June 20th is World Refugee Day. In honor of the occasion, here are a few titles you should add to your summer reading list.
My family history can be traced back to economic migrants who came from Europe. (My paternal grandparents moved to Canada in search of a fresh start in 1950s; my maternal side of the family came to America in the late 1800s.) The face of the world has changed since that time, and today’s politics may look different, but the history of human migration—and the things that force people to migrate—are tales as old as time.… Continue Reading
Persepolis is a coming of age story written by a woman who grew up in Tehran during the time of the Islamic Revolution. A fascinating window into young adult life in what was an incredibly tenuous time for the people of Iran.… Continue Reading
“I had found people as different from me as the night is from the day. What I didn’t know then was that the seeds of my own blindness were orchestrating my thoughts. For, of course, in viewing our differences, I thought I was the sun and they were the darkness.”
I want to share a fun list of some cultural attributes of Myanmar. These things have become comfortable and enjoyable for us, but in returning for a visit to the U.S., I see again how these cultural folkways might seem surprising or amusing to some westerners. (What’s a folkway, you ask? Good question. Folkways are the customs and conventions of daily life. Folkways indicate the cultural ideas about what is rude and what is polite. Cultural norms, by contrast, tend to indicate the culture’s perspective on morality, and what is right and wrong.)
[Disclaimer: the inescapable part of our cultural experiences in Myanmar is that they are heavily defined by the fact that we are foreigners.… Continue Reading
What a year it has been! The first half of the year offered lots of opportunities for reading, the second half, not so much. I am a slow reader—embarrassingly so. I discovered in moving here that having so few opportunities to speak English has helped me increase my reading speed, interestingly enough. Without further ado, here is a short list of some thoughtful books and podcasts Jim and I enjoyed this year.
Misreading Scripture Through Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible
If you have never traveled outside of North America or been a part of a multicultural church community, I recommend this read.… Continue Reading
Today marks six months of living in southeast Asia. It seems like time is passing at warp speed—how has it already been six months? I decided to sit down and write some of the things I’ve learned since moving here. Here, in no particular order of importance, are a few of them. (I generally dislike numbered lists, but it seemed the best way to organize my thoughts in this case.)
Have no fear: we haven’t started accepting sponsorships from outdoor gear companies for our blog. After hearing about the catastrophic events in Nepal, I started thinking about a few items we own and brought here from the US, things that I’d be extra glad to have around in a time of serious shortages. And, given the time of year, and America’s upcoming gifting spree (Father’s Day and graduations), this might give you some helpful ideas for some products that have been tested and tried.… Continue Reading