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23 September 2011

 

“A rushed journey is a waste of time; you can see nothing. I am here by the grace of God; I must take advantage of it and examine nature carefully, for I shall never return to these waters again. Instinct tells me to let myself drift with the swift current. Reason stops me: for an explorer, hurrying through an unknown land is like running away from the enemy”. Jules Crevaux, French Naval Surgeon

 

Ten years ago, in 2001, I went down the Rio Negros in the Amazonas Region of Brazil and Venezuela. The experience was one that I had dreamed about since I first saw pictures of Toucan birds in childhood picture books. I still dream about it having been on this trip, for it  excited desires to travel to remote and wild regions that I probably should have fostered many years prior to this journey. 

 

Thinking of the 2 month long trip a decade ago rekindles the images that I preserve of the journey like leadership, loyalty and a love for the environment.

 

I am planning to go back in November of this year, for I need to savour nature in its most pristine atmosphere again. This time I am going to take around a dozen others who want to look at the region too.

 

The river Rio Negros, a tributary of the Rio Amazonas, beckons and I want to see as much of it as I can so my expedition is planned to leave from Manaus and travel to Sao Gabriel in the North West of Brazil. Then we cross into Venezuela and travel up to San Carlos along the Negros before heading into the Casiquiare and motoring by river boat to the Orinoco – one of the most magical of all rivers in the world, and certainly one of the more remote.

 

This Amazonas region of the world is still the provider of so much information on travel and geographical health that I am looking forward to it. A journey to South America is like none other; in colour, in nature though with considerable risk.

 

Primary Principles of the Mission Endeavour:

¨                  TO CONDUCT CO-OPERATIVE RESEARCH, WITH THE TROPICAL INSTITUTE OF MANAUS, IN INVESTIGATING THE PREVALENCE OF      TROPICAL AND INFECTIOUS     DISEASES AMONGST THE RIVERINE   POPULATION MEDICINE OF THE AMAZON

¨                  TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE CULTURES AND ENVIRONEMENTS OF THE REGION, AND BY DOING SO, TO APPRECIATE AND UNDERSTAND THEM

¨                  TO STUDY THE CULTURES OF THE REGION, AND TO CONTRIBUTE TO INTERCULTURAL UNDERSTANDING BY CONVEYING OUR OWN CULTURAL HERITAGE

¨                  TO UNDERTAKE A JOURNEY THAT IS SAFE

 

The journey will be around a month and wonder-filled. We currently are developing research topics for our trip. What an exciting occasion this will be. I hope that you will join us on our blog, as we travel into the diversity of traditional inhabitants, flora and fauna biodiversity, and exciting and mesmerizing new experiences.     

 

AMAZON STORM

Amazon rain hints from afar away and beyond

Grey colours come timid to harsh, threatening

Colours and hues of a river’s edge and beauty

With that of its own. Beginning soft to beguile

Only to pound, smash, and stamp and rage

Accompanied by smashing thunder booming to

Follow flashing jags and belts of white or yellow

That stamps their mark over an expansive ceiling

Limited by vision and patience to watch, to wait

Until the distance is seen again with clear fresh.

 

Marc Shaw

Expedition Leader

It’s finally happening! And how appropriate too as this year will be the 10th Anniversary of the death of our great New Zealander, Sir Peter Blake.

We have now firmed up our itinerary and beaten down the costs to get a pretty good deal.

The journer in uncommon and has been specifically tailored to our requirement. There is a maximum limit of 12-14 spaces and it is intended that every one has an aim/project to complete whilst on the journey.

Worldwise Expeditions will select companions for the available spaces based on sense of character, project/aim and commitment.

At this stage the itinerary is mildly flexible so we are open to looking at incorporating your project requirements and situation.

We are really excited about this one!!! Please pass on to any family and friends that may be interested.

 

 

Contact Clare: clareshaw@worldwise.co.nz for more details

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

Sought from those interested in a month long intrepid expedition to Brazil in memory of

Sir Peter Blake on the 10th Anniversary of his death in Amazonas

Typical River housing - Near Manaus

“I was with Sir Peter Blake in 2001. I am going back to personally commemorate the journey I took with him 10 years ago. I hope that others will join me as I again explore the region and conduct various  research and artistic endeavours on the journey” Marc Shaw

EXPEDITION OUTLINE

  • A month long journey entirely by river boat from Manaus, up the Rio Negro towards a memorial site at the junction of the  Cassiquiari and Orinoco. This is an exciting adventure with limited spaces!
  • The expedition will travel through changing landscapes, small river populations, explore the beautiful wide spaces of the Amazonas region, and the people living on this most majestic of rivers
  • Extraordinary flora and fauna, animals and insects
  • Various aquatic species, fishing opportunities
  • An additional adventure includes venturing up to Rio Araca and Rio Demeni towards the spectacular ‘waterfalls region’. This is an area rarely seen by travellers which houses an impressive waterfall known as Cachoeira do El Dorado. Only recently discovered, this is a wild and remote area with little known about it and the expedition offers an option of trekking, forest survival camping and training
  • From Sao Gabriel, the last major town in Brazil, we transverse rapids into Cucuy and then into Venezuela, travelling through San Carlos, then up the legendary Casiquiare tributary to the Orinoco River – at the junction of which there is a Memorial to Sir Peter Blake

A unique outdoor adventure / Nature, Travel and Tropical Medicine at its best!

PLEASE REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN THE PROJECT TO RECEIVE MORE INFORMATION

info@worldwise.co.nz

Marc Shaw with colleague Dr Monkey during his last venture to the Amazonas region

 

Welcome to our 2011 Travel Medicine conference for Health Professionals.

Travel and Tropical Medicine is a specialization which continues to grow. With around 2 million kiwis travelling internationally each year,  Health Professionals need to be regularly updated in the latest global travel health information.

Prevention of infectious disease remains the priority of travel medicine practice through travel vaccines, medication and awareness and risk assessment of the traveller’s destination and itinerary.

New Zealand’s WORLDWISE Online Travel Medicine Conference has been presented annually for 14   years, and is the only continuous New Zealand travel health event providing global health updates for health professionals.

This year’s WORLDWISE ONLINE conference offers Health Professionals a solid platform on which to learn and update knowledge in this fascinating specialization.

The conference will consist of:

Advanced Level 1 – One full day of stimulating  presentations aimed at all Primary Health Care Nurses who have some experience in Travel Medicine practice or Primary Health Care Practitioners new to Travel Medicine. Includes input from 2 international key note speakers

 

Level 2 – One and a half days of invaluable global health information aimed at all Primary Health care Practitioners (General Practitioners, Travel and Infectious Disease Specialists, Military medical staff and Pharmacists) with an interest in travel medicine.

An electrifying line up of National industry professionals, contribute important knowledge surrounding a wide                  variety of travel health-related aspects. Highly esteemed International Key note speakers, Patricia Schlagenhauf-Lawlor and Karin Leder put forward fresh global health understanding from an international perspective.

Nurses who have attended previous WORLDWISE ONLINE Level 1 courses are also invited to attend.

 

The conference will be hosted at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Queenstown. We look forward to seeing you there!

Email: online@worldwise.co.nz for more information

With ‘The Prof’ now safety back from Afghanistan, he is now contemplating his next journey. This one will be rather more isolated; deep in the jungles of the Amazonas in Brazil.

Marc Shaw was the Team Doctor on the ‘Sir Peter Blake Expedition’ to Amazonas in 2001. This was a voyage that had personal significance to Marc as it involved travel to a region long dreamt about – about since childhood, when he first recalled the romantic term ‘Amazonas’ and all that its images conjured. Sir Peter was tragically and shockingly murdered on this journey 10 years ago. Marc Shaw and his team is going back to the region, with some family and friends, to acknowledge the occasion and salute a great New Zealander. The Group will be called WORLDWISE EXPEDITIONS.

Francisco de Orellana was the Spanish adventurer who in 1541 accomplished the first descent of the River Amazon. Since this time, adventures and expeditioners have been intrigued by the Amazonas region of Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru. So much so that many have tried in many various ways to explore the River Amazon and its tributaries. The attraction is the largest river in the world; one accounting for approximately 1/5 of total world’s river flow.

Over the last 30 years there have been two significant expeditions into the region: firstly, in 1982 Jean Michael Cousteau led a large scale scientific exploration of the Amazon from its mouth to its origin. The “Cousteau Amazon Expedition” gave insights into the biology, environment and geology of the largest river system on earth. Secondly in 2001, New Zealander Sir Peter Blake went with a crew of 26 upon his yacht, Seamaster, into the Amazon basin. This journey was to be one of exploration and of education on what living was like in the region.

WORLDWISE EXPEDITIONS are going back into the region to investigate and research it, explore it and learn from their experiences. As Jules Crevaux, French Naval Surgeon in the Amazon, said “A rushed journey is a waste of time; you can see nothing. I am here by the grace of God; I must take advantage of it and examine nature carefully, for I shall never return to these waters again. Instinct tells me to let myself drift with the swift current. Reason stops me: for an explorer, hurrying through an unknown land is like running away from the enemy”.

WORLDWISE EXPEDITIONS is planning a journey to the Amazonas regions of Brazil and Venezuela, to visit the region explored with intrigue and fascination by early explorers such as: Alexander von Humboldt, AR Wallace, and also recently by the 1968 Geographical Magazine Hovercraft Expedition.

The Amazonas Region is exciting and mesmerizing: new images, new experiences, new animals and plants, and new cultures.  Going into this beautiful and remote region, Marc Shaw learned much about human nature in the Amazonas environment, about compassion and about himself and his medicine. ‘Completing such a journey made me so much richer than ever I could otherwise have dreamed of’, he writes.

Read more about this, on a regular basis until the Expedition commences and then join us from your computer here in New Zealand to explore the hinterlands of Brazil and Venezuela.

Back home in New Zealand

February 20, 2011

Home! The first thing that I notice is ‘the green of the pastures’ as I travel down to the Waikato. Great contrast to the brown and white of the Afghan earth with its snow, in winter. The trip south to my beloved Hamilton and family gave me time to reflect upon where I had been and what I had just done. Afghanistan as a doctor with the New Zealand Defence Forces. A year ago I would never have thought it possible that I would be ministering medicine in a war affected region, and in a country that has known centuries old conflict through the battles of Genghis Khan, Muhammad Babur and both the English and Russian Armies in the last one hundred years.

 

I had left Bamyan city in Bamyan Province on the 12th of January, and come via the military transport system in Afghanistan to the Middle East and then via a long flight back to Auckland. I can’t really remember what the flight home was like for I was still energised by the experiences of living at Kiwi Base with a whole bunch of New Zealand men and women with common cause. 18 hours in the air gave me a lot of time to think about those moments that would forever be remembered by me.

Firstly, the countryside that Kiwi Base was in. PT Hill overlooked the military encampment in the immediate distance. Further, was the Hill of Gholghola, where Genghis wrought such terrible violence that it became known as the ‘City of Screams’. Further still were the cliffs that overlooked Bamyan and which were now marked by the empty spaces of the Taliban vandalised Buddhas. I walked between the two of them over my last week in the region. I was showing my replacement Medical Officer, Jordan Baker, around the region. Showing him some of the sights for which the region is famous. On the way we had a pleasant guide who spoke little English, though through our interpreter he filled in the details of the history of Buddhism in the region and how important the region was as a crossroads to and from regions east and west. He pointed out another smaller third Buddha and then a fourth, or baby, Buddha – both also destroyed in the violence of early 2001.

Looking out from the cliff-face, snow covers the fields in the rivets of a late autumn ploughing. It has almost gone from most of the fields but does lie quite heavily higher up on the higher hills. Jordan is loving his first views of the region, for he has travelled little before and all this ‘newness’ is so energising to him. Me, I love showing him the various sights but at the same time admit to a great sadness that I am about to leave the town and its history.

 

At the small ‘female’ Buddha we are able to walk up and over it by way of steps that remain in the walls. There are three levels to our tour, each higher than the last and each with numerous caverns that housed priests through the ages – even the Taliban, in the early years of their occupation. Some of these caverns were citadels and many have the remains of paintings blackened by the fires of their destruction. Still others had smoke on the ceilings where the insides of the caves had been burnt out. Such destruction. It makes me pause in reflection and in sadness. Un-necessary. Certainly not the way to win ‘hearts and minds’ of the local Hazaran population.

