Author Archive

The Exorcism at the African Church Service

I heard a lot of yelling from across the street. I had been hearing it each weekend when trying to write on Sundays from the internet cafe in Iringa. I thought there was a political rally going on. It turned out to be a church. I crossed the dusty divided street to a warehouse-like space [...]

Why the Federal Government Struggles to Fight Ebola

This article on says that Americans are not confident in their government’s ability to response to the Ebola scare. Truth is, the U.S. has never done “government” well–as in, nationwide government action. It wasn’t created to do that. We’re not China. So we struggle with nationwide efforts such as immigration, with helping after Hurricane [...]

The Animated African Church Service

In case you didn’t go to church on this Sunday, I have just the thing. On May 4th of this year, I was given the chance to document one of Iringa’s liveliest, most intense congregations. I suspect that the photos and footage these next three weeks will be met with a mixture of disturbance, intrigue, [...]

What I Learned About Race by Living in Africa

Obviously, there are many lessons to be taken away from living in a place as different as East Africa. I’ve gained insight and a more nuanced view on topics such as development, education, the meaning and importance of home, and the magnificence of mother nature. Above all these, however, was one issue I felt was [...]

Gone Fishin’ (the Tanzanian vs. the Minnesota way)

When I was 12, my brothers and I would go fishing using our grandfather’s pale green, 14-foot aluminum boat. We’d haul it in the back to our father’s tiny S10 Chevy pickup. When we got to our northern Minnesotan lake of choice, my older brother would take one side of the boat, my little brothers [...]

On the Shores of a Huge African Lake

What do you say we plan a day at the lake? Sounds nice, right? Since I was a boy, I’ve loved going to the lake—to swim, to fish, to picnic, all of it done with the water, the waves, the shore, the breeze, and the loon’s call setting this scene of peaceful invigoration. Now how [...]

Attachment to the Vikings is Harming Our State

Over the past couple of years, I’ve read the headlines and stories of misplays, misappropriations, and malfeasance concerning the Vikings stadium and Vikings players—and then I’ve read the complaints from the public regarding each individual episode. All taken together, however, one can see that such disappointments are simply exploits of a more fundamental cause. But [...]

Waterfalls, Geologic Wonders, and Adventure Travel

I’m writing this the morning of Sunday, September 21 from a rundown motel room in Bukoba, Tanzania. This is not where I am supposed to be today. That being said, I am supposed to be on the road. My time teaching at the Magulilwa village school outside of Iringa, Tanzania has come to its end. [...]

Interview with a Witch Doctor

On our motorcycle ride over and around lushly vegetated rolling terrain, beyond small farms of coffee and cocoa, I was being driven to a destination that on one hand had nothing to do with this amazing nature, but on the other, was quite tied to it. We were visiting a man–not a waterfall or the [...]

To Tropical Tukuyu: The Bus Preacher and Other Highlights

School summer break in Minnesota is school winter break in Tanzania. But truth be told, a long break from school during warm weather holds the two in common. And with my time off of school in July, I took advantage by seeing a new part of the country: the tropical southwest down to monster Lake [...]