October 2011


Sonoran Desert Near Tucson

My parents spent many happy retirement years as snowbirds. Roughly six months of each year were played out in their home in Southern Ontario. Each autumn they’d hitch up their fifth wheel and head by a different route to their winter home outside Tucson, Arizona. They loved the lifestyle, joining and eventually leading a hiking group in Southern Arizona. You can imagine my reasons for joining a hiking group here in New Zealand.

Some months back I was contacted by a man, Ed Helvey, who decided to chuck his full-time professional life for a simplified nomadic lifestyle. Ed’s experiences and advice can be found at: http://livingandworkingfree.blogspot.com/

I encourage you to draw inspiration from Ed. There is nothing stopping any of us from living our dreams except the fear of letting go, letting be and going for it.

Happy hiking!

John

Here are just a few of the photos from our latest Wednesday walk to beautiful Paradise Bay.

Enjoying the View at a Pa

View from Pa Including Stingrays

l

Pohutukawa

Paradise Bay

Motukahakaha

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

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Two weeks ago I joined members of the Kaitaia Transition Town group and the public in viewing a documentary called The End of Poverty. The film gave a brief history of colonialism and the move since the Second World War to neo-colonialism, whereby countries gain political independence while remaining financially dependent on the World Bank and private bank loans. There were some poignant images and sub-titled interviews with people in places such as Bolivia and Kenya who continue to be subjected to systems designed to keep them in poverty. Did you know that Potosi, South America’s richest mine, has been responsible for 8 million deaths? Clearly, human lives are expendable when the wealth of the West is at stake.

I was really struck by the example of the sale of Bolivia’s assets to private concerns. This is exactly what we continue to do in New Zealand. Bolivians spoke of the sale of their airline (New Zealand has sold and bought back her national airline and the National Party is determined to sell part of it again), railways, telecommunications and even water. Water was the last straw as increasingly marginalized Bolivians were unable to pay the costs of even the most basic living. Indigenous people, despite centuries of brainwashing by missionaries, still considered water to be the ‘blood of the Earth.’ At this point the silent majority suddenly opened their mouths, in some cases put their bodies on the line, and forced the government to re-nationalize water.

The modern mantra of privatisation has been chanted since the 1980s. In the same time we in New Zealand have watched this previously prosperous mostly middle class country go further into debt while the gap between rich and poor widens. When will we learn that the model of privatization of even education and health care is not in the best interests of the average tax payer?

 

Speaking of taxes, the film spoke of how the world’s rich place trillions of dollars in tax-free havens while the middle class and the poor shoulder most of the costs of government spending. It was calculated that even if the wealthy only paid 20% of the taxes on their income, poverty could be eliminated world-wide. For that matter, if only 5% of the U.S. military budget were diverted to truly humanitarian projects such as clean water and adequate housing poverty could be eliminated globally.

So it seems obvious that all that is needed to eliminate poverty is the will to eliminate poverty. Simply put, the rich need to learn to share. Anyone reading this is rich, given that access to the internet is a privilege rather than a necessity. From my years of wandering the globe with a backpack it became clear that those who were most generous had the least to give. Maybe the rest of us can learn from them.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

It is so easy to get caught up in fear. How can we handle the changes to our environment, our food supplies, the myriad new illnesses that seem to come along? All we need to do to stay healthy is to change our perceptions and to realize we are the creators of our destiny.

Indigo Baby

Your health is in your hands. As  Bruce Lipton has shown, we are not victims of the environment, of our pasts, or of our genes; we are able to change our DNA should we wish to. Here is link to an article that gives evidence that there are many, many children being born today who are developing resistance to diseases such as AIDS through the transmutation of their DNA.

http://www.universalhealingnetwork.com/newsalert/children.htm

This truly gives hope for the future of the human race. It shouldn’t be used as an excuse to mistreat your body. Healthy food, fresh air and exercise should remain essential parts of your daily health regime. But so should the awareness that you are truly in charge of your health and your genes.

I wish you abundant health and wellness. John

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Since I work just 3 ½ days a week I have now joined a weekly hiking group that walks each Wednesday, weather permitting. On October 5th we walked up Fern Flat Road 6.5 kilometres to Rod and Marguerite Davies’ Pottery, and back again after lunch. We’ve known the Davies’ for many years. I salute this couple who’ve chosen to live the simple, alternative life and who’ve made a great success of it. Thy have raised their two bright and lovely daughters in rural quietude and they’ve managed to make a good living from their pottery. Rod’s work is now highly regarded around the country and he and Margie have inspired many adults and young people in Peria and beyond to embark on their own creative ventures.

I’ve posted below a series of photos from this walk courtesy of George Van Valkenburg.

