Vela Luka, Korcula from below

My skin is itching. The wet suit clings tightly against my skin. I can’t sit still.

Regulator in mouth- check. Waist belt, right-handed release-check. Hands on both – check. 5-4-3-2-1. I roll back. Slightly disoriented, I pop up to the surface and the boat rolls away. My brain tells me to hold my breathe. Slowly, I sink as I release air out of my BCD.

The turtle swims away and I scream with excitement only to hear a soft screech and watch bubbles stream out of you mouth. That moment you realize you’re breathing underwater, that moment where you know you’ve entered a new world, the one where we’ve been taught to be afraid because you could drown. No fear.  I breathe intently sending air into parts of my lungs that I never knew existed. Take that airway, I finally feel energized.  That’s it, I am hooked. So this is how it’s like to be Little Mermaid (without a tail).

Diving in Vela Luka from Joanne Chui on Vimeo.

Dive Locations: Blue Hole, Emmental, Danne’s Cove

Dive Operator: Croatia Divers

Kanyawegi, Kenya/ June 28, 2012

Past Obambo market, up the hill, and through maize fields, Maurice led us through people’s backyards as he waved and greeted everyone. There wasn’t a single person that he didn’t know the name to. It was my second time in the village yet I hadn’t visited anyone’s homes. Each family welcomed us with fried fish; we ate it all (even the head). We were meeting with Barak . He was hired to grow seedlings for the Sac Garden project. 




Barak, Farmer

Who knew I could grow vegetables too

I’ve harvested! Who knew that plants don’t die in the proximity of my home. My aloe vera (RIP) thinned in the centre, browned at the edges, eventually drooped and died. So much for easy-to-care-for plants. I even killed a cactus. Last year I felt like a hypocrite. We were holding sac garden workshops in Kanyawegi, Kenya yet I had never been able to grow any vegetables. If we can grow vegetables out of a sac then I can grow vegetables in my backyard.

So here are my babies. There’s the tall cucumber plants, bushy zucchini plans, hot peppers, sage, rosemary, Lavender, sage, chives, and thyme.

Mystic Beach, Vancouver Island

Mystic Beach, Vancouver Island


I loaded my 60L backpack with a sleeping mat, sleeping bag, some clothes, and my camera. I was well prepared for weekend of camping knowing that the plans would most likely fall through. I didn’t care. All I knew was that I was going to see a good friend and that I had taken time off from a weekend job that I’d been reluctant to give up shifts for the past nine years. (The fact that I’d potentially be working a “real job” was also a factor, but let’s just put that aside.)

This weekend was an invitation to break routines, what I missed most about traveling. I miss not knowing who you’d meet, what you’d be doing, and how you’d enjoy the experience. I missed letting go of all control.  Vancouver Island is not Kenya or Croatia, but I’ll take it. It’s way from “home.” I’m learning to redefine traveling as going somewhere 2000 km away.

Our plans kept changing from meandering and camping along the Portland coast, to hiking to a hidden beach near Bamfield, to camping at Mystic Beach. In the end, we settled for hot soup on Mystic Beach as if we were camping. It didn’t matter what we did. I was up for it. I got to share this “haphazard” experience with such an amazing friend whom has pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of. I was reminded that it didn’t matter where we went; it was all about who you were with. As cliche as it may seem, it was true.  

Almost every weekend, I’ve been challenged to forgo my minimum wage job. My favourite comment being “You’re still here!!!!” Yes, you’re not imagining things. I’m still here. At the end of the month, my nine year undergraduate journey will come to an end.  And I think Joanne is ready for a “real’ job. But, hey, who says I my goal wasn’t to reach 10 years at the weekend job?

Chocolate Wine Parfait

I want to travel. I want to move away from Vancouver, but I’l be here for a bit. So I spent my friday remembering why I live here.

Lucky for me, my sister’s boyfriend who was curious enough to buy ChocolatRouge red wine didn’t like it. Anything “weird” gets passed on to me. The flavour is hard to describe. You know when you’ve just swallowed a peice of chocolate cake and then take a sip of red wine? It’s kind of like that minus the sticky cake.  Perhaps more like a syrup except less sweet.

1/4 cup Greek Yogurt

1 tsp Honey

1/4 cup ChocolatRouge Red Wine

2 large Strawberries, diced

Chocolate shavings (optional)