Clowns In Sri Lanka (June 7, 2006)

I work for the Hong Kong Red Cross in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. My title is Volunteer Construction Delegate. Way back in February I wrote about arranging to have Clowns Without Borders do a show in the rebel held territory. I’m not supposed to do this — it’s not part of my job description, but I […]

Class K Deadline Looms

Heads up Mendocino County. The onslaught on Class K (the more relaxed building standards for owner built limited density rural dwellings) is well on its way and won’t stop now. The spirit and intent of Class K has been breached. The news of immediate importance is that there were changes approved by the Board of […]

Christmas In Myanmar

Finally sitting in our new home in Sittwe, Myanmar, listening to the many sounds of the evening, monks chanting, students reciting homework and of course the blow-up bouncy castle in our neighbor’s yard blasting bouncy Myanmar hip-hop to attract the kids.

May Auspiciousness Be Upon You

Getting to the balloon festival was quite a trial. The traffic jam rivaled anything I’ve endured in LA. It even tried the patience of the stalwart May Maung Tun. But the general mood was festive and the people-watching was brilliant. I had thought that this festival was some sort of tourist-tantalizing-trap. Whoa! Was I wrong! […]

Two Weeks In Myanmar

The Buddhas are big and small, cement, stone, brick and mortar, plastic, maybe wood; they nestle against each other under pendulous stalactites of lime­stone. Some of the smaller chambers are claustrophobic, some of the passages so narrow that I and my backpack can barely squeeze through.

Bring On The Clowns

I’ve been trying to get out to see the local refugee camps, aka “Internally Displaced Persons” or IDP camps. There are checkpoints where documents are inspected and you must have some reason for going. My ticket came in the form of Clowns Without Borders from Sweden. Wow, two birds-one stone, (actually three clowns-one stoner) who […]

Some Questions Shall Remain Unanswered

Geez, so many questions. The writing is ‘sposed to answer questions not create more. What am I talking about? There aren’t too many answers out there. I’ll take a slash at some, others may become clear in the future, and others? Hell I dunno. The next couple of background paragraphs are not from my personal […]

Homeless Homeboy

Author’s note: What is this anyway? A saga, a story a travelogue? It began as a report on the situation and quickly disintegrated into vignettes of personal experience. The idea being that maybe, just maybe these sights, sounds, smells, feelings and tastes would add up to — surprise-surprise — a clearer idea of what’s going […]

Sittwe Homeboy

Today I was riding a bike around a neighborhood, or “quarter” as they call it here. I’m looking for a house to rent for just Yvonne and me.  I hear strange banjo music. I stop and peer up to a balcony on an older wooden house. One dude motions me to come on up. I […]

Fruit Bats

This is one of hopefully many letters from Myanmar discussing what I am seeing and experiencing as an aid worker or English teacher in the midst of a complex ethnic struggle.

Sri Lanka: Situation Worsening

Your cub reporter arrived in Sri Lanka November 9th. After 34 years in Boonville, to me this is about as far away as it gets. For you world travelers out there, my experiences might not seem strange, but boy howdy, for a long-time Boonter this is wild. I was supposed to report on the political […]