Some pictures from Cuba...story to come...

Excellent to be back on the road, even better with Harper


Travel Ban...

Its been a long time--hope you are well.  I miss the road.  The new road is family and its as beautiful and challenging as any journey I've been part of.

For those of you in the world who are frightened by the recent travel ban...

Please forgive the US for this mistake.

We are a country of dissent, we were founded on it.  This dissent has taken our country far and will continue to do so.  Many Americans are afraid of Muslims, these Americans are quick to blame a religion for terrorism that has made everyone fearful.  This may not be rational to many people, but I understand why a portion of the population feels this way.  Americans don't want to be afraid. Fear is like water and the path of least resistance is blame.  The fear they feel is founded in blame for terrorism and lack of understanding of other cultures.  More importantly, the minority of Americans who agree with this travel ban most likely have little connection with people from foreign nations and have likely done little traveling.  Its easy to lay blame or hurt a group of people when these people have no face or identity to the individual.  This is why this ban is so destructive.

Travel is the ultimate form of diplomacy.  It allows you and I to meet one another, to have a personal interaction and to establish trust.  For me, this has happened on countless occasions in nations that are majority Muslim.  In Morocco in summer of 2000, Kori and I were near Western Sahara on a bus that stopped in a small town.  A man stopped us and asked where we were from.  He was kind yet stern, tall and weathered, missing an eye, perhaps 50 years old.  He looked much older.  He told us overtly and with kindness that "you don't understand the world because you have everything you need and many things you want".  I remember him looking at us in the same way my grandma Dot would sit contently through chaos of grand kids running into her house with muddy shoes from playing on the farm.  Wise, patient and hopeful for understanding.  At the time, I had no idea that he was right.  I also had little idea of the fact that I was no better than him.  Even though I did have everything and I had done nothing to earn it.

There is no justification to locking out people from the US.  Our nation is not a white nation.  Our nation is not a hateful place.  Our nation is an amalgam of foreigners.  What started as Ragtag Irish, reluctant Britons and abused slaves from West Africa has become a nation whose ingredients are from every country and every religion.  This is the course of history and this ban cannot stop that.  The 1950s are over and to assume that we can reclaim some invented and fake version of America which never existed, is simply terrible.  America was never Norman Rockwell.  To assume that it was is to lie to yourself. To want it to be that again is an intention that puts you on the wrong side of history.  The ship left port long ago.  The captain may have been white, but the sailors were Black, Red, Yellow, Brown, Tan, etc...

As an American, I am sorry for this ban.  I am proud to be in Seattle, where the ban was blocked.  America will get this right over time.  In the meantime, if you are outside the US, please come see us.  Even the people who support this ban are generally kind.  Meet them and let them see that you are a human and that good people live everywhere.  Let them see that they shouldn't be afraid of a person who doesn't look like them.  Let them realize that the same fear that is gripping them is the fear that drives bad people to do bad things.  And that these bad people are not bad because of a religion, they are just bad people.

I will be taking my daughter to Cuba in April.  She will see, at 6 years old, that a place we were told was terrible for so long, is actually paradise.

Come see us and be hopeful.   We will get this right.


Map of our travels...(almost..we ran out of space on google maps..)

Trip Calendar