Blogs from Portland, Oregon, United States, North America

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North America » United States » Oregon » Portland June 30th 2014

Portland – The ‘Foodie’ City We leave at 8am from Spokane as we have a long drive to Portland (350 + miles). As we head through Washington State the landscape is quite gentle, not so hilly and mainly grasslands – large ranches and not many settlements. Once we hit Oregon, we are following the Columbia River (the State Line between Oregon & Washington runs down the middle of it) and we see the biggest wind farms we’ve seen in the US to date – mostly on the Oregon side but also some on the Washington side. As we get closer to Portland, vineyards start to appear together with lots of fruit orchards and we also get sight of a snow covered Mount Hood in the distance – it looks a bit like Mt Fuji in Japan. ... read more
Famous Mo's for Clam Chowder
Food Trucks - Portland
Overlooking Yaquina Bay - Newport

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 27th 2014

I'm actually writing this in early May, but I didn't want TravelBlog to extend the length of the trip. I've been thinking a lot about what this trip has been for me, both pedagogically and personally. As a person who hopes to take more students and others on educational trips, I've been thinking about how to make the experience as meaningful as possible. I feel pretty confident about basic trip preparation and follow-through, both generic and specific. I'm continuing to think about what can be prepared for, and where the preparation might better be open-ended. This is the distinction between "You should pack some sealed snacks because otherwise ants will get into them" and "You'll probably find some parts of the trip uncomfortable or unexpected. How do you usually respond to this, and will that work ... 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. Through many fundraisers and the generosity of a matching donor, they've raised the not-inconsiderable amount needed to pay for the court and their participation fees. 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 ... 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

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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
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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
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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. http://www.rei.com/product/860182/nite-ize-s-biner-microlock-keychain-2-pack 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




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