"Setting out on the voyage to Ithaca you must pray that the way be long, full of adventures and experiences."
- Constantine Peter Cavafy "Ithaca"
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©2008 W. Ruth Kozak


By the time we left the hotel, it was already late afternoon, and our plane left at dawn. The buildings shimmered with a golden glow particular to Italian cities of stone and marble. After fortifying ourselves with an espresso, we strolled to the stylish Via Veneto.
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The night sky brightens abruptly as quick stabs of lightning pierce the dark tropical clouds while we glide onto the airport runway. The fierce storm shakes our plane and the rain obscures the scant glow of the landing lights. We are at Kota Kinabalu (KK as the locals call it) in North Borneo.
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I was standing on the slopes of an Indonesian volcano, covered in mud, trying to remember how exactly I came to be there. I cast my mind back to my teen years when I read a fascinating book about the magical beauty of Bali. Bali resurfaced forty years later when I saw a travel agent advertising Balinese tour packages.
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Every night before going to bed I go out onto my terrace to look up at the sky. Almost every night of the year I see thousands of stars above me, and I give thanks for my beautiful home in my own corner of heaven. And of course I always recall other nights when Iíve gazed up at this breathtaking display.
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Down the beach, the sky was full of circling birds. They squawked and shrieked to show their disapproval at being denied free food while they took turns swooping towards a crowd of young Omani men pulling enormous nets out of the water.
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John Cummings, New Orleans attorney, is determined for us to know the real truth about slavery in the South. He is dedicating himself and millions of his own money to educating visitors who come to Whitney Plantation, the only plantation in Louisiana with a singular focus on the plight of the slaves..
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Tula (sometimes called Tollan) outside the present-day city of Tula de Allende a couple hours away from Mexico City, was once home to the Toltec people. When Toltec potters worked en masse here, a great power had recently fallen, the city of Teotihuacan. Toltec leaders used the power vacuum in the region to become the new leaders.
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Because of the great distances between communities in rural western Manitoba, our priest couldn't attend each village for Midnight Mass. I remember when I was 10 years old it was his turn to come to our village. That evening we got ready and dressed warm with our home made clothes, to keep us warm for the sleigh ride to church.
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