Explorer’s Journal: Surviving Mountain Storms Trains You for Rising Above Corruption


 

Phrase from Field: Slouching against mountain wool-stuffed pillows, a man donning a track suit and perfectly trained British English recounts how a life of survival and fickle weather patterns in the yaylas has prepared him for survival in the cut-throat corruption of Batumi oil ports and the tyrannical nepotism of politics.

Memorable Meal: A little boy balances a cookie on his head as red meaty white muscled animal corpses pass between hands through the doorway, are spread across every surface, chopped, wrapped, and hidden from the view of our meat-less vegetable soup, which we eat among tired women and commanding men.

Location: Lekoban Yaylasi.

Altitude: 2,500 m.

Date: August 22, 2012.

Macahel

The final cinders of slow burning cow cakes die near dawn, making way for overdue cloudless skies and delayed sheep sheering.

*****

About Explorer’s Journal: From April 2012 – December 2012 I am exploring the Caucasus through the lens of honey and bees as a National Geographic Young Explorer grantee. My mission is to use the living history and culture of small-scale beekeeping to help connect global travelers to local food traditions. The Explorer’s Journal is a daily snapshot from this adventure, giving you a small taste of the very complex life of the honey road. I am joined on parts of this adventure by story-teller Claire Bangser and navigator Suat Celik. To learn more, find me at my National Geographic Explorer page or read about the adventure here.
 
Would you like to read a story in your local magazine? Do you have an idea for an article? We are producing extensive visual and creative material on the region’s food, culture, and history. Send us an email to brainstorm how you can bring our young perspectives into your publications: balyolu@gmail.com.
 
 

 

About these ads

About Cat

Catherine de Medici Jaffee is a National Geographic Young Explorer, a Fulbright Scholar, a Luce Fellow, the Founder of Balyolu: the Honey Road, and a lunatic about honey culture in the Caucasus. Raised on a farm in the Colorado Rockies, Cat grew up loving animals, dirt, and altitude. Her dedication and passion for animals, agriculture, and women leaders has launched her across the world as a Luce and Fulbright scholar: to raise Aigamo ducks in Japan, to research yak trade caravans in Sikkim, and to study rural women’s migration in Turkey. In particular, Turkey - with its fish hung like laundry from windows, its 9,000 species of flowers, and its delicious honey - continues to lure Cat back to its borders. Cat’s love for Turkey, the mountains, agriculture, and women’s leadership blend together sweetly in her new venture Balyolu and her blog Inspired Beeing. You can most frequently find her jumping on a mountain, running from angry bees, cooking in villages, hitching on dirt roads, or joking with Turkcell about her internet woes. Cat is joined by her partner in crime Claire Bangser, artist, photographer, writer, and globe wanderer who believes in creative storytelling as a way to powerfully connect people across mental and physical borders. From working with small-scale women farmers in Mali, to documenting peoples' lives along a 2,000 mile bike tour in the US, she finds that every person (and bee) has an important story to tell and much wisdom to share (speaking of Wisdom, Claire just published her first book, Ride Somewhere Far. Check it out on our Link Roll). These days, you're most likely to find Claire upside down, yodeling from a mountaintop, making tragic mistakes in Turkish, or eating meat for Cat.

Posted on October 4, 2012, in Culture, Environment, Explorer's Journal, Food, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is a fantastic site/journal/log. Happy I found it. Thanks

  2. Have you posted anything on the plant species favored by bees in the region? Or, also, anything on local edible/medicinal/useful plant traditions would be very interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,380 other followers

%d bloggers like this: