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CapAsia Reflections

From January to April 2008 I had the opportunity to be part of Ball State University's CapAsia trip. This was not a vacation by a long shot, but rather an in depth study of planning and architecture in Asia. The main focus of this fifth trip to Asia was to explore the people's recovery process from the devastating tsunami that occurred on December 26, 2004. We visited Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and Singapore.

  1. Are You Crazy?

    This question was seriously posed to me today by none other than the Dragon Lady (aka the boss). It was asked after what my plans for the spring semester entailed:

    12 credit hours in the graduate school split between planning and public policy-Debates in International Development, Community Economic Development, Poverty Issues in Developing Nations, and a directed research study measuring the tax revenue implications of the high rate of foreclosures in a selected NJ township.
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  2. Birthday Festivities

    Usually I tend to do things pretty low key, birthdays included. Since all of you 'round here sent me tons of wishes and the phone rang pretty non-stop from calls originating in about 10 time zones around the world it was nice to be remembered! Dinner was at the Cheescake Factory and the required "food coma" was achieved

    The R.T. has it a little difficult since her funding is provided by me and she doesn't have a ride anywhere so she has to get creative in regards to my ...
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  3. The Birthday Celebration

    I am blessed to have an amazing daughter who turned 15 yesterday. The years have gone by quickly and they seem to be passing by at an accelerated rate these days. Last year due to us living in a very small apartment she decided that she wanted to eschew the traditional birthday party and just go somewhere different for a couple of days. We spent her 14th birthday in Philadelphia and this year we have spent it in Charleston, South Carolina due to having a wedding to attend on Labor Day weekend. ...
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  4. Banda Aceh, Indonesia

    So we spent the first leg of our semester abroad in Banda Aceh, Indonesia as I indicated in a previous post. After the jet lag kicked in and we all went comatose the first night shortly after dinner we treated ourselves to a pretty bang up buffet breakfast at the hotel which had both western and traditional Indonesian fare and was quite tasty.

    Vebry, our host, came with his caravan of vans to pick us up and give us a quick tour of Banda Aceh which if you didn't know was essentially ...
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  5. Flight & Arrival in Asia

    The first country we visited was Indonesia and did I ever fall in love with the place! It took an amazing number of hours to fly there from the U.S.! First we flew from Newark to Chicago, then from Chicago to Hong Kong (we flew over the North Pole!), then to Singapore and I will say without hesitation that Changi Airport is the best airport I've ever seen in my life.


    My daughter Emily at Changi
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