A new tale added on Tuesdays. (color-coded by location if you're interested in searching by country/region) These are just short pieces -- vignettes -- from some of my travels ... a single incident or a person or observation that touched me in some way while traveling. It may be from a trip chronicled here on the blog, or from another trip. While traveling, I stick primarily to real-time posting. While not traveling, I’ll try to share more of the experience in finer detail, and hence, Tuesday's Tales.
Should We Cross the River? -- From Namibia. The riverbed was dry when we went to the village. When we went back home, it looked a bit different! Should we cross the river?
Filming for the Documentary, "The African Witchfinder" -- From Namibia. Traveling with the film crew, my primary role in the filming process was that of Chicken Chaser and Kid Shusher.
Bridging Dementia: Lessons in Dignity -- From Namibia. Visiting the ADN care facility for Alzheimer's patients teaches me about the mysterious worlds dementia creates and those who inhabit them.
A Challenge to a Duel ... Himba-Style -- From Namibia. A brief portrait of a man I'm proud to call my friend, rendered through a friendly stick fight in a Himba village, Namibia.
The Foreigners Are Washing Their Hands! -- From China. The town officials of a small Chinese village show us amazing hospitality as guests of their annual rain festival.
The Invisible Photo Ray - the Mystery of Kids and Cameras -- From Brazil. The phenomenon of how cameras can bring kids out of the woodwork.
View from an Airplane Window -- An unexpected sight during a flight to China.
Dreams and the Olivine Death Pools: a cautionary tale of the power of ocean waves -- From Hawaii. I'd dreamed about something like it happening for years ... when it came to pass in real life, was it a kind of destiny or merely coincidence?
A Race With Darkness -- From Guatemala. Even though a pitch black darkness is descending, I can't help but push on to see a temple in Tikal.
Good Friends -- From China. A brief but special moment with a woman whose professional position elicits my admiration.
The Men of My 21st Summer -- From Alaska. Working at a cannery in Kenai, Alaska, I spent the summer among the lives and hearts of a group of Vietnam veterans in the tent city where I lived.
Fanclub at the Train Station -- From China. Benevolence befalls us in the most ordinary yet unexpected places in China.
Revelation on a Rainy Day -- From China. My friend's family sacrificed so much for him, more than he even knew.
An Abandoned Past -- From China. An old man has a sudden burst of pride in his past home.
Currency -- From Nederland, Colorado. One of the most sheepish moments of my life.
The Swanky Hitchhiker -- From Tunisia. An unexpected passenger overloads one of our senses.
Priorities -- From Brazil. Bedazzled by a source of cultural pride in an impoverished village in Brazil.
How to Get Free Rings -- From Tunisia. Why not take what you can get out of an unpleasant situation?
Offering up the Past -- From China. Acknowledging the loss of my dad with a symbolic act at the Lama Temple in Beijing.
Chucking Alpha Blondy -- From Tunisia. What do you do when you can't stand a beloved album anymore?
The Date Incident -- From China. Not one of my finer moments ... a shameful lesson about hospitality and cultural sensitivity.
A Simply Joy -- From China. The smallest gifts provide such joy; whether it's more joyous for the receiver or for the giver is hard to say.
French is the Language of Frustration -- From Chile. Backpacking the Paine Circuit in Chile, a Frenchman sums things up perfectly.
Wardrobe Malfunction -- My brain takes its own vacation without me.
Haiku Peru -- Pretty self-explanatory, if nerdy. But I'll explain it anyway: haiku poems about Peru.
Curses! -- From South Africa. My ranger wasn't exactly lost, merely optimistic ... and not a happy camper.
Why I Don't Drink Coffee -- From Brazil. Navigating unpalatable hospitality.
Mystery in the Riverbed -- From China. Creepy and intriguing ... how and why did this end up in the sand at my feet?
Run! -- From South Africa. It behooves you to do as your ranger advises.
Kindness of Strangers .. well sort of -- From Lesotho. We meant to do this guy a favor, but couldn't quite follow through.
Terror on the Table -- Two tales from France. My first culinary trials abroad.
Secrets in the Earth -- From China. Evading the destruction of the Cultural Revolution.
The Road to Jia Xian -- From China. Is it better for a traveler to have a tale or a smooth ride?
Approaching David -- My experience with the famous statue in Florence, Italy.
The Tree -- From China. A memorable incident that happened one morning while I was living in a traditional peasant village in China as a volunteer ethnographic researcher.
Remedies From the Road -- Various remedies for sickness or injury that I've learned from locals while traveling abroad. Simple, traditional remedies can be surprisingly efficacious. I've also learned about the occasional modern invention.