Diane and I love to travel, especially to other countries. Ever since we were volunteers in the Peace Corps to Chile in the 1960s we have traveled to many places, including most countries and territories within the following regions: South America, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Polynesia, Middle East, and North America. In fact, we have been in over 70 countries.
We began our travels abroad in 1966 as Peace Corps Volunteers in Santiago, Chile, where we lived from August 1966 until December 1968. After leaving Chile and traveling for another four months, with many stops in Peru, Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago, we finally arrived home to Minnesota sometime in April, 1969. Some day I (we) will write about our many Peace Corps Volunteer-related adventures from the late 1960s, or what I refer to as our formative years as grownups.
I first began this section of my web page, which I title “Travel Tales and Snapshots,” in 2013 with small essays about and digital photographs from various cruises and other travels from that year to the present. These short stories are constantly being updated. Additionally, I am in the early stages of writing stories about earlier travels. Fortunately, in our current process of “down sizing” I have come across some itineraries and other documents that help to refresh my memory. I begin by simply entering the data from those sources, and later I will try to turn them into interesting stories. Thus, some of the middle and later Travel Snapshots are currently more interesting than the early ones.
Travels in 1966-1968
Puerto Rico: Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) Language Training
Diane and I were accepted into Peace Corps Volunteer training in the spring of 1966. We were married in June 1965, so the training period was almost like a second honeymoon. We spent our first month or so at the University of Washington where we had a wonderful time at beautiful “U-dub” campus in the Lake Washington area of greater Seattle. We visited the Cascade Mountains, saw Mount Rainier every day, visited Seattle’s highlights, cruised on Puget Sound and crossed over to Victoria, Canada, and had many other new experiences. After our initial training in Washington state, we went for almost another month to Puerto Rico for advanced language training. There we had to find housing on our own near the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) in Rio Piedras. We found a wonderful family to live with, which enabled us to continue to become converse in Spanish. Being at the University of Puerto Rico gave us an opportunity to meet and interact with Spanish-speaking faculty members, which was important because our program in the Peace Corps was University Education and were all going to be teachers in Chile. We took several excursions with fellow Peace Corps trainees and also several UPR faculty members. The highlights of our traveling in PR were visiting El Yugue rainforest, Luquillo Beach to the east of San Juan, and Old San Juan. Walking the streets of Rio Piedras was memorable, because we would hear coquis (tiny frogs) but could never see them; we have never forgotten their loud calls — “koKEE, koKEE.” After several months we flew back home to Minnesota, to New York City, and then to Santiago, Chile as PCVs.
Chile and beyond
June 1966-December 1968.
More than 50 years ago Diane and I lived in Santiago, Chile, where we worked as Peace Corp Volunteers. During that time we traveled throughout much of Chile from its far north in the Atacama Desert to Puerto Mont in south/central Chile. We also visited Buenos Aires in northern Argentina, Ushuaia in the extreme south on the Beagle Canal, took a train across the pampas from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, and hitchhiked across the Andes from Mendoza to Santiago. Some of these areas and trips will be discussed below, on chronological order.
January 20-30, 1967. Chilean lake district: Temuco, Llaima Volcano, Lago Conillio; Osorno Volcano, Lagos (lakes) xxx and Todos los Santos. I wrote the following in a letter to my parents on January 23, 1967: “We’ve been taking our time (by train and hitchhiking) from Santiago to the central/south of Chile known as the lake district, seeing some of the most beautiful scenery we’ve ever seen. Arriving in Temuco, we visited a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) couple at their small cabin that they built themselves on an isolated hill with a perfect view of Mount Llaima, an active volcano. They work with the Chilean Mapuche Indians. From their house we drove north on a farm road with them, another PCV couple who work in forestry, and a Chilean couple, agrarian specialists who drove their vehicle. Soon the farm road ended and we continued driving on narrow winding path on a black lava field created by the large volcano. Before too long we reached Lago Verde from where the path continued into forests of Araucanian pines, bamboo groves, and moss-covered trees, with the snow capped Andes mountains ahead of us. We finally arrived at Lago Conillo, our destination, and what a beautiful sight it was, with its crystal clear water, backdrop of snow capped mountains, and green forests — completely unexploited by tourism. There we fished, hiked, and ate our picnic lunch.” Today, this beautiful area is a Chilean National Park, which includes ski-tows and ski-runs up and down the snow-capped Llaima Volcano. We were so fortunate to see it in a truly pristine state.
December 20, 1967-January 5, 1968. We were able to travel to the very south of Chile and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina over Christmas 1967 and New Year’s 1968, which is in the middle of the summer in the southern hemisphere, when many of the Chileans in Santiago go on vacation. We flew to Punta Arenas where we slept in our sleeping bags in the garage of an American missionery family. We had no contacts in the town, and made the missionary contact by explaining our hopes and needs to two Canadian clerks in an English-speaking Christian book store. Our American missionary hosts were wonderful, and Diane and I even performed flute and piano music in his little church on a Sunday morning.
While living with them, they invited us to go with them to the Torres de Paine region where they planned to gather rocks to build a fireplace in his house. This was a wonderful opportunity to visit that outstandingly scenic, rugged, and unspoiled region in the high southern Andes, long before it became a Chilean national park. Torres de Paine (“Towers of Paine” in the far south on the Strait of Magellan and in the Chilean Pategonia region). This photo is a selfie from 1967 of us posing on a hill with Cuernos del Paine (“Horns of Paine,” a particular mountain in Torres de Paine region) in the background. We were so fortunate to visit that outstandingly scenic, rugged, and unspoiled region in the high southern Andes of Patagonia, long before it became a Chilean national park.
After Punta Arenas we hitched a ride on a freighter to cross the Strait of Magellan to Porvenir, a small Chilean village on the north shore of Tierra del Fuego. Our plan was to hitchhike to Ushuaia, Argentina, on the Beagle Canal in the south of Tierra del Fuego. We were lucky to hitch a ride in the back of a pickup truck (the driver had a rifle in his back window, which was concerning to us in that extremely lonely part of the world) to Cerro Sombrero at the Argentine border in eastern Tierra del Fuego. We were told that Portenos (people from Buenos Aires) or other Argentinos from Rio Gallegos often drive to Ushuaia for the holidays, and that we should be able to hitch a ride south. Once we arrived in Cerro Sombrero and went through customs, a wonderful family (mom, dad, and 2 pre-teen daughters) from Buenos Aires stopped and agreed to transport us young gringos. It was a most interesting trip, as the road over the mountain pass above Lago Fagnano was mostly mud. We had to get out and push!
July 15-16, 1968. Festival of the Virgen de Carmen, La Tirana, Chile. experiences
September 7-8, 1968. Festival of the Virgen de Guadalupe, Aiquina, Chile. experiences
September 29, 1968. Festival of the Virgen de Merced, Isla de Maipo, Chile. experiences
October 6, 1968. Festival of the Virgen del Rosario, Andacollo, Chile. experiences
Travels in 1968-1969
Peru, Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago
December 1968-April 1969.
After living nearly 3 years in Santiago our term of service ended and we became former Peace Corp Volunteers. We had saved up some money and chose to travel around South America for several months before returning home. On a previous trip to Brazil we had arranged jobs in Rio de Janeiro as teachers of English at the Brazilian American Cultural Center oh, so that was our destination 4 several months at least we thought.
Peru — We began our long trip home to Minnesota by flying to Arica in Northern Chile. From there we took a train over the high Andes to La Paz, Bolivia. After a few days in that very high city we continued by train to Cusco (also Cuzco), Peru. It was in that beautiful former capital of the Incas, just as we neared the train station, that we had our only bad experience during our entire time in South America. As the train neared its final destination in Cusco, most of the passengers got up, gathered their overhead luggage, and stood in the aisle. There was no luggage checking system on the train, and our main suitcase was so large that we had to leave it at the end of our train car, rather than take it with us to our seats. Because there was so much commotion and congestion as people were rushing to get off the train, our suitcase was stolen within seconds of stopping. We assume that even before passengers could get off, robbers climbed aboard and stole all of our luggage; or else, some other passengers stole it; perhaps it was prearranged. Regardless, our large suitcase contained all of our clothes, many personal items for day-to-day living, some gifts, teaching supplies, and other items. Thankfully, I had earlier removed my new Powell flute from the suitcase. What I did lose, however, were all the tape recordings that I had made while doing fieldwork at several religious folk festivals in Chile — materials that I was hoping to use for a future dissertation. Fortunately, several of our friends–former Peace Corps volunteers that we were traveling with–gave us some clothes that they didn’t need, and we survived until we could purchase replacements. On the bright side, our traveling became much easier now that we were no longer burdened by our huge suitcase. Perhaps it was a godsend.
We had a great time in Cusco and environs, nevertheless. It was the first time we had ever seen Incan ruins–in Cusco, Machu Picchu, and other sites in the sacred valley of the Incas. About ten of us former PCVs traveled together to Machu Picchu in a second-class train car. I remember the third class box cars that were filled with Peruvian peasants. When we arrived at the stop for Machu Picchu we had to walk up the long road (called the Hiram Bingham Highway) to the ruins. In 1968, the current tourist hotel in Machu Picchu did not exist and there were no tourist accommodations. However, we were able to sleep in the ruins. There was one ruin that had a thatched-roof and hay on the floor for sleeping, and with our sleeping bags we were allowed to stay there several nights at no charge. In the photograph you see a number of us posing by the main window or entrance. It was a memorable and wonderful experience to wake up in the morning surrounded by mist and clouds. I had great fun playing my Peruvian kena (quena) flute each evening, as others read paragraphs from Hiram Bingham’s book about his discovery of Machu Picchu. We all enjoyed our special time together thinking about Incan antiquity and what it might have been like living in Machu Picchu over 500 years ago.
Travels in 1970
Summer in Mexico
Shortly after our return from three years in South America, Diane and I moved to the Chicago area in the summer of 1969. I landed a great summer job playing second flute in the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, and Diane worked as a computer programmer for Northwest Railroad. In late August I accepted a position as assistant professor at a college in Arkansas as flute instructor and Diane was unemployed; at several job interviews she was asked, “Why do you want a job? Doesn’t your husband work at the college?). That inspired her to seek a grant to go to graduate school, and before long she was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study Latin American Studies at UCLA. She said to me, “I’m going to UCLA for my masters this fall. You had better apply to their music program if you want to come along.” Apply I did, and accepted I was–into the UCLA musicology program to study Latin American music. We both decided right then and there to resign from my position at the end of the spring quarter, leave Arkansas, and spend the summer in Mexico. That endeaver had two important benefits: we could save money and we could learn about Mexican culture, history, literature, archaeology, anthropology, music, and more. We loaded up a U-Haul trailer and drove–with our cat and Diane pregnant–to Brownsville, Texas. There we left our trailer filled with all of our belongings (including our dear cat, Canela) with one of my former students, and continued driving our 1960 Ford to Mexico City. We lived with the neighbor of a friend of Diane’s parents, and we alternated weeks by studying at the Benjamin Franklin American Culture Center and traveling in our car to a number of places in Mexico (our travel goal was to visit every archaeological site in central Mexico). The following travel snapshot will highlight some of our explorations, as best as we can remember 51 years ago.
Mexico City, Tenochtitlan, Teotihuacan,
Puebla and Chalupa
Michoacán: Sierra Nevada de Toluca, Playa Azul
Tsintsuntsan: Patzcuaro, San Miguel, Tula
Cuernavaca and San Miguel de Allende
Travels in 1972, 1973, and 1974
The Delta Amacuro Rainforest of Venezuela
March 16-30, 1973.
These travel tales and snapshots are personal stories derived from my many months over several of fieldwork with the Warao Indians of Venezuela. Currently, a long essay with photos and audio files titled “Ethnomusicology as Advocacy…” already exists on my website, at the very end of the complete Travel Tales and Snapshots from where you are now. I will not add other Warao stories here, so please scroll down to read about my rainforest research and adventures.
Travels in 1973
We (Diane, 2 1/2 year old son Darin, and I) went to Japan during the summers of 1973, upon my graduation from UCLA. We lived in the Tenri Kyo Overseas Mission Headquarters in Tenri, Nara province, Japan, as guests of my shakuhachi teacher, Mitsuru Yuge. We spent a lot of time in Nara and Kyoto. We attended the Gion Matsuri (festival) in Kyoto.
Travels in 1974
Venezuela, Colombia, and Peru
Fieldwork travel experiences as an NEH grantee.
Travels in 1979
May 21 to September 15.
For four months I lived in Peru as a Fulbright Fellow, teaching in Lima and conducting fieldwork in various regions of the Peruvian Andes. Diane and our 8 year-old son, Darin, joined me for a month from July 12 to August 14.
Several of my fieldwork research excursions were to attend religious folk festivals in the Peruvian Andes. Andean Catholicism, or “folk Catholicism,” is the syncretic blending of ancient pre-Spanish religious traditions with Spanish Catholic traditions into something new. In the Andes, pre-Catholic fertility, harvest, and other indigenous rituals have fused with Catholic calendrical and patron saint celebrations. The results are combinations of both, although the degrees of syncretism cannot be effectively measured.
Virgen of Carmen Festival. One of the patronal festivals I researched was the celebration of the Virgin of Carmen in the very small community of Alto Otuzco, Cajamarca, in the northern Peruvian Andes. Carmen is the female patron saint (personified as the Holy Virgin) of many communities in Peru. Her celebration is July 16, which occurs in the Quechua month of Anta Situa (Earthly Purification), making it a folk Catholic version of a cleansing ritual. Thus, an obvious religious syncretism is observed. I attended this celebration in 1979, when the entire festival was run by the villagers themselves, because the parish priest became bored and left, according to the villagers I talked with. The music for this festival was performed by two kinds of aerophones, called clarín and flauta y caja.
The clarín is a sideblown bamboo tube “trumpet” measuring from nine to eleven feet in length with a metal cone bell on its distal end. It is pictured here being held vertically, but not played. This instrument may have its origins in ancient Peru, because clay trumpets were used by the Moche on the northern coast of Peru. The fact that the clarín is sideblown rather than endblown, however, makes it unique.
The flauta y caja (flute and drum) pictured below is similar to the Spanish pipe-and-tabor, where one musician plays both a vertical fipple flute and a drum at the same time (like a one-man-band). This combination was common in the European Renaissance, and the technique was probably brought to Peru (and Mexico) by the Spanish.
The ancient Peruvians, however, played panpipes and drums at the same time, so the one-man-band idea was known and practiced by them (although the tradition was more common in southern Peru than in the north).
Saint John the Baptist Festival. Another religious folk festival I researched was San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist), which took place in the small village of Acolla in the northern Mantaro Valley region of central Peru.
Travels in 1981
Peru and Brazil
May 27 to June 8.
I returned to Lima, Peru for about two weeks to continue my fieldwork with Japanese-Peruvian musicians. On June 9, I flew to Sao Paul, Brazil, to begin fieldwork with Japanese-Brazilian musicians. On July 26 Diane and Darin arrived and we toured various regions of Brazil, including Iguazu Falls and Rio de Janeiro. They accompanied me to various musical performances and gatherings in Sao Paulo as well. We returned to Florida on August 30.
Travels in 1985
European Adventure: England, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, and Spain
July 21-September 2.
Fly from Orlando to Manchester, England; car rental to tour Buxton, Stratford-upon-Avon, central England (July 22-27); train to Newcastle on Tyne and Danish Seaways Ferry to Goteborg, Sweden (July 28-29); Stockholm with Karin Sharma (July 29-August 7): attend ICTM in Stockholm and Helsinki, Finland; Purchase 1982 Volvo diesel 240 in Stockholm; drive to Oslo and close to Bergen, Norway (August 9-11); drive to Denmark, visiting Copenhagen, Arhus, Skagen (August 12-14); drive in Germany, Mosel and Rhine River regions (Aug. 15-17); drive to Paris, Chartre, Pontiers, Anguoleme, France (Aug. 18-22); drive to Burgos, Madrid, Avila, Cordoba, Andalusia, Barcelona, Spain (Aug. 23-28); drive through France to Florence, Italy (Aug. 29-Sept. 2).
Travels in 1985-1986
Italy: Teaching with the FSU Florence Program
September 2-January 3.
Teaching, Exploring, Skiing, and Researching in Italy (Fall Semester at the FSU Florence Overseas Study Center). Fall semester teaching from September 9-December 11 while living in Florence; field trips with faculty and students: Sienna and San Gimignano, Rome; Etruscan research trips and other tours with Diane and Darin: Tuscan hill towns, Oviedo, Tarquinia, Milan and Lake Como, Bologna and Venice, Elba, Pisa, Lugano, skiing in Cortina d’Ampezzo, etc.; drive to and stay in Paris (Dec. 19-26); drive to Antwerp, Belgium to leave Volvo for shipping to Florida (Dec. 27-28); train to and stay in London (Dec. 28-Jan. 3); fly to Tallahassee (Jan. 3, 1986).
Travels in 1987
The Netherlands, Germany, etc.
Travels in 1993
Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China, Korea
I had a sabbatical for the Fall semester of 1993, and I had invitations to give lectures in Hong Kong and Beijing in November. Diane and I left for Hong Kong on October 28 and spent two weeks in Hong Kong, living with Joshua and Ruth Wong.
On November 11 we flew to Guilin in the People’s Republic of China
Then we flew to Beijing on November 14.
