Amman’s Other Christmas Souk

I have just finished my work in Jordan.  I have completed my interviews and typed up my notes.  I will put off writing my report until after Christmas.  So now I am sitting in a hotel waiting for a taxi pickup in less than 5 hours and my thoughts are turning to Christmas, seeing my children and grandchildren, and, of course “The Battery Exchange.”  I … Continue reading Amman’s Other Christmas Souk

Brexit Or Not, London Gets European Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets came late to the UK.  It’s not that the UK didn’t celebrate Christmas.  Since Victoria’s Albert brought the Christmas tree to England the Brits have done it up in grand style.  Before Christmas markets, in the European fashion, came to the UK there was always Covent Garden with its stalls and decorations and Regent Street moving out from Piccadilly Circus. (Below are some … Continue reading Brexit Or Not, London Gets European Christmas Markets

It’s beginning to look a lot like…ALASKA!

Last night I popped my Jeep into 4 wheel drive for the first time in 33 months.  I had begun to wonder if Sitka would ever see winter again.  When you live in a rain forest the snow is a relief, precipitation in a different form. precipitation that you don’t mind walking in, precipitation that brightens up the town, even cloudy days. Today is transitional, … Continue reading It’s beginning to look a lot like…ALASKA!

The Battery Exchange, 8:00 PM to Midnight, Christmas Eve, on Raven Radio

December 24 will not be “Just Another Saturday Night.”  It is Christmas Eve, which means the Battery Exchange is back.   Here is a history of the Battery Exchange.  The Tradition continues live on Christmas Eve on Raven Radio, KCAW, Sitka, streaming on www.kcaw.org. — The Battery Exchange started on KAXE in Grand Rapids Minnesota on Christmas Eve, 1976.  When Suzi was a girl neighborhood parents … Continue reading The Battery Exchange, 8:00 PM to Midnight, Christmas Eve, on Raven Radio

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

20th Sitka Whalefest.

For 20 years Sitka’s Whalefest has occupied our town during the first week on November.  The festival is centered on a science symposium but integrates the performing arts, visual arts, education and outdoor adventure into a package that engages the community and brings visitors from as far as Australia and New Zealand. The Symposium dove into topics ranging from harpoon heads found bowhead whales captured … Continue reading 20th Sitka Whalefest.

Havana Night

We stopped back at the ship for a quick run to the buffet before heading out for the 9:30 show at the Café Taberna.  The Café serves dinner but Lonely Planet warned us off the food there.  But the mojitos were good, as was the beer and especially the music. The band was of mixed ages, races and musical styles.  The trumpet player was blonde, … Continue reading Havana Night

Sustainable Propaganda (But Nice Pictures)

October 4, 2016 Much of our trip to Cuba is defined by conditions set by the late Senator Jesse Helms in the Helms-Burton act.  The act limits the conditions under which Americans can travel to Cuba.  We are here on a Person to Person, p2p, program.  Technically we cannot come as tourists but must come on an approved p2p itinerary.   It used to be that … Continue reading Sustainable Propaganda (But Nice Pictures)

Sailing into a Havana Sunset.

Our bus tour took us through different neighborhoods of Havana, through the Miramar and Vedado neighborhoods and we arrived at the pier in time to do a little shopping.  At each place we stopped the seller said “See you Saturday.”  We are not scheduled to return to Havana but Hurricane Matthew is headed toward Santiago in Eastern Cuba so it seems reasonable that we will … Continue reading Sailing into a Havana Sunset.

Cooperative Farm, Cowboys and Cheese

October 6 In many ways Cuba is not the type of Communist country I am used to.  I have traveled in the Soviet Union before the collapse and have visited various parts of the old Soviet empire both before and after the collapse. Cuba is not colorless gray world we encountered in, say, East Germany.  It is colorful and vibrant.  The customs and immigration people … Continue reading Cooperative Farm, Cowboys and Cheese

Waiting for Lunch in Cienfuegos, Communist Problem Solving

After the cooperative farm we are supposed to have lunch at a restaurant between the farm and town, about 20 km out of town.  When we get there two other buses from our ship are at the restaurant.  There is no room for us or the passengers off the bus that pulls in right after us.  The guide tells us we will have to wait … Continue reading Waiting for Lunch in Cienfuegos, Communist Problem Solving

The Second Sea Interlude — Revolutionary Graphics

October 7 This is our second sea day, but I have more time to write and process today, there will be three Sea Interludes today.  So all told we will have 4 Sea Interludes, just like Peter Grimes.  Today’s first, and the trips second, is about graphic art.  We saw a lot of revolutionary graphic art on our travels around Havana and Cienfuegos.  In this … Continue reading The Second Sea Interlude — Revolutionary Graphics

Our Third and Fourth Sea Interludes

My third Sea Interlude is about music.  There is live music wherever we go in Cuba.  There is Cuban music on the ship, at every restaurant where we ate, on the streets, in cafes and music to welcome us to las Terrazas (although not at the cooperative farm.)  Much of the music is new to me, some I know from listening to recordings of Chano … Continue reading Our Third and Fourth Sea Interludes