Stubborn Like an Ox on a Cliff

I woke with a start. What had I agreed to? Climbing a cliff when all I could manage was the easy side of a rock wall? Holy shit. I looked at my iPhone. Four hours before we leave. I had been on an adrenaline high from successfully completing a variety of rock climbing exercises when Read More …

Bangkok River Gods

River gods in Bangkok? You wanna know about river gods? I will tell you a story. Many years ago, we knew the girl who married a river god and we called her Mai. She was my thrice-great aunt. I can say this, yes? Thrice? This is her story.   You see, this area here on Read More …

Orlyonok and the Rock Wall

Sitting between sessions at a conference in Smolensk, I quickly scanned my work schedule for Orlyonok. Three days of morning and afternoon workshops, swimming, a camp tour, and rock wall. Rock wall? What’s a rock wall? Whatever. I just need this schedule set so I can move on to the 500 other things I’m supposed Read More …

Kolkata Taxi and Life Saving Tea

It was a Kolkata taxi that brought you from the airport to your friend’s house, and, to Alice. Neither of you spoke the same language, you communicated through sighs and sign language. The first two weeks of living together felt like hell, but Alice has become a map that helps you navigate living in Kolkata. Read More …

Stepantsminda Heals the Soul

You’re in a mashrutka headed to Stepantsminda crammed against the window with three new friends sitting around you. In Tbilisi it’s hot and the air stays with you stifling the minivan cabin. You long for the crisp fresh air of the mountains and the view Lonely Planet promises from Stepantsminda. Having just spent the past Read More …

Expressions of Crazy Stress

You know when you get too big for your breeches and life comes to remind you of your place? Instead of the lovely post massage blissed out self I predicted in my last post, my recent trip to the airport gave the colors in this painting new meaning: My expressions of crazy stressed.   Dark green and white Read More …