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Posts tagged ‘violence’

meditations on darkness and light

The rainy season has brought a dash of brilliant colors to the countryside, which we’re hastening to enjoy before a somber cloud envelops Rwanda next week.

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#WithRefugees

Last week, President Obama hosted a summit on refugees, bringing together world leaders who pledged their countries to increase financing of humanitarian support for the 65 million people who have been displaced by conflict worldwide, promised to increase the number of refugees accepted for resettlement, and committed to providing a more dignified life for refugees by increasing access to education and employment opportunities in frontline nations that are hosting large refugee populations.

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heavy hearts, but hopeful spirits

Paris. The city of love, fine art, good food, great wine. And now the city of armed military patrols. We have visited France several times before, and the sight of fully armed soldiers patrolling the streets was as out-of-place in our conception of Paris as a UFO full of extraterrestrials would have been. And yet, this is Paris’s new temporary reality. The state of emergency declared after the November attacks was extended in February for another 3 months, and this decision clearly weighed on everyone’s mind even as Parisians sought a return to normalcy.

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a checkered past

Because of its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has changed hands about as often as the balance of power has shifted in Europe. Settled by the Greeks; occupied by nearly everyone, from the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians to the French and Venetians; ruled by Arab caliphates and the Ottoman Empire; administered by the British; and for the last 40 years divided in two, Cyprus is a microcosm of European history. It would have been a shame not to explore at least some of it.

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discs of peace / echoes of war

Last week in Bulgaria, a new word entered our lexicon – bombachka. The idea that an explosive device would have a cute-sounding diminutive is a bit perturbing, even if the bombachkas themselves proved mostly innocuous.

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fond farewells

After two weeks on the coast, we headed inland to Plitvice National Park for our last bit of sightseeing in Croatia. The park, which extends over almost 300 square kilometers, encompasses sixteen lakes that form a vast natural staircase, cascading one into another in a myriad waterfalls. What’s more, algae in the lakes make their waters unbelievably limpid at the same time that minerals tint the surface various shades of blue and green.

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a touristic taste of Moldova

With exciting tourist possibilities – the opportunity to see a pack of wild dogs polish off an impala or to watch elephants at the watering hole while hanging out with the safari camp’s pet kudu – we had a veritable parade of visitors when we lived in Kenya. Far fewer people appear to be tempted by Moldova’s wineries and pastoral idyll, but we are hoping that Munchkin’s cuteness lures at least a few friends and family to visit us in Chisinau. Thus far, we have had just one visitor – S’s mom, who helped her make the daunting trip from one little-known place in northern Maine to another in Eastern Europe.

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April fools

In retrospect, it was probably overly optimistic to hope that a cross-Atlantic trip scheduled for April 1 from the tiny airport in Portland to an even smaller one in Chisinau would pass without some misadventure.

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a tale of two Ukraines

Even in the short time we spent in Ukraine, splitting five nights between Kiev and Lviv, we were struck by how different the two cities — and the regions they represent — are from one another.

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black days

After a busy week, we were looking forward to catching up on our blog this weekend. Last week we attended a colleague’s wedding and, having finally sorted through the photos, we were hoping to share some of our impressions and the joy of their celebration with our readers. After the events of this weekend, however, it has been difficult to focus on our small lives and marshall our thoughts away from the tragedy unfolding in our previous home in Kenya.

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