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Remembrance Day November 11

REMEMBRANCE DAY for soldiers or war victims ?

PTSD suffered by both parties. However, only soldiers and those flying in their war planes dropping the tons of bombs onto civilians, women and children alike, are being celebrated in Remembrance Day ceremonies as heroes.

Victims of those wars who suffered on the sidelines, or fallout – World War I – and those who suffered heavy bombings and destruction of their home lands, – World War II – particularly starting from 1941 until 1945, are not allowed to ever forget their experiences being persecuted, suffering in concentration camps, and being heavily bombed as small children, growing up in completely destroyed home lands; now also suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

We are not heroes of war, we did not fly over enemy lands and drop bomb loads, we were just trying to survive and rebuild our home lands.

Where is the justice in that ?

Soldiers belong to the governments who declare wars, they are also called GI – government issue for that reason – they get weapons and tanks and war planes and are being deployed, for the sole purpose to kill. They can defend themselves. Not so civilians. They are the real heroes. At the same time, they are the ones who do not want to be reminded of those terrible experiences.

Don’t worry, we do remember without big ceremonies and pompom.

Grizzly Bear trophy hunt – meaning that a bear is being killed and stripped of its pelt, and that more than ever it is the European (so-called) hunters who come to British Columbia, to partake in the (rather liberally set provincial quota for) hunting and killing those animals.

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grizzly-bears-overhunted-in-b-c-say-researchers-1.2417306 ] .

So, what is the point exactly of stripping a bear of its pelt and hanging it up on the wall ? Or do they use the bear pelts as carpeting ? Or do they think that there is a major market for any of its parts ? maybe in China ?

I cannot see the point of it, yet. For example, a Norwegian traveling all the way to the most Western Canadian Province, British Columbia, in order to return back home with the skin of one of the most intelligent animals. One of the remnants of a Grizzly bear population that has been shrinking to only pockets in Western Canada.

While the BC government claims that set quotas are scientifically proven (or, should I say “clinically proven” ?), scientists here who study the Grizzly bear population know otherwise. [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/grizzly-bear-kill-limits-being-broken-across-bc-study-says/article15301716/ ]

And don’t you hate it, when a government agency (these are not professionals or scientists, but politicians with no science or even statistical background), determines how many bears can be killed in one season. Don’t tell me, female bears are also included ? ! And who is controlling the hunt ? Any member of those BC governmental agencies ? Is anybody out there in the cold and the wilds to check if the “right” bear is killed ? [Reminds me of the Right Whale in the 19th and 20th century, who were almost completely exterminated. – http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/north-atlantic-right-whales-hunted-to-the-edge-of-extinction-405848.html ]

For those visitors from out of Canada, don’t touch our bears, leave them be, go hunt your own (people) or animals, whatever they be.

Illegal trophy hunts of grizzly bears. It is a cowardly act to kill unarmed civilians during a war or occupation, the hunt is also on for trophy grizzly bears. Mostly residing in Canada’s northern British Columbia. The numbers are staggering – 300 bears killed a year, 250 bears by way of (lottery-assigned) trophy hunts. The numbers are staggering. Trophy hunting resulting in taking the head, paws, having the pelt processed for mounting.

The trophy hunting of coastal grizzlies is not so much a sport as a search and destroy mission by trophy hunters with militia-style mindsets” (cowards who missed out of serving in any significant war theatre and intend to make up for it.) These marvellous majestic creatures are already fighting pollution, habitat loss and pipelines crisscrossing their habitat [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enbridge_Northern_Gateway_Pipelines ]

Suggestion to those ‘militia-style skinheads’ : “Stand in front of a mirror, shoot at yourself, pin on some (purple heart or other) silly war medal, and march in the Memorial Day parade “I am a hero, I served”. At least that way some of the grizzlies can stay alive.

Coming back to trophy hunting of our grizzly friends in BC: The EU has issued a ban on import of such animal parts. However, hunters from Europe and elsewhere in North America come here regularly to hunt, get the skins processed and somehow illegally export them to their country. The Raincoast Conservation Organisation is working on this. [ http://www.raincoast.org/projects/grizzly-bears/troph-hunting/ ]

[NOTE. s.a. http://renataveritasopinion.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/obsession-with-guns/ ]

Despite my many years living in Alberta’s wilderness, I would have considered it a rare privilege to actually have encountered a grizzly bear in the wild. Black bears I have encountered many.

