When I unpacked the paper ox ornament last week, it reminded me why I love travel: serendipitous happenings, cultural immersion, and the opportunity to mingle with “citizen diplomats.” With today being the Lunar New Year (called Tết in Vietnamese), it seems fitting to reminisce on a special memory that I made while visiting Hanoi, Vietnam back in 2009.
I recently happened upon the beautiful, timeless work of Maurice Sapiro, an accomplished photographer, painter and sculptor who calls Connecticut home. The images from his Europe gallery, circa 1956, are what captivated me: honey-toned scenes of Venetian gondoliers gracefully powering delicate boats across a lagoon; black and white images of Bavarians in frenzied celebration; silhouetted-figuresContinue reading “Europe, Somewhere in Time: An Interview with Artist & Photographer, Maurice Sapiro”
You may remember my having met German university student, Isabell Pfeufer, in late 2009. Introduced to her by a former colleague, I was invited to write a newspaper piece on Isabell’s experiences – as a blind student teacher – with a classroom of third-graders. In the years following that interview, I’ve been delighted to haveContinue reading “Seeing Beyond a Physical Challenge – Profiling the Inspirational Isabell Pfeufer”
Eat Pray Love ’s footprint is everywhere in Ubud, Bali, where the best-selling book’s author, Elizabeth Gilbert, spent her love chapter. From the plethora of single women who pound Ubud’s streets, to the clichéd tours and Balinese people who name-drop locals Ketut and Wayan (who were featured in the best-seller), the book’s influence is ever-evident. Having heardContinue reading “An Afternoon with “Eat Pray Love’s” Ketut Liyer in Bali, Indonesia”
The man sat hunched over, with sunken cheeks, and spindly legs. As we walked along one of Ubud’s main streets, his empty stare, meek mumbling and outstretched hand caught our gaze. Our hearts sank. I have seen many people begging worldwide, but something told Shawn and me that this old man was greatly in need.Continue reading “Our Heart For You: A Beautiful Coincidence in Bali”
Malta is an enchanting island nation. It’s a tranquil place where residents christen their homes with titles meshing a couple’s first names. Its harbors are studded with elegant white yachts, as well as humble and colorful fishing boats called luzzus. Despite its diminutive size, Malta has heaps of history and culture, marvelous architecture, and a dramaticContinue reading “Magical Moments in Malta”
I’ve always thought that those who work at ice cream or florist shops must have perpetually happy days. There’s something about a golden cone overflowing with heaping scoops of ice cream, or paper brimming with beautiful flowers from the neighborhood Blumen shop that just puts one in a cheery mood.
In a black and white image, bordered by a simple silver frame on my piano, she is seated behind the wheel of a classic roadster. Coyly sporting a riding cap, cream-colored driving gloves, and her trademark smile is a woman who not only taught me about arpeggios, flats, and sharps, but also about life, itsContinue reading “Lessons From Erna: Remembering a Talented Musician, Teacher, and Friend”