Blog

  1. Howard Kirby

    Earlier this week, the paper I work for sent me out to photograph this man. His name is Howard Kirby. He lives in Ovid, Michigan, and he’s in the news because he found $43,000 of depression-era cash stuffed in a thrifted couch cushion and returned it to its original owners…

  2. Paseo Lindo

    Last week I visited my friend Seth at his apartment in southern Vermont. It was Friday morning and we would have gone out for breakfast at the neighborhood diner. But he’d come down with a cold the night before so we stayed in, drinking coffee and talking about the things…

  3. Warung

    One of the ways in which Indonesia and America differ most is the extent to which daily life happens on the side of the road. The degree of difference certainly depends on where you are in Indonesia and where you are in America. But in general, Indonesians lead a much…

  4. Rain

    Yesterday, during the daytime, it was blazing hot. Today it is hot again and cloudless. But early this morning it was overcast and yesterday evening it rained for the first time since March. Not a heavy rain, but enough for the neighborhood to start steaming and the dirt alleyways to…

  5. Semau

    The island of Semau takes twenty-five minutes to get to by one the wooden skiffs that depart several times each day from the port of Tenau on the western tip of Timor. Two weekends ago, I accompanied my girlfriend Sari on a short trip there. She was technically traveling for…

  6. Notes on Boxing

    During the months of May, June, and July, I shadowed the Indonesian national boxing team at their training camp here in Kupang. One of their coaches, Hermensen Ballo, lives twenty minutes away from me in the city and was himself a former Olympic boxer who represented Indonesia at the Atlanta…

  7. Papaya Tree

    The papaya tree in the alleyway outside my window, where my host family hangs their wet laundry to dry, is now nearly as tall as the neighbor’s house. It appears to be still growing too—at the tip of its not-quite-wrist-thick trunk stands a confused cluster of miniature, celery-green branches and…

  8. Report in May

    One morning several weeks ago, as I walked through the front gate at school, I noticed one of my students, Albert, loitering by some parked scooters about ten feet to my right. His class was starting in ten minutes. I was on my way to retrieve a whiteboard marker before…

  9. This Crap is Rigged!

    I have spent the better part of the last three months trying to figure out how to accurately describe local schools culture to people back home—trying to think of some metaphor that will singlehandedly account for every class missed, ear twisted, uniform tucked, speech delivered, and empty hour wiled away…

  10. Report in March

    Since arriving in Indonesia, I’ve made a point to ask all my students and local counterparts about what motivates them to study English. They almost always answer that English is a “global language” and that speaking it makes one more “competitive.” It’s a perfectly sensible answer. But after hearing it…

Using Format