Monthly Archive: July 2010
“In your travels, did you ever feel like you were being followed?” a friend recently asked.
We looked up as if to page through our mind-file of creepy experiences: “No. At least we don’t think so.”
Even when we answered, our response struck me as supremely naïve. Although we aren’t terribly important in the geopolitical grand scheme of things, somebody somewhere must have taken more than a casual interest in our movements. After all, we’d been throughout the former Soviet Union – including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan — and to places like China and Burma.
Surely we had a tail somewhere along the way. Continue Reading »
Visit any European central square on a weekend, and along with the wedding parties in celebration and the locals in transit, you are likely to find tourists shutterbugging away. As evidence, we offer Vilnius’ Cathedral Square (Katedros aikštė). Continue Reading »
As our rental car began to drift atop a layer of windblown sand, I grabbed hold, down-shifted and noticed the hills around me were swirled in a peppermint twist. All those Ruta 40 signs in Argentina finally delivered on an implied promise: you’ll be impressed, and what once captured your imagination will now claim your full attention. But it wasn’t the fabled Route 40 of Patagonia that would provide the exclamation point on our time in Argentina. It was a week-long road trip across the quebradas of Northwest Argentina, where chilies dry in the midday sun, llama comes served with wine pressed just down the road, and gauchos hold harvest festivals in the hills.
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“For safety reasons, we’ll need to go in groups of at least four to the cemetery,” our Spanish language teacher informed us.
“Why,” we wondered. “Are the dead coming back to life?” Continue Reading »
So we’ve been running all over creation for the last three and half years and living abroad for almost ten. In May, before visiting the United States we told people we were “coming home for a visit.” More recently, we found that Central Europe (Prague, by way of Vienna and Bratislava) still feels like home.
In an email just yesterday, one of our friends in Uruguay asked: “Are you back home finally or at least in the U.S.?”
It was his confusion that tuned us into a more universal query: Where is home?
And more importantly, what is it? Continue Reading »
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be in the middle of an ethnic minority market in China’s Yunnan Province? Even if you haven’t, we’re going to show you anyway. Continue Reading »
They were village women in braids, highland hats and tiny pumps. Some even had babies slung to their backs. But they all made their way about the makeshift soccer pitch at pace, kicking around a half-deflated ball. We — of hiking shoes, branded outdoor clothing and little to weigh us down – were getting our butts kicked.
We had just come from a mountaintop meeting between borrowers and loan officers from Espoir, an Ecuadoran microfinance field partner of Kiva. The borrowers’ homes were tucked in the hills of southern Ecuador in a little village, the road to which was often washed out and impassable. Continue Reading »
People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.
– Dagobert D. Runes
Why is it that so many people reserve their curiosity for new and enlightening experiences on the road while they take for granted similar opportunities just because they happen at home?
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