Blogs from Portland, Oregon, United States, North America


North America » United States » Oregon » Portland April 17th 2014

I didn't want to spend my last morning in Hong Kong sitting around the hotel room, so I packed my bags and then went out for a walk. I strolled along past little shops selling everything you can thing of: a tiny hardware store, a large number of shops selling dried seafood products (anchovies (I think), slices of fish, seaweed, and several items I couldn't identify), a money exchange office, a 7-11, a Starbucks, a shop that appeared to be selling 4x8 pieces of plywood, and others. After a while I hopped on a tram that runs along one of the main streets and rode it to the Bank of China building. I had my passport with me, so I was able to go up to the observation floor. Clearly the view was more impressive back ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland March 14th 2014

"The function of ritual is not to control this baffling universe but to render homage to it, to bow to the mystery"(Alvarez). The students and their graduate student instructor have just wrapped up several intense and successful weeks of fundraising. It’s a relief for me, and I’m sure even more of a relief for them, that they’ve hit their fundraising goal. We’re at the point where you just keep turning in assignments (or if you're me, grading assignments), knowing that soon you'll be able to sleep on a nice, long plane ride. I've also been busy trying new gear and packing rather differently from my usual, since I expect to become filthy and not to bring back most of my clothing. How will these sneakers do for trudging around with a wheelbarrow? Will these sheets show ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland March 10th 2014

I always joke that when my toenail polish from one trip wears off, it’s time to get the next trip underway. While I had only short domestic travel planned for awhile, a serendipitous opportunity has arisen. In gathering information and helping faculty and staff learn and begin applying the first round of new standards for faculty-led international travel, we found that an upcoming trip, already committed to and with students already deep into preparatory activities, didn’t have a leader who would meet the college’s requirements. We tried several potential solutions, but what it’s come down to is that I will lead the trip. This is because I’m available, have led one before, and am on salary and in an institutional role that means my participation falls under the terms of my contract. I can also muddle ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland February 26th 2014

Weaving Through Oregon Crossing the border into Oregon, there are 3 things that I immediately noticed... The coast line becomes even more rugged (if that is even possible).... The speed limit lowers... and The roadside signs are suddenly both more prolific and blatant. In California all the roadside signs seemed to almost want to have a conversation with you... Watch Out For Deer Crossing or Caution - Heavy Congestion Ahead Once you hit Oregon they prefer to just beat you over the head with their messages like... ELK Sometimes words are even just too much hassle so you just see a picture and hope you never actually encounter the monsters that your imagination conjours out of them. Continuing up the 101 slowly winds you along the coast past dense forests and around jagged headlands that... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland January 31st 2014

A quick trip to the Rose City, Portland Oregon and catch a soccer game. Went to Portland to see a game between the Portland Timbers and the LA Galaxy, this was our first time in Portland, this was Summers's first time flying Alaska Airliner, for me it was the second time flying them. Stayed in downtown which was surprisingly a well kept city, clean and easy to navigate, this trip was during July of 2013, the weather was quite hot for the Northwest. Walked to most of the city even though we rented a car, I for one I rather walk but I think Summer is not too fan of doing that ( she wont read this ) lol. Downtown Portland like I said is quite beautiful, they love their beer and are proud of the ... read more


North America » United States » Oregon » Portland December 23rd 2013

A few notes about new gear, which is my enduring obsession. 1. Tiny s-biners. Use these to latch zippers that you want to secure but don't want to keep locking and unlocking. Deters theft, though not as well as a lock. These worked pretty well, though they have a certain tendency to spring off. The variety that's got a plastic component seemed particularly prone to this. Double-check that they're secured. 2. Double-cable luggage locks. Intended to keep thieves from prying open and then resealing a continuous loop zipper by affixing the lock to a handle. They work pretty well in this regard, but are hard to read in low light, prone to resetting themselves at a new combination (both K and I had this experience on this trip), and are easily cut with wire clippers. ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland December 4th 2013

Here's a version of my intro write-up for other purposes: I’ve been to Cambodia a number of times now—as a professional, as a volunteer, and as a tourist. I’ve visited with other psychologists through People to People International, on one of Friendship with Cambodia’s socially responsible tours, and on my own. I’ve even met a couple of my university students there. But even though this is my 6th trip, it’s the first I’ve put together to share the experience with a group. I’ve wanted to do this since 2006, and I’m very excited that it’s finally happening. My assistant K and I both have a background in psychology and the students are undergraduate juniors and seniors in a service-related major. This means that all of us are interested in people and the sociocultural contexts that help ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland December 2nd 2013

At the end of the week I'll head to Cambodia again, this time with an assistant leader and 7 undergraduates. This is the first time I'll be leading a tour, though I did take my partner when I went for a for a quick contact-making/reconnoitering trip to Siem Reap last December while planning this trip. The group will be documenting its experiences elsewhere, but I like keeping my own notes as well, so here we are. This trip is intended to expose students to the human and social services needs of contemporary Cambodia, and how these are currently addressed both locally and by outsiders. We'll visit a number of NGOs and service agencies, and we'll also go to cultural and historical sites. I'm excited by the prospect of long, intense conversations with the students throughout the ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland November 24th 2013

Portland is the funkiest town I have ever set foot in. From the mix matched people to the chicken farm front lawns, Portland has it all. The city is so odd it even has it's own tv show, portlandia! Everyone bikes everywhere. And if it's not a bike, it's some sort of 2,3,4 wheeled contraption. The city is very ecofriendly and tried not to waste anything. They have a limit on how much garbage there can be and won't take it if they see anything that could have been recycled. The front yards are often decorated with flowers and plants rather than grass. I've collected a lot of awesome ideas from this town! Paul and I drove up (I slept the entire way) to portland from bainbridge island this morning. The couple hour drive went by ... read more
The city of Portland
Tramway Ride

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland November 21st 2013

So, what is the deal with the Pearl District in downtown Portland? It seems among (I almost used between) the food trucks, and Pearl, everything else in Portland has fallen off the map. Originally, it was known as the Industrial Triangle, not a love triangle, and certainly not an isosceles triangle. It was old railroad yards, and creepy old warehouses. All of a sudden, with urban renewal, and "LEED" certified buildings, this is the hot spot of Portland. Most people think the Pearl District was named for the prize inside an oyster. Here is the story of its rebirth:Much of the re-development of the Pearl District was the result of collaboration between the city and private sectors. In the early 1980s, the Pearl District became the focus of planning efforts by the Portland Development Commission. Work ... read more
Portland Rescue Mission
Portland, a city of bridges

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