The last two weeks while staying with a Kichwa farmers’ family, in the Loma Wasi Village in Tunibamba (pop. 300), in the Ecuadorian Andes, I have been feeling like a time traveler. Tunibamba is at about 9000 feet altitude, at the end of a dirt road about two miles from the next closest town, Cotacachi. … Continue reading Timetraveling in Ecuador
My Danish friend, JP, asked me in February to help encourage Danes to go to vote in the European Parliamentary elections on 26 May. In the last EU elections, only 56 % of the Danes bothered to vote. In most other EU-countries the voting percentage was even lower. When the Danes were asked about their … Continue reading Voting in the EU elections this week
My first social media profile appeared on a dating site in 1997. I wanted to find a partner, hopefully for the rest of my life. Life as a single mother with two kids and long working days was rather lonely. The kids had many friends and hobbies of their own, but my life did not … Continue reading To be or not to be on social media
“How was New Zealand” my friends ask, when they hear I spent a couple of weeks in December travelling around mainly on the North Island of New Zealand. “Rainy” is the first thing that comes to mind. “And a bit stormy”, I add. But you could say that about many other places in the world, … Continue reading Katikati was the best
Even as a (legal) alien frequently visiting the US I am expected to have an opinion on the sitting president, on the government shutdown, on the potential border wall to be extended on the Mexican/American border or other hot issues of national politics. These questions can come from any ordinary people in line at Walmart, … Continue reading Age of walls
The 8-hour night flight from Sydney to Tokyo was exhausting. Recently, I had already waited a couple of days at the Auckland airport in New Zealand after finishing weeks of exploration of South Pacific islands. On the flight to Tokyo, I sat between two young women in the middle row of the economy class in … Continue reading Too old for long-distance adventures?
"I loved geography and reading books about other countries. The first geography lesson in fourth grade magically opened the whole world to me", Cynthia Seelhammer tells me. She grew up in Minnesota as the oldest of six children. "Sometime in the ‘70s I became aware that the Rotary Clubs had an international exchange program. I … Continue reading American Rotary-exchange student in Finland in the mid-70s
“It was a long, hot summer, similar to this one”, tells us the 93-old Asta Schmidt (née Nielsen), looking past me, while her son Sven Ole pours me a cup of coffee. We are visiting his parents who live 10 kilometers from Aarhus in a co-housing community that they co-founded 30 years ago. “We had … Continue reading A Dane helping Finnish refugees in Lahti in 1947
In the beginning of June I picked up my carry-on spinner from the garage and started packing for a trip to Colombia. My plan was to visit the hot and humid Caribbean coast - Cartagena and maybe Santa Marta - as well as some cooler places like Medellin and Bogotá in the Andes mountains. When traveling … Continue reading How many pants does a woman need?
While cleaning the top shelf of my bedroom wardrobe, my hand hit thick cardboard. I pulled out a large, dark gray folder. On the front cover “Suomi, Finland” was printed in golden letters, and between them was the lion coat of arms of Finland. I climbed down from the ladder carefully holding the about ten pounds … Continue reading Mystery of the old album