What do I remember most? The stuff I didn’t plan for. The places where I learned something. The spontaneous events. The interesting stories people share with me. The things that make me think. Making friends and reuniting with old ones.
What do I most enjoy writing about? Mostly that stuff. (Usually not that last point, as much as I love my friends.) Some of these get long.
- 21st century: Passing New Years’ with defiantly unmodernised tribes in Ethiopia’s south
- Befriend: Lost in translation and unable to decline in Kosovo
- Beyond nature: The world’s largest mirror, in Bolivia
- Ego: Alone in the physical manifestation of a personality cult in Turkmenistan
- Emigrant: Reconciling my identity in Hong Kong
- Exposure: Fulfilling a dream of hanging out with penguins in Antarctica
- Forgiveness: Of the most extreme sense in Rwanda, a nation rebuilt from trauma yet advancing fast
- Invitation: Joining a Tibetan family for a week of unfiltered cultural highs and lows
- Isolation: The feeling of utter freedom on Easter Island
- Joy: Witnessing a family reunion in Nicaragua 18 years in the making
- Plenty: Wedding crashing, picnic crashing, and house crashing in rural Uzbekistan
- Simple: Tranquility, determination, and dire straits in the middle of nowhere, Uganda
- Strangers: The nicest ones in the world are in Ghana
- Superstition: Accompanying local friends to voodoo priest consultations in Benin
- Talk: “Visiting while Chinese” in Somaliland, a place unaccustomed to foreigners
- World Nomad Games: A week of headless goat polo and other unorthodox sports in Kyrgyzstan
I’ve also been fortunate enough to witness the work of various NGOs (none of whom I am affiliated with!) who were kind enough to lend me their time during my travels.
- Hope springs eternal: Providing internationally-funded, locally-driven clean water and hygiene education in remote villages of Ethiopia
- Nourish: Local ingenuity and solutions for food security and agriculture in Kenya
- Scale: HIV/AIDS prevention in marginalised communities, and the polarised reactions in China’s government and conservative underground churches
- With love/with care: Balancing traditional Tibetan Buddhist and Hui Muslim cultures with church-provided poverty reduction, disaster relief, and education
Dig around. This whole blog’s written for me to remember anyway.