On November 20 we flew to Shanghai, and on the 21st we flew to Seoul, Korea where we stayed until the 29th.
Travels in 1998
Puerto Rico: CMS Conference Planning and Spring Break.
We flew to Puerto Rico. Stayed in …
Tonga, New Zealand, Rarotonga, Fiji, Hawaii: Research and Celebration
June 21-July 29.
Tonga. We flew from Tallahassee to Los Angeles, to Oahu, and then to Tongatapu Airport in Nuku’alofa, the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga, where we stayed for over two weeks as invited guests for the King of Tonga’s 80th birthday (see the photo of our invitation from the Prime Minister of Tonga). I also had a grant from FSU to research Tongan traditional music and dance during that gala celebration.
One of the highlights of our 15 days in Tonga was attending the Methodist Church where King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV gave the sermon (see photo of the King) and the huge choir sang resounding hymns in a unique Tongan polyphonic style. The first missionaries to Tonga were Methodists, and their hymn musical influence fused with traditional Tongan choral music to create a unique form of Christian musical syncretism for which Tonga is particularly famous.
The majority of the traditional music of Tonga is choral, either acapella or accompanied by huge drums. In both cases it is exciting group dance music, not for the public, but by well-trained from competing villages. Best known is lakalaka, seen in this picture of a large double line of singers/dancers. The lakalaka style is performed by a large chorus of female dancers on one end of a long line and male dancers on the other. Their dancing styles could not more different: the women’s dancing is graceful and the men’s is boisterous and somewhat frightening by comparison.
During our extended two week stay in the capital of Tonga we not only experienced the excitement of the King’s birthday celebrations, which lasted nearly a week, but I also gave a lecture at the national school of music. I spoke in general about my discipline, ethnomusicology. How interesting it was when I defined ethnomusicology as “the cultural study of any and all music.” But first I defined music as “humanly-produced organized sound capable of communication, excluding Morse Code.” That definition inspired much debate because the Tongan musicians claimed that the definition of music must also include sounds made by whales. I responded by arguing that we cannot assume that whale sounds are music until we discuss the sound phenomenon with the whales themselves. To assume that whale sounds are music, I maintained, is to be “species-centric,” that is, to use the concept of one species (i.e., humans) to understand the concept of another species (i.e., whales).
As a flutist, I also took a great interest in a traditional Tongan flute known as fango-fango, a bamboo nose flute (see photo). The fango-fango is played with nose breath rather than mouth breath, and consequently, its sound is very soft. For that reason, perhaps, its only function was to produce soft music to awaken the King every morning. Unfortunately, the fango-fango was no longer found as a surviving traditional musical instrument in Tonga in 2005. However, a young man who was studying at Bingham Young University in Hawaii had revived the instrument, and he was home in Tonga for the King’s 80th birthday. Fortunately, he taught me how to play the instrument and gave me one, which I have used many times when teaching about the music of Tonga at FSU.
Many other musical events occurred during the King’s birthday celebration, such as performances by the royal and other singing brass bands. They have that name because after playing a song’s melody once or twice on their trumpets and other brass instruments, the entire band then sings several stanzas. They alternate this practice for the duration of each song. The songs are usually marches, although one of the songs was “The Macarera,” which included “hand and arm dancing,” I call it. Other instrumental music during the celebration included many pop music combos, and they were part of a competition during the evening hours. Another interesting contest was a drag competition, which was exclusively men in drag. There was an enjoyably comical element to the event, and the large crowd of Tongans particularly had a happy time. In Tonga there seems to be no discrimination to men in drag.
Diane and I also traveled around the main island of Tongatapu, visiting beaches and rocky shores famous for their blowholes. One day we took a daytrip by boat to the small Tongan island of Faja where we swam and hiked. Finally, we made some wonderful friends, visitors from South Africa who were sailing around the world, tourists from Denmark and Germany, Australian and British visitors, some who were judges for the popular music competitions, and others. We owe so much to the late Jehan Fisk, an anthopology and art professor at FSU whose specialty was the art of Polynesia and especially Tonga. She alone made it possible for us to have a personal and special royal invitation to this wonderful celebration.
New Zealand. After Tonga we flew to Aukland, New Zealand, where we learned about Maori music and education in Rotorua.
Rarotonga. We then flew to Rarotonga, a small South Pacific Island,where we stayed 4 nights.
Fiji. Then we flew to Fiji and spent a week on the island of Taveuni.
Hawai. Then we flew to Hawaii, spending a week in Hilo and Honolulu.
Puerto Rico: CMS Annual Conference
October 21 – 26.
Travels in 1999
Japan: Conference Fun and More
Not until the summer of 1999 did we have the opportunity to visit Japan again, this time to attend the 1999 College Music society International Conference in Kyoto. It was a much different experience than in 1973, when I was a recent PhD graduate; 26 years later I was President of The College Music Society and I had an important role with the daily Conference activities. My goals in Japan were to (1) attend and give a paper at the CMS International Conference; (2) to research music on Sado Island and among the Ainu in Hokkaido; (3) to meet with Japanese musician friends in Tokyo and perform in concert with them; and (4) to visit sites around Tokyo that I had not visited before.
We left Tallahassee on June 24 and flew to Portland, OR, and after several hours flew overnight to Nagoya, Japan. From there we took the bullet train to Kyoto, where we stayed in a quaint ryokan from June 25 until July 4. The experiences each day during the Conference were very educational and busy. It was after the Conference, however, that were more enjoyable because we were able to make our own itinerary and visit new places for us.
We bought Japanese rail passes and first traveled west from Kyoto to Kanazawa where we spent three nights (July 5-7). Then we traveled north to Ogi, Sado Island, where we spent two nights (July 8-10); next to Hirosaki (July 11-12); then to Sapporo in Hokkaido (July 13-16); then back to Honshu, staying overnight in Morioka (July 17); and finally to Tokyo where we stayed four nights (July 18-21). On July 22 we returned to the USA, arriving in Tallahassee late that night and very tired.
Travels in 2002
Vietnam I: Teaching with and Directing the FSU Vietnam Program
May 10-August 1.
During the summers I had the privilege to direct and teach in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) with the FSU Vietnam Program. Diane and I left Tallahassee for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, at 3:30 PM on May 10, flying to Atlanta, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and finally arriving in HCMC on May 12 at 9:15 AM. Our lodging was in Equatorial Hotel, which was also the site for the FSU classes and student housing. For two weeks all of the students, faculty, and spouses toured many regions in Vietnam, including the following: Saigon (the Vietnamese still call it that) full day city tour; full day tour of Cao Dai Holy Temple and the Cu Chi tunnels; three days and two nights in Da Nang, Hoi An, and Hue; full day tour to My Tho and the Mekong Delta. Diane left HCMC on May 25 for her return flight to Tallahassee, and I stayed in the Equatorial Hotel until the end of the summer session (June 21). For the next month and a half (June 21-August 1) I conducted research in Ho Chi Minh City on Vietnamese popular music. I finally arrived home on August 2.
Travels in 2003
Costa Rica: The CMS International Conference
June x-July 11.
We had the . . . CMS International Conference, followed by several weeks post conference activities.
I just came across a small notebook that I used to write some sparse field notes/diary. I copy those notes here and will either delete or use them later.
6-27-2003. We went to a great flamenco concert tonight at the Teatro Nacional. We loved it! Then we had dinner at Don Carlos Hotel.
6-28-03. Several us us CMS members and Diane had dinner and spent the evening at Centro Comercial San Pedro, Cocina de la Lena, with a marimba duo. We shopped and spent $$.
6-29-03. Di left this Sunday morning. I went to mass at the main Cathedral. The priest was a terrible singer.
6-29-03. 5:00 PM. It was difficult to see Di leave today. I got a city bus back to San Jose and walked from La Merced station, getting a feel for the city. I checked in to Diana’s Inn about 11:00, read and slept until 2:00, then walked in the area. It began to rain hard, but I was sitting in the park across from Diana’s Inn. I went to my room and waited until now to find a restaurant. It’s raining again as I wait for my 1/4 pollo supper — I have my umbrella this time. I hope all goes well here in San Jose. I miss the Don Carlos Hotel with all its neat little places to sit and all its art. The Diana’s Inn is a 0 star hotel, but it’s cheap, close, and the people are nice — also, it’s clean and safe. I started reading a book titled The Shaman’s Gold. The author interprets the gold artifacts of Costa Rica as a part of the “cosmo-vision indigena” — makes sense.
6-30-03. Met Laura Cervantes Gamboa at Universidad de Costa Rico.
7-1-03. Met Ani Baez for lunch at CCCN.
7-2-03. Terribly noisy this PM and early AM because of an inconsiderate guy with a loud motorbike.
7-04-03. Celebrated 4th of July with FSU International Programs group at Imperial Beer Grounds 8-12 AM. I had a great Sun Burst coffee, many hotdogs without buns, ice cream. Concert band from UCR played.
7-05-03. Went to Centro Neo-tropical Sarapiqui with George and Cristina. Met Jorge Luis Acevedo and Ron Mills, who painted those awful murals at UCR. Met Michael, a Chileno, and others.
7-07-03. Finished my powerpoint presentation in Maria Clara’s office. Did photocopies for handout.
7-08-03. I gave a lecture in evening at UCR. Maria Clara Vargas bought dinner for Laura and me at Roto Pollo.
7-09-03. I listened to a great marimba duo at outdoor cafe in front of the Teatro Nacional.
Travels in 2004
Vietnam II: Teaching with and Directing the FSU Vietnam Program
May 11-June 18.
Teaching in Ho Chi Minh City with FSU Vietnam Program, and continuation of research for book.
Travels in 2005
Spain and Portugal: Conference Fun and More
Diane and I had the opportunity to visit and travel in Spain and Portugal from when we attended the 2005 College Music Society International Conference in Acala de Henares, Spaiin, just east of Madrid. I presented a paper at the conference and we got to spend several days with many wonderful CMS friends. Before and after the conference we spent several weeks traveling in Spain and Portugal.
Upon arriving in Madrid from Tallahassee very early on Monday morning, June 6, we rented a car and drove to Toledo, Guadalupe, and Trujillo; we spent our first night in Spain in Trujillo, the birthplace of Pizzaro, the conquistador who changed Peru forever. It was a learning experience to visit several sites pertaining to his background. More interesting, however, were many other historical sites in that city.
On the second day we drove on to Lisbon, Portugal, making numerous stops at medieval towns along the way, including Merida, Spain, with its Roman ruins and Elvas and Evora in Portugal. We stayed two nights in Sintra, visiting Lisbon and Cabo da Roca for several days.
Then we began our drive to Porto, making several stops at important historical sites along the way, including Fatima, Coimbra, and the Roman ruins of Conimbriga.
In Porto we stayed in a wonderfully whacky castle known as Castelo Santa Catarina. We particularly enjoyed Porto’s old and picturesque waterfront known as Ribeiro.
From Porto we continued north to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where we spent two nights in an old medieval pension, taking a side trip to Cabo Finisterre, the westernmost point of continental Europe. The province of Galicia is one of our favorite regions of Spain. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is a phenomenal structure, always a very busy and sacred place because it is the site of the tomb of St. James, which is also the termination of the Camino or “Way of St. James,” the famous pilgrimage route across northern Spain that has its source in southern France.
On Sunday, June 12, we began our long drive back to Madrid to return our rental car. From there we took a train to Acala de Henares, where we stayed until June 17, attending the CMS International Conference. Then we traveled by train back to Madrid where we stayed until Tuesday, June 21, when we returned to Tallahassee.
Western Mexico: 40th Wedding Anniversary Cruise
40th Wedding Anniversary cruise with David and Mary Stevenson
Vietnam III: Guggenheim Award and book researach
July 2-August 14.
Guggenheim award and research in Vietnam to finish book.
Travels in 2006
Panama I: Teaching with the FSU Panama Program
May 3-June 16.
I had the wonderful opportunity to teach in the International Programs at FSU-Panama in Panama City, Panama, for the first time during the first summer session of 2006. This offered me the opportunity to learn about the music of a country in Central America that I had never visited before, except to stop for refueling in the middle of the night on our flight to Santiago as Peace Corps Volunteers back in 1966. One of the most important experiences I had during this first trip to Panama was going on an International Programs trip to the San Blas Islands in the province of Kuna Yara, home to the Kuna Native Americans. Other important outings were to Panama Antigua, the archaeological ruins and reconstruction of Panama City from the time of the early Spanish colonists, before the attack and burning of the town by the pirate, captain Drake.
The music of the San Blas Kuna. Because of my interest in South American Indians, shamanism, flutes, festivals, and other ethnomusicological topics, and because of my friendship with Dr. Sandra Smith, a colleague at UCLA who wrote a book on Kuna panpipe music and culture, I wanted to experience the Kuna and their music for myself. Therefore, during my short stint with the Kuna, I made lengthy fieldnotes based on my observations, interviews with panpipe musicians and a shaman, and analyses of the music I heard and Kuna culture I experienced. I include some of those fieldnotes in the following paragraphs.
May 27, 2006 (Saturday). “I am on this island with the FSU-Panama group — 4 profs and 9 students (3 girls and 4 guys). We arrived via Air Panama yesterday, after getting up at 4 AM and getting to the airport by 5:00 to leave at 6:00 (so we thought). The plane actually left at 8 AM, and we landed in Carti on the main San Blas island 45 minutes later. There we were met by our Kuna hosts who took us to their smaller island via their motorized canoe, called ulu.
“When we arrived we were given sleeping quarters. I was assigned to be with a family in a small shack that was hot and crowded with no privacy. So, I asked the Kuna hosts if I could sleep outside in the hammock that was strung up on the covered deck of the main community building just next door, a place where the Kuna sell their molas. They said I could. That space was also close to the only bathroom, for which I was thankful.
“Then our hosts fixed us a nice breakfast of eggs, bread, and coffee. Soon it began to rain lightly and we all went to our assigned quarters to wait out the rain. About 11:00 AM we left by boat to go snorkeling at Devil’s Island and another outer island. On the way there the captain’s motor broke down, which reminded me of my experiences with the Warao Indians in Venezuela, when my guide’s outboard motor on his canoe broke down several times. However, our Kuna boatman was able to fix his motor quickly.
“When we arrived to Devil’s Island, the larger of the small two islands for snorkeling, we were met by the sole inhabitants, a small family that immediately wanted to sell us molas — everywhere we went in San Blas, it seems, there were ladies selling molas! Between the two islands was a sunken freighter that has been there for 70 years. Three of us swam over to where it was said to be — there was quite a strong current, the water was deep, and I was glad I had my fins along. After some searching we finally located the freighter, which was very long and covered with coral. Swimming over a part of it made me appreciate Clive Cussler’s novels even more. Swimming back was a chore, and I thought, James Bond or Dirk Pitt I am not! I was also 65 years old!
“On the way back it began to rain very hard and we all got soaked, which removed some of the salt and cleaned us off a little. When we arrived to our village we took showers by scooping water from a barrel and pouring it over our heads, bodies, and into our swimming suits.
“Dinner was soon ready, and we ate wonderfully fresh fish, including a big red snapper caught by our boatman/guide. We all tried to get the recipe, but it was not possible for him to make it understandable to us. We should have watched him cooking it.
“After dinner some of the village’s young boys and girls (members of a performance troupe) gave us a personal performance of several animal dances while playing their panpipes and rattles. The boys leaped through the air as they played their panpipes, and sometimes both the girls (playing rattles) and boys darted amongst each other. Their dances imitated animals and birds, we were told. I thought, this must be the panpipes for play that Sandy Smith wrote about in her book. I also learned, however, that panpipe music and dance performances are also religious, even though the context is play, or in our case, for tourism. I also learned that each village has a panpipe/rattle troupe, and that the Kuna hold competitions between the village troupes.
“After several more hours of socializing, I went to my outdoor sleeping quarters. The evening was not enjoyable, however, because my hammock was not a traditional one, but was like an American hammock with wooden bars across each end — quite uncomfortable because it is not possible to sleep diagonally, which is the proper way to sleep in a traditional hammock. My decision to sleep outside was also not wise because of the weather. In the morning about 6:00 AM it rained really hard and I had to exit my hammock outside the main building and seek shelter inside my host’s shack. Even though there was a roof over me and a tarp for a wall, the easterly wind was picking up. It was like a mini squall — hurican (hurricane), the Kuna said, laughing. The floor of the shack became like a river, as water flooded in from the yard and front patio. The rain seemed to stop at about 8 AM.
Travels in 2007
Panama II: Teaching with the FSU Panama Program
May 3-June 16.
I taught Latin American music at FSU-Panama in Panama City, Panama, for the second time during the first summer session of 2007. This offered me more opportunities to travel within Panama, specifically to the Chagres River to visit the Embera Indians; to the colonial town of Portobelo on the lower Caribbean coast; then to Bocas del Toro on the upper Caribbean coast; and finally to the northwestern town of David to visit Rob Knox, my friend and former student at the University of Florida where I taught in the early 1980s.
Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan: CMS International Conference and beyond
July 10-August 4.
