Side Street in Phnom Penh: Music From a Grandfather’s War Wounds

On a side street in downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia, you’ll find a homely little Anglican church.  If you saunter by of a Sunday, as I did not long ago, you might notice that several people linger on the premises after morning services.  It was enough, at my visit, to draw me in, on the chance … More Side Street in Phnom Penh: Music From a Grandfather’s War Wounds

What Terror From the Deep Can Leave Behind (II) Night Bus to Mandalay – and to a Tsunami Story

There is hardly any place name, with the possible exception of ‘Shangri-La’, that is quite so evocative as ‘Mandalay’. Nearly all of its associations for the West are Kipling-esque ‘images of oriental kingdoms and tropical splendor’*. Dozens of book titles, songs and hotel names have ridden the crest of those images to fame and riches. … More What Terror From the Deep Can Leave Behind (II) Night Bus to Mandalay – and to a Tsunami Story

Tsunami: What Terror From the Deep Can Leave Behind. (I)

In these last hours, video has captured a tsunami rolling ashore in the town of Palu, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Ten-foot waves can be seen in the background sweeping structures, palm trees and debris before them. The death toll, sure to rise, stands at 830. The images recalled what the world observed in horror on December 26, … More Tsunami: What Terror From the Deep Can Leave Behind. (I)

Temples to Tea, Shrines for the Traveler

Camelia sinensis: the wind beneath the traveler’s wings.  ‘Cha’, ‘sah’, ‘chay’. Known to the West as ‘tea’.  Across Asia and now the planet, this infusion of legend and mystery is on offer, be it in the exquisite tea houses of Kyoto and Dushanbe or in the humblest roadside shelters.  Whatever its shrine, tea commands a … More Temples to Tea, Shrines for the Traveler

Hole-In-The-Day: Manoomin, Treaty Rights and Deferred Harvest

Come November 22nd this year, discriminating families at Thanksgiving tables will sit up – unawares – to turkey stuffed with the makings of an epic and delectable tale.  It is the tale of ‘manoomin’, the sacred wild rice that grows across northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the prairie provinces of Canada. Stand on the cat-tail fringes … More Hole-In-The-Day: Manoomin, Treaty Rights and Deferred Harvest

Makgadikgadi: Soul Depths On A Salt Flat

If the Okavango Delta resembles a primordial Eden, then the neighboring Makgadikgadi Pans may be a picture of a climate-changed future, at least for the drought-prone swatches of the earth.  Larger than the entire state of Connecticut, a baked crust of white clay stretches virtually without a single landmark, one of the largest salt flats … More Makgadikgadi: Soul Depths On A Salt Flat

Safari To Dislocation – And Time Immemorial

Safari (meaning ‘visit’ or ‘trip’ in Ki-swahili) has been a staple of Western travelers since Victorian times when outsiders with prodigious ‘kit’ came on tour to the bush country of Africa’s wild interior. Teddy Roosevelt figures high on the list of notables who tried their luck on the savannah. The tally of trophies taken in … More Safari To Dislocation – And Time Immemorial