CHINA & BEYOND

The Great Nairobi-Chinese Railway Bazaar

A few weeks have passed.  After awhile the string of conversations and interviews begins to blur. The faces don’t, exactly, but the impressions they make are something like Georges Seurat’s…

“I Had Three Farms in Africa…”

My 24 year old landlady, the R&B rapper, Wangechi Waweru Mwende, survived a horrific car accident four years ago. Today she’s rebuilding her life and career without much fuss or desire…

On Nairobi’s Ngong Road, Nothing is as it Seems

Try making judgements about human beings and groups and tribes and nations just by what you read in the media. Then, go out into the streets. Hire a bilingual  Uber/Littlecub/Taxify…

Not Quite Prepared for Hazards in Paradise — Indonesia Suffers Again from Tsunami Buoys that Don’t Work

I wrote the story on Indonesia’s attempts at natural disaster warning and prevention for Earth magazine last April, based on reporting I did in Indonesia in late December. Now with…

Rambo in Tanzania

After staying in Nairobi 24 hours on no sleep, I took a flight to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania  to attend a conference entitled Africa-Asia:  ‘A New Axis of Knowledge 2.’ …

Beginning again in Nairobi

Dawn: Mwingi Rd., Kileleshwa, Nairobi. My Lufthansa flight -an Airbus A340-300 — touched down last night at 8:11 pm local time.  It has taken me an entire summer to prepare…

The Asian Bucket List II. Harbin in Sun, Ice and Blood

Harbin, Manchuria:  Officials here seem reluctant to spotlight the Japanese germ warfare scientists and what they did to thousands of local inhabitants here in 1932 and beyond. Perhaps that’s the…

The Asian Bucket List

I realize I never finished the story of Harbin, which I visited nearly a year ago. It began with my need to research this icy Russian-Jewish-Chinese enclave in Manchuria, home…

Harbin through Blue Eyes

January 11, 2016.  As I stepped off the train at Harbin West station after an eight hour train ride across the Manchurian flatlands from Beijing, the station was moist and…

Sunrise at Borobudur

  Yogyakarta in Central Java, Indonesia is a hidden jewel, the seat of Borobudur, the oldest Buddhist temple in the world. I was there two weeks ago at 5 AM,…