Holy Cow! We’re in India!

Of all the places we are going to visit in our 11 months on the road, India is the one which inspires the greatest excitement and the greatest fear. We have visited with dozens of travelers who claim it to be both the best and worst of their lifetime travel experience. We know we love…

Far Away from Thanksgiving

They are trained enough to make it through KFC or a mellow cafe, but the certainty of a spill, the occasional projectile piece of food, and an inability to sit for more than 20 minutes keep fancy restaurants off our agenda…. Both Koto and Cafe Smile take homeless youth off the street, give them a place to live, and train them in the hospitality industry enabling them to one day get jobs in hotels and restaurants around the city…. We can’t vouch for the efficacy of any money you might choose to donate, but we can assure you we have first hand knowledge of the work they do and attest to the difference they are making in people’s lives. If you have a moment, check them out by clicking on the “Nonprofits” tab above.We hope your Thanksgiving was filled with gratitude and look forward to enjoying our traditional tryptophan-induced stupor next year.

Strange Bedfellows in Yangshou

While in theory the government here is supposed to fund education, there are still expenses to be borne by the parents, and few rural children can afford to attend beyond the 6th grade…. This in an admirable goal, and even more so, since Laurie is in his ’80’s!Through a miscommunication with the driver, we ended up at the top-performing school under VET-China’s jurisdiction, rather than the lowest, as Laurie had intended…. Tony’s English skills were limited, and Laurie explained that even the school’s English teacher cannot speak the language…. These are kids who rarely have clean clothes, regularly work in the fields, and have limited academic support at home, and they could blow away any American kid learning a second language.The Chinese teach by drill and memorization, so each time I said something the children would repeat it.

Adventure in C Major

For the past three and a half years I have had the most amazing job. It doesn’t pay, there’s no opportunity for advancement, and it requires me to work weekends and holidays. Despite these apparent drawbacks, it has been one of most gratifying experiences of my life. Since January 2003 I have served as a…