After 241 Years…. Jefferson Still Lives!

Two hundred and forty one years ago a resolution written by Thomas Jefferson and moved by John Adams passed the Continental Congress.  It read, in part: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these … Continue reading After 241 Years…. Jefferson Still Lives!

Sitka In Solidarity

I have not seen anything like it in Sitka.  Estimates vary from a low of 500 to nearly 1,000 people marching respectfully.  I saw people for all sorts of different causes from all walks of life, and many different persuasions.  We gathered as people made signs, than we marched, well it was more like a stroll, from the Crescent Harbor Shelter, around the St. Michael’s … Continue reading Sitka In Solidarity

Reflections On Turning 70

This is supposed to be one of those “milestone” birthdays.  Even the Bible mentions it, ominously. “Three Score and Ten” is the measure of man’s life.  But I’m not feeling like I’ve passed a milestone.  Other birthdays were different. When I turned 7 I felt that I had finally made it, out of first grade, into second.  I got a Roy Rogers sweat shirt for … Continue reading Reflections On Turning 70

A 1993 Albanian Bus Adventure, Tirana to Vlora and back

It’s Throwback Thursday. This is a letter from November, 1993.  I edited out the middle of the letter, where I talk about our time in Vlora, for reasons of length.  But I remember we went swimming in the Adriatic Sea on the last day in October.  The return bus trip was on Halloween night and there was a full orange moon.  At least that’s what … Continue reading A 1993 Albanian Bus Adventure, Tirana to Vlora and back

A Trip to Northern Albania, 1993

This is a letter from 1993.   I pulled it out of my digital files because an Albanian friend posted pictures from this area on Facebook.  I got into a Facebook conversation with several Albanian friends about the pictures and this trip.  I decided to post it on a “Throwback Thursday.” Here is the letter.  Since I first posted this I have found more of the … Continue reading A Trip to Northern Albania, 1993

Albanian Municipal Election Day, 1996

  This coming Tuesday is primary election day in Alaska.  I’m beginning my “Throwback Thursday” posts with my family letter about being a municipal election monitor in Albania.  Albania was a new democracy and people took their newly won privileges seriously, including dressing up in their Sunday best to hike an hour to get to a polling place.  I wrote this letter on: October 29, … Continue reading Albanian Municipal Election Day, 1996

Elizabeth Peratrovich Day

Today is Elizabeth Peratrovich Day in Alaska. In 1945, during the debate in the Alaska Territorial Legislature on a bill mandating equal accommodation for people of all races, a senator asked “who are these people, barely out of savagery, to demand equality with people with 5 thousand years of civilization behind them?” In 1945 it was the custom to allow testimony from the Senate Gallery. … Continue reading Elizabeth Peratrovich Day

Final Letter from South Sudan, I post one last photo gallery and fly out.

September 8, 2012 Dear Friends, I got out of Africa last Friday but it was a struggle.  When I got to the radio station I noticed two rips in the bottom of my brand new, “lifetime guarantee,” ultra-light, ultra strong suitcase.  Turning it over I found another rip in the bottom and one of its “feet” coming loose.  Getting a new suitcase in Juba on … Continue reading Final Letter from South Sudan, I post one last photo gallery and fly out.

Letter 8 from South Sudan, where I wonder if I am getting too old for this.

August 30. 2012 Juba, South Sudan,   Dear Friends, My mother once asked me why I didn’t stay home like she did, close to her parents.  I told her it was because of her father, my grandfather, who at 13 was apprenticed to trade as a grocer in Derry City, hated it, and ran away to sea.   His travels took him across the North Sea … Continue reading Letter 8 from South Sudan, where I wonder if I am getting too old for this.

Leopards and Cows and Making Gravel in South Sudan (Letter 7)

August 25, 2012 Juba, South Sudan Dear Friends, Navigating Juba roads after two days of heavy rains is like navigating a large, ever shifting, river.  The course of the road changes, what was high ground two days ago is now a sink hole, and when you enter a large mud hole you have no idea of how far down you will sink.  I almost think … Continue reading Leopards and Cows and Making Gravel in South Sudan (Letter 7)

South Sudan, Eye Radio Relaunch and then I crash. (Letter 6)

August 19, 2012  (Note, this is an archive post, I am ok.) Dear Friends, Suzi left on Saturday, but she got to be part of the celebration Saturday Morning changing the name of the station from Sudan Radio Service (SRS) “For Peace and Development” to Eye Radio “Your Eye on South Sudan.”  The new jingles are hot, all African style music. The radio station name … Continue reading South Sudan, Eye Radio Relaunch and then I crash. (Letter 6)

South Sudan, I return and am “attacked” by two leopards. (Letter 5)

August 17, 2012 Dear Friends, My camera case has a hole in it left by a leopard tooth.  If you look closely, my crocks also have a little chew mark from the same leopard.  The leopard is the last of the “big 5” (Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Lion, Leopard) that I’ve seen in Africa. But I didn’t expect to meet two so up close. Two … Continue reading South Sudan, I return and am “attacked” by two leopards. (Letter 5)

South Sudan, Letter 4, Flying Out of Juba.

