Voices Of The Pacific Northwest: A Sleepover With The Mennonites

The Mennonites are best described as being like Amish who use more technology. Women in long dresses and bonnets, men in slacks and suspenders–they have cars, digital cameras, and even computers. But they use such tools for their single person in life: to do God’s work. And to stay on task, they resist exposure to…
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On Culture–And The Uniqueness Of American Culture

When I married my wife Heidi in 1970, her family had a Dutch background and celebrated St. Nicholas Day on December 6. We put our Dutch shoes out on December 5, and the next morning they were filled with fruit and candy and small gifts. I have continued that tradition for 47 years. -Gary ***…
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Pictures And Lessons From The Shakopee Sioux Pow Wow

This past weekend, thousands gathered for the annual Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Wacipi (or Pow Wow). Different than other pow wows I’ve attended, this one brought together multiple tribes–from all over the US and Canada. I hadn’t ever witnessed or experienced the full, unique power and beauty of these cultures.   Then came Saturday night… *** Something I’ve…
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It Begins… Video #1 Of Voices Of The Pacific Northwest

Today I release the introduction to my series of conversations from the Pacific Northwest. I’ll start posting these videos to my YouTube channel this weekend. For now, enjoy this trailer:

Boyang Captures Taiwan

“I didn’t really have any anticipation. While growing up in China, there was some propaganda about Taiwan and how it is still part of China. For me, it was just another undiscovered destination along the route of my personal trip of discovery.” -Boyang After capturing Japan, photographer Boyang island-hopped southbound to another Asian economic stronghold: Taiwan.…
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Boyang Captures Japan

Last week we met world-traveling photographer Boyang through his signature works from various corners of the planet. Today, we begin to share his photographic studies of specific locations. His words describing this first location:  There was a reason that I picked Tokyo as my first stop on my year-long travel: it is well-organized, clean, and…
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Out Today: My Story About The Hmong In Minnesota In Today’s Star Tribune

I was inspired to write the story two years ago. I walked into a Hmong-owned insurance office near the school I work for to find it decorated like my grandfather’s den: deer antlers, wildlife photography, and pictures of hunters in blaze orange all along the wall. In my mind, such outdoor interests were almost exclusively…
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News Coverage Of My “People Of The South” Presentation: Now I Want To Come To Your City

As I drove the final stretch home on my Southern U.S. road trip–through Wisconsin to the Twin Cities–the idea struck me: I’m going to give a presentation about this whole experience. Over the previous 15 days, I had interviewed elderly Southerners, self-proclaimed “redneck” Southerners, Pentecostal Southerners, old hippie transplant Southerners, Progressive Southerners, retired hobby-farm Southerners, and…
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My Tour Of The Southern U.S. Begins Friday

It’s happening, ya’ll. On Friday I leave for a two-week road trip through the American South and Appalachia. I already know what you’re asking, and the answers are: because I’ve never been to these places and the culture is unique to my own. Thus, I’ve got a lot to learn about the people and life…
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A Goodbye To The Faces Of Cambodia

An ancient history of greatness; a recent history of tragedy; and the present that is a breadth of culture, charm, and optimism–and all of it with a natural backdrop of unique terrain peppered with its beautiful wildlife. The definition of “idyllic” is: extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque. Cambodia is idyllic. And it seems like she…
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