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© 2019 by Mark Konold

Analysis, articles, and reflections spanning my interests, life, and work.

August 15, 2016

Another National Park in the books: The Great Smoky Mountains!

Ray Ray and I just returned from a wedding road trip in North Carolina. The proximity to the national park straddling the North Carolina/Tennessee border was too great a temptation to pass up. Unlike visits to National Parks in the past w...

June 14, 2016

It’s clear I’m not getting to as many entries this year as I’d like. It has more to do with a lack of time than material. As ever, we live in increasingly complex and interesting times and with the current general election season, there is no shortage of things to be concerned about.

However, I am ma...

February 2, 2015

I may have celebrated a little bit too much last night. Today I’m in a meeting at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, still giddy over the Patriots’ incredible Super Bowl victory last night over the Seattle Seahawks. And for the first time, I watched a Super Bowl - let alone a Super Bowl...

November 25, 2012

A quick travel log entry. I’m back in Jamaica. Ray Ray just left to head back to Santo Domingo after a ten-day break in which I showed her around the island. I arrived back to Dominican Republic after my grandmother’s funeral and in less than 48 hours was back on a plane, hopping from one rock in th...

February 11, 2012

If someone had told me in July 2007 that I’d return to the Caribbean some day, I don’t think I would have discounted it. But I don’t know that I would have said I’d be moving back with someone. Sitting next to me at 30,000 feet is Ray Ray, who has been assigned to the Consular office at the U.S. Emb...

November 12, 2011

One of the great bonuses of managing this current project in visiting the countries with which we my team is working. This week I expanded my Caribbean experience with an initial visit to Haiti, only hours from places I’ve visited in the Dominican Republic but a world away when considering the vario...

July 15, 2011

More travels and another National Park checked off the list.

This week Ray Ray and I visited Mt. Rainier in the evergreen state of Washington. We are on a Northwest swing visiting family and despite not having the usual 2-to-3 days we prefer to fully visit a park, we made due with only one.

Since it’s...

June 29, 2011

This is little more than a “stick a pin in the map” entry. One for the travelogue, lacking in reflective thought, and very far from the original intent of these pages. Just a quick hop to St. Andrews to take in a round of golf.

Am I the world’s worst golfer? A strong case could be made for that, yes.

...

November 1, 2010

Just a quick entry to mark our first trip to Shenandoah National Park. It wasn’t much of a visit, just a quick day driving around and picking off a short hike or two. Pictures can be found in the usual National Parks corner of the gallery. The great thing is, given our proximity, we’ll likely be bac...

July 5, 2010

For Christmas Ray Ray gave me a coupon to tour three national parks in the West/Northwestern part of the country: Glacier, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. I’m still relatively new to that corner of the country, save a few visits to see mom and dad in the Seattle area since they moved there in 2007...

January 14, 2010

I’m in Costa Rica right now, enjoying the school’s winter break with some of my classmates, one of who is a lovely lady I’ve been seeing since the very end of the Spring semester in Bologna. We will affectionately refer to her as Ray Ray. I’ve not mentioned her until now largely because as soon as s...

August 6, 2009

Each day seems to bring a new adventure in sticking out like a sore thumb. Nicolas’ cousin, Maureen (the name she took as part of her conversion to Christianity) gave me a guided tour of Kibera, one of the largest slums on the African continent. She is one of its residents, transplanted here from Ka...

July 30, 2009

My stay in Karungu lasted longer than originally planned largely due to a broken vehicle. The trusty Land Rover suffered a broken timing belt (among other ailments) and for a time, we had no means to travel from the western edge of the country back to the capital. Once we were able to get our hands...

July 3, 2009

With the web site down, I haven’t been keeping the closest tabs on what I’ve been up to since arriving. I’ve jotted a few notes in a paper diary and may go back to reference some of the material but for now, I find myself with some time before dinner and have decided to do a bit of a data dump.

One o...

June 22, 2009

After a very long day of traveling from Rome to Zurich and on to Nairobi, I finally arrived. The plan landed at sunset with the sun about to dip below the western horizon. It looked straight out of