Author Archive

Book Tour Update: Thank you Fargo and Grand Forks. Minnesota, you’re next.

Every week, I tap, tap, tap away at the letters on my keyboard to share a travel story with readers in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and beyond. Now I’m spending less time tapping and more time talking (and showing photos and footage). Friday and Saturday, I was honored to share my East African experiences (and China […]

Announcement: My ND-MN Book/Speaking Tour Starts this Friday

This Friday, March 27, I’ll be in Fargo. The following day, I’ll be in Grand Forks. And after that, I have four stops around Minnesota: Bemidji, Duluth, Brainerd, and Cottage Grove. Details of the stops are below. First, a little about these events… *** I spent most of 2014 volunteering at a village school in Tanzania, […]

Education is Bigger than Politics (A Lesson from my Year in China)

Having been in China just 10 days, it was funny how the detail of teaching English–my vehicle for coming out to China–became lost on me. But it was no accident. I didn’t want to think too much about it, because honestly, I didn’t think too much of it. Tons of others before me had gone abroad to […]

Connecting a Minnesotan Father to his Ugandan Sons

On January 15, 2014, I was getting my car washed. It was one of those where you hand the car over to workers, they vacuum it out, it goes through the wash, and then other workers wipe it down and clean the interior. I was inside paying the Latina cashier when a man walked behind […]

Wealth: Equalizer and Diversifier (An Essay from China)

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I know an American man from India and an American woman from South Korea, who on separate occasions shared with me their similar experiences traveling to their mother countries: people there could tell right away that these ethnically identical visitors were, in fact, visitors. In addition, the Indian man told me that people in his […]

Humans of Jinja, Uganda

From houses of worship, to shacks in the slum, to my host’s home in the outskirts, to the snazzy mall in the middle of the city, I had explored Kampala. Now it was time to get to my next city, Jinja. A hop, skip, and a leap away from Kampala, I got on a dalla dalla […]

What I Learned about Feminine Power while Living in China

When I was in China, I regularly attended yoga classes at my gym. It was part of the membership fee. Plus, I really liked the meditative benefits of doing so. And it made me sweat a lot. One afternoon I arrived to class ready to stretch and pose. Changed into my blue gym shorts and black […]

Life Learned Abroad 24-hr eBook Giveaway

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To promote the re-release of my book, “Life Learned Abroad: Lessons on Humanity from China,” I’m running an all-day promotion.   Just for today, Sunday March 1, the Kindle version is available to download for FREE. (This can be read on a Kindle or a Kindle Reader app on any device.)   This digital version […]

Don’t Be a Bully: Let e-Cigarette Smokers Light Up

A few years back, I was disappointed when Bemidji State University–the college nearest where I grew up, where I attended music camp, and where my brother graduated–initiated a strict no-tobacco policy. I was disappointed because under the guise of providing “the public with a safe and healthy work environment” the ban included snuff, which hurts no […]

My China Book Revised, Re-released…and free this Sunday

About a year ago, I finished a book about my travels and insights while living in China in 2010-2011. I held two book release events in Bemidji and Minneapolis. (I almost had to cancel the Minneapolis one, because as you recall, last winter was brutal.) But people came out on this below-zero January afternoon, and we had a […]