Friday, July 30, 2021

My New Book, "Chickens in the Bus"

Today I have reason to rejoice. I published a new book, Chickens in the Bus: More Thoughts on Cultural Differences.Ever since I published Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences, readers have been asking me whether I was thinking about writing a sequel.

I had been thinking about that, and for the past fifteen years had been writing short articles intending to compile them into a book. Today, that dream came true.

I feel that Chickens in the Bus adequately complements my earlier book. I am relieved and I can now focus on other writing projects.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Beyond the Faribault International Festival

On July 10, 2021, I participated in the International Festival Faribault as an educator and author, as I have done over the years. One of my most memorable experiences was visiting the booth of the Czech Heritage Club. In our conversation, I expressed my interest in the folklore and cultures of the world, and they told me that there was an exhibition of the Czech heritage at the Heritage Center in Montgomery. This is a town in southeastern Minnesota, which I had visited some years ago. I was excited to hear about this exhibition and promised to go see it.

On July 17, I went to Montgomery and saw the exhibition. It was rich and enlightening, covering the history of Czechoslovakia and various aspects of Czech culture in its homeland and in the Czech diaspora here in Midwest USA. It was quite a delight to see books of Czech folktales--that is the folklorist in me speaking--and a display on the famous composer Antonin Dvorak, about whom I knew during my youth in Tanzania. I took many photos and hope to share some of them in the days ahead. My immediate plan is to incorporate Czech folklore in my Folklore course at St. Olaf College, so inspired am I by all these experiences, made possible by the Faribault Diversity Coalition and the Czech Heritage Club. I convey my deep gratitude to them.http://

Monday, July 5, 2021

My Neighbour, My Reader

Here is my neighbour Merrilyn McElderry, in the middle, and her granddaughter. I took this selfie two days ago, June 3, in Edina, Minnesota. A retired teacher, Merrilyn is an avid reader of my works. She adores my writings and eagerly follows my storytelling and other presentations. When she read my book, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences, she wrote stimulating notes comparing African culture with Native American culture. She could do this easily, having worked in a Chippewa reservation for 15 years. What a blessing it is to have people like her in my corner.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Different Cultures, Different Perspectives, Different Conversations

On January 8, 2021, I conducted a faculty seminar here at St. Olaf College titled Different Cultures, Different Perspectives, Different Conversations. This was part of my contribution towards creating a more dynamic, diverse, and inclusive community on campus and beyond. The seminar was based on my book Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences.