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Five Expectations to Avoid Before Volunteering Abroad
Five Expectations to Avoid Before Volunteering Abroad

Photo: Courtesy of authorMany volunteers have harbored secret dreams of what the headlines will say when they return from their heroic adventures:“Volunteer saves rural village from mudslide.” “Philanthropist banishes malaria from Africa.” “Educated Westerner teaches hundreds of poor children to read.

Notes on teaching in Bahrain during the protests
Notes on teaching in Bahrain during the protests

Expat teacher Zeynep Bayraktaroglu utilizes literature and film to help her students open up about political developments in Bahrain.On the morning of February 17th, I noticed an unusual absence of hasty roaring engines and anxious tooting horns which normally would fill the streets during the rush hour.

Why British food isn’t as bad as you think
Why British food isn’t as bad as you think

It’s easy to assume that we Brits don’t care about food.While our neighbours the French enjoy long, leisurely lunches and fine wines in elegant restaurants, we eat our main meal at the bus stop, drink our own body weight in warm lager and then cradle a donner kebab on the way home like it’s our only friend.

Holy Undercurrent: How Religion Shapes Cultures Worldwide
Holy Undercurrent: How Religion Shapes Cultures Worldwide

It’s tempting to see exotic cultures as overtly religious. But as the author reveals, Western culture is also rife with religious influence.Nepal has always seemed exotic for many travelers — not only for its litany of climates, which range from sea level jungles to the ice-caped apexes of the world called the Himalaya.

Top 10 Travel Writer Resolutions for 2008
Top 10 Travel Writer Resolutions for 2008

Photo by Laura BernheinHappy 2008 everyone! This top ten list of travel writer resolutions is dedicated to each of you who has been pouring your energy and dedication into the craft of travel writing. Let’s take it up another notch in 2008.10. Come up with an idea a day. This doesn’t mean you have to write everyday—though that would be nice, too— but it does mean that if you come up with a single idea every day in 2008, you’ll have a storehouse of 365 ideas that you can draw from when you’re low on inspiration.

The Role of the 21st Century Traveler
The Role of the 21st Century Traveler

For many travelers visiting a country wracked by the scourges of war, famine, or poverty, it is an overwhelming experience.My own visit to Cambodia earlier this year provoked a variety of emotions in me: from the shock of begging lepers in the streets of Phnom Penh, to the outrage of hearing personal accounts of the Khmer Rouge and their systematic genocide in the late 1970’s.

4 little kids covering pop songs on YouTube
4 little kids covering pop songs on YouTube

Four kids take cover the hits with charm and grace. Sort of.If you’re not one of the ten million people who’ve watched video of a kid playing Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” then you’re missing out. It’s viral media magic.Below is the clip in question, as well as three other kids who seem to be embarking on early singing careers.

Lose weight by sniffing chocolate
Lose weight by sniffing chocolate

If only it were that easy…The Daily Mail reports that the latest in bulge-battling technology has been developed by a Harvard biomedical engineer. Professor David Edwards has invented a chocolate spray that you inhale to help curb your chocolate craving.According to Edwards, “..when you breathe the chocolate into your mouth, it dissolves immediately and coats the tongue and taste buds.

Kill your iPod
Kill your iPod

Photo snowking24Do you hear that?The clatter of a busy market. Wheels going 60 miles per hour on badly patched highway. Do you hear the whooping laughter 3 blocks distant tittering off into uncontrolled giggling?If you have your iPod on you don’t.Don’t get me wrong, I love music. Hans Christian Anderson said “Where words fail, music speaks.

Wrestling, pig skin, and beer: Part 1
Wrestling, pig skin, and beer: Part 1

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a three-part series on Mexican cantinas. Stay tuned for the next two pieces, to be published this week on Nights.It is a little past four in the afternoon, and Mexico’s great cobalt sky has faded to a pale blue-white, with tired clouds slipping along its domed edges.

Remind yourself of what you love with simple pleasures
Remind yourself of what you love with simple pleasures

Instead of comparing your life to others, make a list of what brings you joy.I found myself around two old friends in the past week who are living extremely hectic lives.One friend is in law school, and barely has a moment to breathe, much less sleep or eat properly.The other has a four-month-old baby to breastfeed, along with taking care of her 22-month-old, working a couple of night shifts as a nurse, finishing her Masters, and somehow cooking and cleaning.

Sometimes you just want to get human!
Sometimes you just want to get human!

For when you’re tired of waiting for a machine to tell you which button to press and just want to talk to a human being.I’m all for artificial intelligence and even look forward to the day I can have a nice chat with my toaster over a cup of coffee, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend my time listening carefully to voice recorded options.