Tags » Cultural Experience

Xela, Guatemala

We have been enjoying immersing ourselves in the rich culture of Guatemala here in Xela, the second largest city in Guatemala. We have taking one-on-one Spanish classes (5 hours every day) these first two weeks at a Spanish School called Celas Maya. 1,016 more words

Gion Matsuri - centuries-old purification rites (and a great summertime party)

It all started in the middle of the 9th century.  Summer was always the season for increased disasters:  illness, floods, and devastating fires.  So the emperor ordered people to offer prayers for relief at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto’s Gion district. 432 more words


A different kind of "Iron Man"

Japan has a long history of various kinds of metallurgy beginning with swordmaking, but certainly not ending there. I have learned that Japan has an appreciation for cast iron cookware similar to what my mother instilled in me, although, like many things with Japan, they’ve taken it to a different level. 921 more words

Cultural Experience

Tanabata - the most romantic night of the year

I first read about Tanabata back in the 1970s in James Michener’s 1954 novel “Sayonara” and it’s fascinated me ever since.  Celebrated by the Japanese on the seventh day of the seventh month and also sometimes called “The Star Festival”, the novel referred to it as “the most romantic night of the year”.  737 more words


Lome, Togo

After a few years away, I find myself once again walking the sandy streets of Lome. There are new street lights, some newly paved roads, some of the kids I once knew are older, and Whatsapp has revolutionized communications for those with a smart phone.   364 more words

Beijing - rules of engagement 

Most people travel to China on a tour, which obviously takes the hassle out of, but I love a challenge, particularly when it comes to itineraries, transport and sightseeing. 524 more words

South East Asia

Get on the water to forget the summer heat

Tokyo is hot and sticky in summer and you just want to escape.  Sure, you can hang out in the air conditioning, but then you’re missing the sense of the season.  443 more words