When Hadiiya let me know she planned to be in Puerto Rico for a full moon drum circle I had a feeling I would be capturing it! The day was exciting and Ive never been to Puerto Rico before so it was all new to me. In my mind I thought PR would be like the rest of the islands I’ve visited but It felt more like an extension of Florida. There were moments it felt like I never left the states. It could of been all the McDonalds, Wendys and Churchs Chickens I kept seeing.  A 40 minute ride to Luqillo and here we were! A saw a nice spot on the rocks where the sun seemed to be retreating and decided that is where we will begin.

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As much as I wanted Hadiiya to stand at the tip of the rocks the waves were intense. I was explaining how the water wouldnt splash us there a big wave smacked me as a reminder that it aint safe no where near big waves and rocks. Huge surfer waves is one of the components of Puerto rico that I noticed everytime I stood on the sand.

The full moon gathering was a great end to the night. At first we didn’t think the circle was going to happen

 

but I caught wind from a mate that knew a drummer that would be at the circle. The night continued, we walked over to the beach and found the group dancing and playing the drums.

 

The whole time in PR I couldn’t find green but at the drum circle  I saw someone with locs and had a feeling he would be able to help and he did. As soon as finish shooting I go to roll up a long awaited spliff then right as I begin to grab the bag A poet slides next to me and grabs my attention with very descriptive poems and great stories of adventures he has been through in Oaxaca Mexico. Finished shooting and went back to the hostel to finally light a spliff to myself and stare at the full moon. A few interesting  funny thoughts hit me then I hit the pillow.  The next day my memory card corrupted in a universal effort to tell me I’m done working enjoy the land. With that being said look forward to the videos of Hadiiya shining and expressing the change she plans to create in  the world!  Shoutout to the two vegan spots El Punto Vegano and Cocobanana! Delicious veggie burgers and Egg plant Pizzas + The guy that grills Salmon + Tras on the herb and talk!  Until next time…. Feels like I need a camera for the camera.

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Puerto Rico x Hadiiya //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Ive been building up my list of places to visit and do some photography at! Today we add more to the Oregon list. This place has more beauty than I initially knew! If you know more spots send them to me, Im on the hunt!

 Elowah Falls Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge – Zeb Andrews Photography

 

Ponytail Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Proxy Falls of Oregon

Ramona Falls Oregon Photograph by Ulrich Burkhalter


Thors’ Well Cape Perpetua Portland Oregon Coast

In the south of Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in west Africa, near the border with Ghana lies a small, circular village of about 1.2 hectares, called Tiébélé. This is home of the Kassena people, one of the oldest ethnic groups that had settled in the territory of Burkina Faso in the 15th century. Tiébélé is known for their amazing traditional Gourounsi architecture and elaborately decorated walls of their homes.

Burkina Faso is a poor country, even by West African standards, and possibly the poorest in the world. But they are culturally rich, and decorating the walls of their buildings is an important part of their cultural legacy in this area of the country. Wall decorating is always a community project done by the women and it’s a very ancient practice that dates from the sixteenth century AD.

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The Kassena people build their houses entirely of local materials: earth, wood and straw. Soil mixed with straw and cow dung is moistened to a state of perfect plasticity, to shape almost vertical surfaces. Today this technique is replaced by the use of mud brick molding walls with foundations resting on large stone. Tiébélé’s houses are built with defense in mind, whether that be against the climate or potential enemies. Walls are over a foot thick and the homes are designed without windows except for a small opening or two to let just enough light in to see. Front doors are only about two feet tall, which keeps the sun out and makes enemies difficult to strike. Roofs are protected with wood ladders that are easily retracted and the local beer (dolo) is brewed at home.

After construction, the woman makes murals on the walls using colored mud and white chalk. The motifs and symbols are either taken from everyday life, or from religion and belief. The finished wall is then carefully burnished with stones, each color burnished separately so that the colors don’t blur together. Finally, the entire surface is coated with a natural varnish made by boiling pods of néré, the African locust bean tree.

The designs also serves to protect the walls themselves. The decorating is usually done just before the rainy season and protects the outside walls from the rain. Adding cow dung, compacting layers of mud, burnishing the final layer, and varnishing with néré all make the designs withstand wet weather, enabling the structures to last longer.

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Sources: Handeye Magazinesworthy10UnescoMessyNessyChic. Photos by Rita Willaer

Chichen Itza was one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Peninsula of Yucatan. Throughout its nearly 1,000 years history, different peoples have left their mark on this city. The Maya and Toltec vision of the world and the universe is revealed in their artistic works and stone monuments. Several buildings have survived.
In the northern region of the Yucatan peninsula, on a limestone plateau lie the relics of Chichen Itza, once one of the most powerful cities of the Maya. Ruins of the temples of this ancient civilization spread from the Guatemala jungles to the Yucatan. Today, Chichen Itza attracts millions of visitors who come to marvel at the spectacular remains.

