The Baby Waiting Game

Thanks for noticing me...

Editor’s note: As the troupe finds itself waiting again for a new member, a re-featuring of this post seems appropriate.

It’s like popcorn popping: you hear the last kernels turning into something wonderful, but you can’t be sure it’s time yet to take that goodness and partake.  The baby’s not popping, but it does squirm, and as my wife’s stomach still holds our addition-to-be we sit waiting, wondering, and preparing for a little person with a lot of people ready to help.

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Renewing Our Energy: Berlin to Hamburg


From an empty darkness came strands of golden, glowing lace, curving through the black night like an ancient language atop a lit canvas.  It was only the Irish coast, and Manchester, England at 4 a.m.  But the beauty was vivid, and the reality clear:  my long day was about to get longer.  I had left Phoenix 14 hours before, and was set to land in Berlin to tour the country’s renewable energy sites.  I was eager to learn, and open to experience a European perspective on energy as presented by the German government and NGO InWent.

So as the passport official had me lift my cap as he compared passport photo to real guy, I hopped on the TXL bus toward Prenzlauerberg.  That evening I’d meet my colleagues, and begin the Transatlantic Climate Bridge.

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In Search of Energy

I didn’t ask for this chance.

When I returned from two months in Germany after a still-productive stint as a Burns Fellow, I planned to continue life in the states, maybe apply for a few transatlantic awards, maybe try to sell a few of my European stories to the networks here, maybe drink a smoothie or two.

But then something happened.  Networking happened.

The local honorary German consul had helped me story storm before heading abroad, and I’ve worked with him on a few feature stories in the past.  The German Embassy in Washington was looking for a handful of nominations from consular offices, of journalists with an interest in Germany and renewable energy.

And with my journalistic dossier continuing to fill with internationally-focused radio stories, my name happened to make it into the mix…

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The World Is Flat

A flattened world

Being as hip as I am, I’m now reading Thomas Friedman’s 2006 book on globalization “The World is Flat.”  The New York Times Columnist is sharp in international affairs, and tells the tale of outsourcing from many perspectives: the Chinese learning Japanese to serve Japanese companies; the Mormon housewives and retirees hired by Jet Blue airlines to work the company’s reservation system; the call centers in India serving any number of U.S. companies.

Friedman tells of how Indians earn about $300 a month to work in these places, with full medical coverage for ALL family and free dinners every night.  Most of these workers have MBA’s, and at minimum undergraduate degrees in something impressive like engineering or mathematics.

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Life on the Rhine

Deutsche Welle

If you take the DW bus line, or follow the DW road signs, it comes upon you like a whisper in darkness.  One moment you’re drowning the sound of noisy Mercedes, Audis, and VWs on Bonn’s busy Reutersstrasse, and the next moment you’re breezing under a canopy of helpful trees.  You can see the corner of a former government building.  But when Bonn lost its placing as Germany’s capitol, Deutsche Welle was drafted to fulfill the immense structure’s potential.

This is not London, but to tease the rest of this post I’ll borrow from Ed Murrow.  “This is Bonn, and there is ‘life’ going on.”

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Inside the Beltway

Good lookin' guy

If you’ve been biting your nails waiting for the next installment of “In Search of Blue Water,” please don’t worry–it’s coming.  And the pictures of sea lions and gratuitous sailing vessels will be worth your time.  For now though, I must talk about more recent events.

The Arthur Burns Fellowship has had  be tied up and tired for a couple of weeks now.  A whirlwind orientation in Washington D.C. brought an unbelieveable amount of context to heading abroad.  Speakers, bankers, politicians, lawyers, and regular ole journalists all piled into the German Marshall Fund to help 20 journalists find their way to being foreign correspondents.

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