Apr 16

Nomadic Woman Lives Out of Backpack For 20 Years

A Review of Her Backpack Contents and Tips For Extended Travel

by Adventurer Shashi Harrie

Video by Paulie Hunt

Photos by Julie Webster

Shashi’s Latest and Famous Backpack

Contents of Sashi’s Backpack.

Our dear friend Shashi was just about to leave for another travel adventure.  She had been globe-trotting for over 20 years, living simply and mostly out of her back pack and a rolly suitcase.  She has been almost everywhere, including Tibet and Latin America.  This trip was to go back to India, seeking wisdom at her favorite Ashram.

Before she left we persuaded her to meet at a friend’s apartment and go through her entire backpack kit.  Over the years she had refined the things she carried to get the lightest items, but also the strongest and long lasting items.  I know that one of  her favorite places was REI in Santa Monica for excellent camping gear.  She agreed to share her experience and go through the items that she has found to be a necessity for extended travel and adventure.  She caries a water filter, a rice cooker, and a device to grind nuts and seeds, because she will be eating mostly things she prepares and finds in even small villages, including rice, beans and fresh veggies.. Being on the road can be expensive if you travel like a rich tourist and stay in hotels and have all meals in restaurants.  Shashi prefers to be on foot or bus and find a really cheap place to  stay or camp and cook her own food.  This savings allows her to travel constantly on a very small fixed income.  She also works a little along the way, or  trades services with businesses.  She has fixed computers, done bookkeeping, is a licensed acupuncturist, a trained karate security guard, and many other talents.

Please enjoy the video below and following that some photos we took of her equipment.  Notice that to keep organized, things are kept in cloth or vinyl waterproof bags and little pouches.  For instance, the first aid kit is in one bag, toiletries in another, food prep stuff in another.   That keeps everything organized in her backpack.

Note:  The video below is only 16 minutes.  We will upload the entire 50 minute version soon.

 

Shashi Harri  (L) and Julie Webster

Big Fun Videographer Paulie with Shashi Harri

I am very  sad to say that our dear friend passed away on her last trip in early 2019, due to  being caught in a dreadful storm and getting pneumonia.  We will certainly miss her calm disposition and great knowledge.  This is her last gift to those who live out of their backpacks, by choice or by chance and hard times.  She was so happy to share this information with everyone at gypsycool.  Rest In Peace dear Shashi Harrie.

Mar 13

Free Dinners in Encino

Encino Church Offers Help

by Judy

I volunteered today at feed the homeless in Encino.  It is a very impressive place.
Every tues night  6:30 to 8:00pm   and every sunday late afternoon   3:00pm to 4:pm

anyone in need is welcome for a free hot meal and dessert

Location  St Nicholas Episcopal Church – fellowship hall,   17114 ventura blvd, encino, ca 91316

The meals are served as a sit down dinner with entertainment.  The people are served like they were eating at a restaurant.

Dec 10

New Film on Homeless Children in Los Angeles

“Invisible Children of L.A.” Coming Soon – Fundraiser With Senator Kevin deLeon, Producer Maryana Palmer and Actress Mimi Kennedy Highlights Plight of Our Local Kids

Los Angeles is fast earning the reputation as the homeless capitol of America.  Because of skyrocketing apartment rents, the millions of folks who were thrown out of their homes by the bankers during the mortgage melt-down now have nowhere to go.  Thousands of families are living in their RVs, vans and even cars.  This includes thousands of children.  Even if the family gets a “chit” to stay in a motel for a couple of weeks, imagine the impact on the kids.  It is an intolerable situation.

This new documentary focuses on several families, their daily struggle to make ends meet, living with their kids on the street, in motels, in vehicles.  It is a heart-wrenching documentary that is a call to action for society to do something to help this situation.  There are many helpful solutions to these problems, we just need to marshal our society to tackle them

The fundraiser was held on September 29th at the Peace Center in Culver City.  The goal was to get enough money to pay for post production costs for the film, so that it could get released.  The trailer is done.  Gypsy Cool’s friends were at the event, with video cameras to record the highlights of the event.  Please, anyone who can help with a few bucks, go to www.invisiblechildrenofla.org and make a donation to the film through Film Independent.

Oct 09

Hollywood Food Coalition Volunteers Get Gifts From WordCamp

Word Camp Sends T-Shirts to Charity Volunteers and Homeless

Los Angeles Word Camp 2018 send a gift of brand new Word Press T-Shirts in various sizes to the great folks at the West Hollywood Food Coalition, which operates out of the Salvation Army kitchen on Hollywood Boulevard.  The volunteers and homeless folks were thrilled to get new colorful shirts.  The Coalition feeds 100 to 200 folks each week night.

How did this come about?  Uncle Paulie, webmaster of GypsyCool.com and his partner Julie Webster went to Word Camp 2018 to learn some of the latest improvements in the world of Word Press.  This took place on the campus of Cal State College in East L.A. on September 22-23,  2018.  When the event was over Julie spotted a box of brand new T-Shirts that weren’t given out to the attendees, so she asked the organizers of the event tor the shirts to give to our friends at the West Hollywood Food Coalition and the Salvation Army in Hollywood.  Uncle Paulie collects food from local markets and delivers to the Coalition to help feed those in need of a good hot meal.  “We can’t do enough to help the great folks there,” he said.  “They are working every day of the week to prepare good meals for those who need it, it’s on the scale of feeding an Army Company.”

The good people of Word Camp where more than happy to oblige Julie’s request and you can see by some of the smiling folks in the photo, it was a happy moment.

May 25

Feeding 100-200 Folks Every Night at Salvation Army Food Kitchen

Getting Trader Joe’s Food Donation to the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition in Hollywood – Uncle Paulie Has Been Delivering Truck Loads for 5 Years

Joe, Head Chef, and Uncle Paulie at the Salvation Army Kitchen

For the last 5 years Gypsy Cool’s Uncle Paulie has been taking van loads of food to the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition operating out of the Salvation Army Kitchen in Hollywood.  They feed up to 200 people every night Monday through Friday.  On weekends they are back at the corner of Romain and Sycamore in Hollywood around 5pm serving dinner.. Paulie makes the long trek from the West Valley at least once a week to deliver much-needed food to Hollywood’s Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition at the Salvation Army.  “Being retired I love helping to feed people who are hungry and need food.  We also distribute food directly almost every night of the week, and help many other groups grappling with the suffering of seniors, homeless folks, students, and other poor folks who need some extra help and love,” said Paulie.  The volunteer delivery crew, including Uncle Paulie, Bob, Wendy, Chuck, Chris, Julie, Judith,  John, Judy, Kathleen and others, are all from the charity Earth Harmony Foundation.

Boxes of food donation from Trader Joe’s in Sherman Oaks.

Volunteers sort through the donations from Trader Joe’s Market in Sherman Oaks.  Chef Joe will use this food with other donations and some purchased food to make enough meals to feed 100 to 200 folks per night.  A great crew of volunteers help to sort, prepare, cook, and serve the meals.  Help is always needed, show up in the afternoon to the Salvation Army on Hollywood Blvd. (near Gower).  For more information, call Sheri at 213-703-9513.