Walk through the ancient ruins, and you come upon it suddenly, with indrawn breath. Alone in the midst of a vast green lawn, the central pyramid at Chichén Itzá, known as El Castillo, rears up over the surrounding area. This is the Pyramid of Kukulkcán, the feathered serpent god who ruled the Maya pantheon during the later period of Chichén Itzá’s flowering.

Climb the huge stone steps of the Pyramid to the tiny sacrificial chamber, and you can see the forest stretching to the horizon in every direction. The huge green lawn spreads below you, and the other major structures appear small: the Temple of the Jaguar, the Temple of the Warriors, and the Ball Court. Stay for a while, here where it’s believed that the Mayan rulers offered human sacrifices and sat in conversation with the gods. Watch the sun move across the sky, watch the rain clouds sweep in.

Look at the buildings around you. In addition to providing evidence of Mayan knowledge about the cosmos, the architecture at Chichén Itzá preserves the mythology of the Maya. Study the site carefully and you can see a deep-rooted embodiment of Mayan myth, including the emergence of humans from the primordial sea.

According to some interpretations of the Mayan creation myth, in the beginning, there was no separation between earth and sky. Mayan texts often refer to this as the “lying down sky place,” and inscribed images of the events of this time are often represented on a black background, possibly indicating that they took place in darkness or underwater. The first father, the Maize God, planted a World Tree, the pillar that lifted the sky above the earth, creating the space for human life.

Source – Exploratorium 

This is a video capture of the Wolaba Day Parade that happens every year in Costa Rica. Definitely enjoyed myself in the fun atmosphere of music, dancing and celebration!  This was my first time filming a festival so I decided not to get too cinematic with the editing and just cut everything simple and plain to get the sounds that were actually going on while there. 

Lower Oneonta Falls is an enchantress – a 100-foot ribbon of white water plunging down a steep wall of dark volcanic rock draped in moss and ferns. Getting to this waterfall demands an off-trail adventure up Oneonta Gorge that involves wading through crystal clear stretches of Oneonta Creek as it passes between the towering walls of this narrow gorge.

Located in Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (a land full of waterfalls, steep terrain, and lush vegetation), Oneonta Gorge is a truly wild gorge. The short but exciting excursion to Lower Oneonta Falls is just 0.8 miles round trip with obstacles along the way. There are downed tree trunks to climb over, rock walls to shimmy across, and up-to-your-navel water to wade through. This hike is a fun one!

The off-trail trek to Lower Oneonta Falls begins from Historic Columbia River Highway, just west of Horsetail Falls. Look for a sign for Oneonta Gorge on the west side of a bridge over Oneonta Creek. Descend a staircase at the west end of the bridge and begin walking up the gorge. The gorge runs pretty straight south and the cliffs on each side are quite tall, so it’s impossible to get off course. Forge your way upstream and you’re bound to reach the waterfall.

Oneonta Gorge

A path leads up and across the creek making use of rocks to hop across and logs to walk along. As the walls of the gorge come together and form a slot canyon-like alley, you’ll meet a cluster of tree trunks that present you’re first real obstacle. Climb over these logs and boulders, generally sticking to the left side of the gorge. When you get across the log jam, it will be harder to stay dry. Make your way out on the logs to avoid pools in the stream or just hop into the water. You’re going to have to get wet eventually, so embrace it.

 

Oneonta Gorge

Oneonta Creek runs clear, and it is nice to look down on the colorful rocks below the water. Moss, ferns and other small green vegetation cling to the side of the gorge like tapestries covering the dark, sheer cliffs.

Walk up the gorge through the flowing water to gravel beds on the sides of the creek. Much of this water may be less than ankle deep. However, the walls pinch together in a couple places where the gorge is only about twenty feet across. In these spots, the creek deepens and takes up the width of the gorge, so you have to just wade through. The final deep spot in the creek is the deepest of all and you can quickly find yourself in water up to your waist. If you’re feeling spry you may be able to avoid getting in too deep by clinging to the rock wall on the right side of the gorge and hoisting your way across ledges to drier ground.

Oneonta Gorge
A deeper passage through Oneonta Creek

Past the second deep pool, it is just a short walk up to the base of Lower Oneonta Falls. The waterfall slides down the near-vertical cliffs at the back of the gorge, hitting rock and fanning out just above the creek. Beneath the waterfall, which is at least a hundred feet tall, a pool fills the space at the back of the gorge.

Lower Oneonta Falls
Hikers approach Lower Oneonta Falls Around midday, the sun lines up above the end of the gorge and drops a shaft of light across the top of the waterfall, adding to the magic of this beautiful location. Easing closer than the obvious viewing area at the edge of the pool, the waterfall grows in volume, size, and presence. You can wade or swim forward to get right up to the waterfall and feel wrapped up by the walls of the gorge.

