Author Archive

The World is a Village–And We’re All Connected

By way of travel, trade, finance, policy, or just connecting online, every human is closer to one other than ever before.  This is mostly good, but it does threaten our moral preferences. *** Some years back, a Lutheran mission worker in Tanzanian met a smart, industrious young Tanzanian man. That mission worker helped this young [...]

Arusha, Tanzania: The Streets, The College Campus, The Food Market

Last week was a lengthy word story, this week is a story of pictures. As covered last week, on my way to see the bus company that had damaged my luggage, I met Innocent, a college student dressed in hip urban clothes and whose round, always-half-smiling face gave the impression that he lived up to [...]

The 2014 Human of the Year

Time Magazine just announced their annual award for Person of the Year. They’ve been doing this for so long that the award gets attention no matter how right or wrong people think Time is in its choice. It’s like the Oscars. They have that popular momentum. Even those making Time’s publicized “short list” for their [...]

On Sunday I Visited My 100-Year-Old Great-Great-Aunt Olive Hendrickson

My great-great-aunt Olive was born in 1914, and her birthday is in June. That means she’s 100. Perhaps the thing I regret most about being in East Africa for most of this past year was missing her birthday party. I tried to make up for it on Sunday. I drove down to her apartment in [...]

Arusha, Tanzania: Relationships and Lawlessness

When I came up with my itinerary for my year-ending trek, I knew it would be a series of stops around Lake Victoria. But I also knew I’d be kicking off this trek with a stop off the lake: Arusha in Tanzania’s northeast. Arusha had been mentioned by various travelers I met throughout my time [...]

Ferguson and The Phenomenon of Myth

Myths are vital to the human species. We use them to encapsulate wisdom, to learn lessons, to be inspired, and to have heroes. Most myths are quite old–the dawn of literacy. Others are only as old as our nation. Author Tony Horwitz’s great book, “A Voyage Long and Strange” examines North America exploration in the [...]

Thoughts on Ferguson

A ruling, a reaction. We’ve seen this before. Violence, fires, businesses destroyed. Besides these obvious consequences, the negative effect of the Ferguson riots is that they will further polarize the country. Watching the riots on television will elicit very different reactions. I can imagine one group seeing the fires and then thinking of the family [...]

East Africa: A Filthy, Beautiful Place

On September 15, 2014, my two-week, three-country East Africa trek began. Though much of my previous activity in Tanzania had been off the cuff, these final two weeks were planned even before I left the U.S.–thus my departing flight from north-neighboring Kenya. This grand finale tour of East Africa was to include all the countries. [...]

The NFL is the New Sheriff in Town

There are two common responses to the Adrian Peterson suspension. One goes like this: “What?! Others players have done far worse and have gotten far less.” The other side says, “Good. He got what he deserved.” But both sides take the phenomenal leap of assuming that the NFL should be in charge of distributing justice–even [...]

Goodbye, East African Village School

As a boy in northern Minnesota, we’d drive down to “the cities” on special occasions. On the way, we’d often stop halfway at a city called Brainerd. Back then, you had to drive through the city because there was no bypass. Mom-n-pop shops through downtown Brainerd were the roadside attractions, and a McDonald’s or gas [...]