Diane and I attended the CMS International Conference in Bangkok and Ayutthaya, where I presented a paper. We traveled around Bangkok (Chao Phraya River; Grand Palace; Wat Phra Kaeo; Wat Pho) and Ayutthaya ( Wat Phanan Choeng; Wat Phra Sri Sanphet). After the conference we flew to Chang Mai, visiting many points of interest (Ping River, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chinang Man, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Bupparam, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Mae Tang River for rafting and elephant watching, outdoor market in Sappong, Chiangdao Cave, Hill tribes north of Chiang Mai, Doi Inthanon National Park southwest of Chang Mai).
We also went to Phuket, visiting Ao Phyang Nga Bay (“James Bond Island” and other limestone karst islands).
Then we flew to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to spend several days at the Ankor Wat complex (specifically visiting Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Phimeanakas, Ta Prohm, Preah Rup and East Mebon, Ta Som, and Prea Khan).
Travels in 2008
Panama III: Teaching with the FSU Panama Program
May 7-June 23.
I once again taught Latin American music at FSU-Panama in Panama City, Panama, for the third time during the first summer session of 2008. This offered me more opportunities to do research for a book on the music of Panama, which I was planning to title “…”. This term I also met many Panamanian musicians, conducted interviews, and traveled to several religious folk festivals.
Travels in 2009
Autumn in Korea and Japan: Vacation with Louise, Hyo, Henry, and Bryan
October 24-November 13.
Diane and I traveled with Louise Rill to Seoul, Korea, to visit our friends Hyo and Henry Lee. Then we flew to Japan to visit Bryan and Lisa Rill in …..
Mexico: SEM Conference Fun and More
Diane and I attended the annual SEM Conference, held in Mexico City.
Travels in 2011
Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland: ICTM Conference
Flew into Halifax, rented a car and drove to Green Gables on Prince Edward Island, to Cape Breton Island, took ferry from Sydney to Port aux Basques in Newfoundland, drove to Rocky Harbour, to St. John’s for ICTM, to Burgeo, to Sydney (Ferry to NS), drove to Halifax, and flew home.
Vanacouver to Alaska
August 12-September 3.
Flew to Vancouver, cruise ship to Seward, etc.
Travels in 2012
Dominican Republic: SEMSEC Conference
France and Italy: Viking cruise on the Seine, fly to French Conference in Albrac, bus and train to Provence, Cinque Terre, Aosta, fly to Paris.
August 7-September 10.
We flew to Paris, took a Viking Seine River cruise (visiting Paris, Giverny, Vernon, Rouen, Normandy, Les Andelys, Conflans, Paris); met and stayed in Verrieres le Buisson with our hosts Pierre and x Hamon (visited Versaille and Bayeax); flew to Rodez (Aveyron) and were driven to Aubrac (to present invited paper at the Dix-septiemes Rencontres D’Aubrac Conference “Imaginaires de L’Eldorado” and perform in a concert with Pierre); traveled by car to Millou, by bus to Montpellier and train to Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, hiked Victoire Mountain; train to Cinque Terre for 5 days of hiking; train to Aosta (visited Cervina, the Italian side of Matterhorn); bus to Milan and flew back to Paris.
Ecuador and the Galapalos Islands
October 20-November 5.
We traveled to Ecuador because I was invited by XXX to present a paper at Ecuador’s International Musicology Conference in Loja in the southern region of the country. We flew to Quito and Cuenca, where we stayed several days. Then we took a small bus to Loja because its airport was closed for repairs. The small bus ride was scary (fast driver, mountain highway, lots of traffic), but the scenery was beautiful. The conference was attended by numerous well-known Latin American and Spanish musicologists who also gave papers. The host arranged several interesting concerts by local folk musicians and a Cuban jazz pianist. After the conference we took another little bus back to Cuenca and then flew to Guayaquil to spend an evening. The next day we flew to Baltra Island in the Galapagos archipelago, took a bus to Puerto Ayora on ajoining Santa Cruz Island where we made our base camp in an interesting castle-like pension. From there we joined a boat tour to Isabela Island for a day. We also visited Bargalome Island. After the Galapagos we flew to Quito, and from there toured Otavalo and Cotacoachi.
The Galapagos islands are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, roughly 500 miles off the middle coast of Ecuador. The group consists of 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets. The first islands formed millions of years ago, while the youngest islands are still being formed, with the most recent volcanic eruption occurring in April 2009.
The flight from Guayaquil lands at the main Galapagos airport on Baltra, also known as South Seymour Island, a small dry island where the main airport is located. Transportation from Baltra to the main island of Santa Cruz (a dormant volcano) is by a short ferry ride and a longer bus ride to Puerto Ayora, the capital of the Galapagos. Santa Cruz is the second largest island after Isabela, and Puerto Ayora is the most populated urban center in the Islands. I had booked lodging for about five nights at a most interesting pension constructed like a small castle, which I also refer to as our “base camp.” There was plenty to see and do in Santa Cruz, such as visiting the Galapagos National Park Administration, its hiking trails and the Darwin Museum; traveling to Los Gemelos, or “The Twins,” which are two huge pits that were formed by the collapse of a magma chamber; Tortuga Bay which is rife with birds (blue-footed boobies are the most unusual), marine iguanas, and colorful crabs; El Chato Tortoise Reserve where we saw many giant tortoises in the wild jungle-like terrain, and many birds flying, such as Darwin finches, flycatchers, and Galapagos rails; and much more.
We went with a day tour to Isabela Island, the largest in the Galapagos (named in honor of Queen Isabela). Puerto Villamil is a small village and the port for day trips from Santa Cruz. Many kinds of exotic animals are found in the area, such as white-tipped reef sharks, marine iguanas, marine turtles, herons, Galapagos penguins, sea lions, rays, starfish and more. Especially fascinating was Las Tintoreras, a series of dark lava rocks and islets covered with white lichen, mangroves, accessible by trails and boardwalks. There we saw dozens of white-tipped reef sharks asleep in some of the rocky coves, and hundreds of Marine Iguanas asleep with their black heads indistinguishable from the black jutting lava.
Bartolome Island, actually a volcanic islet off the east coast of Santiago Island, is a fascinating place. It is a rugged extinct
Bartolomé has a lot to offer, such as its gorgeous landscapes and the interesting, colorful variety of volcanic formations since this island is an extinct volcano; Bartolomé has a volcanic cone (easy to climb) that will give visitors great views of Pinnacle Rock and the other islands. The “lava cactus” is considered a “pioneer” or colonizer plant. It has bright yellow tipped coloring, microphone shapes, and grows in clumped formations. The plant has soft furry spines and grows in clumps to a height of about two feet (60 cm). New growth is yellow, turning to brown, which darkens to gray with age. Flowers are white, but last only hours.
Bartolomé has two visitor sites. At the first one, swimming and snorkeling around Pinnacle Rock are highly recommended because the underwater world is absolutely impressive. Snorkelers may have some amazing, uncommon company like marine turtles, penguins, white-tipped reef sharks, and other tropical fish.
Travels in 2013
We traveled to Cuba in March 2013 with a group of about 25 people on an organized tour organized by Tallahassee Community College. We flew to Miami and spent a day visiting South Beach, Vizcaya Mansion, the botanical garden, and eating Peruvian food. Bright and early we boarded a charter for the short flight from Miami to Havana, where we spent several nights at the famous old Hotel Nacional (National Hotel) on the waterfront (malecón). We visited a variety of sights in Old Havana during the day—many colonial structures and pre-revolutionary buildings.
Cuba is famous for its old American cars, and I especially enjoyed seeing the 1953, ’55, and ’56 Chevys because those are the types of cars I had in college. We also visited western Cuba, the locale of beautiful limestone haystack-shaped mountains (mogotes) in the Viñales Valley. We also went to one of the oldest towns in Cuba, Trinidad, on the south coast (this picture was taken of us on a balcony adjacent to the roof of the Cathedral in Trinidad, Cuba). Many of these towns and areas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and walking in the old streets and unspoiled rural paths is like going back in time a hundred years or more.
I took my flute with me to Cuba because I love improvising Latin jazz (salsa, guajiro, son, etc.). Fortunately, I got to jam with numerous small groups at restaurants, streets, parks, tourist sites, and other venues. That was great fun and a wonderful learning experience. The Cuban musicians I played with enjoyed having an old gringo play their music with them! In a way, it was similar to my musical experiences as principal flutist in the Chilean Philharmonic Orchestra while living in Santiago, Chile, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Making music is one of the best ways to create cross cultural understanding, build trust, and create friendships.
Western Caribbean Cruise: Roatan, Honduras; Quiriqua, Guatemala; Kohunlich, Mexico
We took a 7-day cruise with with Tallahassee friends Robert Burke and Janice Hartwell to the Western Caribbean over Christmas, 2013, leaving from Tampa, stopping in Key West, visiting Roatan Island in Honduras, Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala, and Costa Maya in Mexico. Our major objective was to visit some Mayan ruins that we had not seen before, and we did: Quirigua in Guatemala and Dzibanche in Mexico. We also experienced some African-derived Garifuna music and dance in Roatan, Honduras.
