Finished!

After three months a handful of stops and starts, I've finally finished Sean Wilentz's The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln. It is a beast - a beast - of a book, and I'm quite proud of myself for getting through it, however well-written it is.My dad always says that when you study something …

One small step

We had another marathon 2.5 hour meeting this morning at the Manna Ecuador house. Not abnormal, though this meeting did include a vote on whether our new avian friends would get to stay.After the meeting, I headed to the Sangolquí notary to process more visa paperwork. My regular readers know what a happy hassle this …

Mark the Killer

Holly and Serena came back from Sangolquí markets today with two chicks and two ducklings.As the resident dad of MPIE, I was less than excited about our new pets: "Where will you keep them? What do they eat? Do you have a plan for when they're not cute anymore?" And yes, I had already looked …

You can flush toilet paper here! (and other notes from the field)

I'm in DC for a conference this weekend. More on that later - for now, some cultural observations:You're not only allowed but expected to flush TP here. That's just weird.Cars are actually predisposed to stop for pedestrians.They actually check IDs at bars in the US.I can walk around in my friend Justin's house barefoot without …

Hello from Colombia

Two airlines, seven metal detectors, six new airline friends and three airline enemies later, I am in the Bogota airport, on my way to Washington DC for a conference with a handful of other MPI-like organizations. My only two commentaries:1) Colombians and Ecuadorians look nothing alike.2) The quickness with which Avianca handled an airplane simply …