April 20, 2012 Nairobi, Kenya Dear Friends, Suzi and I were upgraded to a suite at the Fairview in Nairobi, which is a good thing because every possible surface on which I could lay out clothes is full and any hook like object has clothes hanging from it.  Everything I have is soaked, but that’s the end of the story of today’s travels. On Thursday … Continue reading South Sudan, Letter 4, Flying Out of Juba.

South Sudan, Letter 3, Learning history and current events.

April 14, 2012 Juba, South Sudan Dear Friends, On Friday the thirteenth the newsroom was full for our morning editorial meeting. South Sudan had captured Heglig, a region just north of the border, in Sudan (an area that happens to have a major oil field.)  This came after several weeks of (North) Sudan bombing towns and refugee camps in the South.  The African Union (AU) … Continue reading South Sudan, Letter 3, Learning history and current events.

South Sudan, Letter two, Small Road Trip

April 8, 2012 Easter Sunday Juba, South Sudan Dear Friends, Friday, April 6:  Everyone is waiting for the rain. When the rain comes this area is very productive, if not, famine.  It looks encouraging.  On Sunday the barometer dropped and we got thunder and lightning signifying, for that day at least, nothing.  Monday and Tuesday the clouds teased us.  Wednesday night we got our first … Continue reading South Sudan, Letter two, Small Road Trip

Juba Letter 1, First Impressions

April 1, 2012 Juba, South Sudan Dear Friends. At the bar Saturday night (anti-malarial gin and tonics or Stony Ginger Beer) an American raised as a missionary son now working for a USAID funded fish farming project building ponds along both the Nile and Congo said, “Welcome to Africa.  Kenya and Uganda are just ‘Africa lite.’ This is the ‘real’ Africa.  You’re not in Nairobi … Continue reading Juba Letter 1, First Impressions

South Sudan

When it comes to media in South Sudan — radio is king.  Radio plays to the country’s oral tradition.  Further, there is limited electric power distribution.  The country is poor and TVs are expensive.  Finally TV coverage has not reached much of the country.  Radio is perfet for a country like this.  Radio sets don’t require much infrastructure.  Radios can be powered by batteries, solar … Continue reading South Sudan

Albanian Flag Day, 1993.

This is Albania’s National Holiday, Flag Day.  On this date in 1912, 101 ago today, the Albanian Flag was raised in Vlora, Albania, marking the nation’s independence from the Ottoman Empire.  Albania is one of the countries I can call a second home.  It was our first posting as aid workers.  We lived there a total of 22 months between 1993 and 1997.  When I … Continue reading Albanian Flag Day, 1993.

Albania Flag Day, Letter from 1995

November 28 is Albania’s Flag Day, marking its declaration of independence in 1912.  The Albanian Community in the US is celebrating Flag Day on November 27 so it does not conflict with Thanksgiving.  This is from a letter I wrote from Tirana about Flag Day in 1995.  November 28 is Albanian Flag Day, the day the republic was declared in Vlora and the red double … Continue reading Albania Flag Day, Letter from 1995

Alexander Dubcek’s Grave. All Saints Day 1998, Bratislava, Slovakia.

“For All the Saints Who From Their Labors Rest,” Especially for one.  All Saint’s Day 15 years ago at Dubcek’s grave.   This is All Saints’ Say.  Today Slovaks visit cemeteries and light candles on graves.  Most of my staff members go home to their villages for the holiday so they can visit family graves.  I asked Petra, our University intern from Kosice, whose grave … Continue reading Alexander Dubcek’s Grave. All Saints Day 1998, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Berlin, March, 2013

Note, many of the photos for this post are contained in the posts “Shadows of the Wall,”  “East Side Gallery.” and “Bernauer Str.”  Pictures on this post are general Berlin tourism shots. March 22, 2013 Berlin, Germany Dear Friends, In sixth grade we learned about the great boulevards of Europe.  My teacher, Miss Meitzlefeld, was particularly rhapsodic about Unter den Linden in Berlin.  Walking down … Continue reading Berlin, March, 2013