January 26th, 2013

Kickstarter Campaigns for Artists – And Interview with David Bowden

David Bowden’s Successful Kickstarter Campaign

 

So, I had the amazing opportunity to interview my absolute favorite spoken word artist, David Bowden as one of his Kickstarter bonuses to backers for his first film project, “12″.

Now, I absolutely adore the way he has perfected the use of cinematography, music and spoken word to create an art form that is absolutely captivating.

I let David know early on in the interview that I did not really agree with the message behind the project, but that I would back him in any kind of work he puts out as a fan. Fanatics, we’re fanatical, that’s what we do.

Now, it is somewhat of a secret that I spent a lot of time in December spending a lot of time and even a little money to promote this project because I believe in artists creating their work. And, I believe that artists that create work of this caliber should be richly rewarded.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

 

1:16 - David Bowden Shares the Journey to Discovering Kickstarter as a Way to Fund His Art

4:44 - Pledgemusic vs. Kickstarter

6:38 - What to Do When You Hit Your Fundraising Goal on Kickstarter Much Sooner than Expected

7:30 - My Favorite David Bowden Poem and his Process for Creating Majestic Art

11:33 - The David Bowden Poetry Production Team

13:37 - What Other Art Forms Does David Bowden Do? (surprise releases revealed)

17:26 - David Bowden’s Business Model – Creating Poetry on Purpose

18:30 - Get the “12″ Album: http://davidbowdenpoetry.bandcamp.com/ (It’s visually stunning, amazing experience.)

19:54 - How to memorize your poetry (coffee helps:)

21:48 - David Leaks Info About His Latest Project (Background story)

twitter-marketing

Do you tweet? CONNECT WITH DAVID BOWDEN ON TWITTER (follow @davidbpoetry)

Facebook-marketing

Is Facebook more your thing? CONNECT WITH DAVID ON FACEBOOK (like his fan page and stay tuned.)

Youtube-marketing

Just want to experience the video magic? CONNECT WITH DAVID ON YOUTUBE (subscribe)

 

If you just want the merch and or other fan swag just go to David Bowden’s main website and click on STORE: http://www.davidbowdenpoetry.com/home.html

is important to note that David has been a fan base and a list of contacts from various performances over the year. So, when he turned up the auto-tweets and Facebook posts about his project, he had some reach.

Artists that are not plugged into their fan base online have a harder time with Kickstarter Campaigns. And, I just knew that I was one of those fans that was out of touch. I, quite by chance, happened to see a Facebook post on the live feed, but I could have easily missed it because I usually ignore the thing.

And, Twitter is a mess of tweets that I don’t really read. I wasn’t on his mailing list because I battle bulging email inbox every day. I’m always unsubscribing from things that are not directly related to my current projects.

So, if you are an artist looking to run a successful Kickstarter Campaign, here are a few pointers:

  • Build your mailing list by giving them fan stuff, unreleased stuff, you know…insider stuff.
  • Interact with your fans on Twitter (see: http://owlcitymusic.com/home). Answer their tweets or have a social media manager interact with them, available for as low as $4 in some places to keep the conversation going.
  • Fans are people. And, at the base level, they just want to feel valued. How do you accomplish that on Facebook? I’m sure you can think of something (like saying thank you, regularly, like giving fans a reason to return to your Facebook page regularly — why did they decided to follow what you are doing in the first place?
  • Pay attention to your super fans, you know, the ones that will volunteer to be a part of the “street team.” You’ll know who they are because they will act like they know you on Twitter, send you emails periodically to your booking email address, make fan art or covers of your songs…because you want to offer them the opportunity to organize themselves and help make your projects happen. They will. It’s fun. It’s a joy for them. And, possibly more rewarding for them than you can imagine.

 

How do I know this?

 

I am a superfan.

I love, serve and protect artists who I find worthwhile.  And, I’ve made some ridiculous fan art in the past, and spent a lot of time in fan communities working to further the cause: the cause of letting everyone in the world know how awesome George Sampson, Owl City, David Bowden or Orlando Bloom is…(hmmm, do I like any female artists???)