Grizzlies, so near, yet invisible

My first meeting up close with a grizzly had been in a wildlife park during our many travels through the United States and most of its national parks. In the Black Hills of South Dakota, on our way to Mt. Rushmore. [ https://www.bearcountryusa.com/ ]

This was in the summer of 1976, the year of America’s Bi-Centennial celebrations. I had just graduated in December of 1975 from Syracuse University, New York State. And taken the time off to travel extensively that summer with my little boy, eight years old, in our old square back VW van – a really old model. I called it our ‘Hobomobile’, as it served also as our home for many weeks. By Fall of that year we went up north into Canada, before the cold set in. Shortly after we arrived in Alberta in 1976, I got myself work. Then from January 1977 until into the 1990s working in Alberta’s oil industry.

Talking about grizzly bears : –

From 1978 on until the year 2002 I mostly lived by myself – after also my son left for the USA in 1990 do do his graduate studies in Alabama – in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. Surrounded by wild life. Because all those many years I had horses, I also had large pieces of land. Mostly wilderness, treed. After nine years in the Kananaskis country south west of Calgary, during the 1980s, several times with a group of other riders and the horses, we made overnight trips for several days to Two Jack Lake, Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park area. Because this is so high up, this is also prime Grizzly bear country. For several days we camped out in large Army tents, the entire compound surrounded by electrified barb wire, against bear visits.

[ https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/grizzly-bear-ly-misses-hiker-after-charge-forcing-closures-in-banff-national-park ][ https://globalnews.ca/news/4255044/hiker-charged-grizzly-lake-minnewanka-banff/ ]

During those years I also had 160 acres of bare land far outside West of Cochrane, (north up Forestry Trunk Road, north of the (today Ghost River Dam area)). [ https://www.cottageclub.ca/history ]. This was so far out, surrounded by miles of Crown land, that there were no real neighbours. I made very many rides with my horses alone in this wilderness area high up in the Rocky Mountain Foothills, but never once came face to face with a grizzly bear. They are there, they can hear you, they can smell you. I can see traces of them. Besides that rarely would any bear or wolf or any wild animals attack a human, when going out alone in those areas, always make some noise, make yourself heard. This 160 acres by the way was close to the Stoney Indian Reserve. [ http://www.rockymountainnakoda.com/our-lands ]. My most precious book: These Mountains are our Sacred Places. The Story of the Stoney People. 1977. By Chief John Snow, of the Wesley Band.

Back to grizzly bears.

From 1994 until the year 2000 my land with my home and horses on 80 acres was even more remote, north west of Cochrane, Alberta, a wilderness where the nearest little town was Water Valley, Alberta. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Valley,_Alberta ]

Surrounded by hundreds of acres of Crown land. Often during those years I had to visit a saw mill somewhere in the middle of nowhere to pick up my rails for making my horse fences. There were no roads. This could only be done by a heavy 4×4 truck.

One day I drove in to see that guy who operated the mill. On my way in, a couple of guys in a truck came out, white as sheets in their faces. I thought they saw a ghost. They told me that there is a grizzly bear who had taken down a cow and still in there, feeding.

I drove on, passing by some yellow Dept. Forestry tape – WARNING BEAR – then on to the sawmill. No one there. Pretty eerie. Again the bear nearby, but not visible.

That’s as much as goes for grizzly bears. They are there, but cannot be seen. If you run into one unexpected, though, you better be careful !

Since 2002 residing in British Columbia, where Grizzlies and their sub-species – the Pacific Rain Forest white Spirit Bear – can hopefully be seen by sailing up the BC coast north Vancouver Island. Which I did in 2014, stopping various times during the sailing thru the Johnson strait. One of my videos during a storm [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIVhEkGRiN8 ] . Grizzlies hunting for salmon – we did not see. [ https://renataveritashistory.com/2014/10/25/adventure-sailing-trip-northern-vancouver-island/ ].

NOTES. Links to earlier articles on grizzly bear hunt.

[ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grizzly-bears-overhunted-in-b-c-say-researchers-1.2417306 ] .

otherwise. [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/grizzly-bear-kill-limits-being-broken-across-bc-study-says/article15301716/ ]

CHRISTMAS MIRACLES

--- do happen.

