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Category: Current

Buzzing Quito

On our last day in Ecuador, we set out to explore some of Quito.  After making our way over to the historic old city, we are greeted with much unexpected excitement.  First, we encounter a mob scene developing as street vendors and metro police swarm around each other, angry words shared, fists fly, lots of […]

Gangtey

Before arriving to Gangtey, a three-hour drive from Punakha, our driver pulls over and our guide asks if we’d like to hike the rest of the way. It’s a welcome retreat from the bumpy dirt roads that takes us within feet of many yaks, grazing on the hillside. “Do people ever milk yaks?” we ask. […]

Happiness is a place

Thimphu is littered with dogs, high off the knowledge that no one will do them harm. “That dog”, they say, “could be your mother from a past life.” Bhutan is a deeply Buddhist country, with an unapologetic tie between church and state. Urbanization is moving people from the countryside into the overcrowded and rapidly developing […]

Myanmar

“The control measures on the Rohingya expanded and tightened as time went on, and by 2016, 86 checkpoints had been set up in northern Rakhine State.  The routine stop-and-search of vehicles to check for Rohingya passengers greatly amplified the perception of the group as a security threat.  This in turn fed the narrative, made so […]

The Golden Circle in Iceland

Iceland’s landscapes are spectacular, but equally interesting to the views is the audiobook we’re listening to.  As entertainment in the car while we drive from geyser to waterfall to museum to hot spring, we listen to Meltdown Iceland: How the Global Financial Crisis Bankrupted an Entire Country.  We learn how the 2008 world financial crisis […]

Rose Bowl Game 2016

Two words sum it all up. Mama mia! And I wasn’t the only one to think that. We were able to watch the game in our hotel room on the last night of our trip with Italian announcers calling the plays. After the one of the highlights, one of the announcers actually said Mama Mia […]

Drama in Eastern Africa

My parents are understandably a little concerned about my being in Ethiopia, and have thus expressed some relief that I am now moving onwards to Italy.  Just a couple days ago, Al-Shabaab militant stormed a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, Ethiopia’s southern neighbor.  The Westgate mall fiasco was complete with hostages, a multi-day militant siege, […]

No Crowds

It is always nice to travel when there are fewer tourists and shorter lines; however, the circumstances that lead to this trip’s smaller crowds are not happy ones for Israel and the Middle East.  In the second half of last month, well over 1000 Palestinian rockets were fired at Israel.  Specifically, both Jerusalem and Tel […]

Langa Township

Opposite of many other large cities, in the core of the Cape Town dwells the wealthy, and the “suburbs” are where the poor reside within townships.  As part of the school’s immersion program, we spend an afternoon having lunch at and visiting one such township, the Langa Township. Much of what we see there could […]

Summer Festival – Lucca 2011

Like Perugia and like Spoleto and like probably many other small towns throughout Italy, Lucca hosts a summer music festival complete with big name artists.  This summer, some of the names that Lucca is or has already hosted includes Elton John, Liza Minnelli, Arcade Fire, Ben Harper, and James Blunt.  Timing worked out that we […]