 

You can then organize your fans around a common purpose because you will have their attention. For this particular project I thought about where David Bowden’s fans might be hiding. So, I did a short video promotion through YouTube, I did a number of promotions on Christian Facebook Fan Pages, and I bought some retweets.

I noticed that the number one place where his fans were sharing their excitement was on Twitter, so had I been a social media manager for this campaign, I would have organized all of the fans on Twitter to take unified action. I observed this phenomenon (creating trending Twitter news through unified tweeting) recently with iCarly Star, Jennette McCurdy’s “…” campaign. I also noticed that Adam Young of Owl City is doing a similar push to a million Twitter followers while riding on the fame of his latest hit single “Good Time”.

I used to be a Mashable.com addict because I’m a little obsessed with new media and promotions. But, now I just stick to studying live campaigns. I’m still wowed by the first Obama Campaign, Scot Stratten’s Tweet-a-thon and many multi-million dollar Kickstarter campaigns that get funded because they are extremely connected.

This is wisdom of the Obama Campaign: “Show them the power they have. Then, show them the power they have together (to make something they believe in *an abstract idea* happen.”

This is some wisdom from Scott Stratten’s Tweet-a-thon: “Build social currency first through paying attention to people and promoting their projects.”

This is some wisdom from the multi-million dollar Kickstarter Campaigns: “Hire or consult experts. Plan out each phase; have a few update videos shot beforehand for milestones. Give frequent updates on the campaign. Dig deep into the fan base that loves to do grassroots stuff.”

A basic marketing principle applies here. Be specific (like step by step specific) when mobilizing your fans to spread the news about your project, and even with a small fan base, you can have amazing results!

P.S. I thought that I had got an nice video interview, but after it was rendered, I noticed there was only an audio feed recorded from his side, so we have this nice video placeholder. I, for one, do not want to stare at more than a few minutes of myself talking. So, without David Bodwen being in the video, I chose to scrap the entire video feed.

P.P.S: Here is the Kickstarter Project Page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1972989096/12-the-film

 

Technorati Tags: 12 the film, David Bowden, David Bowden Poetry, facebook marketing, Kickstarter campaign, Kickstarter Success, Social media marketing, twitter marketing

December 5th, 2012

Hal Elrod Author of The Miracle Morning: His 1 Year Total Life Transformation

Meet Yo Pal Hal! He’s a Motivational Speaker and Best-selling Author

I must admit that I had downloaded the two free chapters of The Miracle Morning book, but I hadn’t read them, and I think it’s because there was no promise made of what I would receive from reading them, but here are the highlights from Chapters 1 & 2:

“Even when life is difficult or challenging—especially when life is difficult and challenging—the present is always an opportunity for us to learn, grow, and become better than we’ve ever been before.” -Hal Elrod

Hal shares the story of the 70mph car crash that put him in a coma and awakened him to the miracle that life is. I’m not sure if this was around the time that he coined the phrase “Give up being perfect for being authentic,” but that is one of his sayings that has stuck with me over the years.

The Accident Broke His Body But Not His Spirit
“And, as a result of choosing to be genuinely grateful for all that I had, unconditionally accepting of all that I didn’t, and accepting total responsibility for creating all that I wanted, this potentially devastating car accident ultimately became one of the best things that ever happened to me…I used my accident to fuel a triumphant come back.”

Even when the publisher of his first best-selling book took of with his royalties in 2006, he was not defeated. He chose to remain grateful and keep creating more opportunities for himself and his family.

He quotes Seth Godin: “Life’s too short” is repeated often enough to be a cliché, but this time it’s true. You don’t have enough time to be both unhappy and mediocre. It’s not just pointless; it’s painful.”

The Jim Rohn Effect

Les Brown, Tony Robbins and many others credit Jim Rohn with their early success. Hal is one of them too. Jim said, “Your level of success will seldom succeed your level of personal development.” Actually, a former coach of mine quotes him quite often without crediting him.

As a success coach, Hal Elrod walks clients through how they can ‘Attract, Create, and Sustain’ level of success they desire. Developing The Miracle Morning was a part of his journey to ensuring he accomplished that for himself.

