Travel in the Age of Trump

“To travel,” Aldous Huxley wrote, “is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” For those of us who have traveled to places with autocratic leadership—like Cuba, China, Burma, or Iran—the wisdom of Huxley’s words is undeniable. Today, the United States itself has become a sketchy destination. Travelers from around the world, put off […]

It’s Burma Time

It’s 5:30 am on my last day in Burma. The full moon was last night so I was hoping for a setting moon in the morning over the city. On the shores of Yangon’s Kandawgyi Lake, the black birds were assembled by the hundreds. Shwedagon Pagoda at Sunrise Their familiar ‘kaw kaw’ combined with the […]

Mrauk U – A majestic city in Rakhine State, Burma

I was finally headed to Mrauk U (pronounced “Mraw Oo”) after a failed attempt in February 2014. This ancient royal city had been on my travel map since my first trip to Burma in 2011. Founded in 1430 A.D. it was the seat of the Rakhine kingdom for more than 300 years. It sits about […]

Situation in Sittwe

I arrived in Myanmar, otherwise known as Burma, for the third time in four years and things felt different. It seemed calmer, the sense that someone was watching you wasn’t there anymore – that is until I arrived in Rakhine State. Fisherman – Sittwe, Burma Upon arrival in Sittwe, my passport was examined closely, numbers […]

A slice of life, an elephant’s life

An elephant’s life in Myanmar, otherwise known as Burma, can be a treacherous and hard life. Estimates say that elephants in Burma can be worked moving between 800 and 1000 tons of weight per year. These elephants are often controlled and hence trained using sharp hooks that puncture the thinner skin between the ears and […]

Antalaha, Madagascar

We — myself, my wife and our two year old boy — line up along the beach with everyone else — hundreds of people dressed in their Sunday best, standing or sitting on the wall, all of them facing the ocean. We wait, for what we were not sure. Palpable excitement is in the air. […]

Sitting and sliding in the sky above the Ruta de las Flores

Have you ever encountered something while traveling, and thought “I should bring this home”? Was it a type of food? A style of dancing? For Wilson Garcia Nunez from Apaneca, it was zip-lining. The difference between him and the rest of us, is that he actually did it. His boyish face must have been grinning […]

The Philippines – Photos/Project Summary

Following the devastating typhoon in the Philippines in November, ET staff member, Gregg Butensky, initiated a fundraising effort to bring assistance to the people of Aklan on the island of Panay. Gregg has strong connections in Aklan having established a public lending library there over 15 years ago. Last month, Gregg travelled to the region […]

Ruta de las Flores

Travel on public transportation, especially buses, both within and outside the capital, is risky and not recommended. The US State Department certainly has a way with words. That quote nestled snugly into my brain while I walked to the bus station, and played like subtitles across the bottom of the screen as I watched people […]