For very small children Christmas miracles can be as big as impressive gifts or as
small as - what I call - TIME OUT during endless bombing raids in the middle of 
one of the worst world wars. This was in Europe. 
When I was only three living in a country that was heavily fire bombed day and 
night, every day and every night, it sure was a miracle from heaven for us children
that during a few cold December days the bombings stopped. 
This was our Christmas present. 
Although this is long ago I will never forget, the two days in December, 24 until 
December 26, we had our little Christmas, with Christmas songs, standing by the
piano that my mother used to play so well. 
My father ? he was long MIA or somewhere in Russia frozen to death. 
Despite remembering this particular aspect of all of this, it does not bother me in
 the least, not to worry about the Christmas season anymore. 
I am just happy to be here where I am, on the other side of the ocean.  And have a
good time. 
Wish the same to all !

In case any physician or clinician tries to tell you that a large tear in the (supraspinatus portion of the) rotator cuff in the shoulder cannot be healed, other than selling you expensive steroid injections, or alternatively refers you to a specialist for a future surgery, mostly years later after having been on a lengthy wait list. Then my experience maybe helps to clear this up.

FIRST, explanation of what all these medical terms mean. [ https://physioworks.com.au/injuries-conditions-1/rotator-cuff-tears ]. The supraspinatus is one of the posterior muscles surrounding the shoulder, specifically the rotator cuff (source of many injuries), the others are trapezius and the largest the deltoid. Important to know is that these are some of the muscles needed to lift or rotate the upper arm.

 

Unfortunately, when an injury occurs, usually very painful, the first treatment seems to always be prescribing pain medications including most often steroid injections into any of the upper arm muscles. More than not, nilly/willy anywhere. Resulting in either subduing pain, not longer than 4 months, or what is worse, resulting in no pain reduction. Does that sound familiar ?

Plus, injections should always be given ‘guided’ (using a monitor) and by a specialist to know where the needle goes in. Remember, once an injection received, this treatment may go on forever, mostly not resulting in any repair of a tear in the muscle’s tendon. The opposite may more likely be the case.

Surgery ? Not the answer either. Why ? Firstly, surgery cannot be done for elderly patients because their tissue is thinner. Ergo, the tear will probably get worse. Secondly, even if the surgery is using good healthy tissue, no guaranty that pain is resolved and all is well.

Here is my case. January 2016 received an injury in my right arm. Throughout 2016 pain went into my right shoulder. October 2016 ultrasound shows sub deltoid bursa inflammation [Bursa m/l is padding between muscles and bone.], but no focal tears. November 2016 first corticosteroid injection into sub deltoid by GP (no ‘guidance’). After that, I was pain free for 3.5 months. March 2017 the second corticosteroid injection (both were using Triamcinolone acetonide) into my deltoid. No pain reduction whatsoever. Done by same GP in office unguided.

April 2017 several physio therapist sessions, with pretty severe moving of my right arm and shoulder. Needless to say the pain I suffered. June 2017 third and last steroid injection, done guided in hospital, using Depo Medrol. Again, pain was worse after that.

Referred to physiatrist specialists. End June 2017 request for MRI of shoulder.

December 2017 results of MRI id’d : Large tear involving supraspinatus portion of rotator cuff. The doctor who had requested this MRI told me, and I quote:

“There is nothing we can do about this, except continue steroid injections. Surgery is out of the question” [mind you, I never considered surgery] . More steroid injections, thanks, but no thanks.

Instead, I started healing myself since October 2017. My program:

Five times a week working in the local YM/YWCA swimming pool, aqua fit program or swim, then warm pool, weights, carefully moving my right arm and shoulder, to strengthen the surrounding muscles.

What helps is heat. When tissue is still inflamed, ice. I bought myself equipment such as ice pack, and a little ultrasound machine, for that torn upper arm and shoulder. Cannot say, that that helped a lot. Neither did Voltaren gel.

When moving or rotating my right arm, very carefully done. After not being able to lift my right arm, I can do it now, best when heated (under hot shower or in steam room). I am doing better now. Best yet, I save money by helping myself. [At this point I need to mention, be careful, follow your own instincts and programs.]

Checking the NET, there are umpteen sites on “healing rotator cuff tears”, most of them try to sell something. Found a fairly good one :

[ http://www.aidmyrotatorcuff.com/rotator-cuff/stretching-and-exercise-for-a-rotator-cuff-tear.php ]. Also my good book bought ten years ago gives lots of insights.

