Author Archive

The Lady Boys of Thailand

Our first morning in Thailand followed a jet-lagged, sleepless night in a decent Bangkok hotel. Sure, the faucet in my shower broke, allowing it to run all night. But the rooms were comfortable, and the lobby boasted shiny floors, large pillars, and plush furnishings. The hotel also served a satisfying breakfast in their homey dining room. Without a […]

The Bugs (and other creepy, crawly, slimy things) We Encountered in Thailand

While I said goodbye to Thailand last week with a post looking back at the highlights of our three weeks there, I do have a two addendums on special aspects of our experience. This week’s: bugs (and other animals) Beetle, leaf bug, mega mosquito… Food, pest, welcome guest… Insect, arachnid, reptile, and then some fish. […]

The Hmong Have Caught on to Minnesota Fishing

The Hmong have been in Minnesota for 40 years. Which aspects of a culture does a people bring to a new land? Which do they leave behind? And which aspects of the local culture does one adopt when entering a new land? These are the questions I’m asking in an article I’m working on. And I’ve […]

Thailand: A Look Back at the Best Moments/Photos

River rides, elephant rides, Hmong villages, Long neck women… Art, blossoms, schools, sports… New friends, new terrain, and lots of food and shopping… And that covers just a bit of what we saw and did on this student trip to Thailand. Travel has a way of really packing a punch, of squeezing as much out […]

He Had Everything, So Why Did Robin Williams Commit Suicide?

  When someone kills themselves or suffers from depression/substance abuse, we’re quick to ask why and point out the external factors: poverty, bad childhood, or lack of support (financial, personal, or medical). I think we do this because the external factors are visible and so easier to credit. Plus, it has us look at ourselves and […]

The Grand Finale of Thailand: The Grand Palace

  Grand it was. I just wish we had spent more time. Check out the ahead pictures, and you’ll understand why. The aptly named Grand Palace of Bangkok is perhaps the most striking architectural offering in all the Kingdom of Thailand. It didn’t hurt that the bright blue sky hung above while the sun shone upon […]

Whether You’re Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, the Undercover Planned Parenthood Videos are Good

It’s easy to go back and forth about the morality of Planned Parenthood. They are huge. They provide many services. Some controversial, most not. Like any large entity, people who dislike it can point out the bad; and people who like it will point out the good. One could do the same for, say, the […]

The Lion, The Myth, and the Morality Tale

Hype and myth are loaded themes that go hand in hand. Once something is mythologized, it’s easy to go overboard about it. Meanwhile, look at something that garners a strong reaction, and you may be able to explain it with myth. Enter Cecil the lion and the reaction to his death. Yet to the demonstrators outside […]

Refugee Camp Ruins and a Buddhist Monastery

  Our van motorcade approached a monastery community with row houses, a large, black statue of the Buddha, and temples. These structures sat before a backdrop of grassy, rocky hills. This was all for the monks. Adjacent to the temple property were the ruins of a former refugee camp: piles of concrete on what is […]

How to End Trophy Hunting in Africa

  Okay. If you want to end trophy hunting in Africa, here’s how to do it: First you need to understand why it exists. People enjoy big game hunting for the same reason people in my family like deer hunting–or even fishing. It’s about strategy and problem solving, a mental exercise of knowing where the […]

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