If you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to do something different.

For those of you who don’t know, I am in the middle of a 90 Day Challenge with myself in which I am just applying everything I am learning from the guy in the banner next to this post. I understand this principle. Hall goes a little bit deeper. He examines our very nature as humans. He states “as human beings we were born with the innate desire and drive to continuously grow and improve.” This couldn’t be more true.

The average American is 20 lbs. overweight, $10,000 in debt, slightly depressed, dislikes his or her job, and has less than one close friend.

Life stays that way if we let it. Many of us have given up, and think there is nothing we can do about it, but Hal Elrod says by doing the Miracle Morning he went from being in the worst shape of his life and drowning in $450,000 in personal debt to building multiple successful businesses, paying off 100% of my debt, more than doubling my income, and achieving my dreams of becoming an international keynote speaker, having my story featured in the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, being interviewed on radio and TV shows across the country, and performing at my mental and physical peak by completing a 52-mile ultra-marathon—all in less than 12 months.

That sounds a bit miraculous

He also quoted George Lorimer: “You’ve got to wake up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” He promises that you’ll quickly see that when you change the way you wake up in the morning, you change your entire life.

The Miracle Morning Promises

…to give you Simple strategies that make it EASY TO WAKE UP get yourself out of bed every morning and GUARANTEED TO immediately INCREASE your ENERGY, MOTIVATION, CLARITY, FOCUS, and CONFIDENCE while simultaneously LOWERING your stress, and eliminating your fears and limitations…

More “INTENTIONAL TIME” than you’ve ever had before to focus on your most important GOALS & DREAMS (especially those you have been putting off) so that you quickly see results and progress toward your deepest wants and desires, faster than you ever thought possible.

You will wake up every day with more energy, feeling excited and empowered with the tools to fulfill your potential just like thousands of others.

√ Immediately lower your stress levels.
√ Quickly overcome any challenges, adversity or limiting beliefs that
have been holding you back.
√ Improve your overall health, lose weight (if desired), and get in the
best physical shape of your life.
√ Increase your productivity and enhance your ability to maintain
laser focus on your top priorities.
√ Experience more gratitude and less worry.
√ Significantly increase your ability to earn and attract more monetary
wealth (if desired).
√ Uncover and begin living your life purpose.
√ Stop settling for less than you truly desire and deserve (in any area
of your life) and start living in alignment with your vision for the
most extraordinary life you can imagine.

CONNECT WITH HAL ELROD ON FACEBOOK

Go to THEMIRACLEMORNING.COM to get the first two chapters free and be notified of the half off sale when it’s launched on December 12th!

Hal and I have something in common. We are both former Cutco sales representatives that don’t hate the company. He actually rose to the ranks of an award winning district sales manager and hall of fame inductee, while I went through the assistant manager training, couldn’t take the pressure and bailed. I took a summer off to work in a national park, and when I returned my district manager had closed the office due to damage from Hurricane Charley (or so I was told).

I think that the miracle morning works because Hal is always reading the best motivational books, motivational quotes and self development books. But, maybe we’ve already been there; maybe you already have like 20+ self development books. The Miracle Morning takes it a step further by giving you the process to take what you’re reading and turn it into a life transformation.  In my opinion, he has some of the greatest motivational quotes in his book, but don’t take my word for it.

Technorati Tags: best motivational books, best motivational quote, Hal Elrod, motivational quotes, self development books, the greatest motivational quotes, The Miracle Morning

March 30th, 2012

Dreams to Reality

“You’re not taking this seriously, and it could cost you your life.” -David Wood

I want to talk about my recent interview with Chris Coon. I am not sharing the video here yet because I am juggling a few things, and I want to have it professionally edited before I post it here or anywhere else.

Chris Coon has the dream of starting and running a non-profit organization that helps homeless people become entrepreneurs. Essentially, he wants to provide a platform for homeless people to sell their art. Chris himself is an artist. He writes poetry and currently works at a tattoo parlor in Staten Island called Deadly Ink. So, you might want to stop by and say hello, and buy a t-shirt or custom greeting card while you’re there.

