Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sara Erikson and Peter Oldring’s Wedding March 6th 2010

Pictures and Video below

What a wedding! You may remember from last summer while I was at a good friends 60th surprise birthday party. I mentioned an up coming wedding of Sara Erikson and Peter Oldring.

The wedding was at El Capitan Canyon about 12 miles north of Santa Barbara, California. Margarite decided to join me for this part of the trip. Our friend Cliff Philips, yes from the famous Phillips amusements and games, sent over his experimental high altitude private jet. We flew direct from South Africa to Los Angels in less then 10 hours the distance was about 11,000 miles. This jet flew at over 1,000 miles an hour at an altitude of 70,000 feet, twice as fast and high as a commercial jet. We meet Cliff at LAX and the three of us drove up the coast to El Capitan Canyon.

Sara and Peter had the weekend packed with events. The first event was an awesome barbeque on the beach, as I had mentioned both Sara and Peter are actors and Margarite was excited to meet some famous people. The invited guests ranged from Mel Gibson, George Clooney to Barbara Strisen and Liz Taylor. As you browse the video and pictures see who you can pick out.

As soon as we arrived we headed to the beach not just for a view of the beach, but to see all the stars, and it was still day light. We found John, Sara’s father he had been out all week hob-knobbing with the rich and famous. He filled us in on the guest list, I introduced Margarite to the family members I knew, Janet, Sara’s mom, Janet’s boyfriend Gary. Sara’s brother Prentis, Prentis’s wife, Angie and daughter Hanna, Sara’s Aunt Pam and Uncle Andy.

Next on the agenda was a Bonfire. We checked into our cabin, the Canyon was equipped with simple tents to luxury cabins. The bonfire was in a grassy area surrounded by our cabins. We made s’mores and heard stories about Sara and Peter and how they met.

In the morning Margarite and I took a 10 mile run along the cliff lined coast. The views were just breath taking. The wedding was at 2:30 PM so Margarite, Cliff and I headed into Santa Barbara for some sight seeing.

The ceremony was on a vista over looking the ocean and mountains. The sky was threatening rain, but we all knew with the amount of love between Peter and Sara there was no way Mother Nature would rain down on their ceremony. As you might expect of any ceremony involving actors it was rather long or should I say long winded, but beautiful as could be. With the wind blowing and a slight chill in the air, you could not have asked for a better setting to start the rest of your life.

The reception was just as amazing as the ceremony. Put 100 actors and actor want a be’s in a room and the drama you get to witness, between the dance and skits it was just a wonderful night.

Sara had the entire weekend plan to perfection with the last event a Sunday morning pancake breakfast. Sara’s father John had a famous family pancake recipe he had inherited from his Aunt Jamiama. The only poor part on Sara’s planning was expecting her Dad to be awake at 8:00 am after a night of celebrating his only daughters wedding. The pancakes got made, but it was a little slow going at first. Cliff and I assisted but John came through like a champ.

People started drifting off as the day went on, some back to there home in Los Angles / Hollywood. Other to wherever they had come from. Janet and Gary started their Bike Ride across America that day. Margarite and I decided to take a few days and head north along the coast, more on that later.

That is it for now enjoy the pictures and video.





Saturday, March 6, 2010

Update on the village March 2010 Bill Clinton to visit our village!

I have been back in my Botswana village for a month now. My absence has shown me the elders and all the villagers have really taken responsibility for being self sufficient. As you may remember when I first moved here, our village was the poster child for a poverty stricken African village. There was no source of economic development.

I realized after speaking with the elders that at one point the village could support itself off its agriculture resources, primarily pineapple. Over the years between drought and over farming this resource was no longer available.

Together we developed a plan that was made up of baby steps that would make the village one hundred percent self sufficient while at the same time not have ANY negative impact on the environment.

We also decided any outside aid would only be accepted if the aid would bring us closer to our goal of being self sufficient.

The first baby step was to successfully harvest a new pineapple crop. Success would be having a crop that could sustain the needs of the village and have enough left over to sell at market and bring in revenue to invest in technology to make farming pineapple sustainable year round. That means making sure the land if fertile and irrigated.

So I made a donation to the village by investing in Elephant dung to fertilize the crops. This was a one time investment so the village would need to grow enough crops to finance future investments in fertilization. We also were taking a gamble that we would have enough rain as we were not ready to tackle the irrigation issue.

We had a banner crop and had a nice bank roll to invest in the community. What to invest in? We had two high priority issues. Dealing with human waste and replenishing the land for our next crop of pineapple. We decided that compost toilets might solve both problems.

You may remember while I was out of town the village elders go so excited about this idea or a compost toilet that they bought a top of the line toilet with a solar powered exhaust fan. The good news was the toilet worked it solved both problems human waste and fertilizer. It also created a job to clean out the toilet (we created the public works department). We just needed more toilets but had no money left.

Chephart Yosh made a nice donation to our village and we were able to build a second toilet.

Next on our list of projects was generating electric power we investigated solar and wind and decided our first project we would be a wind generator. We did this ourselves and also built a water pump into it, so we could pump water from the river to our village for both consumption and irrigation. The windmill worked great.

We now can grow pineapples year round and also have enough electricity to power a refrigerator that we use to store the few medicines we might need.

We have recently started a new industry that will be strictly regulated and only used for export. We have no alcoholic beverages in our village and we want to keep it that way. We have discovered that pineapple can make a very good wine and liquor, so we are going to start a distillery, but the product will only be exported and not consumed at all in our village.

Now that we have executed our plan and have created a completely self sufficient village that has no negative impact on the environment. We reuse all waste produced and hunt or grow all the food we consume. Our energy is all generated from renewable sources. We have been getting a lot of press both locally and internationally. We have recently gotten word that Bill Clinton is coming to visit our village as he would like to use us a case study for one of his foundations.

That brings you all up to speed on the goings on here. I am off on another trip with a few stops, but more on that later.