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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sri Lankan Tsunami: 10 years later

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In Sri Lanka all of the travel clichés apply. Friendly people, exotic food, elephants, turquoise waters lapping golden sandy beaches. But I can name dozens of spots that reflect all of that travel brochure jargon. I couldn't write better commentary on those aspects of the country than is already published in mainstream travel guides. I came to Sri Lanka in search of a different, unreported Sri Lankan experience. Through the hill country I traveled, to Kandy, into the capital, down the coast to all of the southwest beaches. Finally, as I walked through the city of Galle, along the southwest coast, I found what I was looking for. Near the downtown area, I saw a building that housed the Galle Fire Brigade - the local firefighters. I wondered if any of those folks may have been working there in 2004, when the tsunami hit. That was ten years ago, but,…
An Interview with Benjamin Phillips Benjamin Phillips is a young London based artist and illustrator who in 2012 completed a five month artist in residence stay at the Incheon Art Platform in Incheon, South Korea. The Platform is a recently renovated gallery complex which provides studio and living space for Korean and international artists, who showed a collaborative exhibition entitled ‘Wuju Dabang’*-inspired by a story written by fellow Platform artist Lee Pong-about a girl who disappears through a smoke ring. Ben’s contribution consists of a pair of legs disappearing into the ground, eerie shadows painted onto the gallery walls, and multiplying heads floating towards an unknown universe. Ben’s contribution to the Korean art scene is important because of Korea’s identity with the West. Korean youth culture is developing rapidly as it incorporates Western subculture into its mainstream, yet artists still use very traditional mediums in art. Within that combination of…
New York Times columnist and best-selling author Maureen Dowd traveled to Saudi Arabia last year and wrote an article about her travels which appeared in Vanity Fair. She said she couldn't resist taking a trip to Saudi Arabia after hearing the Saudi Tourism Minister, Prince Sulton, announce that he is “slowly making efforts to change by opening their doors to Western Tourists”, albeit only the “high level,” and “fully educated” tourists... "No backpackers", he added. Dowd wanted to see Saudi Arabia through the eyes of an average Western tourist while checking out if this "modern transformation" Prince Sulton spoke of was noticeable or even perceptible. In her article, she compared the speed at which the Saudi’s want to change “akin to a snail on Ambien”. Then about a month ago, I met Pamela Davis. She was new to the area and brought her three year-old son to a playgroup I…
Saturday, 07 January 2012

Interview with TV Host Martyn Andrews

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British television presenter Martyn Andrews is the host for multiple television programs including "Moscow Out," "A Prime Recipe" and "Wayfarer." His job has taken him to popular and off-beat locations all over the world. He sheds light on the profession, gives advice for budding jet-setters, and shares his favorite up-and-coming destinations.   What shows are you hosting currently?   I'm currently doing Moscow Out, a weekly cultural show, highlighting different views of Russian culture. I am also hosting a show called Prime Recipe highlighting that 20 years ago in Moscow, everybody was queuing up for bread (and borscht, if you were lucky). And now, Moscow has one of the best restaurant scenes in the world. The restaurants are better than in London, and from what I think, from New York.   How did you become a presenter?   Well, I was born in Liverpool, home of the Beatles, a working…
Richard Daniel O'Leary has recently written the memoir, One with the Sea, which chronicles his journey from being from a poor family to becoming the CEO of Cruise Ventures, a company with 2500 employees, 55 offices in 12 states and a fleet of harbor cruise ships.You call your book a "rag to riches" story. What were your origins, and how long did your journey take?My father was an Irish Immigrant, who came to this country when he was 19. He was illiterate but turned out to be a huge force in my life. He first worked in manual labor in New York and in Boston and ended up in Maine, where he met my mother and I was born. We were very poor, and moved 10 to 12 times in the same city. He worked several jobs, was selfless, and his only interest was working to provide for his family.At…
Thirty years ago Justin McCarthy left Midwestern America for Indian classical dance.  This citizen of the world, who is now a renowned Bharatanatyam performer and choreographer, tells Cara Waterfall how he chased his version of the American dream to India.The first time classical dancer Justin McCarthy saw a bucket and pitcher in an Indian bathroom, he was bewitched: “I just loved that they bathed like elephants, hosing themselves with water.  I understood I would have to squat to wash my clothes - I felt so at home.” For the last 30 years, Indian rituals have ruled his life from his eating habits to his clothing: he has a fondness for daal (a bean purée) and paneer (fresh cheese curd); he dances in a long loincloth called a dhoti; he even smokes spindly cigarettes known as beedis. But he feels most like a local when he is cutting the queue. In…
Emily Miller is an off-road racer who believes that “life is a tremendousadventure.” With previous podium wins behind her belt, she recentlyplaced second in the race “Rallye Aicha des Gazelles” located inFrance and Morocco, which was held over March 19 to April 2, 2011. Thecarbon-neutral race is far from traditional: without the help of GPS,binoculars or cell phones, navigators must rely on only a compass anda scale map. The stages are won not by best time but by the driver whofinishes in the shortest driven distance.What was the road that led you into this profession?It was really a dream I had since I was a kid, so it was amazing honorwhen Rod asked me to drive for Rod Hall Racing.I was actually selected by Rod Hall to race for his GM Factory team.He is a legend in the sport and trained me through the process.  Hesaid it was easier to…
Lord Strathcarron, a British author and world traveler, writes travel books of the in-the-footsteps-of genre, touring the world on his sailing boat: a cat-rigged ketch that looks like "two mating windsurfers." He is currently traveling in the footsteps of Mark Twain and working on his new book, The Indian Equator: Mark Twain’s India Grand Tour, Re-toured. How did you start writing travel books? “In the footsteps of…” is a sub-genre of travel writing, which throws in a bit of history and adventure. I first came here (to India) as a hippie in the 60’s. We would sleep on the river on houseboats - and get bitten to death for a half a dollar a week. I ran out of money and fell into journalism: as a reporter for restaurant reviews in What’s On In Hong Kong. Then I went to Japan and got a job through Reuters at the bottom…
Chip Albright is a self-described modern day explorer from a small town in rural Ohio. Inspired by a passion for the environment and a desire to see the world, Chip left his studies at Hocking College early to travel through Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and eventually South and North America. He's funded his travels with a variety of different jobs -- from farming, to waiting tables, to working on a prawn boat off the coast of Western Australia for eight months-- whatever it took to get to his next destination, and he has no plans on stopping anytime soon.
On January 12th, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck beneath Port-au-Prince Haiti; the initial quake was followed by twelve aftershocks each greater than 5.0 in magnitude. Nearly every structure in the vicinity collapsed into rubble. Recovery efforts began immediately to rescue the millions of people displaced and the thousands who were feared dead. Disaster relief organizations from all over the world descended on Haiti to provide aid.

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