NOTE. I have not yet had a follow up ultrasound to actually see if that tear is smaller or fluids are still retained. Not likely at my age (80 years) I would get anything done anymore. Nor, do I make the premise that any of such injury can be completely healed.

Los Angeles Adventurer Hotel – passing through

[ http://www.laadventurerhotel.com/ ]. Address:  4200 W Century Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90304.

In summary, this hotel is at best a backpackers inn, it is awful. 

My recent experiences summarized. On my way down south to Mexico I needed to stay overnight in Los Angeles, CA. I had booked this hotel using http://www.booking.com. It is near LAX, L.A. Airport and advertised a number of included FREE services, such as BF, free Airport Shuttle to and from, free popcorn, free glass champagne on arrival, and whatnot. When entering the small messy lobby, there is a list on the wall listing all of these free included services and extras. These are included in the room price.

I have not seen any of this FREE stuff. I arrived late L.A., called shuttle service at this hotel from the airport outside an area which is reserved for shuttle buses from all L.A. hotels. We waited 40 minutes till a large black van arrived at the Airport, to pick me up.

This hotel is noisy, smelly (cannabis smoking), and the reception on my first arrival there was unacceptably rude with another guest, a Chinese man. Yelling and insulting this man, making nasty discriminatory comments on his being Chinese, and threatening to call the police. Just because he had requested another room. His room did not have a workable shower. Was scary this situation. In all my travels, this was a first for me.

I spent a few hours, getup early and got the hotel shuttle alright, to bring me to the airport. On my return back to Canada, I needed again to stay overnight at this same hotel.

Calling the hotel shuttle service from the airport, no response, a different company responded. I took a taxi to the hotel, cost US$25. The room I got was nice, I must say, with a nice clean renovated bathroom. The TV was on, the remote belonged to a different machine, no way to turn this off. So I pulled the plug to shut down this noise.

Got up early again, again no BF.

How they charge beats me. On arrival they take again a credit card for so called incidentals, although my cost for this room is already charged by booking.com on my MasterCard. The incidentals referred to apparently are a number of little bottles inside the rooms, sample liquor bottles, in case a guest actually uses them. I would not touch any of this with a pitch fork. On departure a guest will then be asked if they took any of this. Nobody does. Then the reception make out another receipt with another charge US$35, and on same receipt a refund of -US$35. Checked my MC account online, if in fact all of this has been charged correctly. Between the (incidentals) amount the night before and the refund the night after, there is a difference in US to C$ conversion. For many guests this seems beneficial to this hotel. Credit card charges are to Crown Airport Hotel Inglewood. Check it out: [ https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g32525-d77998-Reviews-Crown_Airport_Hotel-Inglewood_California.html ].

One month at the Marina Hotel & Resort,  located at the Bahia Santa Cruz. There are seven Bahias (beach areas within secluded bays). [ https://www.lonelyplanet.com/mexico/oaxaca-state/bahias-de-huatulco ]. The sand here is nice and yellow and the water of the Pacific clean and clear. Despite, that this is also an area for local fishing boats.

This entire area referred to as Huatulco lies along the Pacific Ocean within the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Meaning this is a highly touristy area with its seven bays of beaches and therefore frequented by many Mexican families, as Mexico City is only one and a half hours flight from any of the Bays. Because of its decent pricing, the Marina Hotel Resort is one of the largest attracting many Mexican families. Use ear plugs to sleep. Everybody is very friendly, especially if you make the effort of speaking Spanish.

Coming from Canada, British Columbia Pacific Coast, the temperature difference feels enormous on arrival. I had booked a difficult connection between Vancouver Airport and Huatulco, with stops at Los Angeles, CA, where I had to take an overnight hotel, then on the next day via Mexico City to the final destination Huatulco Airport. We do have direct flights from Vancouver, Canada. The flying did not bother me that much. I only had a small suitcase with me, quick in and quick out.

This is my fourth vacation to various locations in Mexico. However this area is different as it has been developed on the basis of an extended resort and beach area. Not offering cultural and historical sights.

I have to admit that I do not favour Mexican food. But at Santa Cruz Bay there were so many hotels and restaurants that one could always find something good and delicious. In fact I dined mostly at the Holiday Inn across the road. They even take – besides Pesos, also MC or American dollars. Which means that a meal could become quite cheap. I also bought fresh fruits and vegetables at the little grocery stores, plus there are weekly markets where produce is cheaper.

