Xpat Magazine September, 2007

changeI pen this letter from a remote stretch of shore on Kootenay Lake, an enormous, unmolested body of water hundreds of kilometers long, slung in a deep valley in British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains. As a child I spent countless summers running barefoot through these cedar forests. Today is the first time I’ve reclined on this quiet shore in more than 1,000 days; 1,000 days since I’ve lain on this rocky beach, smelled the clean mountain air perfumed with cedar and gazed at a night sky flooded with more stars than darkness. It’s sunny, but not hot. The waves lap at the pebble shore where I sit against driftwood in the shade of a poplar tree. I should feel at ease but I don’t. I’m lonely and I’m frightened.

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The Taiwan Angels’ Tour for Toys: A Lesson in Perspectives of Poverty

Xpat Magazine June, 2007

t_angels_tour“Some of these kids are really poor,” Robert told me. “Some don’t even have shoes. If you see it you might cry.”

I was in the Cosby Saloon in Tainan talking to the owner, Robert Lo. He stood behind the bar with his back straight and his chin up. His black shirt was tucked tightly into his jeans beneath a prominent belt buckle.

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Ultramarathon Man: An Interview with Kevin Lin

Photography courtesy of Kevin Lin
Xpat Magazine December, 2006

ultramarathon_manWhen Kevin Lin, a postgraduate student and Taiwan’s most famous endurance athlete, agreed to an interview with Xpat I was stoked. Kevin is an internationally renowned ultramarathon champion. He races distances measuring in the hundreds of kilometers through extreme climates such as deserts and arctic snowfields. He was recently commissioned by Matt Damon’s movie company, LivePlanet, to join a team of three endurance athletes that will run over 4000 miles across the Sahara desert in less than 80 days (more than two marathons per day). If you mention his (Chinese) name to your Taiwanese friends they will undoubtedly nod in recognition. This was going to be a groundbreaking interview for Xpat – our first real celebrity.

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My Pop

Published under the pseudonym Salvatore Paradisio
Xpat Magazine June, 2006

My pop, or my pappy as I like to call him, had open-heart surgery last fall. He had, not one, but two triple bypasses. Then, about a month ago, he returned to the hospital for a pacemaker installation.

During his latter visit to the hospital he didn’t hear from me. In fact, he hasn’t heard from me since.

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