Children From All Over The World

The restaurant I work at recently hosted an annual get-together for an area adoption agency. What followed was an evening that really affected me… Now typically my first thought when I hear “adoption agency” is of a white, middle-class couple who can’t conceive. That’s commonly the case, and growing up I can remember my pastor,…
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The Elders Among Us

Speak to the elders in your life. Last week I wrote about two conversations I had with each of my Granddads. Both men live vivid and classic lives exemplifying American/Minnesotan culture. It was awesome how telling their lives are for the “American” in all of us. It revealed to me the importance of culture as…
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Stomping-Ground Culture 2: Our Grandparents

While I was still “up north” as we say, visiting my family in Blackduck, I decided to stop out at each of the grandparents’ places. Some may consider this dull, but it was enlightening. Here’s why: As if the Fates of blogging were looking down upon me, my time with my old granddads offered fresh…
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Stomping Ground Culture, Part 1

If you’d asked me before about the culture of northern Minnesota, or America even, I’d have suggested it better described as a lack of culture. Growing up, we never had our version of a pow wow or exotic clothing—nothing drawing back to the days of ancient ancestors. Removed from lederhosen and the German language (though…
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Home Sweet Home: China In Minnesota

All the pictures and words and emotions regarding China came to an end, folks. This post is about my arrival back and experiences being re-introduced to Minnesota. I left Zhuhai on an unusually clear, beautiful, warm, sunny day. The car ride to the airport featured lush green palm trees and bright blue skies that lit…
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The Faces I Lived Amongst

Home: where routines are made, and the places and people are familiar. It’s a location that let’s you get into your groove of life and feel comfortable. The hunter-gatherer peoples of pre-civilized humanity had a “home” of sorts: it was the people they kept close. Then when farming, domestication, and cities sprouted, humans came to…
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Feminine Power

Greetings Readers, An article of mine about China was featured on the website: The Good Men Project. I want to share it with you. 🙂 I will say, though, that it’s a bit different than the travelogueing you are used to. In the spirit of “reaching new plateaus”, I sometimes delve into deeper themes of…
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Studying Tai Chi: The Students, The Landscapes

I attended a music camp back in high school. We rehearsed with this involved, focused presence, only a few days to master our music for a performance at week’s end. These rehearsals were different than regular band class during the school year. There, we were more likely to clock-watch and wish for the hour to…
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China: Bone-Breaking Pressure

In China around 1000 years ago, a unique trend began in the area of fashion, custom, and duty. Parents started to tightly wrap the feet of their young daughters so the feet wouldn’t grow large. This binding became extreme enough to require the breaking of the toes and of the arch. And it evolved to…
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I Survived A Chinese Hospital

This wasn’t a post I was anticipating, but hey I got sick. Walking to the hospital, though, here’s what I did anticipate: less than ideal conditions, less than ideal physicians, and plenty of paperwork. This is China: kids pee on the sidewalk, litter is dispensed in the most convenient fashion–drop it where you are. People…
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