2016’s most memorable stories

2016 turned out to be my most productive year as a freelance journalist yet, with stories filed from Illinois, Iowa, Peru, Poland, Curaçao, and beyond. Not a bad year. Thanks for following. I visited Montserrat, a small island in the Caribbean that was ruined by a volcano 20 years ago this year and is still trying … Continue reading

LATEST: Shabbat in the Amazon

IQUITOS, Peru — Scribbling in a notebook, Jorge Abramovitz sat at a table facing his shop’s open door to the busy street as he finished his week’s work. The sun was setting, casting a golden, warm light over this chaotic outpost in the Peruvian Amazon—a scene accented by the rhythmic, puttering roar of the city’s swarm of … Continue reading

LATEST: Climate change in Fort Yukon, Alaska

(Published in The Washington Post) FORT YUKON, Alaska – It may sound strange to someone from the Lower 48, but in interior Alaska, 2 degrees Fahrenheit in early March is balmy. This winter’s record-setting warm temperatures are just the latest in an ongoing string of environmental changes for the indigenous Gwich’in village of Fort Yukon, ten … Continue reading

LATEST: Visiting Islamic Poland

I spent a few days visiting Poland’s forgotten Muslim lands — inhabited for centuries by Polish Tatars. Today, there are just two traditional wooden mosques in the villages of Kruszyniany and Bohoniki, with others in neighboring Lithuania and Belarus. Story coming soon.

LATEST: Searching for Iowa’s Jewish heritage

The ice on the window of my room at Hotel Ottumwa was enough to make me want to crawl back into bed, but it was Saturday morning and services were going to start at B’nai Jacob synagogue on East Main Street. I spent the weekend exploring Iowa’s small town Jewish heritage — a bucket list project, … Continue reading

Paradise Lost: Plymouth, Montserrat

Hello from beautiful Montserrat — a tiny island nation in the Caribbean, about 30 miles from Antigua. I was fortunate enough to visit Montserrat’s capital, Plymouth, with island native Cecil Wade. The bustling city was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1997 that displaced more than half of the island’s population. Subsequent eruptions since then … Continue reading

Favorite stories from 2015

The story of Marvin Rockwell — the patriarch of Monteverde, Costa Rica’s Quaker community — who was one of the original settlers who traveled from Alabama to avoid the draft. http://alj.am/1wQQzRl Ester Debevec is one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors from Sarajevo. She, like many others, refused to leave during the Siege of Sarajevo and lived to … Continue reading

Autumn in Wisconsin

The leaves in Wisconsin, taken while on the road for Al Jazeera America.