Winter & Climate Change Connects Us All

Winter & Climate Change Connects Us All

January 26, 2023

The ‘Stans of Central Asia are also experiencing many of the same extreme weather events. It impacts real people (and animals) here in the USA and in Central Asia. The reality of climate change is that it affects us all, and we’re all in it together. It’s very easy to forget that . . .

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Just how does HoonArts get your Silk Road products from the makers to you?

Just how does HoonArts get your Silk Road products from the makers to you?

January 12, 2023

Imagine it’s a typical winter in Central Asia. There’s a lot of snow on the ground everywhere. Some of the main roads are closed because of snowpack, accidents, or avalanches. Driving is dangerous even if the roads are “open.” Some of the principal airports in the region are . . .

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Live with Wood Carver Master Sodiq

Live with Wood Carver Master Sodiq

January 05, 2023

One of my favorite stops during our Three ‘Stans Tour was the visit to the workshop of Usto Sodiq Zaripov of Istaravshan, Tajikistan. Usto Sodiq gave us a live demonstration of his art, carving a comb before our eyes, starting with only a block of wood. He also shared some of his own experiences as an artist and a couple of Tajik folklore stories without pausing in his work. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as our tour group did!

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An Unfamiliar New Year’s Lens––No Resolutions and No Goals

An Unfamiliar New Year’s Lens––No Resolutions and No Goals

December 29, 2022

It’s 10:24 am as I sit down to write this blog post. I had planned to get up early and have completed the first draft by now. After all, I sketched out the blog yesterday, so it shouldn’t be that hard or take that long. And I would be able to reward myself with an afternoon of pure relaxation—finishing the latest book by Jodi Picoult. But my plan fell apart when I woke up, the sky was overcast, and I felt tired (probably because . . .

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The “Christmas Spirit” Lives––in Airports

The “Christmas Spirit” Lives––in Airports

December 22, 2022

This year, as Christmas approaches, it may seem like the traditional “Christmas Spirit” of “peace on earth and goodwill toward men” is dead. But a new friend based in Berlin sent me a poem last week that reminded me that the true Christmas spirit is not gone, but simply in hiding. It doesn’t take a lot to coax it out of its hiding place. And, of course, food (both spiritual and physical) always helps. It can even emerge at . . .

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“Ceramic Surprize” from Uzbekistan—Master Abdulvahid Bukhoriy

“Ceramic Surprize” from Uzbekistan—Master Abdulvahid Bukhoriy

December 15, 2022

I created this little video to share the story of the unexpected "ceramic surprize" that I encountered in our Fall 2022 Three Stans Tour to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. One afternoon during our time in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, Munira invited me to join her for a quick visit with Uzbek ceramics master Abdulvahid Bukhoriy. I loved learning Master Abdulvahid’s story and seeing his . . .

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Musical Magic from Samarkand

Musical Magic from Samarkand

December 07, 2022

I took a “Wisdom” course a few years ago, in which we explored, among other things, how art and music provide an access to the “eternal.” For me, that “eternal” includes the invisible connections that exist between all of us. One of the things that I’ve always loved about art and music is . . .

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Before the pyramids? Really?

Before the pyramids? Really?

December 01, 2022

I’m usually not a huge archeology buff, and I tend to agree with my archeology friend’s assessment that archeologists spend too much time “guessing” what dead people were thinking. But my recent archeology adventures in Tajikistan did give me a new appreciation for the melding of history and culture in archeology. I also freely admit that the enthusiasm of the two archeologists in our 3 ‘Stans Tour group was contagious. Our first archeological site in Tajikistan was . . .

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Gratitude for Magical Moments in the 'Stans

Gratitude for Magical Moments in the 'Stans

November 24, 2022

Since this is Thanksgiving week in the US, I've been taking stock of the many things for which I'm grateful. (I keep a daily gratitude journal where I record five things I'm thankful for, which must be different from the five things noted the day before. This practice, recommended by my fantastic business coach Tania Vasallo, has helped me get through the craziness of the last few years.) My trip to the 'Stans in September and October ranks very high on the top 25 list of gratitude-inducing e...

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Eating Our Way Across the ‘Stans — A Farm to Table Adventure

Eating Our Way Across the ‘Stans — A Farm to Table Adventure

November 17, 2022

I love food, but I’m not a true “foodie.” I rarely take photos of food for social media (though my daughter and I do exchange text photos of extra-indulgent desserts). I don’t collect recipes because I rarely cook these days. But food is such an integral part of any travel experience that I thought you would enjoy this “food tour” of Central Asia—incomplete as it may be. The photos included in this blog are . . .

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Felting Fun Across Kyrgyzstan Part 3: Felting Silk with Seven Sisters

Felting Fun Across Kyrgyzstan Part 3: Felting Silk with Seven Sisters

November 10, 2022

Hello from Seattle! I’m here for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association. This is our fourth appearance at the AAA meeting as an exhibitor.  All I we can say is “We love anthropologists, and they love HoonArts!” One of my favorite things about anthropologists–they already know where the ‘Stans are! But I didn’t forget about you! I made you a promise last week and I always try to . . .

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Felting Fun Across Kyrgyzstan-Part 2: Felting, Felting, Felting Everywhere

Felting Fun Across Kyrgyzstan-Part 2: Felting, Felting, Felting Everywhere

November 02, 2022

I promised you last week that I’d share another piece of our extraordinary adventures in Kyrgyzstan during our recent 3 Stans Tour. Here it is: Part 2 of “Felting Fun Across Kyrgyzstan”. In “Felting, Felting, Felting Everywhere,” you’ll get to experience another whirlwind video tour through the country, this time through the lens of some of the traditional felting techniques and related wool arts that we saw as we traveled through the mountainous areas of Kyrgyzstan. 

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