Ancestral Shade

Fellow travelers from our organized tour were catching some rest in the shade of the tongkonan, the ancestral houses of the Toraja people in southern Sulawesi (the Indonesian island formerly know as Celebes).

This was one of the first package holiday tours we went on, after having started to experiment with this form of group travel in the late 1980s, when it began to feel like we’d exhausted many of the places we could reach by car (and sometimes ferry): Europe, North Africa, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon. But just as important, flights were also getting considerably cheaper.

Our very first package trip we can also credit to my grandson. Being teachers, we were used to traveling every year during Easter holidays, but stubborn little Bertrand decided to be born in April — leading us to travel earlier in the year. I looked around for places where the weather was nice in February and discovered, to my surprise, that we could afford an organized tour ... to Florida!

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Ideas

Biden's Democracy Summit: The Sad Truth About The Invitation List

Can the countries the United States have invited to an exclusive summit on democracy safeguard and spread a system that is inherently flawed and fragile?

The U.S. invited Taiwan to take part to the Summit for Democracy

Marcos Peckel

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ — Don't expect much from the Summit for Democracy, summoned by the U.S. President Joe Biden.

Slated later this week, it follows other initiatives to defend and promote democracy worldwide, and will convene by video remote the representatives of 110 invited countries, which the U.S. State Department considers democracies.

Its three stated objectives are: defense against authoritarianism, fighting corruption and promoting respect for human rights.

The first controversy around the gathering emerged from the guest list, which includes some of the United States' chief regional allies.

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