Category Archives: nature

Paddling at Kuuskoski

Week 21, 2020
Turku, Finland

Even in pandemic times, there are many things happening during one day. Furthermore, the days continue passing by quickly. I believe if one day I am able to harness the challenge to cope with time, I can say I succeed in one of the biggest quests in life. Anyway, this post is not about time, but about paddling at Kuuskoski.

Thursday May 21 was a public holiday in Finland, the Ascension day.  In this day, Mikko and I decided to go paddling as the weather was perfect: sunny and “warm” (note: warm can be a relative to interpretations depending the context). I didn’t review how warm was it, however for this post I researched this information and according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute and should have been around 13C, as we left late in the afternoon

Weather in Turku on May 21, 2020


The follow up question after taking the decision to go paddling was:  where to go? . To give answer to this question, Mikko shared with me a map  (Side note: this map is well done by the  the Foundation of the river Aura). The selection was: Kuuskoski.

Map Aura river


We reached our destination, approx 40km from Turku center. The first sign we saw was the placate from

Kuuskoski, Finland

Due to the current regulations for covi-19,  we were not able to visit the the museum (behind the yellow house of the photo above) as it was closed. Next time we will visit it. What called my attention was the private home next to the museum, which is BEAUTIFUL.

Kuuskoski, Finland

At first I thought it was a church. However, a sign down a road (next photo) indicated that it is a private property. Nevertheless, I got many questions about this unique construction.

Kuuskoski, Finland


The next decision was: which direction to paddle ? We had two options up stream or down stream.  Down stream was a family already enjoying the water, as you can perceive in the photo below. With this photo serves as evidence that in Finland to keep a distance between people to avoid covid-19 transmission is relatively easy 😉

Kuuskoski, Finland

While searching for our start point for paddling, we got a closer view to the rapids” . Note the following photo with my shadow 🙂

Kuuskoski, Finland

We decided to paddle upstream. Thus, a large rock was our departure spot.

Kuuskoski, Finland


In total we paddled approx 10km. I can’t believe it!

The following screenshot indicates the point where we return from our paddling.  Where the Jalkalanjoki intersects the Aura river.

returning point

That was approx 5kms in one direction and 5 kms back.  The river was calm and beautiful.

Kuuskoski, Finland

For the human eyes and ears, it is undeniably we are in the middle of spring. Many trees still do not have leafs, at the same time the “lemon-green” starts to be noticeable in the landscape, and one can listen birds singing. This is, unquestionably, a beautiful time.

Kuuskoski, Finland

As we advance paddling the landscape changes.  The naked tree photographed below was magnificent. The photo does not transmit its grandeur.

Kuuskoski, Finland

Suddenly, one could see more  spruce trees as we can observe below (I think those are spruces, I need to ask).

Kuuskoski, Finland

Of course Risen Bear was present all the time 🙂

Kuuskoski, Finland

In the next photo has the purpose to show a bird house hanging from a pole, which in my opinion was a big bird house with a large hole. Wondering who could be the tenants of such a house? (my knowledge of birds is literally nonexistent).

Kuuskoski, Finland

The following  bridge also call my attention. Wondering if I can find information about it. Apparently is a wooden bridge, and with all the calmness of the water look alluring to my eyes.

Kuuskoski, Finland

A closer view to the bridge.

Kuuskoski, Finland

A photo after we just cross it, underneath in our way back.

Kuuskoski, Finland

In this trip I called my mom, who has been inside her flat since mid-march, with the intention  to bring her along and let her see the beauty and calmness of nature.  Also I attempted that she listened to the birds.  However the build-in mic of a mobile phone does not have the quality to capture the birds’ signing. Something to look for: a good mic.  I hope she was able to enjoy some of the landscape.

Kuuskoski, Finland

In our way back the calmness was more evident and the birds were louder, maybe indicating us that it was time to go to sleep.

Kuuskoski, Finland

Getting close to our departure spot.

Kuuskoski, Finland

It was a wonderful and recharging time. No wonder Finns are happy, quality time in nature is unbeatable.

— Yop!

life full of contradictions #2 – Nature is smarter than us

I had been writing about my concern on natural disasters (e.g. here and here), specially stressed with earthquakes. My last entry was with Chile, now in early April 2010 a 7.2 earthquake shook Mexicali, Mexico , last week a 6.9 earthquake in Qinghai, China, and last night in Papua New Guinea.

Most of the dead tolls are our own fault. We support the growth of over-populated cities with lack of urbanism research and strategies. In addition we build low quality shelters, and so on.

Apparently most natural disaster are between the tropics.

But on April 14th, north European countries have been affected by the eruption of Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland. The airspace has been closed in most European airports for the danger that implies to fly through the ashes. The Europe flight grounded creates passengers inconvenience at different levels (I am lucky to do not be in such a situation) and millions of euros lost in direct and indirect industries e.g. carrier of goods, suppliers for airlines.

However and unfortunately all the media I read, except of the article from Alain de Botton, a critical reflection point is missing: nature is making the obvious explicit. We need to slow down our life styles and harmonize with the rest of life forms in the planet.  We should be wise, instead to pretend to be smarter than nature. The price of our stubbornness is rising every day.   Anyway, we keep making history.

What I am proud of is  the positive attitude of most of the travelers.  Social Networks are the best!

Screenshot of #getmehome in Twitter. Great attitude from people!

all of us are guilty at some level

In October I wrote about some of my reflections about natural disasters and our behaviors. This topic affects me deeply.

Today is Haiti.

Since I first read the notice of the earthquake, I had been following closely. Maybe this time I identify a bit more as I lived the earthquake of Mexico ’85 on a fifth floor of a building.