When you are ready to leave the stunning waterfall, there’s no other option than to turn around and head back down the gorge. The hike to Lower Oneonta Falls is 0.8 miles round trip with only about 25 feet of elevation change.

 

During the spring wet season, Oneonta Gorge may be impassable (and the water will be cold). Target lake summer for your hike, when water levels are generally low enough to make reaching the waterfall possible. Conditions in the gorge may change year to year. There is no maintained trail up the gorge. Be mindful of your safety. Dogs are allowed, but Oneonta Gorge is not appropriate for all dogs or all hikers. Wear footwear and clothing that can get wet. No fee or permit is required to visit Lower Oneonta Falls, so enjoy the adventure!

 
Source – HikesPeak

 Waterfalls of Ghana

Water, water everywhere! Most of our citizens do not know the tourism potentials of this wonderful natural resource. Most falls are seasonal, so plan to travel shortly after the end of the main rain season if these natural features are important to your travels.

Boti Falls BOTI FALLS
This spectacular seasonal waterfalls is situated in the Eastern Region of Ghana, about 17km Northeast of Koforidua, the regional capital of the Eastern Region. This waterfalls features two falls, side-by-side and are accessed via a scenic descent via 250 concrete steps to the bottom of the falls. This waterfall was first to be enlisted by the national Tourist Board because of its magnificent nature.A somewhat strenuous hike to Umbrella Rock can also be done from the visitor center. The view from Umbrella Rock is unforgettable, but we recommend doing this in the cool of the morning.
Akaa Falls AKAA FALLS
These falls are a mere 7 km from Boti Falls and are also seasonal in nature. Like Boti Falls, these falls are also accessed via a scenic 250 concrete steps to the bottom, where a canyon of water can fall around you from 3 sides if the flow is good.Lookout rock is a nearby attraction that you may visit when at the falls. After climbing a somewhat frightening bamboo ladder, you arrive to top of a large flat rock that looks out over an amazing forest vista. It is quite an incredible experience.
Kintampo Falls KINTAMPO FALLS
This seasonal fall is from the Pumpu River which falls some 70 meters down beautiful rocky steps. The Kintampo Waterfalls has a more festive environment with lots of locals on picnics and shade where visiting individuals and groups can sit and have fun There are lots of trees, mostly dominated by Mahogany, some of which grow beyond 40 meters. Kintampo Falls is also a fine resting place when traveling between Kumasi and Tamale or Mole National Park.Nearby in the town of Kintampo is a small monument that marks the geographic center of Ghana.
Fuller Falls FULLER FALLS
About 20 a minute drive from Kintampo Falls is the less visited and more serene Fuller Falls. These falls have an upper and lower falls in a cool, peaceful, reflective environment.
Wli Falls WLI FALLS
Wli Falls are located about 20km from Hohoe, in the Wli Natural Reserve. An hour’s walk through cool shades of the forest will lead you to Ghana’s highest waterfalls which flows throughout the year.It is located at the edge of the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary, which has hundreds of fruit bats, but no wildlife that you would see. There are a couple of guesthouses at the falls for an overnight experience.

Note that Wli Falls also has an upper falls. It is a very strenuous hike and generally cannot be done during the rain season. But if you are adventurous, healthy and strong, it is a worthy goal to reach the rarely visited upper falls.

Tagbo Falls in Ghana TAGBO FALLS
Like the nearby Wli Falls, Tagbo Falls, located at Liate Wote, flow from the Ghana-Togo mountain range. It is an easy 45 minute walk through forest and cocoa trees to reach these scenic falls that are covered by a lush green carpet of vegetation.While at the scenic highland village of Liate Wote, you can make a very strenuous hike to the top of Mount Afadjato, Ghana’s tallest peak. Less difficult would be a visit to a nearby snake zoo.
Tsenku Falls in Ghana TSENKU FALLS
These falls are located in the Dodowa Forest, near to the Shai Hills Wildlife Reserve.The enchanted Dodowa forest is the battle-field of the Kantamanso war which ended in 1826. The defeat of the Great Ashanti Warriors on the 7th of August 1826 marked the end of Ashanti domination of the then Gold Coast. The giant Baobab tree at the edge of Dodowa is where the ceremony was held to mark the end of conflict. After about a 45 minute hike in the forest, you will come to this beautiful waterfall which drops from a height of about 250 feet, running on stratified rocks into a clear pool.
Asenema Falls Other Falls
Plenty of other waterfalls are not mentioned above. While you may see road signs that seem inviting, realize that some falls may not be easily accessible, or they may be unappealing due to rubbish washed into the falls. Or they may be hidden gems!Do not stop exploring! There are countless waterfalls in Ghana. After years of giving tours, we are still surprised to find scenic waterfalls that are rarely visited.

Source – EasyTrackGhana