 

Secondly, the people and the village of Bamyan. This was best felt by me when I got a few members of ‘the crew’ together, including Allan, Ra, Steve and a pleasant interpreter called Gee (which was short for some intricate Afghan name that seemed such a waste when ‘Gee’ explained him so much more admirably) and we walked on a ‘dismounted patrol’ into town to wander around the bazaar. Along narrow tracks that the locals use to pass over fields now brown due to the winter, but normally lush and green in the summer. The dust swirls still with every footprint on a dry, still day. In the distance the new snow is on the hills and the locals will be pleased again with the nurturing of the soil. Into town and along the dark side of the street, where the sun never seemed to reach in the winter months. So many shops open today.

It is Friday and the locals are all out doing their shopping – men and women, though never together unless they are family or married. Men sewing away at shoes brought to them for repair. A lot of shoe shops abound, mainly with second hand shoes and not occasionally many that are just single shoes – who wants them, I wonder. Clothes shops, with women inside under burkas doing the dealing with the men owners. Outside other men pushed wagons with sacks of coal. Boys run by with bananas for sale and still others came up to us to ask for ‘baksheesh’.

 

Steve had an endless supply of pens to give out to the kids. Men sitting in chairs or merely crouched beside the gutter partaking in chai, talking and watching folk just wander and meander. Men whose weathered faces, reflecting the harshness of living in this unforgiving land, appear to be carved out of leather: cheeks with valleys and vales, eyes hidden under an overlapping eyebrow bristling with honest hair and mouths often hidden in a bread that spreads with laughter. Their ‘Shemagh (Afghan Scarf)’ wrapped around their necks, over their faces and upon their heads seemingly part of their bodies, whilst around their midriffs were huge rugs to shelter from the cold.

Drifting by were the women also – in white or blue burkas. Still others without the over-face mask but with a scarf over their heads and around their faces, and perhaps an end of it held loosely to mask their mouths. No women were without some facial add-on; unlike the young girls enjoying their freedom whilst they could.

 

Orange sellers. Ever present mobile phone shops – a glut of them, with no one in them but there in all their glitzy glory. Material shops. Hardware shops every 5-6 shops, selling pots and pans and plastic jugs that are used to carry water for ablutions after toileting. We pass a potato naan shop stall. They look delicious and we all decide to buy one of these. This will be lunch – potato cut and placed on a thin pancake wafer. The potato is grated and placed in the middle of the mix, and then the three sided blend is rolled and put into a deep fry. Rather different and rather nice. One was enough and the cost was 10 cents for one.

 

Wander down by the river, and along the stalls in this region – fruit stalls, butchers shops with just the trachea and lungs remaining for sale and hanging from the corner of the shop – outside. A man selling nuts and dried fruit allows me to take his photo. Always photos to snap for the memory bank. Along another side street know locally as Titanic – shoes shops and kids toys, and … shoes. Ra was fixated by the shoes and so we went past many shops only to have him disappear as he would go and have a look. He never decided, he just liked to look at them and chat with the locals at the same time.

 

The sound of young music from stalls by the side of the road and from the nearby shops selling radios, music and all its paraphernalia. People would watch us pass but I do not recall seeing a malignantly disposed grimace – smiles and the right hand (always the right hand) drifting up to the heart with the salutation ‘salaam’… always the men, and young boys practising. Dear Lord, how I just loved to look and to reflect and to just wonder how these folk were living every day… in the rain and snow and bitter cold. Still the gnarled and crusted hands would come forward for me to shake – usually so gently, and with honest feeling. It would be hard not to be touched in some way.

 

Restaurants, up steep ladders and perched atop roofs of shops below, serving their only dish – kebabs, rice, sort-of meat soup, with slices of tomato, onion and a chilly on a side dish… they are dried around the edges indicating to me that they have been cut and prepared many hours before and the alert goes out quite strongly for me… DON’T EAT!!

In the street, cars with no exhaust-system spew out smoke and zoom along the road at a speed that makes the mouth drop in bewilderment. No seat belts and door handles that have been roped to the vehicle main frame indicates further to me DON’T DRIVE IN THIS ONE! Cops in their olive green suits drive by in their ford 4-pers pick-ups faster, for no good reason other than to drive fast and scare the locals. Kamaz truck belch and vomit benzene fumes, as they carry their wears through the distance of tar-seal, men in turbans perched on their roofs, their cargo or riding high in the cab. Small kids don’t even bother watching the sight of such massive movements anymore. They’re more interested in our baksheesh.

