Blog Archives

Ray of hope through an unknown horizon

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Running a chain-saw 30 meters up a maple tree in Burk’s Falls, Ontario, Type-A Diabetic Umar Dechert has just had another black out.  It is June 2006.  Summer heat and physical labour combine, darkening his vision.  He waits calmly until … Continue reading

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The Toronto Superlatives

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Come one, come all to the city of the never-ending skyscraper, and from the greatest lake of Ontario, at the foot of our “longest street in the world,” set forth on the cleanest and safest public transportation system to experience … Continue reading

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Rocketing the distillery art universe

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No knowledge of art? No money in your wallet? No problem. The gallery universe of the Distillery District is a free, fun, and friendly exploration for the art novice or the seasoned connoisseur. With at least 15 galleries to choose … Continue reading

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On the outside of outsider art

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At the corner of Dundas Street West and McCaul Street in downtown Toronto, I meet homeless artist and Type A diabetic Umar Dechert (pseudonym). In northern Ontario, his outdoor jobs had included everything from building homes and growing vegetables to … Continue reading

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Bigfoot in Léon, Nicaragua

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Locally-owned Bigfoot Hostel, tel (505) 917-8832, bigfootnicaragua@gmail.com, http://www.bigfootnicaragua.com, just northeast of Parque Central, 50 meters south of Banco Procredit, is a colonial home transformed into a backpacker haven. It is within meters of an ice cream parlor (a perfect antidote … Continue reading

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Gallo pinto in Heredia, Costa Rica

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For friendly service and generous portions of local Tico fare drop by the family-owned El Kioskito del Chicharron, on Avenida 6, Calle 8/10, a lively street-front restaurant. Their sign, broken under the shingles, shows a smiling porky Pig stirring a … Continue reading

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Leaside unlimited

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Restaurants of the world, versatile athletics, endless parks, and perfect tree-lines begin to identify the emerging community of Leaside. Lying just above and beyond the Don Valley in mid-town Toronto, within a busy three block strip of Bayview south, between … Continue reading

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10 stages a weekend in T.O.

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1.  Affordable baseball at Rogers Centre– You could shell out a cool hundred or two for tickets to Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium or see the other sometimes first place team in the American League East Division. The Toronto Blue … Continue reading

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Stephen Harper nation

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Who is Stephen Harper? A brilliant tactician, a defender of the Canadian Wild West, a friend to Quebec, a champion of parliamentary democracy, the embodiment of a re-birth of conservatism North of the 49th parallel, a strong leader that puts … Continue reading

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Barack Obama: everyone’s & no one’s

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Barack Obama is an international superstar, it’s true. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have substantive ideas about how to steer his country out of the divisive Bush era. It’s true that Obama doesn’t have a lot of direct … Continue reading

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La Q’owa: A Taste of Bolivian Culture

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By: Elliot Williams Walking through the streets of Cochabamba on the first Friday of any month, one is struck by a pungent aroma wafting through the air and trails of smoke sneaking out the doors of small stores. This is the … Continue reading

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A New Hope for Peace in Bolivia

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By: Elliot Williams & Aldo Orellana The year 2007 in Bolivia ended in an escalation of tension that seemed to bring Bolivia to the breaking point. Two years into the Morales presidency, and in the wake of bloody battles over … Continue reading

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Mastaku in Bolivia

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By: Elliot Williams & Leny Olivera Walking through the crowded alleys of the canchas or open-air markets throughout Cochabamba, the sights, sounds and smells of Mastaku are everywhere. All around are clusters of stalls full of tantawawas, or breads in … Continue reading

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Green Tea & the Totalitarian Experience

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By: Stephen Hull I have not, as yet, been able to understand the relationship between Burma’s repressive military dictatorship and the kindness of strangers living in that country. The short trip that I recently took to eastern Burma merely emphasized … Continue reading

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Tamain Sabibila?

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By: Stephen Hull The sun will set soon, but for the moment, it remains, hanging low above the rice paddies and colouring the sky with a swath of orange-red through the surrounding gray. As I peddle back home I watch … Continue reading

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Countdown to a new president

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What is it about current American foreign policy that triggers such strong reactions from Americans and Non-Americans alike? Whether positive, negative, or ambivalent, nearly every thinking citizen in this world would seem to have a strong opinion. If one does … Continue reading

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