Life in Beautiful Guantanamo, Cuba: Yes, that Guantanamo

Life in Beautiful Guantanamo, Cuba: Yes, that Guantanamo
A Long Journey to An Interview with a Cuban guitarist We met back in September, inside the funky Batavia music store, Kiss the Sky. He didn’t know English. My high school Spanish failed me. But Jesus and I connected, through the universal language of music. Cuban music. Jesus is a 50ish man who masterfully plays the... Read more »

A Brief, Haulting Dirge For Halloween in America

A Brief, Haulting Dirge For Halloween in America
I have never much liked Halloween. The ghoulish excessiveness of it combined with the collective guilt to buy sugar in pounds. Dispense it to wide-eyed children. This year’s indifference for Halloween, however, has much to do with what is happening in America. Coming on the heels of FBI indictments,  Halloween seems sinister. Pumpkins appear to... Read more »

It Must Be Said, America, We Have it Wrong

It Must Be Said, America, We Have it Wrong
One day after the carnage in Las Vegas, there is only one thing I can think to say. Only one thing that must be said. We have it wrong. We have it wrong when: Weapons of war rain down on a crowd The tat-tat-tat of automatic rifles cut through an autumn night Ring in a... Read more »
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Spared by Recent Hurricanes, Living the Happy Life in Trinidad/Tobago

Spared by Recent Hurricanes, Living the Happy Life in Trinidad/Tobago
As I write this, Hurricane Maria is carving up the Caribbean. Now a Category 5 hurricane, she is in line to endanger islands still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Irma. Looking at the current weather map, I see Hurricane Maria has bypassed Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies, which makes me breathe a... Read more »

A Greater Need in the World for Tolerance On the 16th Anniversary of 9/11

A Greater Need in the World for Tolerance On the 16th Anniversary of 9/11
I will never forget where I was. Sitting in a dentist’s chair, unaware that Americans were dying on that crisp, cloudless September day. A mirror image of today. I do not want to watch the archived footage. Recall the horror. I have seen too much in recent days. What I crave, more than ever, is... Read more »

To the Man in the White House: Follow the CEOS. Go Home.

To the Man in the White House: Follow the CEOS. Go Home.
This blog was created to bring people from around the world together. To honor our differences, celebrate our commonalities. It has been difficult for me to do that these days. I never meant for this to be a platform for discussing political views. But in order for interviewees to trust me, trust that I will... Read more »
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Dear Heather Heyer: I Am Outraged, I Am Paying Attention

Dear Heather Heyer: I Am Outraged, I Am Paying Attention
On Saturday morning, hearing that a state of emergency had been declared in Charlottesville, Virginia, I phoned Eileen, a dear friend.  I didn’t have to tell her why I was calling. “Can your believe it? White supremacists are here, in Charlottesville. Nazis. The KKK. It’s disgusting, Laura. Absolutely disgusting,” she said. With hurt and anger... Read more »

Farewell to Fellow Blogger John Arguello, CubsDen Founder and Proud Ecuadorian

Farewell to Fellow Blogger John Arguello, CubsDen Founder and Proud Ecuadorian
When I began this blog in 2014, I had no idea the worlds it would open up to me. The people I would meet. The friends I would make. The ChicagoNow family that would welcome me into their fold. John Arguello, the founder of CubsDen, was one of the kindest voices in that family. Last week,... Read more »

Worlds Within Worlds: A Look Inside Mental Illness

Worlds Within Worlds: A Look Inside Mental Illness
As I wait for contacts in Cuba and Tobago/Trinidad to answer interview questions, my mind ponders the concept of worlds. Worlds we live in and worlds we create. Worlds that have no visible boundaries. Private worlds, of isolation, sadness,and suffering. Today, I brushed past one of those worlds on my morning walk along the river... Read more »
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Living in Ecuador, Where Nature is so Respected it is Granted Constitutional Rights

Living in Ecuador, Where Nature is so Respected it is Granted Constitutional Rights
Lying roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador lie the Galapagos Islands, which are owned by Ecuador. These islands, home to ecosystems and animals that do not exist anywhere else in the world, have long fascinated and inspired scientists around the world. Scientists like Charles Darwin, whose experience and observations in the Galapagos helped... Read more »