This website features recorded interviews which were edited to be read but also to retain the language of the individual storyteller–edited oral history. The writing/telling style of the posts varies from one to another. Sometimes with a name change to protect privacy. The interviews begin in 1985 and continue into the present. Almost all are set in China, Korea, Japan or the Philippines and center on personal, intercultural experience of life, work and travel. Occasionally I include a story of my own. I’ve now gone to posting once a month.
Years ago I was flooded with spam comments and posts–over … Read More
Donna Miscolta’s two previous books each reflect one side of her ethnic background, a Filipino-American family in When the Dela Cruz Family Danced (Link) and a Mexican American family in Hola and Goodbye (LINK). Her latest book is Living Color (Link), a collection of stories tracing the life of a Mexican American girl, Angie Rubio, from kindergarten through high school. This book trailer provides a peak at the book’s protagonist and themes. (Link)
Donna and I spoke on Skype when she was at home in Seattle and I was at home in the … Read More
This is a story of being caught in a period of uncertainty between three SE Asian countries during the pandemic. The people are kind and friendly, the scenery is gorgeous, but inner turmoil and perhaps isolation keep the mind a prisoner.
In March 2019, Virginia and I posted an account of her teaching experience at one of the most prestigious high schools in China. Basically, she credited her students with giving her the most rewarding teaching experience she’d ever had, but she liked little else about the job or China. (Link)
Virginia and I spoke over Facebook … Read More
It is January, 1986. You are sitting on a porch near the meditation hall of a Buddhist monastery on Hong Kong’s outlying island of Lantao. It is February, 1986. Around you are grassy hills, and two islands lie light blue in the distance. It is difficult to imagine anything more peaceful. The man sitting beside you is a Chan [Zen] Buddhist monk, a soft-spoken Englishman with a strong Cockney accent. He is dressed in traditional monk’s garb, a long tunic with Chinese fasteners and baggy trousers pulled tight at the bottom. The sleeves aren’t long enough to cover the heavy … Read More
Katherine has just started a master’s degree program in Peace and Conflict Studies in Uppsala, Sweden. We spoke online. My thanks for the photos.
Why don’t you tell me how you happened to go to Laos, what happened, what worked out and what didn’t.
It wasn’t my goal to work and live in Asia. I did Peace and Conflict Studies as an undergraduate at American University in Washington, D.C. with courses focused on the Arabic language and Middle Eastern issues. I was preparing for work on peace-building, particularly with the relationships between the US and Israel/Palestine, Iraq/Afghanistan.
I … Read More
The first part of the story of my two Russian Blues. At the end we were moving to the Philippines to retire with two long-time friends.
In the evening of June 7, 2007, I arrived at the airport in Manila, a nervous wreck from three months worrying about how my cats would take the trip. At the baggage claim I retrieved my suitcase, loaded it on a cart and waited for the cats to come through in their carriers. One look told me they were fine. I couldn’t believe it.
Then I ran around looking for change to pay a … Read More