I did a trip to Colorado recently – I hung out a bit in Aspen (if you’re interested in Colorado at all, check out these posts I did when I went in the Fall: Psychics and Silver in Colorado, Mussels in the mountains, Charcuterie and Artisan Cheeseboard, Spring Water at 8,000ft, Fall Colors of Colorado, Steampunk bar in Aspen). The thrill for me is really in getting there – I had a stunning road trip through the rockies. The Evergreens were as gorgeous as ever – my quest was to showcase this breathtaking place to my brother who was visiting from South Africa. For the Skybok video you’re about to see (it’s only 1 minute), I used my iPhone 7 Plus on a DJI – Osmo Mobile Gimbal Stabilizer, which you can get at Best Buy! I HIGHLY recommend it!! On the website, search “DJI – Osmo Mobile Gimbal Stabilizer”. They also have awesome drones which I was tempted to get for this because I was in the ski lift at one point with gorgeous views of the town 😉
Here is a new trailer re-edited for my production company Skybok, which specializes in producing video profiles showcasing the world around us.
Also posted, another re-edit, of a previous outreach video. “Mandela Day” at the Provincial Hospital in Port Elizabeth South Africa.
Please share, embed and tell your friends about my channel🙂
Other recent one:
I spent some time in Leadville, Colorado, famous for its mining history. (Did you know there are 260 miles of underground caves there?) It’s also famous for its iconic couple from the town’s silver mining boom, Horace + Baby Doe Tabor. I visited a few iconic spots, including the “Silver Dollar Saloon” – America’s Oldest Wild West Saloon – and the National Mining Hall of Fame + Museum.
Twenty years after the Gold Rush, the Colorado Silver Boom occurred in 1879 causing hordes of silver seekers to rush the Rockies. Horace Tabor, known as “The Bonanza King of Leadville,” joined the crowds and landed in the Centennial state becoming one of the richest silver barons in history.
What am I up to this week? Mostly editing, producing new content for Skybok…. check out its YouTube channel. I am using a Canon Xa10, Canon 5D MK2, Canon Rebel T5….. Editing in Adobe Premier CC. If you like travel, tourism, history – you might like it!
Here are some of my favorite videos….mostly 1-2 minute profiles….more on Skybok’s blog here. If you like video production, digital media, audio-visual creation tips, entrepreneurship, behind-the-scenes stuff you might like it!
I’m also on Instagram.
I’m using a new website I found called CANVA for thumbnail images, like this one of Charleston’s Skybok profile. Canva is fantastic for any design projects you have! *Tip: Check out DeathToTheStock for brilliant stock images.
I spent a weekend in Charleston, South Carolina, during which time I went on a history tour with Charleston Old Walled City Tours, ate the region’s famous shrimp & grits, learnt about their haunted graveyards, enjoyed their world-famous architecture + overlooked their stunning ocean. Here’s a 1-minute video Skybok produced on this gorgeous town!
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Pic taken at The Griffon Pub in Charleston, South Carolina! Voted by Southern Living Magazine as one of the “Best Bars of the South”, The Griffon Pub has collected over 20 years of dollar bills with scribbled handwritten messages from sentimental travelers on its walls + ceiling. This is my first post on Charleston – more pictures + exclusive video from this fascinating town coming this month.
+ Did a walking tour with this tour company
+ Stayed at this hotel
+ Had my favorite meal at this restaurant
+ Discovered bone marrow at this bar
+ Recommend you visit this venue if you go!
Jean-Francois Sobiecki is a qualified South African ethnobotanist (medicinal plant researcher), herbalist, intuitive healer + nutritionist.
His life has been an initiation into:
+ Traditional Medicine
+ Personal Growth
Early in his journey, Jean discovered he had healers in his family from his mother’s side. This made him realize his attraction to healing plants was a gift from his family to help others later in his life. Growing up, Jean went through the typical wounded healer’s crisis: he felt overwhelmed by being sensitive to energy + feeling, which later he developed as a means to heal others.