Travels in 2014
Israel and Jordan
Diane and I traveled to the Holy Land (Israel & Jordan) with 25 members from our church (First Baptist Church) in Tallahassee. We flew to Tel Aviv, stayed overnight in Netanya, then went by bus to many archaeological sites, historical regions, and current/active places, often walking where Jesus walked and where many Old Testament events took place. When we reached Tiberius on the shore of the lake of Galilee, I bought a small cane flute in a store, and throughout the trip I played Christian hymns and other types of music in many sacred and natural sites. We visited many towns and regions where Jesus began his life and carried out his ministry, such as Bethlehem, Nazareth, Mount of the Beatitudes, Capernaum, Tiberius, Galilee, and the Jordan River.
Then we were off to Amman and Petra in Jordan (the photo below is of the best known ruin — the “‘treasury” — in Petra. I had a great time playing my cane flute in Petra, improvising Arabic music and playing the Indiana Jones theme from the Temple of Doom movie.
We spent the last days and nights of our trip in Jerusalem, where I also bought another flute — a wonderful Palestinian nai — in the Islamic quarter of old Jerusalem. I taught myself how to play it after returning to Tallahassee. The Muslim mosque on the Temple Mount (seen in this photo) is an awesome structure.
In every way this was a wonderful trip and a tremendous learning experience to walk where Jesus walked and where many Old Testament events took place.
Sweden, Denmark, Shetland Islands, Iceland, Northern Ireland, England: In the Wake of the Vikings
May 28-June 15.
For two weeks Diane and I went on a Baltic and North Sea cruise called “Ice” with the Semester at Sea program. We arrived by air to Stockholm where we were hosted by our dear friend Karin Sharma. From there we cruised to Copenhagen, then to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands (Scotland), on to three ports in Iceland (Reykjavic, Isafjordur, and Akureyri), then to Belfast, and ending up in Southampton, England. We were gone 19 days on this wonderful educational cruise that Diane won in a lottery with OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at FSU. The scenery in the Shetland Islands and Iceland was fabulous, and the lectures on board were educational and very enjoyable. Of course, we ate too much.
I refer to this particular cruise as “In the Wake of the Vikings” because of its emphasis on Viking history and lore. All of my grandparents were born Jutland, Denmark, and I have often thought, albeit with tongue in cheek, that I might have Viking roots. As an anti war pacifist from Minnesota, I was happy to learn that in the Shetland Islands many Vikings were peaceful farmers, as were my ancestors. So, who knows?
One of my ethnomusicology colleagues and a friend for over 40 years, Dr. Ted Solis, also took the cruise (neither of us knew we were going to be on the same cruise), and we had a great time, talking about past explorations of the Semester at Sea and remembering our many friends who had been on the faculty over the years (Max Brandt, Phil Sonnichsen, and others). The Semester at Sea ship for this cruise is new (the MV Explorer), which Ted explained is much better than the old ships used by the Semester at Sea back in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. There is no longer a gamelan on board (nor are there any musical instruments of any type today, except for a piano), but the library and computer facilities are good. Along with us 800 adults were several hundred students who were getting credit for courses.
Here is a photo of Diane and me sitting on a cliff by the Eshaness lighthouse in the northern Shetland Islands, overlooking the North Sea.
Below is a photo of us next to the the Goðafoss (“waterfall of the gods”), one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, near the northern town of Akureyri. Godafoss translates as “Waterfall of the Gods.” It derives its name from the following legend: In the year 999 or 1000 Thorgeir, chieftain, lawspeaker, and heathen priest of Ljosavatn district, was entrusted with the momentous task of settling the growing disputes between Christians and those who worshipped the old Nordic gods by deciding whether Icelanders should adopt the Christian faith or not. When his decision was formally accepted that they would convert to Christianity, he left Althingi and went to his home on the Skjálfandafljót river by the waterfall where he threw all of his statues of the Viking pagan gods into the waterfall. Hence, the name Godafoss or “Waterfall of the Gods.”
Norway: from Bergen to Kierkenes and back (fjords, islands, and northern ports of call); onward to Amsterdam
August 29-September 18.
Diane and I, along with 14 of our Tallahassee friends, took a 12 day round-trip voyage on a Hurtigruten cruiseship/ferry/mailboat from Bergen to Kirkenes (the most northern town in Europe) and back, cruising in the estuaries and fjords of Norway. This was another cruise that had a Viking emphasis because many of the places we visited were former Viking settlements.
Diane and I ended our 20 day European adventure by spending four nights in Amsterdam where we rented a houseboat on a canal, complete with a traditional windmill just a few feet from the dock. It was so nice to have swans swimming by our window every morning.
Travels in 2014-2015
From Chile across the Pacific to Robinson Crusoe Island, Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, and French Polynesia: A Southern Pacific Adventure
December 16-January 5.
Over Christmas 2014 and New Years 2015 Diane and went on a South Pacific cruise with Oceania cruise line. We flew to Santiago, took a bus to Valparaiso, and embarked from that Chilean cruise port. It had been 46 years since we had been in Chile, and I was very hungry for my favorite Chilean food, empanada de horno (baked empanada, like a folded meat pie made with hamburger, olives, sliced boiled egg, raisins, and onions). We used to eat empanadas every Sunday after attending our little church in the Nunoa region of Santiago where we lived–there was a wonderful small bakery between our residence and the church, all within a several block walk. The first thing I did when we arrived in the cruise port in Valparaiso was to buy an empanada de horno and a Chilean beer. I cried when I ate it because it brought back decades-old memories.
Our first stop in our south Pacific cruise were the Juan Fernandez Islands (administered by Chile), and specifically Robinson Crusoe Island, the main island, named after Defoe’s novel about the marooned sailor, Alexander Selkirk, in the18th century. This island has a very interesting history, rich with episodes about prisoners, castaways, battles, hurricanes, tidal waves, and more. It is also the home of a number of flora and fauna that are endemic to the region, including a beautiful hummingbird that is much larger than North American hummingbirds; and, they are not afraid of humans. The Juan Fernandez Islands are mountainous and heavily forested. Always in search of more empanadas, on Robinson Crusoe Island I ate my first squid empanada. I vowed that it would be my last!
After four more days at sea we arrived at Easter Island where we spent two nights, which gave us ample time to visit most of the archaeological sites featuring numerous moai, the enigmatic and colossal stone heads with torsos. Because this particular cruise began in Chile, there were many Chilenos on board, and we rented a small van with three Chilean passengers and a knowledgeable Polynesian driver who spoke fluent Spanish (Easter Island also belongs to Chile). This photo is of a large moai quarry on the side of a mountain, where there are numerous erect statues and many more lying down on their backs. There are others in various stages of being chiseled from their rocky places of origin.
As you can see from this photo, Easter Island is extremely barren. Most of its trees have been cut down and probably used for fuel and construction over the millennia. The mythology of Easter Island is very interesting, and I remember reading Thor Heyerdale’s book about Easter Island when I was young, which was not only about his preparations for his journey on his Kon Tiki raft, but also about crawling through lava vents and much more. Today, the music of Easter Island, after centuries of Chilean dominance, is an interesting mixture of Polynesian and Chilean characteristics. In spite of so much Chilean influence, the Polynesian Easter Islanders still maintain many of their beliefs, some of which are syncretically mixed with Roman Catholicism.
After two more days at sea we arrived to Pitcairn Island, which also has an enigmatic history, although it is not archaeological, but sociological.
Two more days at sea took us to four islands in French Polynesia: Fakarava, Rangirora, Bora Bora, and the capital, Tahiti. Fakarava and Rangirora are very large and completely flat atolls, with calm water on the atoll sides and heavy waves on the ocean sides. These two islands were easy to explore because the areas with tourist access are quite small. There are small stores, eating places, beaches for swimming, snorkel and dive shops, small homes and churches, and so forth.
Bora Bora, on the other hand, is a very mountainous atoll that owes it origin to an extinct volcano that sank, creating a beautiful and large caldera. It is also the most developed, aside from Tahiti, the capital and the largest island in French Polynesia. Bora Bora is the home of the rich and the famous, beautiful resorts for tourists, and many rustic and quaint houses for the locals. It has a local bus system, local guides with their transportation, and many roads that circumnavigate the island. Bora Bora is a photographer’s dreamland.
We flew back to Tallahassee from Papeete, Tahiti, very early in the morning after disembarking our cruise ship. Thus, we did not see much of Tahiti at all, although it would have been possible to pay more money for a two-day extension.
