Paul (Sally’s brother).  He was great fun to chat with in the front seat of the plane on the return flight... and wonder of wonders, Paul, Sally, & their kids were on the plane, too!  
Gathered my focus for gig at Malvina Hotel in the evening.  3, 45 minute sets... was a very nice, fun gig.  Nicer after a few drinks.  I realized my attitude about gigging has changed.  Maybe it would be different if I had my full voice back.  Very challenging night with acid reflux -- hard to be in control of my voice.  Paul & Paul were both there... very cool!  A camera crew was there, too... to record for a segment on the show that will feature me long after I leave.  
My flight to return from Fox Bay in the West Island to Stanley on the East was delayed.  I took the opportunity to just stop and relax at Ben & Clare’s lovely slice of paradise.  Their home is situated right on a harbor, and the blue sky, sunshine, and powerful wind made for a hypnotizing chillax morning.  
I knew almost everyone on my flight back to Stanley!  lol!  It was a reunion from Sally’s Birthday night!  I sat in the front again and enjoyed chatting with our gregarious pilot.  Turns out, he is Sally’s brother.  The Falklands really is a small place... and yet, it is not.  :)  
I did a TV interview for a station that is still in developmental stages, so my segment will air long after I leave.  They met me at my Malvina Hotel gig tonight to also record a bit of my set.  It was a really lovely night.  I played a 45 minute set.  They had an American themed buffet.  Then I did two more 45 minute sets with some stories and laughs... most memorable was when I did a version of “Pieces” that became “Buggers” (“... little buggers, little buggers are walkin down the street... “ etc.)  There were a couple of ear to ear grins in the room on that one!!  
Add pictures to Tues 3/1/11
Add pictures of Penguin News articles
Wednesday, 3.2.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 12 (up at 8 AM, to bed at 12:30)
Today was a chill day playing music (from 9:30 - 4:30) at Bluff Clove Lagoon again.  long day, so I really paced myself.  I sat to play, took a stroll down the sandy beach peninsula with jelly fish & penguins... I wadded through the chilly ocean water (up to my ankles).  I ate lots of Hattie’s so yummy baked goodies.  The TV camera crew was out to to do a piece on Hattie & Kevin and Bluff Cove Lagoon.  Kids running around having fun.  Anastasia's amazing smile & her friendless towards every one who walks in the door.  
Today was a chill day playing music (from 9:30 - 4:30) at Bluff Clove Lagoon again.  I settled into a wonderful relaxing pace chatting with the tourists off the cruise ship and playing music for them.  I took a break early on when the sun was still out and the sky was very blue to stroll down the sandy beach peninsula with jelly fish & penguins... I wadded through the chilly ocean water (only up to my ankles -- but I’ve officially been in the arctic waters).  I ate lots of Hattie’s so yummy baked goodies and really took in the museum where I was performing, reading all about the history of the island and Stanley.  The Stanley TV station camera crew was out to to do a piece on Hattie & Kevin and Bluff Cove Lagoon.  The locals working the event lent a very family friendly atmosphere with a few kids running around having fun.  One young lady in particular really earned my respect (and that of countless tourists) -- Anastasia's amazing smile & her friendless towards every one who walks in the door was inspiring.  And I met some folks from Alabama!  
Thursday, 3.3.11 ~ FAlklands, Day 12 (up at 8 AM, to bed at 12:30)
Picnic for Roxy (Garden Party) Lunch
Whale Watching 1-3:45
Relaxing in GArden, writing thank you cards
Motor Bike ride to the Lighthouse
Rehearsal with Piggies and special guests
Friday, 3.4.11 ~ Falklands, Day 13
1. 45 minute email check and blog update
Lunch with Pete & Rosie at Malvina Hotel.... fried squid... BEST EVER... EVER!!
One last radio interview with Stacy for the Radio Station
Rosie & I: weather conversation: “Wait for it...”
Practice songs at Paul Ellis’ piano and “Barrista” on my guitar.
Pack a bit
Dinner at Rosie & Pete’s: The Bugger Dish & rice pudding!  
PERFORM... Paul open.  Me solo set.  Band set, with Fighting Pigs Featured at the end with two songs.  Set video recorded by the TV station and audio recorded Pete!  
Saturday, 3.5.11 ~ Day 14, leaving the Falklands.
Clocked in at 3 hours of sleep last night... for good reason.  I intended to go to an after party at Paul’s house (that I accidentally created when I made a joke over the mic about it at the gig last night), but then I discovered that I would regret not having one last adventure with Roxy, Rosie, and Pete before leaving. We took Roxy to the airport after last night’s gig around 1:30 / 2 AM.  We added a boot to Boot Hill.  And listened to a mix CD that I made for Pete.  And we were silly tired, so things got goofy in the air port.  Everything was funny, and I was nodding off having dreams of little buggers marching down the street.  My tummy was talking from round two of rice pudding & hot chocolate at 1 AM.  I got back to Roxy’s place around 5 AM and finished most of my packing.  Grabbed a 3 hour nap, and showered up.  A few errands before leaving...
Meet up with Al one last time.
Change my Sterling Pounds to Dollars at the Pink Store.
leave CDs for sale at the Pink Store.  
Back to the Trough to pick up my guitar & some recording gear.
Quick 45 minute recording session at Roxy’s... some scratch tracks for long distance musical collaborations with the Fighting Pigs.  
Stop at the Bakery for an encore of my 2 favorite locally made muffins.  
These are my last glimpses of the the Falklands -- and it looks deceivingly brown from way up here.  My personal soundtrack for this bittersweet occasion is Kandi by One eskimO.  I’m holding on to the experience -- soaking in these final glimpses of the most welcoming country on Earth, perhaps.  Is that one of the beaches I fell in love with -- maybe Volunteer point or gypsie cove?  Where is stanley down there?  Will I see a whale spout from all the way up here?? No.  But I can see it clear as day in my memory.  
I feel torn.  I’m moved with sadness to be leaving.  But I’m very happy to be going home to Will and our enteroge of fluffy ones.  
It’s the same sur-real feeling as arriving was... but in reverse.  I’ve been there, and I’ve meet the people and it went so quickly that I feel like I didn’t have time to ground myself in it.  It was really sad saying good bye to everyone.  And now I know how beautiful the Falkland Island folk and landscape are (very Nova Scotia / Scotland).  I enjoyed the warm sun for the past few days.  I met penguins, dolphins, and whales; sheep, fish, & geese like I’d never seen.  Boggy off roading.  And rocking out with the Piggies!  
3/6/11 ~ Last leg of my journey home... flight from Miami to Philly
One of my favorite parts of traveling is being immersed in different cultures and observing & experiencing their interactions and customs.  But I had a few moments in Santiago this return trip where I felt like my personal space was invaded; the personal ‘bubble’ is much smaller in Latin America, I gather, but how do you ask for less touching (in mime because of the language barrier) without being insulting?  I’ve been trying to work that out in my head for hours now.
That said, God it it feels good to be surrounded by other US citizens.  I understand this culture; I love this country.  I’m fluent in the language, and going with the flow here is effortless.  I know what to expect, and I know how to communicate here.  I love the feisty and sometimes stand-offish nature of Philadelphians who know how to have a rowdy good time with their family at a ball game and can string together a creative line insults at someone they observe doing something stupid.  Because there is an awesome feeling of camaraderie here, too, that is almost tangible when on a plane full of US citizens. I love HOME... and in present company on this plane, it feels like I’m already there.