Beauty and Bias in Burundi

“Exchanges of gunfire and grenade attacks are common even in densely populated urban areas.  Stay indoors, in a ground floor interior room, if gunfire or explosions occur nearby.” —US State Department Travel Advisory on Burundi, April 20th 2014 One could…

Rays of sunshine; a metaphor for hope in Afghanistan

One of the few things I missed during my week as a “tourist” in Afghanistan was WiFi. I was eager to get back online afterward. As soon as I connected, one of the first headlines that popped up concerned US troop reductions in…

An American Making Friends in Iran

After waiting 30 minutes in the immigration line, it’s finally my turn.  The officer sees my American passport and curtly asks me to step aside. Here we go.  Filipinos, Indians, and Bangladeshis on visa runs all breeze through with no…

36 Hours in Lahore, Pakistan

A popular travel column in the New York Times called “36 hours in…” has covered over 700 cities ranging from Lijiang, China to New Haven, Connecticut. But never a city in Pakistan. I am certainly not the New York Times,…

Why I'm quitting my job to go to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia

On March 26, 2014, I will quit my job as a management consultant in San Francisco. The very next day, I’m going to board a plane to Pakistan. The Long Journey To Pakistan My family decided that last summer was…