 

The third and final image of my deployment is of the men and women that I worked with. What an honour to have been with them. All ranks, high and low, showed me a respect that I was honoured to receive. Their military side as they talked of various missions. There serious side as they talked of their families back home and how much they meant to them. Their ribald side as they shared jokes, some spicy and some not, with me. They are well lead by their CO, Lt Col Fox, and they are well protected by all the various units that accrete to form the Company for this operation known as CRIB 17. I will miss each and every one of them.

 

The Medical team at Christmas From L to R: Leon Frampton-Leigh, The Doc, Kirk Blumers. In Front: Cat Brown

 

 

Finally, salutation to those in the medical team, each of whom needs a mention. Leon (the Nursing Officer) who worked so hard to develop a respectable and respectful RAP for us yet still smiled at the end of it. Blu, what can I not say about him! This guy was amazing. I loved his clear brain and his thinking, and the support he gave me. This gut IS ‘the stuff’. The medics, boy did their knowledge impress me: Cat (a star medic who needs to go to a higher level – poor thing, I have probably STILL spelt her name wrong), Kim (a gentleness with her that expressed her caring spirit), Mike (hardy and military in mind), and Holly (thrown in to so many situations, coming out richer for the experiences).

 

A final image for me and the last entry into my diary: ‘Wonderful autumnal views of the region and have noticed even in the least few days, the lack of leaves on the trees. Way in the distance were the snow capped hills looking down on us. Beautiful views!! Every morning, I see the sun tipping the hills. I take this to be my welcome to my day. This will be the essence of my memory. Now it is time for home and my family. This has been a ‘most great trip’ – and one that I was delighted to have been part of!!

A hospital visit was always going to be ‘on the cards’ for me. I wanted to go and see what facilities there were there, and also to see what (if anything) we could do to help. It’s easy, I know, to say that ‘we are keen to help’ from the rather exalted position that we are in – in Kiwi Base – because we have everything we can possibly need and on top of this there is always the capability of being able to ‘call in’ an aircraft to transport a really unwell case to the American Hospital at Bagram Air Force Base. Here, the local population do no have this facility and so we at KB are keen to provide whatever we can to assist the local medical and health services. As it is now getting extremely cold, with the temperature today at minus 15 degrees, this would appear to be an ideal time to visit and take some of the many bags of woollen gear and toys that folk from NZ have sent over here to present to the local patients and their, usually, mothers. Who better to visit the hospital with than the Padre,

Steve Clarke (Chief petty Officer) and Allan Kelly (administration Officer here at the camp). The three of us have been involved in a lot of visits to various schools and health clinics around this region and so it was with pleasure that we visited the Bamyan General Hospital. Having said that these three guys have been all very tolerant of my energies in wanting to dash off and see things. I have this sort of ‘places to go – people to see’ and ‘not here to foxtrot with spiders’ mentality. In the wagon and off we go to the hospital. Through the gates, part the vehicle and we walk to the director’s office. Well, Padre and Allan and I walked, but Steve is a navy man and he walked like he was on a shop in a storm, swirling from side to side in the corridors. A quick meeting with the Hospital Director, Sarjo Kanji (who is from The Gambia in Western Africa), and then it is ‘off’ to the paediatric wards to see the kids.

Son, Father, Padre, Doc, alan, Steve, Hospital Manager

Up the stairs we go – there are shoes lining the entry door as we go in. The management do not require us to take off our shoes, but I am rather embarrassed about this as the locals do and so, I feel, we should but Sarjo says ‘no need’ so we don’t. Through and under a rug hanging over the door, it is starting to get quite cold outside during the day now and the barriers to the weather are gradually going up in the community. The smell of the halls, as we go into the wards, is of smoke from the coal- fired heaters in all the rooms and wards. In to the ‘acute baby room’.

One of the nurses in the ward

Mothers are with their kiddies, and immediately they turn away – as is their custom when men walk into a room. We give dolls and knitted woollen booties out to the babies, wherever possible, or their mothers. Long time since I did this for my children so I struggle a bit to undo the bow around ‘the feet’ part of the booties – much mirth amongst my compatriots. The mothers accept the gifts in silence. Occasionally one or two smile and say ‘tashikor’ (thank you), but mainly they respond with an expressionless face and take the clothes or dolls and put them by their babies or children. Some cover up their faces and turn away from us. We expect this, as this is what happened the first day that I came into the hospital a few months ago. For all this, however, we realise that our gifts are indeed needed and valued.

