High Contrast Living Is Two Hours By Ship

“After all, what he had always wanted was just that: to know new places. Even if he never got to the Pyramids, he had already traveled farther than any shepherd he knew. Oh, if they only knew how different things are just two hours by ship from where they are, he thought.”  ~ The Alchemist. Paul Coelho

Twice a year, in only sixteen hours of actual flying time (from Canada to Sikasso, Mali, door to my door, is actually 4-5 days), I go from this task in water, cold, with a lunch box full of plenty and diversity.

Lobster Fishing
Benjamin Rayner & I fishing lobsters in the predawn, off the shores of Prince Edward Island.


To this: Dry, hot, struggle to survive in Sub-Sahara Sahel of West Africa as we help families establish simple drip irrigated vegetable gardens to grow throughout nine months of drought.

On a small mountain on the edge of Sikasso, Mali, West Africa.


Man Of Peace Development works. Period!

What a high contrast life shift, eh?

I am sitting here in West Africa, just weeks away form that transition, yet again, back to being a Canadian Captaining a commercial fishing boat, for another eight months, before Mali comes on the horizon again this fall. I am balanced between, there is still more to do here – and  – there is still more to do over there in Canada as well.

I struggle (you sense it in my pathetic writing for certain) because the extremes are so radical, so extraordinary, and so enjoyable in their own right. In one place, other life seems surreal. I struggle to overlay the two lives together.

However, what is waiting for us, just two hours away?

We may not be able to travel the world, but what is waiting for us, only two hours away by ship, car, motorcycle, bike, foot, or airplane? What do you see?

  • A shore we’ve never walked?
  • A trail we’ve never hiked?
  • A water we’ve never swam in?
  • A hill to climb?
  • A woods to camp in?
  • A person to love?
  • A people to immerse ourselves among?
  • A stream to wade or fish?
  • A tree to sit under and dream.
  • A bucket list memory to be made.

Only two hours by ship.

“Why do you tend a flock of sheep?”“Because I like to travel.”The old man pointed to a baker standing in his shop window at one corner of the plaza. “When he was a child, that man wanted to travel, too. But he decided first to buy his bakery and put some money aside. When he’s an old man, he’s going to spend a month in Africa. He never realized that people are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.””  (The Alchemist. Paulo Coelho)

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