Jean has a practice called “Phyto (pronounced-Fyto) Alchemy”.Being a Phytoalchemist refers to Jeans path of using plant medicines
to help heal and transform his and others lives. He learnt from a young age about medicinal plants from encyclopaedias + his garden. His knowledge was intensified at a later age by a masterful South African traditional healer. At the same time, he was initiated with powerful plant medicines such as “ayahuasca”, “san pedro” + “ubulawu”.
Jean uses all the techniques + processes he learnt on his path to guide his patients today in his practice.
+ Re-awakening the visualization world he learnt through western magician archetype mentors
+ Inner child work
+ Self-esteem counselling
+ South African traditional medicine initiation
Despite all the knowledge I gained from books + personal experience, I would not have made most of my growth without the help and teaching from my mentors
Jean did anthropological fieldwork in the late 90’s to investigate the role of medicinal plants in the practice of South African traditional healers: the Izangoma (diviners) + the Izinyanga (herbalists). It was during this era that Jean met his most significant mentor, Mrs Letty Mamonyai Maponya.
Letty would become a close friend + teacher over the next 14 years, with whom he would learn about the world of African Traditional Medicine, healing + psychoactive (nervous system healing) plants.
Traditional Healing is really holistic healing combined with medicine. The Traditional Healer uses talk therapy (counselling), bone throwing (a divination similar to tarot cards), lifestyle guidance, as well as providing medicinal plants. This is all with the aim to help his or her patient to be well
Medicinal plants are used in very practical ways in South African Traditional Medicine (SATM). The use of steaming medicines, for example, is very healing + relaxing:
+ Powdered-ground down tree barks are placed in a plastic washbasin
+ Boiling water is placed on them
+ They produce a steam
This steaming helps detox the skin as well as the mind from impurities. Westerns could benefit enormously from utilizing this simple yet effective treatment method, which we have mostly forgotten in modern day society!
Southern Africa is not only the cradle of humankind but also of medicinal + psychoactive plants. There are literally hundreds of plants that are used to heal nervous system conditions which require further investigation.
Jean has discovered through his research that both South American + South African healers use medicinal plants in the same initiation sequence in order to heal psychological illness. This could indicate a cross cultural technology of holistic medicine therapy-that most are not aware of.
A powerful category of body cleansing + mind healing plant medicines
is “ubulawu”. It is used to cleanse the body of phlegm in order to open the mind. It leads to enhanced intuition + sensitivity. Jean warns that these particular ubulawu medicines should not be experimented with through online purchasing + without a traditional healer’s guidance. They can cause psychological confusion + harm when the wrong species are provided (species which Jean is finding from many ethnobotanical suppliers) or used incorrectly in the non-traditional methods.
Western experimenters are using powdered capsules. But traditionally they are used in small amounts with large amounts of water – 5 litres of water – to vomit + cleanse the stomach + chest with! This is a very old, trusted practice in many countries. South America, India, ancient Greece + Africa are all examples of where such practices have anciently been used. It’s alarming we have lost connection with it to such an large extent as modern people!
Plant baths are also a very effective means to heal, that many westerners are not familiar with.
Jean’s passion is to teach people how to use plants in these ways:
+ To cleanse
+ To open
+ To strengthen a person
Jean is currently in the process of creating a network of healing + research gardens (the Khanyisa Healing Garden Project) where this knowledge can be documented, preserved, studied + utilised for future generations for healing + community building.
While this project is being established, Jean is offering medicinal plant tours + private training for people who want to learn about these plants + traditional holistic healing as well as facilitating the ubulawu process of healing.
While traditional medicine has much magical thinking that is over-sensationalized, there are many ways to use the traditional plant medicines: for healing physical illness, as tools for self enquiry, as a means of growth + self mastery. These ways are waiting to be taught to the western world!
Jean-Francois Sobiecki, one of South Africa’s leading specialist ethnobotanists (medicinal plant researchers) + a traditionally trained herbalist healer (Inyanga) offers:
+ Full or half day guided traditional medicine tours of the Johannesburg Muti (medicinal plant market) as well as the beautiful Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve in the South of Johannesburg
+ Private half or full day tours with Jean = R2700.00 ($200) per person.
+ Group full day tour = R1800.00 ($135) per person on group tours (2 or more people).