Hey there! My name is Jimmy. I was born and raised near the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in California. I studied linguistics in Oregon. After that, I taught middle school English in Sierra Leone with the U.S. Peace Corps and primary school in Mauritania at an international school. Now, I’m on the road full-time in Latin America while working on a proofreading course and writing fantasy.
Me and my mother near Tiwilit, Mauritania — January 2015
My goals in life are (trying to) live simply, work patiently, read widely, remember everything, and accepting that I will fail most of the time.
- I’m married to an incredible madrileña.
- I have a much cooler twin brother.
- I practice Islam, believe in socialism, and eat vegetarian.
Some of the things I’m interested in are:
education and literacy, travel, linguistics (Mande languages), Islamic studies, history, language learning (particularly Spanish, French, and Arabic), camping, writing, West Africa, Mediterranean Europe, notebooks, podcasts, Wikipedia, science fiction and epic fantasy novels, walking, coasts and mountains, photography, iOS, and the environment.
Why Among the Stones?
The phrase among the stones is the approximate English translation in Loko of my host village in Sierra Leone when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer. Many place names in Sierra Leone refer to local history or physical geography. In the case of this particular village, it is surrounded by many rocky patches and was named by a hunter named Manso Fahai (fahai also being the plural form of a ‘stone that cannot break’). It is somewhere I felt very comfortable and reminds me of my time spent there.
Among the Stones is a space that was originally designed as a West Africa travel website. Before that even started, I personalized and expanded Among the Stones to focus on my life and the things that I think about. I’ve kept the original logo which outlines West Africa in homage to the region that shaped so much of my life.
So what is Among the Stones? That’s a difficult question. It’s definitely (1) a travelogue of some sort but not on the scale of some lifestyle/travel blogs I’ve seen. It serves as a public (2) journal about some of the things I’ve been thinking about. There are (3) links to different posts around the web. It is a place to update and motivate myself and others to continue (4) writing. I want to blog (and maybe microcast) my creative processes. I had originally thought Among the Stones would focus on (5) mobile technology while traveling. I want to write more about that but real life and other interests are my priorities right now. I’m still a nerd, just one out of water. And by that I mean not sitting inside at a computer. Lastly, I’m slowly weening myself off Twitter and Instagram and maintaining my own (6) microblog and (7) photos page.
I love how technology is so mobile these days. We have computers in our pockets. This can often be a distraction from reality, but it can also facilitate communication with family and friends, become a library, school, record player, or cinema, and ease travel. I’ve pared down my devices and use my iPhone and iPad only.
- iPhone 7 with 128 GB for reading and taking photos/notes
- iPad Pro 10.5″ with 256 GB for reading, writing, editing, and publishing
Some essential iOS apps for creating and maintaining Among the Stones and other projects are Workflow, Ulysses, Drafts, Copied, Day One, 1Password, and Documents. Among the Stones is hosted with Media Temple and uses the beautiful Independent Publisher theme for WordPress by Raam Dev.