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Outside Vicchio, Italy, July 17, 2009

So here I am in what has to be the most beautiful place I’ve ever stayed. It’s an old farmhouse, probably dating in part from the 14th century, in the Tuscan countryside. It’s the whole cliché:…

Niederweiler, Germany, July 4, 2009

As we were driving down the German autobahn today, zipping along at 150 kilometers per hour, watching the scenery gradually change, all I could think about was how incredibly fortunate I am. I have my family,…

Burundi’s canvas

I’ve been trolling youtube lately, watching videos of Burundi (like this one), in preparation for my trip there in July. In the videos – if you look past the incredibly skillful Burundi drummers – you will…

pretty sky view from a plane

Flying Ryanair

When you saw the title of this entry, you probably thought this would be another rant about the discomforts of flying on a low-cost airline, didn’t you? Well, it’s not. I write this full of admiration…

Decadent and Self-Indulgent

These are the two words that kept popping into my head the whole time we were away last week: decadent and self-indulgent. Because that’s what we were, and enjoyed it tremendously, for the most part.   You…

Things I Like about Holland

I’ve received a couple of complaints – one from Albert, my husband, and one from Robert, a colleague and friend – that I complain too much about Holland in my blog.   Well, first of all,…

Australia Comment #3: No Worries!

The most typical phrase in Australia is not “G’day, Mate,” as I expected, it’s “No worries!” It’s amazing how often we heard that phrase and in how many different situations. Someone just gave you your change…

Australia Comment #2: Citizenship

Our friend Mary Anne emigrated with her family to Australia a few years ago. I don’t know what the requirements for emigrating to Australia are, but they sure sounded complicated when they were preparing to emigrate. Holland,…