Throughout this month the weather was always hot with very high humidity. The little town La Crucecita. is a short 1km walk uphill along beautiful landscaping including natural stone steps and walls. Delightful. If it were not for the constant irrigation, there would be desert instead of those beautiful plants and trees.

The best yet is the high level of safety everywhere. I always travel alone and walk alone. I could walk at night up that hill in safety. With the number and levels of security personnel and guards, from hotel, beach, municipal, State and Federal. I never witnessed one altercation or problem anywhere.

Friday the 16th February we had a 7.2m earthquake nearby in the State of Oaxaca, direction of Puerto Escondido. I could feel the building shake in my hotel. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Oaxaca_earthquake ] . Of course this happens often particularly along that stretch of Pacific Ocean from all the way down south up to Alaska.

Santa Cruz being the heart of the Marina, many tourist boats are leaving from here to any of the other bays. While most of the restaurants are along the beaches. Taxis are plentiful, most operating on fixed prices, 30 Pesos.

We did a nice day tour to the Hagia Sofia Sabiduria Sagrada, a large 130ha Botanical Park. Its a unique agro-ecological development with many different plants and flowers, fruit trees, and butter flies and birds. As well as wildlife [not to be seen during the day]. All food is grown on the property, and visitors are invited to delicious organic breakfast and lunch, all included. The setup is amazing, somewhere is the Santa Magdalena River and an opportunity to take a dip and go behind the little water fall. Change cabins are there and a naturally constructed shower facility as well as WCs. Cost was MXN800.

My next trip will be to the other side of Mexico.

Mexico – safe travel location

Mexicans do not steal.

I traveled four times to different locations in Mexico, never had anything stolen. Having now spent over three weeks at the Bahias de Huatulco, southern Pacific, a grand tourist location. Examples of my experiences: Hotel safe, not necessary here. No cleaning staff touches any guest property. This includes cash money, jewelry. When arriving I had forgotten my cash Pesos in my room, thousands, left openly on the wardrobe. Coming back afternoon after the cleaning lady had done my room, found everything where left. Today buying some fruits in my little grocery store, paid with a 200 Peso bill, thought is was a 20. Can happen when your  brain fries in the heat. They called after me with my exact change. Even when I said I am an idiota, they said, NO, es normal. Don’t you love it !

Want to try this in Canada or the USA  ? Don’t!  Most of valuables I had stolen was exactly in those countries. And these were not hotels.

How safe is it here for a single lady ? Couldn’t be safer. I could go out at night after dark alone. There is lots of specialized security personnel and police and auxiliary police. Everywhere, even in parks.

Taxis. When I travel I usually do not take taxis. Here the prices are pretty much fixed, there is no hustling.

 

 

 

 

 

My Trip to Huatulco, Mexico

s.a. Previous post MEXICO TRIP TIPS.

This southern Pacific area, Huatulco, is a large tourist area, full of many hotels and resorts, they also sell condos here. It has expanded in scope tremendously over the years. Most of the infrastructure along the many bays now consisting of hotels.  Not long ago there was only desert. Seems construction here is never ending. Because of the vicinity of Mexico City (only an hour’s flight from Huatulco), the majority of visitors hail from there, families with small children. Of course, there are also resorts for Canadians, as well as the obligatory American Holiday Inn. The entire bays area received apparently the UNESCO Biosphere and other ecological accreditations. Large areas here ecological reservations.

Although one gets good return for dollars, prices are not low. Some restaurant prices are comparable with ours on Canada’s Westcoast, which is one of the most expensive. The cost of a taxi for a 20 minute ride is 30 $MXN. That’s cheap. There are also regular bus services to further away areas.  A BF here would be around 60 or more, that’s like over 5 C$. Ice cream the same, a piece of cake more. Dinner on the average from small $140 MXN to anywhere up to 300 per meal. The breakfast that’s included with our hotel stay is mostly taco with some cheese sprinkled on top and always eggs, coffee, a fruit plate or orange juice,  the fruit always water melon and papaya. Bread around here always only white bread. Weekends buffet, lots of food. I get from the small store tomatos, also found apples, bananas are the other staple fruit. Coffee with milk, often coconut milk, very sweet. Saturday’s market stuff is cheaper, but not much variety. In the nearby little town La Crucecita found a pastelaria selling pastries. Still no brown bread.  Of course lots of seafood and fish. Not bad.