Because I was recently coached by the amazing, amazing “Coach’s Coach” Mark Moffitt, I also wanted to share a little bit from that experience too.

Chris in in interim, but he has made the habit of playing big, so I know that he will succeed in getting his non-profit going. A common error that we all tend to make is asking for permission or validation from others before going for our goals. I think that I may have forgot to tell Chris when we met that I was a poet too, and I could not imagine selling copies of poems to passer-byers could work. The idea just does not seem plausible. But, he did it. He’s sold thousands of copies of his poems since making the decision to start selling his work late last year.

So, I want to walk you through the process of seeing a dream become a reality.

STEP 1. Create the vision in your mind.

When we understand that almost everything we see on the planet was once just an idea in someone’s mind, it’s really a lot easier to grasp this concept. The idea must first be conceived with clarity in the mind. Writing it out, mind-mapping, sketching, etc. helps.

STEP 2. Walk through the creation process in your mind.

Literally, picture yourself going through the creation steps, or if that is too much, picture yourself with the finished product or goal.

STEP 3. Stay with it.

The more real the vision or dream is to you, the easier it will be to take the necessary action. So, put reminders up in prominent places  such as your fridge, calendar or phone of that dream. If it will take a few months or years to accomplish the goal, this part is most important.

STEP 4. Get to work.

You will find work which you are passionate about very easy to complete. And, you will find that after you have made the decision to do something and you are working on it without wavering in your decision, the people and resources show up to help you complete your goal. It works out, without fail, every time.

Now, I will not say that this process is easy. I will not say that it is not without setbacks or challenges. But, if you have fully bought into making your dream a reality, nothing can stop you.

“You can do anything you want to do as long as you keep a good attitude and keep working at it. But the second you give up, you’re screwed!” – Dolly Parton

The idea is that your dream is like a seed. It takes time to grow before it breaks the soil and becomes a plant. You have to water it and protect it while it is young and fragile. And, you can’t dismiss it for months and then come back to it. It will die. But, if you nurture it like you’re supposed to and learn as you go along how to take care of it better by those that have had similar ideas and brought them into reality, then you will really know the dreams to reality process and succeed.

Related Article:

http://ajleon.me/the-opportunity-cost-of-not-taking-yourself-seriously

Technorati Tags: business, dreams to reality, lifestyle business, Personal development

November 6th, 2011

The Final Frontier – An Interview with Digital Nomad Kyle Del Bonis

*Interview Highlights*

Kyle’s cheap travel tip: Join a training program that requires it.

Why travel? Make international friends.

Kyle’s path to the location independent lifestyle:

   1) Get a portable home – like his van Cassie

   2) Negotiate a remote working agreement with your company after you have proved yourself to be a valuable player.

   3) Pimp out your vehicle with solar panels, and use a wheel chair battery to store the power or YOU COULD DIE.

   4) Document your life with a blog and connect with people on a real level using social media sites like Couchsurfing.com, FourSquare.com, and Twitter.com.

   5)  Meet the altruistic people on Couchsurfing.com and travel more.

   6) Change your life and do what you want while things are not exactly ideal.

   7) Study Study the martial arts. Connect with Kyle on

   FourSquare: https://foursquare.com/kyledelbonis

   Twitter: http://twitter.com/KyleDelBonis 

   Couchsurfing: www.couchsurfing.org/people/destinatus_animus/


or at his website: http://www.onelifestand.info

Technorati Tags: digital nomad, Four Hour Workweek, lifestyle design

October 17th, 2011

I’m On it like Zemanta!

Night view of Manhattan, captured from the Man...
Image via Wikipedia

Well, that was an obvious plug for Zemanta, because I love their service and have started using it for all my blogs, but what exactly am I on?

