Favourites

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
  • 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.