Dispatch 3

A sense of purpose makes a world of difference when travelling. I chose a purpose for this trip that was distinct from those I had during other trips. Travelling for research and fun in Europe and Mexico gave me opportunities to enjoy soaking in other ways of life while exploring the context of my world. […]

Dispatch 2

My first class began inauspiciously with only seven students and a locked classroom door in the middle of a rainstorm, causing us to hold that evening’s class in the town hall. Señora Munoz is undertaking a crusade to feed me well (and prodigiously), so the food has improved a great deal. Without the fiesta as […]

Dispatch 1

As I write this, my inner wires are twisted by little sleep, questionably hygienic food, not having spoken nor written English for days and utter shock that I am where I am. Living in a village is great, and weird, and at times painful. I’m really glad I came. After living in London for a […]

Endgame: The Castaway Returns

COLOMBO – Today is the 3rd of March, 2005; the sound of traffic, the megaphone-amplified voices of lottery hawkers, and the hotel room’s air conditioning provide a familiar background to my last morning in Colombo. Across Galle Face Road lies the sea, but the white noise of the waves never seems to reach my room. […]

A Brief Coda: Where I Am, and What I’m Doing

COLOMBO – I know, there’s been a long silence. Some people have even written to me, wondering if I was still alive; I hope my lack of response didn’t convince them of the worst. “Absence of evidence,” as the SETI researchers are fond of saying, “is not evidence of absence.” Between February 3rd and 18th, […]

Epilogue: Wave After Wave

“Everything is bullshit but the open hand…” – Bruce Cockburn, Strange Waters Haven’t written much since Dwayne took off, exactly a week ago. The first few days are spent in Colombo, trying to make something happen; and then, as things will, they do. I depart Colombo at 6 a.m. Saturday morning after a fitful night’s […]

Beyond the Full Moon

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA — It’s 6 a.m. on January 24th. The streets are pitch black. Dwayne and I — in the care of a remarkably fluent and urbane driver named Dilan (“Like Bob… or Matt”) — hit the road early, hoping to avoid Colombo’s hellish traffic. We’re heading 75 miles east, to Sri Lanka’s 16th […]

Tea with the Tigers

SAMBOOR, SRI LANKA — The pace of work has been relentless. Don’t know if it’s because I’m inspired, or because I was starved for inspiration for so long, but I’ve been tapping off a power cell that seems to get charged only in fantastically edgy environments. Many times my partner here, photographer Dwayne Newton, has […]

A Journey Through the East

TRINCOMALEE — Two weeks in Sri Lanka. Nearly all of what I’ve written, even in my journal, has been for publication. Haven’t had any time to reflect on the personal — which is actually a refreshing change from my normal schedule of 24/7 self-involvement. A disaster like this pulls you out of yourself; your narrow […]