Author Archive

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Living History

Affectionately called Jo’burg or Jozi by its residents, Johannesburg, South Africa is one of the most interesting cities in today’s world.  A huge, sprawling city with over 6 million people, it is the heart and soul of South Africa and a remarkable study in contrasts.  In the suburbs to the north of the city, glitzy […]

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Friday, May 9th, 2008

We’re on a Mission from God

Paraguay has one of the most homogeneous populations in South America; nearly all of its citizens today are of mixed Spanish and Guarani Indian descent.  In the mid-1600s, though, the two populations had not yet been combined.  In those days, Spain targeted the Guaranis for a colonial takeover.  Sensing this (as well as an opportunity […]

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Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Falling for Iguazu

Iguazu Falls, located on the borders of Argentina and Brazil, is considered by many to be the most impressive set of waterfalls in the world.  Meaning “Big Water” in the language of the Guarani people native to this area, Iguazu consists of over 275 falls along 1.67 miles of the Iguazu River, most of which […]

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Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

For the Love of the Game

If you’re a fan of the major American sports (baseball, basketball, American football and hockey), traveling overseas will wake you up to a hard reality – with very few exceptions, our sports are irrelevant in the rest of the world.  No one cares.  Outside the Super Bowl, the World Series and perhaps the NBA playoffs, […]

2 Comments » - Posted in Argentina by

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Ice, Ice Baby

After a 6 hour bus ride in the snow across the border with Chile, we arrived in El Calafate, Argentina.  Until a few years ago, El Calafate had a population of less than 5,000 but has undergone a massive boom due to tourism, dramatically increasing the town’s population.  The primary, and perhaps sole, reason for […]

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Monday, April 14th, 2008

Our Ship Has Come In

The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego (“Land of Fire” in Spanish), so named by Ferdinand Magellan when he spotted fires on the shore1 as he sailed through the area in the early 16th century, is located in the southernmost point of Patagonia.2 The area is rich in history.  After Christopher Columbus and other explorers had […]

1 Comment » - Posted in Chile by

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Derek and Shanna vs. the Volcano

The Villarrica Volcano, the most active volcano in Chile, was known to the Mapuche Indians who inhabited the surrounding area as Rucapillán, or the Devil’s Lair.  As you’ll see below, this description was right on point. A couple of days before we arrived in Pucón (a small town in the lake district of Chile), I […]

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Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

“Wine”ding Down in Mendoza

2482|230 On the 8-hour bus ride from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina, you climb steep roads twisting their way across the Andes Mountains before emptying you into the heart of the wine region of Argentina.  Shortly after crossing the high-elevation border into Argentina, we spotted a snow-covered peak that our bus driver identified as Aconcagua […]

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Wednesday, March 19th, 2008


Having lived in cities all of my life, I’ve rarely been in areas remote enough to really view the stars.  Like many people, I’m fairly ignorant of space.  Other than a basic understanding of how the earth rotates and the ability to point out a couple of constellations on a clear night, I’ve generally chosen […]

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Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Bangkok, Oriental City

Having spent a semester studying international business in Bangkok and passing through the city 5 or 6 times on various trips to Southeast Asia, I’ve spent more time in Bangkok than in any other city outside of Nashville, Tennessee and Durham, North Carolina.  Many people arrive in the city counting the seconds until their departure, […]

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