  • Setting up local money management classes for people in my community
  • Finishing an Amazon Associate website
  • Starting two Internet-based businesses
  • Testing products on eBay
  • Reselling educational products

Let, me share what my experience living just outside of Manhattan has been like for the last few months. I came here at the beginning of June. I had high expectations for finding a high paying job to pour funds into the startup that I founded in April. (I know, I know, how could I just start without funding, but I’m just going to get this 3rd or 4th fiasco out of the way.) Needless to say, I did not find my golden opportunity. I found two part-time contract jobs that are just above slave labor and kept looking. Now, I’m worn out and pissed off that I forgot, even for a minute why I came to New York in the first place. It wasn’t to do this. It wasn’t to complain about a lack of jobs or to burn myself out for $10 and hour.

So, now I have a break from one of my jobs, and I quit the other to focus on what I can create. And, the list above is exactly what I have started. I had to blog about this, because I am a professional educator (or at least my paper from that school in California says so), and now I am purposefully taking that knowledge and applying in more profitable areas.

Oh, I almost forgot the dude I wanted to feature or talk about for a minute. I have been plugging into this dude Eric Thomas since January this year, when I suffered a catastrophic break up with the love of my life. I was listless. It’s actually the reason why I stopped blogging. I wasn’t motivated to do much of anything. I was just confused about what to do with my life after that.

But, then one of my friends shared a video of ETthehiphoppreacher on Facebook, and it rekindled some of the fire I had to do stuff. Big stuff. Crazy stuff. I’m not fully recovered, but I am inspired and managing my life and emotions a lot better now. He’s been talking a lot about imagination lately, and the reality is that everything starts there. I’ve been imagining things done. I’ve been using this energy to propel me past the wall of “fear of the unknown.”

Fear of the Unknown definitely stops us. It’s why some people refuse to try new foods. Crazy, right? But, if you can just imagine yourself enjoying it…when you have those bricks of cement piled up in front of you, it’s your will and your imagination that sees your hand just below the last brick that crumbles them. Not your physical strength, your mental strength does it. It’s always those with a strong mind that fare better in life. Do you work harder on your mind than you do on your body? Or do you neglect it and numb it with sitcoms and Facebooking.

Listen to his story of dogged determination, and tell me if you think your circumstances can stop you:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Technorati Tags: business, Personal development

May 2nd, 2011

Virtual Companies Are the Future

…limits

…this is my first gallant fail at creating a post outside of WordPress and attempting to import it.

Technorati Tags: business, digital nomad, lifestyle design, new rich

March 16th, 2011

Road Trip – FL to NC

Well I guess that WordPress doesn’t like iframes…(my little map of my roadtrip isn’t displaying:() I’ve had my head down working to complete my MA in TESOL these last couple of weeks. I finished this Sunday, and now I feel like I can pursue passions like writing and sharing stuff that I find interesting. I’m taking a roadtrip this weekend to visit a friend and some family in North Carolina. Maybe I’ll post some pictures when I get back.

View Map on Google!

I was just thinking about how if I had a traditional job this would not be possible. I picked up my old sales job, joined another coaching program (All champions have coaches/mentors), and I enrolled in a Sales and Marketing AA online. I’ll be starting that in early April. I am getting education to sharpen my skills and give more options for where I want to live and what I want to do with my life.

On a side note, I’m totally psyched about Tim Ferriss’ new book The 4-Hour Body:
The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

I’ve already started handing it out as a gift to people I care about. I’ve been getting up earlier these days because I want to accomplish more this year, namely: A new apartment. 10K monthly residual. A trip to the Maldives (come with me in December if you’re free). These things are possible for people that spend time on themselves and really think through how they are going to spend the hours in their day.

This is the dude that I’ve been listening to regularly to keep me pumped and focused:

Looking for more interviews? I think I’ve got the message from the few people I was fortunate enough to talk to last year about lifestyle design. I’m going to need to do some rebranding on the website; think I’ll focus on personal development.

Technorati Tags: lifestyle business, lifestyle design, Personal development

December 10th, 2010

Taipei – Day Three

I’ve been in Taipei visiting friends for the last few days. I thought it would only be fair to share a few of the photos while I’m on my journey instead of just waiting until like month after I return home to share.

Photo of Wan-Chien

The fabulous Wan-Chien!

