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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Meet Khu Oo Reh, Karenni Leader

  Meet Khu Oo Reh. Mr. Reh is the Vice President of a leading Karenni political group. “Karenni?” you ask. The Karenni (and their ethnic cousins the Karen) is an ethnic group from the country Burma (also known as Myanmar) in Southeast Asia. They are distinguishable from from the Burmese in language, script, custom, and…
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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…
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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…
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The Legendary Long-Neck Women Of Burma…who Had Long Faces

  You’ve likely heard of them. Tribal people whose women have extraordinarily long necks wrapped and stretched in gold-colored rings. This is not a Thai tradition; nor is it a practice of the people to whom most of our students belonged and whose ethnic kin we came to see: the Hmong. It is a tradition of the…
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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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What I Learned About Race By Living In Africa

Obviously, there are many lessons to be taken away from living in a place as different as East Africa. I’ve gained insight and a more nuanced view on topics such as development, education, the meaning and importance of home, and the magnificence of mother nature. Above all these, however, was one issue I felt was…
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Gone Fishin’ (the Tanzanian Vs. The Minnesota Way)

When I was 12, my brothers and I would go fishing using our grandfather’s pale green, 14-foot aluminum boat. We’d haul it in the back to our father’s tiny S10 Chevy pickup. When we got to our northern Minnesotan lake of choice, my older brother would take one side of the boat, my little brothers…
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50 Shades Of Shame

Guest writer, Erin Fahey, shares her insight about the controversial book, 50 Shades of Grey.  We don’t have to look too far for sex. It’s often a medium to attract attention and push sales. Our curiosities keep us looking. But at the same time, sex is a private matter not to be discussed beyond the confines of a…
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New Plateaus Geography Spotlight # 3 – São Tomé And Príncipe

*This article was co-written with the help of the talented and intelligent, Thomas Brandt. If you’re ever interested in contributing ideas or material to New Plateaus, please express it. 🙂 Gosh, with a name like São Tomé and Príncipe you’ve got to assume some kind of western European influence, huh? But that doesn’t help a whole…
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