Rod Davies Welcomes Us to Fern Flat Pottery

Fern Flat Pottery

Rod Explains His Latest Work to Dave Panckhurst and Me

Fern Flat Swimming Hole

Pretending to Go For A Swim

The River

Bus Stop With a Trench

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

Richard St. Barbe Baker, then the assistant conservator of forests in Kenya, founded Men of the Trees in 1922, a worldwide organization still going strong today. His monumental efforts in the course of a long and fruitful lifetime were responsible for the protection of vast tracts of forest around the world including the last 12,000 acres of virgin coastal redwoods in northern California and an ambitious scheme that brought over twenty countries together to re-vegetate the Sahara Desert.

St. Barbe Baker was invited by South Island farmers in the 1950s to advise them on the planting of windbreaks and shelter belts. He loved this country and her people so much that he married a New Zealander and made this his home. He once horse trekked the length of Aotearoa, stopping at schools along the way, inspiring children to plant trees.

We have an election coming soon. You can choose to vote as you always have and watch the continued sale of our assets, assets that all New Zealanders are the rightful owners of. National seems intent on selling these precious assets. Why? Short term thinking. Thinking based only on money. Thinking that doesn’t see the long term implications of these decisions. Chief Seattle once said that we’ll find out one day we can’t eat money. Richard St. Barbe Baker once said that the wealth of a nation is determined by its percentage of forest cover.

In the coming election consider casting your party vote for the Greens and do your bit to help protect our valuable assets and beautiful natural landscape for generations to come rather than for the temporary greed of a few now.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

For those of you who don’t get the Doubtless Bay Times, here’s the latest lore from the Kaitaia Library. Enjoy!

Did you know that the library is constantly purchasing new books? About ten years ago we outgrew our present space on Melba Street, meaning that every time a new book entered the library—and we receive several boxes of new items most weeks— we had to weed out older books. We welcome the opportunity to spread out into an expanded area at Te Ahu early next year. We’ll still be weeding old titles but perhaps not quite as ruthlessly as we’ve had to this last decade.

Di Morrissey writes a novel a year. Each one takes place in a unique location, which the author has taken the time to personally explore and research. I recently finished reading Morrissey’s Monsoon, which was set inVietnam. I’ve never visited Vietnam but I must admit I read the book because our daughter had the privilege of visiting this friendly and inspiring country on a school trip last December.

Having lived four years in America, I’ve seen first hand the impact the Vietnam War has had on veterans of the war and on the American populace overall.

Monsoon follows the present day exploits of two young Australian women in Vietnam. One of these women,Sandy, has just completed a four year stint with a non-profit aid organization called HOPE. The other is her visiting childhood friend. Sandy’s father served in the Vietnam War and he stoically carried home the emotional scars of that experience when he returned to Australia and established a family.

Tom Ahearn, former Aussie Vietnam War correspondent, returns to the country in preparation for the 40th anniversary of the battle of Long Tan (I hope Morrissey wasn’t referring to soldiers getting a lot of sun during there time there). It was this battle that emotionally debilitated Sandy’s father.

Monsoon is a beautifully spun tale, weaving the reader through lush backwaters and modern Asian cities. Morrissey explores the emotional landscape of her characters with the empathy and understanding of a woman. Yet, in my view, this is not just a woman’s book. This is a story for anyone interested in the resurgence of Vietnam since it was so devastated during the ill-conceived war of the 60s and 70s. In my mind, Di Morrissey writes in a manner reminiscent of Neville Shute. Her books are good stories, simply told in a style that touches the heart. Shute’s stories reflected his deep values of goodness found in the ‘ideal man’. Morrissey too seeks and finds goodness in her character depictions—important stuff in a literary and media world often over-imbued with sex and violence. All thirteen of her novels can be found in the Far North District Council libraries, including her latest, The Plantation.

Ildefonso Falcones has penned an epic period novel in Cathedral of the Sea. Translated into English in 2008 from its original Spanish, the book captures in heart-rending detail the sights, sounds, smells, cruelty and compassion of fourteenth-century feudal Barcelona. The reader is instantly drawn into a story of friendship, revenge, plague, hope, love and war. Beautifully written and translated, the international bestseller Cathedral of the Sea is highly recommended reading for lovers of historical fiction.

There’s one more book I’d like to mention. The Auschwitz Violin is another fictional work recently translated into English. It’s a small book with big impact, transporting the reader to a time of almost unbelievable cruelty and equally enormous hope and courage. I won’t give the story away, but I do recommend this inspirational tale of one man’s refusal to surrender his dignity in the face of the atrocities of perhaps the most notorious concentration camp of wartime Europe.

The Kaitaia Public Library onMelba Streetis open Monday to Friday from 9-5 and Saturdays from 9-1. Come in and meet our friendly, helpful staff and browse our full and diverse collection of books and other media materials.

John P. Haines

Kaitaia Public Library

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

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