Photo of Jia-Lung

Jia-Lung the studious!

Photo of Yu-Wen

Yu-Wen the Adorable Accountant!

Hmmm…don’t remember the name of the last one, but it was a spicy noodle dish made with green bean noodles. The first one is cow stomach soup and the second one is tofu and iron egg.
Photo of cow stomach soup

Picture of tofu and iron egg

Picture of spicy green bean noodle dish

So, I met these three friends back in 2004 and 2005 while working in the national parks. I worked at Mt. Rushmore in 2004 in the gift shop. And I worked in the Grand Canyon in 2005 in the Retail Distribution Center. I supposed that they invited all the people they met to visit them in Taiwan. Now, five years later, through the power of Facebook I was able to coordinate a trip with them.

Dessert Spot had a crazy line…

Picture of the line at Red Bean Cake

The line went far into the street. It was wait at your own peril.

Picture of red bean and custard desserts

Red bean or custard cake snack served up hot.

Picture of street stand for Red Bean Cake

Had to give you the name of the place "Red Bean Cake," fairly original.

HERE’S A RANDOM MONEY SAVING TIP THAT YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD BEFORE:
Buy SIM cards for your cellular phone when you go to different countries (not available for all models). Last time I visited Taiwan I just used my global roaming. Can you say expensive? It is 2 dollars a minute and 50 cents a text message with good ole Sprint. The SIM card cost me 350 TWD, about $11.60 USD. The hotel owner set it up for me.

Did I say hotel? I mean temporary room rental guy. Yeah, I used hostelbookers.com, but I definitely didn’t go with a hostel. This guy is smart. He has these low-end apartments that he basically rents out monthly, and he gets extra cash by filling the rooms that are empty with temporary guests like me.

Alex has been extra nice to me. He set up my SIM card with his info, though I read that as a citizen from another country you only need two forms of ID to do this. So, I’m going to give him a shout out. The place I stayed for about $20 USD a night is called Alex’s Oceanview Stay/Alex’s Oceanview Village Home/Alex’s Village Home (in Google Maps).

Oh, one other thing…I found out at dinner that I basically got robbed on the taxi ride to my temporary home. The dude that runs the place, Alex, was like take the bus to the MRT (something like a subway, metro). The taxi guys at the airport were like, “There’s no bus that goes out there!” And one of them just grab the phone from me and hung up. Anyhoo, I had changed over some money for Alex’s airport pickup service, and I think I ended up spending around the same amount. But, when my friends heard that I had paid 1250 TWD or 41.50 USD they gasped and said I paid way too much. A 15 minute cab ride in New York from the airport runs around 60 bucks, so I thought that I had made out okay. They were saying I should have paid only 700 TWD /23.25 USD. A lot of things are cheaper in Taipei.

…going to Taichung tomorrow. Hope to hit up some night markets there.

Technorati Tags: lifestyle design, taipei, taipei taiwan

December 9th, 2010

Marketing Strategies for Lifestyle Design – Rob Ozanne

Interview Snippets:

  • Rob’s Take On Lifestyle Design   2:40
  • The Heart of Marketing    3:14

-Who you are
-Who you serve
-the value you give them

  • Getting Specific to Deliver Value   5:16
  • Market Mix and High-Priced Goods   6:07

-personality driven vs. personable 7:20

  • Advice to Work and Travel Newbies   8:09

-Clarity of who you are
-Tell people what you want to do
-The way you want to travel, how you want to fund it

*BONUS MATERIAL*

Did you hear me mention that I spoke with Rob before? You heard right. I interviewed Rob before my trip to Myanmar. That 45 minute interview was a Vodburner disaster! Email me if you’d like the audios from the full interview.

Topic Covered Included:

- Purpose (How do you define your purpose?)
- Lifestyle Design vs Traditional Careers Advice (How Rob got started? Influences?)
- Creating businesses that support your lifestyle goals
- Personal / Spiritual Growth (Importance and how it ties into lifestyle design)
- Travel (Fun stories…)
- Wrap up (Final tips and how to contact Rob)

Rad Housing Tip:
Share Your Travel Plans Before You Go.
Rob says that he is currently experiencing, “Silly things that shouldn’t be possible.” This interview was captured while he was cat sitting in a very nice apartment. No housing costs?

