California - Going to the Wild, Wild West!

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet with its discussion forums and mailing lists I had made a lot of contacts with other dancers all over the world and especially in the United States.
When one of them invited me to come over and teach workshops I took the opportunity to organize an entire tour through California, ending with the Rakkasah Festival.

But first of all I flew to Sacramento where Cintia, my first sponsor picked me up and drove me to Placerville, east of the Californian capital. It was Thursday, 2 days prior to my first workshops so I could get over the jet lag before getting down to business.

View from my motel window



After all the flying, I needed to take a walk outside to get some fresh air and move my legs.
This being March, nature in northern California was still in kind of a Winter mode.


Walking through town I felt kind of like an alien - everybody drives here... 
  There even is a historical center from the old times of the gold rush.

See, everybody has big cars!
Since this was in 2005, I had to get to a public place with an Internet connection which turned out to be the local library. Getting there was kind of an adventure because I had to walk along a busy street with no sidewalks because as I said, everybody here drives everywhere!

 My sponsor Cintia also took me on an excursion to Sacramento - the Governator greets you!
 Yes, it's just like the movies :-)
Of course Sacramento has lots of modern buildings as well, but hey, a horse carriage is far more interesting!

I also took some time on Friday to practice my dances for the show. I had planned to perform a sword dance and borrowed a sword from Cintia to avoid the hassle of getting my own on the plane and half across the world.

Saturday and Sunday were reserved for workshops and the show. Cintia had invited me to teach Bollywood Dance and Bhangra as well as Lebanese style bellydance. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the weekend.
As it often happens, there was a guy who photographed the entire show, promised to send photos and then never did....

On Sunday evening I went back to Sacramento airport and took a plane that would take me to the other end of California, to San Diego...