My impotence and anger increases, not only for the wish to be helpful now, but because this is the result of SELFISHNESS and NEGLIGENCE, driven by POWER, CORRUPTION and CONSUMPTION.   And, from my perspective, ALL of us are GUILTY.

The first simple common sense idea to support my claims is:  aren’t we able to produce quality in our constructions? The shaking of the earth is not the problem, the problem is the low quality constructions of shelters, or the lack of proper maintenance. We know it – Governments listen:  stealing the money or safe money of quality shelters has a high price.


….Wondering why people use the common resources no for the quality and improvement of the community, instead to seek cheap and fast solutions?

(I might assume that the “next” elections might have an answer)

….  Wondering why do we keep on supporting no-sustainable solutions? Example of this is the over populated cities instead to promote quality of life in harmonize medium and small communities.

(I might assume that macro-economy might have an answer)

….  Wondering why do we have to consume what we do not need? Do we need 20 pairs of ‘cheaper’ shoes made of plastic that makes them disposable and promote consumption using our no removable natural resources, or we need two pairs of quality shoes which even might last longer with local removable resources.

All our scope of  “needs” can go through the same reflection: do we need to eat meat daily?  Can you cultivate our own salad?

A growing list of painful questions increases in my head and in my heart daily. And with tragic human events that could be avoid, the query process increases exponentially… why? why? why?  🙁 .

With Haiti I just confirm: our self-generated destruction process is growing faster than we are even aware of it. This involves all of us and it will affect all of us.

Less quantity, more quality and beyond this more self-responsibility. Most of today’s catastrophes, of the human race and of our planet, are the result of our socio-economical-system that we created and it is  destroying us.

More will come related to this topic, because the dead of thousands of people from the last natural disasters (or even millions if we start to add) cannot be only a piece of consuming sensationalist news. We should reflect seriously about this and beyond that take action to change the trend.

I can’t write more about this at this moment, I must finalize my commitment with my thesis first. Be my best and give my best effort is the primary way to contribute for a change


peaceful pain

Photos source: entre luces y camaras.

when mind and heart are in conflict

Three main points create me conflict and/or impotence:

1) Digital technology is a powerful and fragile tool.

One of the reasons why I see it powerful is because it can connect ideas, reflections, experiences, without physical boundaries. One reason why I think it is fragile is because without infrastructure (besides accessibility and know how) is useless.

A pencil or even a crayon is less fragile than a mobile phone. For example it can survive better natural disasters than a whole wireless or electricity network require for a mobile phone to work. Things to think about….

2) We see only what we want to see, and what media allows us to see.

In the transition from Sept to October 2009, millions of lives have been changed due to natural disasters just in Asia alone. My records only have the following events:

Those are only few tragedies, no idea how many are present. And yes I know natural disasters are always present, I shouldn’t get that surprise someone could say.

But what makes me wonder today is the press (at least the one that I usually read) hardly cover these events. Those sources of information are focusing in other matters as politics and fraud. Hmmmm…. if I remember well in December 2004, with the Tsunami where citizens of several western countries were victims, the same press I read had bigger coverage about this. I do not want to speculate, but…

… from what we are “allow” to see, we only see what we can see and want to see.

3) We have information about climate change through digital and not digital formats. But how many of this information indicates how to change our behaviors to diminish this.

Wondering who generates most of the CO2? who are the ones who demand more raw material to produce “x”? Who are the ones who flight? who are the ones who waste heater and air conditioner in their houses? Who consumes most of the meat produced overseas? Who are the ones who use driers? who uses a car only for one person? how many products wrap with layers of plastic do we buy?, who produces most of the e-Waste? ….

And when I find articles as “Debate Follows Bills to Remove Clotheslines Bans” I do not know if I should laugh or cry.

*** Summarizing…

Each one of our actions are like a grain of sand. One grain might look insignificant, but all together form wonderful beaches. The same happened with disasters.

Even that I am a privilege person and have access to quality of information about how to be a better human for my planet, and I want to help and do things right. My trace of CO2 surely supports the actual disasters in Asia, and other countries….. I declare myself guilty 🙁

No related to environment, but related with lack of understanding to take proper action. This year I have 8 papers rejected in a row. I appreciate the referees’ feedback as they had stressed that focus is my main problem. I knew it, but I can’t fix it yet. Should I declare myself guilty too?

*** All these makes me think….

It is not enough to get the information on how to improve something. It needs to be adapted to the reality of the listener, to support as much as possible the understanding of such information. Learners are smart, and if it is close to their ZPD they will do fine and get into proper action.

But how can I change/improve “X” if the information that I seemed to understand is not linked to my reality?, less to the ZPD.   The clearer this information is adapted to my reality, the possibility increases to get close to my ZPD, and then move in some direction instead to follow an inertia.

It is not matter that others do my job or live my life, or lecture me about something. I want to understand how to improve and do things. I would imagine this happens with all the topics, and with all the persons.

*** Do not give up….

If I succeed with myself one day, I am optimistic that maybe I could support others to success by themselves afterward.

My research, baptized as Hypercontextualized Game, seeks to create awareness in-site about specific subject matter. It is paradoxical, right?  I want to be an expert of my weakest side.


Then, my conflict makes me feel helpless when I know with my mind and my heart that something must be done. I kind of figure it out a proposal to take action to solve something, but I can’t succeed to make my message clear neither match my actions with my intentions.

My conflict makes me feel helpless when I see how humans are working constantly to make of our planet a mess. I do not understand humans and I do not want to do the same, but at the end I am one of them doing the same 🙁

Image source: Rachmat Lianda