This South Pacific cruise was one of our favorites for many reasons. It was our first Oceania Cruise Line voyage, which is one of the main reasons it was so enjoyable: elegant accommodations, fabulous food, numerous educational lectures by noted scholars, great entertainment. The ports-of-call and all of the multicultural learning experiences were, of course, the unforgettable highlights of the cruise. But, I think the most memorable aspect for us were two interdenominational Christmas services organized and led by Christian passengers, in which Diane and I participated as a flute/piano duo, along with the beautiful and touching singing by Lawrence, one of the lead singers in an entertainment troupe that performed music and dance many evenings. The three of us performed Christmas hymns for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services, and those experiences of devotion and love were memorable for us. Lawrence, Diane, and I praised Jesus together through music, and we will never forget it.
Travels in 2015
Slovakian Heritage Tour and Vienna, Austria
Diane and I flew to Vienna, Austria, where we joined a two-week tour of Slovakia with other tourists of Slovakian heritage like Diane (both her grandparents on her dad’s side were born in Slovakia). We toured many parts of Slovakia, visiting castles, taking cable cars into the high Tatra Mountains, attending festivals and musical events, rafting on a river, eating wonderful Slovakian food, and much more.
One day we arranged to visit Diane’s second cousins in Habura, whom we had never met. Their daughter, Martina, who is our son’s third cousin, was our interpreter. We had met Martina several decades ago when she visited St. Paul, Minnesota. Diane’s aunt Mary Ann and sister Barbara had visited the entire family in Habura several years earlier. Like long lost relatives, we were treated well when we arrived. We had a great time visiting old family homesteads, grave sites of Diane’s ancestors, the Andy Warhol Museum, looking at pictures of other family members, eating traditional food, and just getting to know more of Diane’s Slovakian relatives (this photo was taken in front of the Andy Warhol Museum in x; from right to left are Mikiel [Diane’s 3rd cousin], Diane, Maria [Makiel’s wife), Martina Mikiel and Maria’s daughter], and I).
After Slovakia we took a ferry on the Danube River from Bratislava to Vienna, where we rented an apartment for a week in the museum district. We had great fun attending many concerts, visiting museums, seeing a show of the Spanish Riding School in the Hofburg Palace, and much more.
The Caribbean From Boston to Puerto Rico, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, and New Orleans
October 29-November 14.
For seventeen days we cruised the Caribbean on Norwegian Cruise Lines. It was a “re-positioning” of a ship from Boston to New Orleans, by way of the Caribbean. We had never visited five of the islands on the itinerary, so we got the opportunity to add several more countries to our travel list. This cruise was a part of our extended 50th wedding anniversary celebration, and we traveled with Mary and David Stevenson (our friends who were married on the same day and year as we — June 26, 1965), dear friends Louise Rill and Walt Cory, and many other acquaintances from the Westminster Oaks Retirement Community in Tallahassee (where Mary, David, Walt, and other friends live).
After two wonderful nights and one beautiful day touring and enjoying Boston, we cruised for three days to San Juan, Puerto Rico where we spent one day and night. Our next ports of call were Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba Jamaica, Caiman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico, with several sea days here and there.
This was the third time we had visited Puerto Rico. The first time we lived in Rio Piedras for several weeks in the summer of 1966 as part of our Peace Corps language training.
Travels in 2016
Trinidad and Tobago: SEMSEC Conference
A conference of SEMSEC (Southeast/Caribbean Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology), and an invitation to be a discussant on a session, gave us the opportunity to travel by air to Trinidad in March 2-11, 2016. We spent three days in San Fernando in the southwestern-central part of the island of Trinidad, where the conference was held. It was wonderful to see many of my former ethnomusicology students and numerous old friends (and make new friends, as well). We had not been to Trinidad since 1969 when we attended carnival after our three years in the Peace Corps in Chile.
One of the highlights was climbing Nabarima Hill (aka San Fernando Hill), which is a peak that is considered by the Warao Indians (a culture in Venezuela where I did my dissertation research — please link to “Ethnomusicology as Advocacy” from the main page or just below Travels) to be the northernmost sacred mountain in their cosmology — it is a very sacred place for them. While in San Fernando I had hoped to meet some of the Warao descendants that live in that region, but I was not able to make personal contacts. I left a copy of my book and CD for them with a Trinidadian scholar I met at the conference, but I never heard if the Warao descendants ever received my gift.
Then we traveled in our rental car to Port of Spain where we stayed for another four nights at the very comfortable Heritage Inn. From there we drove to and along the North Coast until the road ended. The beaches and mountains in the north of the island of Trinidad are spectacular. Especially impressive are Maracas Bay, Las Cuevas, and other beautiful beach locations.
One day we drove south to the Caroni Bird Sanctuary on the western coast, where every dusk thousands of scarlet ibis (the national bird of Trinidad) fly to particular islands in a large lake to roost. The boat tour in the Caroni Swamp was the highlight of our entire trip to Trinidad.
We also visited several Hindu temples on the west coast of Trinidad. While I did not enjoy driving on the left side of the roads, we survived and had a nice time. We heard excellent East Indian tassa drumming, a great steelband, and a good East Indian popular music group. We enjoyed the food, especially bake ‘n’ shark, one of the local specialties.
Some of the most beautiful scenery in Trinidad is along the mountainous northern coast, northeast of Port of Spain. A beautiful bay known as Las Cuevas (The Caves) is one of our favorite spots. We were also at this very beach back in 1969 on our way home after living in Chile for nearly three years. At that time there were no settlements in the area, just beautiful sand, endless tropical trees, the Caribbean Sea, and mountains. It is still that way, except it is now a fishing village, which also has great charm.
Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Port Canaveral, FL; Coco Cay, Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Maarten; Port Canaveral
This cruise was with Louise Rill and Walter Cory, aboard the Royal Caribbean ship “Freedom of the Seas.” It was also to celebrate Diane’s 74th birthday.
Buenos Aires, Uruguay, Falkland Islands, Tierra del Fuego, Cape Horn, Chilean Fiords and Lake District, Santiago de Chile: Around the Southern Cone of South America
Although we lived in Chile for close to three years back in the ’60s, we never had the time to explore the southern third of the country between Puerto Mont and Punta Arenas, except for Torres de Paine (see 1966-68 Travel Tale and Snapshot above). The southern third of Chile is the fiord and estuary region, laden with amazing mountains and glaciers reached only by water.
In December, 2016, we found the perfect cruise on Holland America for visiting that region. It was a thrilling experience to visit Ushuaia and the Tierra del Fuego National Park in Argentina again after 50 years (we were first there in 1967 for Christmas and New Year’s). Several of these photos were taken 50 years apart, so you can see many changes.
The cruise ship passed around Cape Horn, which was as calm as on a summer day in the Gulf of Mexico — it can often be so rough that cruise ships will not traverse the area. Then we slowly cruised through the Beagle Canal and the many estuaries of Tierra del Fuego, seeing some of the most beautiful mountains and glaciers in the world. Sadly, many of the glaciers are rapidly receding.
After reaching Puerto Mont in the south of central Chile, in the lake district, Diane took a horseback riding excursion in the wilderness of that beautiful region. I am not a horseback rider, but I talked my way into going along free, just to accompany her and spend the day visiting with the Chilean campesinos and making use of my Spanish. It was a very nice day.
When we finally reached Valparaiso, Chile, we spent a day with Chilean friends that we met on our Easter Island trip in 2015, and then took a bus to Santiago and stayed two weeks, visiting old musician friends from the 1960s and celebrating Christmas with our dear friend and UCLA colleague, Dr. Luis Merino. It was so nice to be with him and his family at their country retreat in the coastal mountains. It was a wonderful reunion. We also spent many days walking around Santiago, trying to locate old haunts from the ’60s and exploring new areas. Santiago has certainly changed!
Travels in 2017
Italy, Greece, and Malta
October 19-November 3.
In October and early November we flew to Italy and took a train to the cruise port of Civitaveccia on the Italian coast, northwest of Rome. We stayed there several nights before our cruise on NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line), giving us a full day to visit the beautiful medieval hill town of Tarquinia that is an important Etruscan archaeological site. We first visited Tarquinia in 1985 when we were living in Florence, but at that time most of the Etruscan tombs were not open for tourism; today it is possible to visit almost all of them, which we did. Because of their wall paintings, the tombs are important sources for the study of Etruscan musical instruments.
After several days we boarded a cruise ship for various Greek islands (Crete, Rhodes, Santorini, and Mykonos), Athens, and Malta, visiting Sicily (Mount Etna area), Naples, and Pompeii on our way back to Civitaveccia and on to Rome for a day.
Travels in 2018
The Caribbean: St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Thomas, The Bahamas
We toured parts of the Caribbean again in March, 2018, cruising on Holland America Line with several friends from Tallahassee. Although we had visited St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and Martinique back in 1977, we always realize there are new things to learn, and 40 years is a long time for many changes to take place. Also, we had never been to the other islands included in this cruise. The itinerary included three days at sea and the following ports of call from Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Philipsburg, Sint Maarten; Castries, Saint Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Basseterre, Saint Kitts; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.