A Moment of Honesty:
Rob says traveling can be tiring. When you don’t have the simple things. You have to figure out where’s the supermarket every time you move. It’s difficult to have the creative space for business, because you spending all the energy on those types of things. Consistently meeting new people is quite tiring, because you’re having the conversation.

Connect with Rob At:

http://robozanne.com

Twitter: @robozanne
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/robozanne

Technorati Tags: lifestyle design, marketing strategy

September 7th, 2010

Myanmar – My Photo Journey

So, my friend in Shanghai could not see the pictures from my trip in August to Myanmar, so I promised her I’d post a few pictures here.

A little background: I went with my school, we toured, and did some volunteer work. It was amazing.

Walking to the market.

Mu mu (far right, baseball cap) helps us brave the dangerous roads on the way to an open market.

A perfectly normal day sitting outside yet another store on stilts.

What you see: the backs of me and my roommate's heads. What you probably can't see: The gorgeous hill tribe women with brass rings on their necks and legs opposite of us.

I thought I had a young coconut, so I asked for the waitress to cut my coconut open.

In search of coconut jelly. Fail.

Friend sent this photo through the cow fields to me and told me I look like a star.

Lights, camera, wind tunnel, cow pattys, go!

This is one of the kids giving me a hand made purse with their tribal crest on it.

Some things are priceless, like getting soaked and having to change into tribal clothes and then getting applauded for changing:)

Eating dessert on our departing day from Yangon.

I think I ate more dessert than all eight of the other people there.

I would know 3 new hand games if they weren't so foreign.

Julie, Rita, and Kevin playing hand games after lunch.

This is performance day for a song in one of the native tribe's languages.

Can you see how enthused I am to practice this song in another language?

The hated picture of Jebus.

I call that the picture of Jebus. The religious fervor in this country whether Buddhist or Christian was only rivaled by the spiciness of the food! The bigger the images and statues the better:/

This is was one of our daily taxis to our volunteer location.

We were very happy that was not raining while we were in the taxi.

Yes, that's your transportation for the day.

Not having air conditioning in a tropical country was fine for me, walking through puddles in my nice shoes--okay, but getting into the dirty taxis and watching them speed down the half-paved roads only following the rule that everyone needs to get out of my way-that was rough.

Cramped taxi rides made for good conversation.

After getting over my fears of becoming filthy and dying on the busy roads of Yangon I really enjoyed the taxi rides.

I thought no one took my pictures at the Swedagon, but someone got me.

I threw a royal princess hissy fit at the Shwedagon Pagoda because it was rainy and we had to take off our shoes. I didn't care for all the buildings, Buddhist services, or little monks following us around. I was mostly mad about being barefoot though.

A wicked looking old elevator with an elevator operator at the Strand Hotel.

I was one of the few, the proud, to ride on the old elevator at the renowned Strand Hotel in Yangon.

This is a Chinatown in Yangon

Chinatown in Yangon

Karaweik Palace Buffet or what we called the Thai dinner boat show.

On the grounds of the Karaweik Palace Buffet. The show had great food, dancing, and a puppet performance. Too bad I was too ill to enjoy it:)

This was the "love boat" at Inle Lake.

There was a turquoise heart on this boat, so we called it the love boat.

Don't play with knives! Okay...just for the picture.

Kevin, Tanner, Mark, and Sam playing with knives.

A pagoda at Inle that we voted not to visit.

We voted not to visit this pagoda at Inle LaKe.

I swear I wasn't talking to the monk; he was talking to me.

Cultural lesson. Women are not supposed to talk to monks. Jenn said it was a fake monk because he was so chatty.

Boat guide, Mu Mu, at Inle Lake.

Most memorable person from the trip, Mu Mu. He took care of us: Kept us dry and actually tried to speak to us in broken English.

Technorati Tags: lifestyle design, world travel