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An ABC of INTERCULTURAL IDENTITY

LESSONS FROM THE JOURNEY

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh. By All-free Photos

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…. Broad, wholesome, charitable views …cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ~ Mark Twain


CAMBODIA JOURNAL: DAYS 2 & 3



Our destination in Phnom Penh City was the Golden Gate Hotel Annex, but our cabbie took us to the Golden Gate Hotel. We walked up a broad flight of stairs into an ornate lobby, replete with lucky reds, carved and shiny dark wood, and gold leaf. At least that’s how I remember it now. It took a bit of talking at the desk for us to make the attendants understand that it was the Annex we wanted, and some additional careful communication for us to understand where we needed to go.

Thankfully, the Annex was immediately across the street. The lobby there was plain and functional with walls painted turquoise. We stepped up to the desk with our big matching duffel bags. Before we could get started with the check-in process at $20 a night for two, I felt the presence of Read More 
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LESSONS FROM THE JOURNEY

A corner of the Phnom Penh Airport showing what I felt was an unfortunate color

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…. Broad, wholesome, charitable views …cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ~ Mark Twain



In 2008, Cheyenne and I traveled to Cambodia. My main purpose was to interview Wayne Matthysse about his journey from twenty-four years as a missionary to identifying as an atheist. I will probably always be fascinated by missionaries as a subculture—proselytizers of various faiths, missionaries of unbelief, secular missionaries, the hands and arms of colonizers the world over, change agents for better and worse. In 2008, I was writing a book with the working title Missionaries: Demons, Saints or Mortals? As the work progressed, I realized that it was too broad and that people who would be most interested in reading about missionaries would very likely not be interested in what I had to say about them. But the book was still Read More 
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LESSONS FROM THE JOURNEY


TRAVELS TO PLACES OF CHANGE



This column first appeared in my hometown newspaper,The Gallup Independent, on January 2, 2016.



I woke sharply from a dream, but I had only a vague image of what had wakened me. Yet the meaning of the dream was absolutely clear. I had to write about change. I had already started writing a different column than this one, but I knew I had to shelve that one for now.

In the afterimage of my dream, it seemed that a turbaned Muslim man had kissed my ear. I wasn’t even sure that was what I dreamed, though I kept trying to grasp what was left of it. I want to think the man was Read More 
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