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Swimming from Africa to Europe

Was there a swim that had never been done? Africa to Europe. I was wearing only a swimsuit and bathing cap and according to the contest rules of the English Channel Swimming Association one must clear the water by three paces on each end of the swim. I would be swimming in a shark cage [...]


Marathon Over the Kyber Pass

July 1979 "Just remember, there’s a bullet behind every rock,” warned a Pakistani colonel when he heard of my plans to run the length of the Khyber Pass. It’s funny how words go  unheeded. I was in New York. The Khyber was still 10,000 miles away. In Islamabad, I  got a similar reaction from another Pakistani [...]


The Amazon

Early one morning I was quietly paddling my dugout canoe through one of the tributaries to the Amazon when I came across a man on the bank aiming a blowgun towards the upper branches of a tall tree. I invited this colorful, feather-clad man to join me in my boat. His name was Carachupa. He [...]


The Nile

The Whire Nile flows north from its origin in Lake Victoria in the Tanzania-Kenya-Uganda conjunction. The Blue Nile flows out of Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The rivers become the Nile at the wedding of the waters at Khartoum, Sudan. From an early age, looking at the pictures in National Geographic magazine I had been fascinated [...]


Freedom Over Fear

Wednesday, October 17, 2001 September 11th hit me hard. It was only the commitment I’d made to teach a “Life Skills” class to ex-cons in San Francisco the next day that snapped me out of it. I uncurled from a fetal position, holding photos of my family next to my heart, wiped the tears from [...]