Managing an Exchange Program in Laos

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.

Katherine’s story

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

An Engineer in the Philippines and in the UAE, Part 2

Part 1 was about Mike’s work in the Philippines, particularly his creating a bridge between the Filipino worker and modern technology—the CNC machine, which he calls the Swiss army knife of manufacturing. He advises using Filipino shops to build prototypes for new products.

By Part 2 Mike has moved on to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where he waxes enthusiastic on a number of things he’s come to admire about the place. We talked via Facebook Messenger or Skype while he was in Abu Dhabi and I was in the Philippines. Thanks to Mike for the photos.

Mike’s Read More

Bouncing around the Middle East, Part 3

I met Michele in Korea, when she was teaching English in Cheju Province and I was in Seoul. Recently I asked her for an interview about the time she taught in the Middle East. Part 1 deals with her experience in Kuwait and Part 2 in Oman. Part 3 comes from both a Skype interview and group letters she sent to her friends at the time. Much of her experience in the West Bank has to do with the difficulty of getting around, or as she says of one trip, “So, it was 6:45 p.m. and we were finally home. Read More

Bouncing around the Middle East, Part 2

I met Michele in Korea, when she was teaching English in Cheju Province and I was in Seoul. Recently I asked her for an interview about the time she taught in the Middle East, in Kuwait, Oman and the West Bank. Part 1 deals with her experience in Kuwait. Thanks to Michele for all the photos.

Michele’s story

In 2003 I went to Oman, which was totally different from Kuwait—certainly in Sohar. It was lush. I don’t know what they were growing on those farms, but it was just beautiful. Sohar was a little town on the coast, about a … Read More

Bouncing around the Middle East, Part 1

I met Michele in Korea when she was teaching English in Cheju Province and I was in Seoul. Recently I asked her for an interview about the time she taught in the Middle East, in Kuwait, Oman and the West Bank. This interview took place over Skype from me in the Philippines to Michele in Philadelpha. Thanks to Michele for all photos.

Michele’s story

My introduction to the Middle East was fraught with a lot of tension and uncertainty. In January of 2000 I accepted an offer to go to Kuwait City to teach at AMIDEAST, a nonprofit American … Read More