We particularly enjoy Holland American cruises because they feature excellent entertainment every day and night. Especially enjoyable is the Lincoln Center Stage, which usually features a professional string quartet or piano quintet consisting of young professional musicians from Julliard and other institutes or schools of music. They routinely perform chamber music by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and other great composers, as well as other compositions that have public appeal.
One of the highlights of the ports of call included St. Lucia, which we had visited on our own back in 1977 for several days, spending our time in Soufrier and the southern part of the island. This time we had an excellent guide from the capital, Castries, who drove us to the Gran Piton peaks, as seen in this photograph from the cruise ship. The guide’s explanations of the history and culture of the northern part of the island were very informative.
Things were a lot different 40 years ago, when we also spent several days in Martinique, which is today a French state. Back then we rented a car and explored most of the island, including driving and hiking to the top of the Mt. Pele crater. This time we spent all day in the capital, Fort de France, which was the cruise ship’s port of call. We enjoyed the museums, parks, and French ice cream.
Denmark, Norway, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, and Sweden (followed by a week in Copenhagen): A Baltic Adventure
August 27-September 15.
In August we went on a cruise of the Baltic Sea, from the western end to St. Petersburg at the easternmost end. Beginning in Copenhagen, the cruise ship headed northwest to Oslo, where we met up with two Tallahassee friends who were spending their summer in Norway. From there we spent a day in northern Germany, then on to Tallinn, Estonia, for a day. The old town section of Tallinn is a wonderful region to visit, with its many high church spires, medieval walls, and other intriguing sites. St. Petersburg was very interesting, with its numerous canals, churches, modern architecture near the sea (see photo of the Lakhta Center), and its fabulous museums and palaces. On the return we spent a day in Helsinki, which I had visited in 1985 during an ICTM conference. The next stop was Stockholm, where we strolled around, trying to see sites we had not visited when we were there in 1985 and again in 2014.
Travels in 2019
The Western Mediterranean: Spain, Morocco, Canary Islands, and Madeira (followed by a week in Barcelona).
January 11-28, 2019.
Croatia and Montenegro: “The Best of Croatia: A Coastal Voyage by Yacht”
April 25-May 10, 2019.
For seventeen days we traveled on a Road Scholar Tour with our friend Louise Rill to, from, and within the vicinity of the Adriatic coast of Croatia and Montenegro, mostly aboard Futura (Photo 3), a beautiful motor yacht from Split, Croatia. We began our trip with a long flight from Tallahassee, to Atlanta, to Munich, to Split, leaving Tallahassee shortly after 12:00 noon on a Thursday and arriving in Split around noon on Friday. After napping, walking around the Old Town region of Split, eating, and sleeping soundly to help rid us of jet lag, we hooked up with our pre-booked Saturday day trip excursion to Krka National Park (photo), several hours northeast of Split.
The Krka National Park tour included the three of us, a young French couple, and the Croatian tour guide (driver of the small van) and his partner. Both of the Croatian young men spoke perfect English and were wonderful guides. The day included a boat ride on Skradin Lake, visiting restored stone houses and watermills. The highlight of the trip was visiting Skradinski Buk, the largest travertine waterfall in Europe (Photo 1), and hiking above the falls in boardwalks and other trails. Another highlight of the nearly 8-hour trip was a stop at a small homestead to sample local home-made spirits (Photo 2).
After our initial two days and nights in Split on our own, we spent the next three nights and four days on our Road Scholar adventure by living in the Cornaro Hotel in Split where we met and interacted with the other several dozen participants, attended several lectures, ate breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and participated in guided walking tours of Split and neighboring areas. On afternoon four of the official tour we embarked and settled into our long-awaited yacht, known as “MS Futura,” or just “Futura” (Photo 3).
On day five we cruised on the Adriatic Sea to Trogir, an ancient town on Tragurion, called the “island of Goats,” a UNESCO World Heritage site. On day six we cruised to the Island of Hvar and Stari Grad, which we explored on foot. This quaint village and port has its roots in Greek antiquity. We visited a Dominican Monastery and Museum (see photo of Diane playing a grand piano beneath a painting of the Last Supper). That evening included a live musical performance of Klap singing aboard the ship (see photo). On day seven we continued our tour of Hvar Town, which was the center of Adriatic civilization and trade for thousands of years. We also visited St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a Franciscan monastery. On day eight we cruised to Korcula Island and town, and explored the medieval old town, including St. Mark’s Cathedral and Town Museum. On day nine we cruised to Mljet National Park on the western portion of Jljet Island, the most important protected area of southern Dalmatia. We motored by small boat on a lake to the islet of St. Mary to visit a 12th century Benedictine monastery and the Church of St. Mary.
On day ten we cruised to Dubrovnik where we had a lecture by a university professor, took a motor coach tour of the city, visited a Franciscan monastery and the Rector’s Palace. That evening we had our “Futura” farewell dinner, and we were were entertained by a Croatian folk/pop/jazz trio. I had my flute along, of course, and I jammed with them on several tunes, including “The Girl from Ipanema,” who lived a long way from Dubrovnik (see photo). On day eleven we said farewell to our beautiful yacht and proceeded to the Old Town of Dubrovnik. We took a cable car to Mount Srd and later a motor coach to Herceg Novi in Montenegro, arriving in the town of Igalo, where we had beautiful lodging on Palmon Bay.
On day twelve we took a motor coach through Herceg Novi, explored small coastal towns in Montenegro, walked on tours of Renaissance and Baroque regions and palaces in Kotor’s Old Town. Kotor is another UNESCO World Heritage site, an old city founded by the Romans. Finally, on day thirteen, our program ended and we were bussed to the airport in Dubrovnik for our departure to Munich, Germany, where we spent the night. We arrived in Tallahassee about 5:00 PM the next day, tired but happy to be safely home again.
Crossing the northern Atlantic on the Queen Mary II to England (followed by a week in Salisbury, Stonehenge, and Bath)
July 28-August 11.
Switzerland and the Rhine: A week in Interlaken, the Alps, and Basel; Rhine River cruise to Amsterdam
September 17-October 2, 2019.
In September Diane and I flew to Basel, Switzerland, and then traveled by train to Interlaken where we spent a week prior to a scheduled Viking river cruise on the Rhine River. From our base in Unterseen in Interlocken West we stayed six nights in a charming Alpine Hotel called Post Hardermannli. We took day trips by trains, mountain lifts, funiculars, and cog trains to several Alpine peaks, mountain villages, and lakes in the Berner Oberland region, including the following: Jungfraujoch (“Top of Europe”), a beautiful ski area and snowy playground situated on the slopes of Jungfrau mountain (13,642′) between the peaks of Eiger (13,036″) and Monch (13,449″); Schilthorn (9,798;) and Piz Gloria, where the first James Bond movie was filmed; xxx valley and waterfalls; and Brienz and Thun Lakes. Most importantly, we celebrated Diane’s 77th birthday with a wonderful Asian fondo dinner in Interlaken East.
“Rhine Getaway” – We took a September 24-October 2 voyage on the “Eliner” Viking longboat from Basel to Amsterdam. This particular Viking river cruise was named “Rhine Getaway” and subtitled” Castles & Cathedrals” (both names are printed in the Viking brochure). The following paragraphs are organized by the eight days of the cruise, including the ports of call and points of interest:
Day 1 – Basel, Switzerland – We arrived to Basel by train from Interlaken a day before the cruise and spent an extra day there, visiting museums and other points of interest).
Day 2 – Breisach, Germany, with a tour of the Schwarzwald “Black Forest”;
Day 3 – Strasbourg, France, the largest port on the Upper Rhine;
Day 4 – Heidelberg, Germany, including Heidelberg Castle, medieval old town, Heidelberg University;
Day 5 – Titled “Middle Rhine scenic cruising of a UNESCO World Heritage Site,” this day was the “heart” of the cruise – seeing a restored or ruined castle at just about every bend of the river. The Marksburg Castle (see photo) was the only castle that we were able to visit, and it was a wonderful experience. Other highlights included viewing the famous Lorelei Rock, one of the best known geographical piece of German folklore. The day also included visiting Koblenz, Germany, at the juncture of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, including a tour of Marksburg Castle (see photo).
Day 6 – Cologne, Germany, touring the old city and the Cologne cathedral;
Day 7 – Lower Rhine cruising, including Waal and Merwede, The Netherlands, and a tour of Kinderdijk Windmills (see photo) and Day 8-Amsterdam, The Netherlands, disembarking early and going by bus to the Amsterdam airport where we departed for JFK at 11:00 AM.
Travels in 2020
Western Mexico: San Diego to Puerto Vallata, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas (followed by a week in southern California)
So many more places to visit –
such little time!