A half hour out of Iquitos, a solitary cluster of stilt and thatched-roof houses came into sight. A narrow pathway continued to the houses, but Jorge cut the motorcycle’s engine and said we would walk the remaining hundred yards. Without the breeze from the zooming motorcycle, I was again aware of the oppressive tropical heat and the suffocating humidity. I also became aware of a new set of sounds: no longer the drone of the city, the honking, the shouting, the exchange of shipyard commodities. Now my ears were tuned to the laughter of small children, the barking of wary dogs, and the thrumming of a million equatorial insects.… Read More Rice and Beans, Masato, Bad Potato Salad
I am about to share a pre-Lenten dinner with six strangers. They have welcomed me into their quarters, have set a place for me at their table. I’ve spent all day trying to reach them, trying to reach this very place.
Earlier in the day, riding in the back of a truck, I had closed my eyes, folded my arms around my knees, and let my head rest. The woman seated next to me had leaned into my ribs. I heard someone shouting from the roadside, and I sat up slowly…… Read More A Refugee in Cajamarca
Today I’m a full-time bicycle mechanic, on a brief break from riding cross-country with friends. This isn’t my day job or even my passion…The shop manager offers a smile and a nod as we pass through the door, into this temple of bicycle revivals. He’s been expecting us, this procession of cyclists seeking refuge during a mid-summer pilgrimage…… Read More Riding Bikes with Father Abraham
What if, when we see the eclipse, when we are faced with an interval of darkness, we recognize an opportunity to pursue more productive endeavors? – to push through the darkness, and know the sun will appear again, and soon.… Read More Eclipse: When the Moon Fooled the Birds
My daughter had seen black and grizzly bears before. But the novelty of finding these beautiful animals never diminishes for her or me, and so I slowed to a stop and woke my daughter. We watched the little bear lumber across the road. My daughter asked if we should get out and spray it with pepper spray…… Read More The Mint Maker’s Rules and the Five-Year-Old’s Rules
I went fishing with Jesus this morning. I met him at the beach in Akumal, Mexico, stepped aboard his boat, and left for open seas at sunrise. He was not the Jesus I entirely expected. Is he ever? The seas were rough this morning…… Read More Fishing with Jesus in Mexico
In August 2012, my son and I spent ten days in the desert-canyons of Utah and Arizona. The highlight of the trip was a south-to-north traverse of the Grand Canyon. If you are planning a rim-to-rim multi-day hike through the Grand Canyon, this post is one resource…… Read More On the Trail of Chupacabra