Holidays In China 3: Christmas

The following excerpt is taken from my book, Life Learned Abroad: Lessons on Humanity from China. *** When I moved to China I figured I’d miss out on celebrating my usual holidays. So as was the case when seeing Halloween decor the weeks before, I was pleasantly surprised one evening to see this sign of…
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Holidays In China 2: Thanksgiving Meal With A Chinese Family

Okay, so the Chinese don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. But they did express gratitude often, and one evening while living there in 2010 (on a November evening as a matter of fact) I was invited to the home of a family to help prepare and enjoy a delicious dinner. The following excerpt is taken from my book, Life Learned…
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Holidays In China Part 1: Our School Halloween Celebration

This is first of four posts about how I spent the holidays when living in China 2010-2011. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years: each offered a blend of America and China. This first post was written five years ago, November 2010, after the school where I worked put on an extravagant Halloween celebration involving students–and us teachers…
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Travel Flashback: Studying Martial Arts In The Mountains Of Central China

Four summers ago, I trekked central China following ten months of teaching English. My last week and a half was spent in the mountains of Hubei province. Here is one of the stories I wrote about the martial arts school. If you’d like to read more, see the link at the bottom. *** I attended…
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Thailand’s Hall Of Opium And A Talk With Teenagers About Drugs 

  We walked a long, darkened hall with just a hint of red and purple hues in the air. The light reflected the bumpy, rock-like walls that had embedded within fossil-like skeletons and skulls with expression of scream and terror. This museum started off like a haunted house, and that’s evidently the first impression they want visitors to…
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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…
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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,…
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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…
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Wealth: Equalizer And Diversifier (An Essay From China)

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…
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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…
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