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Travel: Under the Lucky Star

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To the Caucasus (and Back) Last Summer I traveled with a friend to the Central Asian countries of  Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, of the famed Silk Road, the ancient trading route stretching from China to Europe and the Middle East. For thousands of years it was the path of commerce and a swirl of clashing […]

Istanbul 2019

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I’m on the way to Tblisi, Georgia in the Caucasus and stopped in Istanbul for three days mostly because as a Turkish Airlines passenger the stopover was free. The flight from Dulles was smooth (I flew business class on an A-330) and took about ten hours. Istanbul has a brand-spanking new airport located about 45 […]

(Not So) Darkest Africa

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Ethiopia: The North I arrived back in the states a few days ago after 12 days in Ethiopia and 5 in Germany; that’s pretty much the yin and the yang of it, civilization wise. It was my first trip to Africa (and Ethiopia), the lush and forbidding jungle it ain’t. Much of Ethiopia sits on […]

Miami Moment: George George

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To a Soldier Dying Young Whilst in Miami this week, I spent the better part of a day wandering in the City Cemetery (more on that later,) and my eye caught a flat military grave marker, probably because of the soldier’s name: George Manuel George. PFC George was with the 1st Marine Division which meant […]

On to Kyrgyzstan

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A Return to Tashkent We came back to Tashkent on the high-speed train and it is much cooler here. As hot as it gets during the day, you can sleep with the windows open at night as it drops into the 60’s and there is no humidity. It’s easy to see why silk road travelers […]

Uzbeks and the Bear

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King Cotton Uzbekistan labored under the yoke of either Czarist or Soviet repression from the mid 19th-century until the fall of the USSR in 1991. Some of that repression is directly tied to the American Civil War when the availability of cotton was interrupted by President Lincoln’s “Anaconda” plan to strangle the Confederate states with […]

Bukhara: People

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First, the weather report. At two in the afternoon it’s 113 in the shade. I rolled out at 5AM this morning to see the city at the verge of dawn and to escape the heat. No surprise, it was still and cool with only the sounds of doves cooing. People were walking or biking to […]

Uzbekistan: On the (Rail)Road to Bukhara

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Fast Train to Bukhara It’s early Saturday morning here in Uzbekistan, hot already, and we are on the high-speed train to Bukhara, one of the ancient and great cities of the Silk Road. “Silk Road” refers to the trading routes stretching from Beijing all the way to Syria which were in use thousands of years […]

Road Trip: Welcome to the ‘Stans

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Central Asia Ten hours to Istanbul and another four put me in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, yesterday in the middle of a sultry night. The plan is to see some of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and go trekking for ten days in Tajikistan before returning. These places are the crossroads of the world, famous and ancient trading routes […]

Qaasuitsup Fire and Rescue Department

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To the amusement of some, I always visit a fire station, wherever I am, to see how they do what we all do. Those visits have included places as diverse as Kathmandu, Nepal, London, England, Kandy, Sri Lanka, and Istanbul, Turkey. And yesterday I added Ilulissat, Greenland, to the list. Fire protection, as essential as […]

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