Author Archives: Katherine

Facing gender inequality In Indonesia, not so different from the West

Last week, I sat on the floor of a community hall watching 12 men devour full plates of steamed corn, sweet potatoes, and bananas, washing down their mouthfuls with swigs of black coffee. The women who had graciously served this … Continue reading

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Jakartans claim public spaces wherever they can find room

If you have noticed the long lull between posts on this blog, you are simply watching what happens after about a year of living in a foreign country. What was once a surprising and obvious topic for a blog has … Continue reading

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After tense election season, Indonesians breathe sigh of relief

Today my Indonesian language teacher showed up for our lesson wearing a blue and red checkered shirt, typical of the supporters of the newly elected president Joko Widodo (known by his nickname, Jokowi). Today, it seems like the wait is finally … Continue reading

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Stark contrasts, historical ignorance on display in Indonesian presidential race

Watching the 2014 presidential campaign in Indonesia is sometimes like watching a bad movie’s overwrought metaphor for the tension between democracy and authoritarianism playing out in real life. The choices have narrowed since I last described the presidential candidates, and … Continue reading

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Southeast Asia’s forests: vital and vanishing

Forests are key for our food systems and our economy. Forests are a pantry for the world’s poor, and an incubator for biodiversity and unknown genetic material that could lead to vital scientific discoveries. Even those of us who think we live in urban environments may be more dependent on forests than we realize. Continue reading

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Tourists in Asia seek freedom, find pain on two wheels

PreviewThe scooter was difficult to control, the road a bit sandy, and before he knew it, the 30-something Irish tourist was on his way to a hospital with a dislocated ankle instead of enjoying his vacation on the sunny island … Continue reading

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There are no foreign lands

When we set out to build our life together abroad, we thought of ourselves embarking on an adventure in foreign lands; we’ve evolved. Over the past three years, we have spent most of our time outside of the U.S.; first … Continue reading

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Anti-coup flashmobs outwit thousands of armed guards, shut down Bangkok’s shopping district

What would it be like if Thailand’s military coup were happening in New York City instead of Bangkok? If you know Manhattan, imagine opening the Sunday paper to read that as of 9, am all subway stops between Houston and 42nd … Continue reading

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Mixed messages from Thai coup and a growing divide in the streets

The leaders of the military coup under way in Thailand shortened a nationwide curfew, doled out payments to rice farms, and cracked down more strictly on freedom of speech today. The leadership seems to be trying to soften their image while … Continue reading

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Religious fest stretches curfew in Chiang Mai

In Chiang Mai, Thailand, locals butted up against the military-imposed curfew, partying until after 10pm as part of an annual city festival. The Inthakin festival is held in mid-May, to ask the spiritual guardian of the city to bring monsoon … Continue reading

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