Culture Shock New Zealand: a New Yorker does the South Island – 1980

When people ask me about my strangest experience, it is usually my early days in New Zealand that come to mind. It was a very hard story to tell because it is simply too bizarre to be believable. For years I never told anyone because they were sure I was making it up. It is … More Culture Shock New Zealand: a New Yorker does the South Island – 1980

Under A Burning Sun

In 1991 I moved to Jogjakarta, on the island of Java, Indonesia, for doctoral research, a lone, female grad student in an entirely different world wanting to learn about entirely different ways of speaking and being. I had to radically recreate myself through a new language, a new way of dressing, a new attitude, to … More Under A Burning Sun

The Family of GIRLI: the Homeless Children of Yogyakarta

This is one of the very first ethnographic articles I ever wrote, and which went on to thoroughly influence how I went about the rest of my career. Street kids trained me in ethnographic analysis, patience, trust, and how to combine advocacy with research. In short, if you are not giving back something to the … More The Family of GIRLI: the Homeless Children of Yogyakarta

Short Story: Tales from Timor Leste (2003)

Nobody speeds through the dusty streets of Dili, the taxi driver, named Arulio, tells me in his Portuguese accented Indonesian. This is because the Timorese have not been driving for long and few feel comfortable enough behind the wheel of these bulky machines. Plus, he continues, “The new government keeps changing the road directions. Yesterday … More Short Story: Tales from Timor Leste (2003)