'How do I put these on?'

In to the next ward and the same thing happens – we walk around the beds – 15, of which none are empt. A doctor is doing a ward round. He speaks English and does not mind us bustling through. I stop to chat with him. He was educated in Kabul, and he stops to tell me a little of the illnesses as we pause over a kiddie who has pneumonia, and malnutrition. The doc says that the main diseases are these two conditions, plus diarrhoea – the latter in summer and the former two in winter. Logical really. He is OK with us going around giving the children toys.

Mothers and their babies

 

Interpreter Baby whose mother died and Grandmother

I stop by the bed of a woman who has her face partially covered. I ask the doc what is wrong and why is the child in the ward. He says that the child’s mother died in childbirth (in Afghanistan the maternal mortality rate approximates 25%) from haemorrhage, and that the woman with the child in his  grandmother. The woman lives at Yakawlang which is a long way away – 4-6 hours due East by vehicle. She is so far away that there was no chance of preventing any calamity and this is obviously what occurred. Fortunately the child is a boy, says the doc, as girl children do not get much of a ‘look in’. I look at the child again, and he is very pale – probably he has anaemia due to his mother bleeding to death.

Ra giving a doll

Meeting the Paediatric Staff

We finish giving our gifts and feel the better for it. The ward-manager says to us how happy he is because of what we have done, so perhaps we did something good today. Whilst toys are rather a ‘little thing’ to give … I think that they meant something to us, also, in giving them on behalf of our country-folk back home in NZ.

Jason and Nate

January, 2011. It is a lovely day today. The ‘sun is sunning’ AND the ‘birds and birding’ AND the ‘cooks are cooking’. Nearly three months into our deployment here in Afghanistan and these guys still put out meal after stunning meal. I remain amazed at their ability to plan, prepare and cook up 300 meals at any one sitting per day. (Sgt) Jason Gillespie from Palmy North and (Cpl) Nate Turfrey (Hawke’s Bay) were quite upbeat about their roles when I went to see them, this morning, the beginning of January. I guess that they have to be, cos by now they have had to develop a daily routine that sees them get up at 0500 hours to start a day’s toil that will go through to 1900each night. Stuff that, says I! Minus 15 degree with a wind howling outside, I defy anyone to arise that early to bounce into the day’s work.

These guys have to, for their job is undoubtedly one of morale. Good food – good morale! It follows on a cold winter’s day doesn’t it? Still it puts a lot of pressure on the kitchen staff to perform, and they do… day after day, meal after meal. Their only rewards being either a grunt of some wayward appreciation from a hungry soldier or a purposeful memo of thanks for a notable meal that always gets a smile of appreciation from the ‘lads with the ladles’.

Lunch involves a variety of at least 7 meats together with veges and fresh salads. Food from all over the world comes to us on this mission: Germany, NZ (lamb – what else), Canada, US, Malaysia, and so on… and of course Australia.

Dinner time is the same, but with yet another ‘7 meats’ preparation. Christmas meal involved huge planning over the two days prior to the meal fest that we all totally enjoyed, as well as cooking regular meals for a regular day’s work in Kiwi Base.

Then on top of this, the guys have regular sentry and airfield security duties to undertake as part of their army deployment mission. Its hard work. I’d not want to do it, but the training that they receive from Joint Service Caterers in Waiouru prepares them for this task and they are the better for it. They are doing what all soldiers want to do, and that is work in theatre on an operation. What better one to work on then this one here in Bamyan? Not only do they get to do their job, but they are also training and working with local Afghanis teaching them our ways of ‘life, living and the magic of Kiwi Cooking’!!’

 

Women in Blue

January 10, 2011

Blue            and white
Burkas,

mask women hiding

Themselves from outside eyes viewing
Tranquil times

or tense, turbulent

Occasions that speak too honestly
Of that which happens at home?

Walking along tracks

time-worn, through fields,

Wending a way –
down, bazaar beckoning
Attractions displayed, for sale, in myriad forms
Along clear course
to meander,  to ponder,
Sometimes to purchase, mainly to wander
Silently – as an observer wonders, in silence.