Hello all worldly people! My name is Johnny and I'm from Chico, California, USA. I have been traveling the world for the past two years and have visited some great places. I also am the director of an organization I started in February called Operation Playground. I am rebuilding playgrounds destroyed in the Thailand tsunami. You can visit my website at www.johnmoretti.com or www.operationplayground.org.
Currently in Thailand and soon to be in Africa (April 2006) on humanitarian projects. Please enjoy my travel blog and photos. I would love to hear back from you!
Please forgive the following statement, but it needs to be said for those that are not so honest.
To all those that want to use my photos for profit: DON'T. If I find that my photos have been used for publication of any form and that publications is affiliated with a for profit entity, I will be knocking on your door with a copyright infringement suit. It could be worth it and my compensation may fund my next project.
July 26th 2007
TRAVELING DOWN THE ROAD, I GET THE FEELING THAT I SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE YESTERDAY....YESTERDAY... I remember asking my wife, Roong, what she wanted to see when she finally took the giant leap from our home in Thailand to San Francisco. Her reply: "America". That's a tall order for someone and may take more than the five months we have to visit. But we gave it a try anyway...sans two wheels. I have always loved riding motorcycles, but my checkbook didn't allow me to always have one parked in the garage. But these past years have brought about some disposible income, so I rewarded myself with a motorcycle. It has been parked in my storage unit for the many months I've spent in Thailand. But it would soon come alive again when Roong and I set ... read more
December 8th 2006
Khao Lak, Thailand - A hidden paradise Khao Lak. Where the hell is that??? Well, its about 80km north of Phuket International Airport. Sounds more like a metropolis than a tropical jungle, huh? Phuket, the largest island in Thailand is in the southwest. It is frequented by many travelers and has the second highest economy among the provices next to Bangkok. So what makes this area so desirable?? With the exception of Patong Beach, I think Phuket has much to offer. I say that about Patong Beach because it is the haven for many sex tourists, drug dealers and just plain 'ol sleaze. I don't understand why people take their children there and subject them to such debauchery. I'm certainly no prude, but I know my personal limits on what I believe to be senselss spending ... read more
April 28th 2006
Kenyan Merry-Go-Round My recent trip to Africa (see my last three blogs) weren't inspired by visions of setting off on a safari in the Maasai Mara or mounting a camel in the Egyptian desert. It was a trip that would not have been complete if I hadn't accomplished the one task I had come to Kenya for in the first place: to build a playground. The organization I started in the wake of the tsunami, Operation Playground (OP), was the realization of a dream to build playgrounds for children that had been either effected by a natural disaster, or simply lived in a region of the world that could not afford them a place to play. And so I found myself, once again, online depserately trying to organize my trip to Kenya. Airline Ambassadors International (AAI), ... read more
April 21st 2006
Camels, Sand and Pyramids make good Egyptian coffee What possibly could be written about Cairo and the pyramids that hasn't already been written? Besided the nightmare of getting here (my flight was cancelled the last minute from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Cairo) I more or less expected what I have experienced. Uh...besides the street children, trinket hawkers, smell of camel dung, expensive taxis from the airport and Pizza Hut. Travis and I once again embarked on another adventure that took us to Egypt. We had done little, if any, real planning other than our flights, so when we arrived (he 8 hours ahead of me) we wanted to take in as much as we could in the few days we will be here. After checking into the Sheraton Royal Gardens (4 stars and worth both the ... read more
April 19th 2006
Road To Samburu: Archer's Post (Please read the previous blog for Part One) I want to preface this blog with this very little known fact: From a BBC News Excerpt: "Kenya's government has spent more than $12m on new cars since 2002 - enough to send 25,000 children to school for eight years, their report said." Read full story here. The next morning our journey would take us through some of the roughest terrain of our trip. Our new friend and armed guide, Lempei, has informed us of the dangers of passing through this region. There are bandits that litter the countryside and lie in wait for vehicles that are carrying foreigners. Their intent is to rob you, and if needed, they will kill to get what they want. Lempei had instructed us to keep a ... read more
April 17th 2006
Road To Samburu For most of my adult life I have dreamed of being in Africa. As an avid photographer I have dreamed of capturing the images of a part of the world that has been visted by few. And so my dream has come true, but has left me with more than just photo images. It has left me with a deep understanding of how the reality of poverty can hit you between the eyes. No longer can I sit idle in the comfort of my home in America knowing of what is going on in some of the deepest parts of the Kenyan north country. Travis Mitchell, my good friend who was with me in Thailand to build the playground on Kho Ko Khao island, has once again traveled across the globe to meet ... read more
April 7th 2006
Bangkok to Nairobi The task of getting to Kenya has been nothing less than difficult. My flight from Bangkok to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was a trip within itself. The aircraft was jam-packed and not your usual trip as in the United States. I found myself captured within a fuselage of ethnicities from all points of Africa. Next to me sat a rotund gentleman from Tanzania, a lawyer and businessman. The flight left Bangkok just after midnight, but you wouldn't believe the activity during flight. There were those wandering up and down the aisles chatting with other passengers, and in the distance I could hear the music from MPG and CD players. Some even had their mini DVD players blasting movies with no regard to the comfort of others near them. I'll call it an airborne social ... read more
March 28th 2006
KLONG TOEY Bangkok's Secret They Don't Want You To Know About The population of Thailand is nearing 60 million people, 10 percent of whom live in Bangkok and of those 20 percent live in the slums of Klong Toey. This area in south Bangkok and near the waterfront where many work as longshoremen. Most of the dwellers of Klong Toey have migrated from the surrounding towns of Thailand in search of much needed work. Over the years, they have settled into this part of Bangkok and constructed shacks from scavenged wood and corregated metal. Unfortunately, their homes are sitting on land owned by both the Thai government and the port owners. And they are residing on this land illegally. Roughly 25 years ago, the landowners began to physically remove the squatters, resulting in a public outcry ... read more
March 24th 2006
Many of you have visited my blog regarding the visa run from Ranong, Thailand to Victoria Point, Burma (Myranmar). The process once you get there will last about 3 hours not including travel time to Rangong. Below is a step-by-step guide to getting your run completed. I know its not the most detailed, but it will give you some insight into what you should expect. Email me if you have questions or concernes, or I have said something that differs from your experience. I want to be as accurate as possible, with the exclusions of my opinions and advice, as those are how I feel about the plight of the Burmese. Enjoy your trip and would love to know about your travels there! Here's the scoop: You can't use your own $5 bill. You will find ... read more
March 20th 2006
Sorry to those that are getting this blog entry, as it is more of a personal entry and may bore you! To Bee Or Not To Bee Every morning I usually sit outside my bungalow overlooking the Andaman Sea from atop a beautiful hillside. I sit on my white plastic chair and set my fresh-brewed instant (oxymoron) coffee cup on my lovely white plastic table. I feel the warm humid breeze across my face and close my eyes and listen to the distant birds.....and...wait....(buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz), DAMN! That damn bee is here again! He's the size of small 747 Jumbo Jet (at least a 3-inch wingspan) and whizzes past my head, sending the hairs on my arms and nape of my neck into military-like attention. He is the local annoyance and he visits me nearly every morning...on cue! ... read more