For my 17th birthday, my high school boyfriend, Jerry, took me skydiving. It was summer 1972 and we drove to Stormville, NY, about an hour from Northern Queens where we both lived. I did not know it at the time, (or maybe I did but don’t remember), but this ‘gift’ was intended to scare the … More The First Time: My Adventures in Skydiving
Kay and I arrived in Cape Town toward the end of what to date had been a spectacular time in South Africa. We had done our 4 day safari at Kruger National Park, enjoyed a wonderful, if not occasionally frightening, road trip around the Western Cape including the wine district and up through the Karoo … More Adventures in Cape Town
I wrote these words during my tenure as projects coordinator for the Australian Red Cross in Aceh following the tsunami in 2004. I was concerned that none of the interventions managed by most aid organizations had an exit plan, something I thought would be devastating to the already devastated communities we were supporting. You cannot … More The Exit Strategy
Our first full day in Delhi, we three gals flagged a pedicab to take us from our hotel in the touristy area of town over to Connaught Place, the old, but ritzy shopping district. We knew the general direction as well as knowing how long it should take and the general cost. The rest was … More A Day in Delhi
I am in the middle of evaluating a Human Trafficking project in a large Asian country. The well-known international organization I am evaluating has made some great improvements in combatting this awful problem. But I have faced a massive dilemma in evaluating the victim ‘protection’ projects I was taken to see because of what I … More RESCUED?
It was already quite late on the last night of the fasting month of Ramadhan, 1993. I was sitting on the bottom bunk bed along side Sari and her youngest brother Atong. She had asked me to come and sit here because she had something to tell me. We were staring at the old ceramic … More Untold Stories
It’s time to think about what istimewa really means – before it’s too late.
… More KAMI JUGA WARGA JOGJA ISTIMEWA: ‘LONDHO’ MENGAMATI JOGJA
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
This is an absolutely, 100% true story. This happened to me. It was winter, 1975. I was living in the student dorms in downtown Philadelphia as a freshman at the University of the Arts (still the Philadelphia College of Art back then). It was winter break so my room-mate, Dierdre, a tall, bleached-blonde, Ukrainian-Amazon with … More Short story: Demonology 101 – Flirting with Steven King