Happier Times

April 8, 2014

Yes, happier times. I’m reflecting on the daily frustrations that plague managing a humanitarian crisis in a complex socio-political and religious context like Rakhine. At times I have to ask myself if anything I am doing is helping those truly in need?  I feel like I’m caged, handcuffed, bound, blindfolded and unable to do anything meaningful for the 3,000 internally displaced people who sit inside an internment camp waiting for someone to help them. They’re in a desperate situation while the Myanmar government and the humanitarian community negotiate solutions to our own displacement as a result of riots by Sittwe residents who attacked and destroyed over 40 of our offices, warehouses and guest houses in March. And to think that in a few days there will be throngs of happy Myanmar citizens tossing buckets of water, spraying fire hoses, drinking, partying, feasting and celebrating in Thingyan festivities. Among them will be these same government officials who refuse to use their very real influence and power to get the humanitarian community safely back to serving their beneficiaries who are crying for help.


Today my mind wandered off to happier times. I was reminiscing my 12,000 mile (20,000 kilometer) motorcycle trip around the United States last spring and summer. I remain so thankful for that opportunity. I’ve decided to point you all to a lighter side of my blog that you can get to through the main menu Blogs section. Or, you can go to these links to reminisce with me through my motorcycle journey last year. Maybe you’re planning a trip somewhere in the United States this year. Dig through my motorcycle blog for pictures, interviews, video and stories covering 26 states, every region of the country (except Hawaii and Alaska), many national parks and lots of personal perspective.

Here are links you can go directly to:



Or on my web site main page at http://heart-sign.com just click on the Blogs item on the main menu.

Here are a few pictures to wet your whistle. I hope you enjoy. I hope some of it brings a smile to your face.

I hope you find joy in your day and love in your hearts for all the beauty in your life.

Take nothing for granted.

Life is short.

Mae and Ryan

My friend Eric’s two guiding eyes dogs. Mae, on the left, has since past away from liver failure


Glacier National Park

Many Glacier, Glacier National Park



Hangin’ with Bison in Yellowstone National Park


Honor Riders

Riding with the Navajo/Hopi Honor Riders


Navajo children

Navajo children diggin’ my two wheels



Among the giant Sequoia trees of Sequoia National Park



Breath-taking Yosemite!



Riding with my friend, Bill, along the mountains of Colorado

John, Aho!

Missing the Master of the Sweat Lodge, John!  Aho, John!



On my way to Hibbing


Bob's hometown

Zimmy’s hometown

(Hibbing, Minnesota)

Dear Sweet Friends

My dear sweet friends, Karen, Elizabeth, Jack and Jimmy!  Miss you!!


Georgia O'Keefe

In the land of Georgia O’Keefe

(New Mexico)

Oregon Coast

The rough and rugged coast



The Smokies



Chillin’ in Zion


Collards with Charles

Learning to cook collards with my buddy Charles

(North Carolina)


Catching the rodeo



The endless open road

(on the way to Yellowstone from Montana)

D.L. Moss

With D.L. Moss in the Flint Hills


Annie and Amir

A weekend of yoga with my friends Amir and Annie



Visiting my old friend, Jackie, and meeting her frisky cat, Harold



Across the Cascades


Barrels full of pictures and 72 days of reflections await you on my motorcycle trip blog. Much happier tales, too!

Wishing you all much happiness, many blessings and a wealth of love.



All content copyrighted © Stephen Tavella

3 thoughts on “Happier Times

  1. Ken! So, so good to hear from you! I would love to chat sometime if you have Skype. Do you? You’ve been on my mind. Been wondering how things are panning out for you. I think it would take a phone call rather than just email. Let me know your Skype address, of you have one. You know you’re always fondly in my thoughts and always wishing you and your family the best – love, prosperity, peace, comfort, and all good things. Hope we can connect soon!

    Your friend,

  2. Stephen,
    No need to “prettify” your posts for us. If your readers are being chased off by the heaviness of your posts, it says something about us rather than about you. Actually, it does say something about you. It says that you are willing to experience and be with the pain of being human, the pain of being separate – from one another and from Source – that most of us are not willing to feel, and by feeling, healing. Thank you for that. You are magnificent.
    Much love,

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