Dispatches

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Dispatch # 30, Homeward Bound 3/27/04 PDF Print E-mail

I thought I might get lucky and the seat next to me would be empty. As the last of the air travelers filed onto the plane in Tokyo – things were looking pretty good. I might just get a big break as I continue my 20 hour flight from Ulaanbaatar to Washington, DC.

As I begin to get comfortable -- stretching out my long legs and raising the seats’ arm rest – a young man with close-cropped blonde hair suddenly appears – looking as if he’s in a daze. He hovers over me without saying a word – until finally, he points at the empty window seat and says “I sit there.”

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Dispatch #31, June 28, 2004, Ulaanbaatar PDF Print E-mail

It was twilight when my plane touched down at the airport outside UB. It was ten o’clock at night – and still daylight. White nights.

Newly fallen rain made the wheels of the jeep hiss as the driver slowly made his way past the power and heat plants – with their tall smokestacks -- out on the western side of town. We turned right onto the main drag – Peace Avenue – and now it began to get dark. Pedestrians inched their way across the busy streets – my driver weaving past them – at times narrowly missing the darken figures standing on the yellow line in the middle of the street – gas fumes floated in the air just above the asphalt..

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Dispatch # 32, August 7, 2004 PDF Print E-mail

He had the skill of a surgeon has he lay the four inch knife blade against the abdomen of the sheep and made a four-inch incision. There was no blood. The sheep instantly raised its head – a wide-eyed look on its face. I wanted to turn my face away, but I could not.

I watched as the herder stuck his hand and part of his forearm into the incision, located a main artery and severed it. The sheep struggled – crying for its life and fighting a losing battle. I watched as its life slowly drained away.

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Dispatch # 33, October 15, 2004 PDF Print E-mail

My election ballot arrived 24 hours ago. The FEDEX package looked a bit frayed around the edges, but that was probably because it took a wrong turn in Beijing. 

I had been tracking the package via the internet since it had left the east coast of the U.S. some ten days ago.

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