Its been quite sometime since we have heard from our corespondent from the outer reaches of Lisanti Land, Kooky Kyle. Those of you who have been long term readers might remember some of his earlier blogs in his segment Kooky’s Korner know this man needs no introduction. I asked him to give us all an update on whats been going on in his life as he is about to embark on an unparalleled adventure with the Peace Corps in Tanzania. Enough of my words and onto his:
So you may be wondering,“What the hell happened to Kooky? It has been a long time since we heard from him” Rest assured I didn’t kill myself and am doing fine. Right after you last heard from me, I ran relief supplies from NC up to NJ post Sandy. Following that I quit my restaurant job and went to set up shop for my boss in NJ. They saw how many people I knew and the income level of the area and thought it would be a great place to sell solar generators. Long story short, I surfed a shit ton while my boss and his business partner dragged their feet on getting me what I needed to launch the branch in NJ. By the time I was set up to get the company running their window of opportunity passed and it was not a success as they had hoped.
This left me in a predicament before summer started. With nearly no cash and no work up in NJ, the solar guys had me move back to NC to work for them. Since they couldn’t give me full time work they also set me up with a gig driving for a friend of theirs’ limo company. Unfortunately for me the solar company had a bunch of legal and logistical issues and basically shut down for a month. The limo company didn’t tell me that I would have to get an NC license and then wait another 8+ weeks for my limo license to clear. Throw in two months rent and a speeding ticket, what money I did earn down there disappeared completely.
I can’t complain I had some fun in Wilmington and NJ was flat as a pancake so I only missed one swell. Before I left I connected the solar company with West (If you don’t remember him then you must read “The Christmas Dread” Saga” Parts I, Part II and Part III). The company had a solar top that fits on golf carts. West loves golf, and the company was looking to get a west coast sales presence so I figured it would be a good fit. Last I heard West was doing pretty well with getting the word out and interest generated. I really believe of anyone I know he can make those sales and be a success.
With my bank account empty my friend Dave called me up and said if I wanted he could get me a job doing construction with him. Business was booming in NJ and he could pay $150 a day. How could I go wrong? With in a day had I packed up all my shit in North Carolina and drove back to NJ. Ah, it was great to finally be making money again. If you have never been essentially unemployed for a long period of time you don’t realize what a relief it finally is to be putting money IN the bank rather than taking it OUT!
Honestly my boss, Bob, was easy enough to work for and the pay was kick ass. The only thing that sucked is that the work dried up. After having talked to other people who have been working construction, everyone is in the same limbo in the area. Those who had money to repair from Sandy have done so and are waiting to get reimbursed by insurance. Those who didn’t are all fighting with the insurance companies to get the money to get their homes repaired. Insurance companies take your money in case something happens and then you have to fight them to get the money back when you need it.
To keep us busy Bob had us help him move out of his house in Vermont and down to his house in Charleston. After that he found work redoing a basement down in Charleston so I spent about a month down there over the course of the Fall. Right now, I shall codify Kooks first law of surf: If you absolutely will not be able to surf, there will be swell. Every time we went down south, there would be the only swell for weeks in NJ; whenever we got back it would be flat.
Back in October, after the Federal shut down ended, I got a long awaited email. It was from the Peace Corps. I was accepted and offered a position in Tanzania as an environmental/agricultural volunteer. For those of you who don’t know what the Peace Corps is, it is a program of the Federal government whose goal is to alleviate the sources of poverty around the world and promote a cultural exchange that encourages peace and understanding between the host country and the U.S. As an environmental/agricultural volunteer, I will likely be living without running water or power, which will be an interesting experience. Usually a volunteer gets a minimum of four months notice but thanks to those assholes on Capital Hill who would rather play games than create laws that help American people, I got bit less notification and had to rush to get all my stuff done before the deadlines.
I am very excited about this trip. I don’t have the funds I wanted before leaving due to work slowing down, and I didn’t get to visit my friends in California before I left, but that is okay. This winter has been excellent in New Jersey wave wise. There have not been many really big heavy days but there has consistently been hollow head-high days. I am doing my best surfing I have ever done which is reassuring considering I had about a 6 month spell of almost never surfing. The first few sessions were rough but I am back to progressing. Tanzania has a coast, though it is heavily swell shadowed from the predominant swell generator for the Indian Ocean by northern Mozambique and Madagascar. If there are surf spots there I will find them. Fingers crossed I can swing a trip over to Madagascar and explore some of the amazing set ups they have over there.
Thanks for reading. I would also like the give a special thanks to Chris again for helping me in my year long surf adventure that helped me get my Peace Corps position and all that he taught me. I am sure I will have plenty of tales from my African Adventure and I will hopefully check in every once in a while with the Surfing Ruined My Life readers.
So there you have it. If Kooky doesn’t die of the plague, get kidnapped and sold into slavery, Kidnapped and killed, killed in some type of mass genocide or find death in one of the many other gnarly ways for one’s life to end in a country as remote and uncivilized as Tanzania you can be sure I will publish any writings of his adventures he wishes to send me to share with you all. Stay tuned and wish Kooky luck!!!