Author Archives: admin

About admin

I've been fascinated by world cultures all my life. I tried to teach myself Spanish at age 9, but that didn't work so well. I voraciously read books on all areas of the world as a teenager. I grew up to study languages and cultures in college, and have travelled in over 70 countries on 6 continents exploring what is unique and essential to each culture.

Kenyan Culture at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2014

Khanga Khanga, also known as leso, is a rectangular piece of cotton fabric in bright colors and bold designs used throughout Africa. It originated on the east African coast in the mid-1800s, and was brought to Kenya from India in … Continue reading

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Salento/Central Colombia

The Zona Cafetero is Colombia’s lush coffee-producing region in the center of the country. Salento is a small town in the area with a laid-back hippie vibe and a food and crafts fair on the main plaza on the weekends. … Continue reading

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This little town 26 miles east of Medellín is known for its giant 656-foot-high granite rock, Piedra del Peñol, 2 miles away, that draws rock climbers to the area. But, the town for me was the real reason to come—with … Continue reading

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Santa Fe de Antioquia

Although only 50 miles north-west of Medellín, this colonial town is a big temperature change—much warmer than the city. It is known for its Puente Colgante de Occidente, the suspension bridge built in 1887 over the Cauca River. Photos of … Continue reading

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Colombia’s “City of Eternal Spring” in the north-central part of the country was once known as the “Murder Capital of the World” in the 1980s and 90s, but now is a safe, modern city with some interesting tourist sites. The … Continue reading

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Cartagena de Indias, the official name of Colombia’s colonial city on the Caribbean, is a world away from the larger cities of Bogotá and Medellín. The feel here is hot and tropical with a greater mix of ethnic groups and … Continue reading

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Catedral de Sal

About 30 miles north of Bogotá is the Catedral de Sal (Salt Cathedral), an underground collection of chapels and 14 stations of the cross carved inside a salt mine with colored flood lights to enhance its beauty and magnificence. The … Continue reading

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Colombia’s capital, a sprawling city of around 8 million, is located in the central part of the country. It is by far Colombia’s largest city and South America’s 4th largest city. Plaza de Bolivar is the main square where you … Continue reading

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Global Glance: Lichtenstein

  Capital Vaduz Size/Population 61 sq. mi./36,281 (2011) Land Mountains (completely within the Alps), completely land-locked Politics Unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy Economy Business, finance, and tourism Currency Swiss franc Language German Religion 78% Roman Catholic, 8% Protestant Ethnic … Continue reading

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Global Glance: Azerbaijan

  Capital Baku Size/Population 33,436 sq. mi./9,165,000 (2011) Land ½ mountains; ½ lowlands, rivers, and lakes Politics Unitary presidential constitutional republic Economy Oil, natural gas, agriculture, tourism Currency Manat Languages Azerbaijani Religion 95% Muslim (85% Shia, 15% Sunni) Ethnic Groups … Continue reading

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