Wednesday, December 6, 2006

In Baja with Kaiizen

Baja California, Mexico

So this past weekend took me to Baja California, just north of Ensenada, to a little fishing village called El Sauzal. I went with the nonprofit organization Kaiizen ( to do a little service in orphanages in Mexico. Well, my job for the weekend was to take pictures, I was the offical trip photographer. I had a blast. The things Kaiizen is doing is amazing, especially since this is a group run by a bunch of 20-something year olds. This trip had about 150 people on it, the biggest yet in Kaiizen history, and it went off without a hitch. I was somewhat skeptical of the organization of a group this big, I predicted chaos, but it went very well. I was very impressed.
A number of activities were performed this weekend, including painting of a nearby school, decorating of the orphanage for the christmas season, blankets and food being handed out to the nearby community, but probably the best thing we did was to bring christmas to the orphans. We were able to bring down a few gifts for each of the kids and Santa showed up for the whole deal. It really was quite an experience to watch the whole thing. We were all touched to watch these children light up.
Being of service to those who are less fortunate definately was the focus this trip, and the most rewarding part for sure, but we also had time to enjoy ourselves down here in beautiful Baja California. The wonderful weather here was a nice break from the cold. We spent time on the beach, and in nearby Ensenada. The best part of this whole trip however was the amazing people that came to participate. The calliber of people that Kaiizen draws is astounding. I met some very amazing people this last weekend, and I'm sad I only got to spend 2-3 days with them. Honestly, I miss the group we had down there. I enjoyed myself so much. These trips are great, and I encourage everyone to come along. If you're interested you can check out this and other programs Kaiizen has at or send an email to and ask to be added to the Baja Project mailing list. The next trip is in February with dates TBA, it's probably over presidents day weekend. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The First Snow

Provo, Utah

I happen to love the snow. I was stoked this morning to find a fresh layer of snow covering Provo. It had started snowing last night, so I knew it would be coming, but it's still fun anyway. Sometimes you have no idea its going to snow and you find six inches in the morning, thats my favorite... It just snowed a couple of inches last night but it's still fun. It snowed 17" in the last 24 hours in Park City, and that makes me happiest. It should keep snowing for the next few days.

This morning I had an opportunity to get my good deed done early. One of my friends couldn't get her car door open, so I went to help her and as I guessed, it was frozen shut. Just a bit of lever action with a screwdriver popped it open and she was on her way, after I scraped all the snow off her windows for her. I bring this up not as self glory, but rather as a seguey into my main point today: Karma. I'm becomming a firm believer in Karma. Last night I was working, and I had this table of four young girls, who I pretty much hooked up, yet they stiffed me on the tip. One of the girls paid with a credit card and it would have been easy to alter her receipt to add the tip that I should have gotten, and I was severely tempted to do so, but I thought the better of it and decided to be the honest little boy that I usually am. The night ended up not being very lucrative for me, and I was a bit saddend by it. I was cleaning up my section and sweeping under one of my booths when I heard some paper rustling as I swept. I figured it was a kid's menu or something and as I looked under the table I found fifteen dollars in cash. Karma. Don't steal five and find fifteen. So now I'm on a quest to up the Karma in my life. If you need good deeds done, call me.

Here's just a random picture I took as I was walking to class this morning. I love the snow.

Friday, November 24, 2006

California to Park City

From California to Park City, Utah

Yesterday was thanksgiving. Usually we spend the day with my extended family, I had to get some stuff done at home before I could head out there so my parents left before me. I got there late and everyone was just finishing up at the dinner table so I sat down and ate a quick meal. Not long after my Dad was going to go pick some stuff up at the fire station where he works since he hasn't been there since he got hurt. I decided to go with him just to check it out. While we were there they got a run and my dad told me to go with them to check it out, so I jumped on the fire truck and went to see an old asian lady that had fallen in the bathroom and had to be taken to the hospital. It was interesting to see what my dad does for a job. By the time we got back to my grandparent's house everyone was leaving or already gone. I had decided to just take off up to Utah from there to get a jump on the trip. So I left at about 6:30 and headed to Mesquite, NV, where I stopped to sleep I ended up sleeping a bit longer than planned and I didn't get back on the road until almost 7am. But I got to my apartment, grabbed my gear and then jumped right back in my car and drove up to park city. I spent the day snowboarding. It was nice to be back on the hill, thought I sorta forgot about the post-shred soreness, but I'll live. I took a couple hearty spills and I have a killer raspberry on my hip, but it's easy to remember why I love this so much. I didn't get my camera out except to snap the hasty, underexposed picture you see at the top there. Sorry I didn't take a better picture, I didn't feel like getting up out of my seat. I'm tired.

I guess I'll take better pictures later. We might go out on the town tonight... Park City is a rad little town, hopefully I can get some cool shots. Thank you friend for following the Mak Travels.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Carlsbad, California

So, where better to start the Mak Travels than where I'm from. Okay, so I'm not really from here. I wasn't born here, I didn't grow up here. I did, however, graduate from high school and have many of my firsts here: first Girlfriend, first kiss, first car, first guitar. Besides, my parents live here.

I don't get to come down here all that often. Usually just for the holidays. The San Diego area is really quite an amazing place. It's thanksgiving week and the ski season just started last weekend. It's been a solid six months since I went snowboarding, but I'm not sure if I should complain or not. For one, I really want to go snowboarding, but obviously I'm far from my home resort in Park City, Utah. On the other hand, however, it's 78 degrees and sunny in the middle of November and I was able to spend a day on the beach, not really a situation to draw many compliants.

It's usually a pretty quiet stay when I come back here, since I didn't grow up here I don't have a ton of friends around, so it gives me a chance to just relax from the rigors of student life and get out on my own a little. I was able to go out and shoot some photos today. It was nice.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Jumping-Off Point

It's a rather daunting prospect to have the world at your feet.

So, I’m 23, halfway through college, and no idea as to what my future holds. I realize that, right now, I could become anything that I choose to become. I can go anywhere I choose to go. It’s pretty scary. If I just had maybe one thing that I was good at, then I guess the decision would be easy, but I have various strengths in many areas, so I am forced to choose and hope dearly that I don’t blow it. The ride should be interesting to watch from the outside, hell to direct from the inside, and a whole lot of fun for both parties. So if you’re interested, follow me over the next few years, and let’s see where life takes me. Welcome to the jumping-off point of what we’ll call...

Makautomatik – The Mak Travels

Materials Included
- Me
- Laptop
- Camera
- 4Runner + Debt
- Imagination & Daring

Thanks for playing along, this should be fun.