A Trail in Two Countries

Years ago I traveled the sands of Saudi Arabia, stopping along the way to tour the  old camel train forts. I visited these caravanserai along the Hejaz Railway, the line targeted by T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. My journeys between 2003-05 took me north from Jeddah through … Continue reading A Trail in Two Countries

Operation Sheltering Sky

Rajasthan is desert country, 70% of the state---India's largest---an arid mix of scrub and sand. We trekked by camel into the Thar Desert about 50 km outside Jaisalmer. Abdullah led our beasts on foot, their names Simon, Paulos, and---inexplicably---Johnny No. 1. Toward sunset we reached the Sam Dunes. The wind died down and we made … Continue reading Operation Sheltering Sky

Other Jobs Feds Can Do for $0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ1VorN9Cl0 It's our fourth week working for the Republic in exchange for no money. In these lean times ($0 income!) a few other jobs I can do for equal pay---but greater pleasure---have crossed my mind. These include: 10. Post reviews of my travels to TripAdvisor(dot)com 9.    Polish tombstones at my local cemetery 8.   … Continue reading Other Jobs Feds Can Do for $0

The Dharma Bums of Bolton Notch

Earlier this week I climbed Pidurangala, a high cliff overlooking the forests around Sigiriya's ancient ruins in central Sri Lanka. Painted numbers on a rough board indicated the climb would rise 628 steps, uneven and rough-hewn from wet stone. I counted hundreds more than that before reaching the Buddha in repose, just below the summit. … Continue reading The Dharma Bums of Bolton Notch

Lucky Encounters in Serendib

We greeted the New Year from a treehouse in old Ceylon. We rode the waves at Midigama and Weligama in Southern Serendib. We climbed to Buddha's retreat at Pidurangula and looked out over forests surrounding the ancient ruins of Sigiriya. In Kandy, we spied the room housing the casket that holds the dagobas  wherein rests … Continue reading Lucky Encounters in Serendib

New Middle Grade Fiction

Appreciated the chance to chime in on Robbie Yates latest release, The Kooky Kids' Club, and honored to have a blurb on the cover. I found the story relatable and empathetic, the story-telling spare and true. In the author's own words: Maxine is smart, quirky, and a bit of a misfit. One day, she receives … Continue reading New Middle Grade Fiction

Tart on Thanksgiving

That's two Key Lime Pies. A bowl of fresh cranberry sauce. And a big smile just thinking about eating it all. Thanksgiving for decades has been a blend of the traditional and the tropical. From celebrating at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Malawi ('96) to floating in the pool with a turkey on the raft … Continue reading Tart on Thanksgiving

Today’s Coffee…

...mightier than the sword. Terminal 1D Indira Gandhi International Airport ert Dehra Dun in the foothills of the Himalayas. #amwriting #amtraveling #Diwali       ##

Foreign Service Writings

My favorite Foreign Service Journal issue of the year is out! All the recently published books by writers affiliated with America's proud diplomatic corps are listed in one tight package this month. Pick up a few titles and learn about the Foreign Service. Read about how we promote U.S. interests and protect our citizens overseas. … Continue reading Foreign Service Writings

The Lights of Navratri

We brought back a replica of Mysore Palace for our Navratri display. It's no match for the real thing, especially lit up as it is this time of year. But we're glad to have it as a central feature of our celebration. Our display consists of five steps populated by dolls. Some represent the gods … Continue reading The Lights of Navratri