Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Blog Directory  >  Blogging Blogs  >  Other Side of the Mountains blogging Blog  > 

2021-08-01 13:03
Just over ten years ago now I moved to Pakistan to teach at an international boarding school called Murree Christian School (sadly, now closed). It was a wonderful experience, but I was awar… Read More
2021-03-22 20:49
I’ve added a new page to our blog, entitled Online Language Resources. Check it out if you are interested. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the resources I share or an… Read More
Four Small Habits
2020-12-18 21:12
When we first went into lockdown back in March, it was only a matter of weeks, if not days, when I realised how quickly I had fallen into bad habits. Overeating, sitting on the couch, too mu… Read More
Language Teachers Hate This Man
2020-09-19 21:02
Some years ago I came across advertisements for Pimsleur language products. They contained pictures of the late American linguist, Paul Pimsleur, stating “language teachers hate this m… Read More
2020-09-06 05:24
Qabeli Pulao is a ubiquitous Afghan dish that is often served at weddings, funerals and other large social gatherings. There are regional variations in the way it is prepared, but it genera… Read More
Choosing Russian
2020-08-26 05:35
Language learning has been an interest of mine for most of my life. It goes hand in hand with travelling. It gives the traveller access to otherwise hidden cultures and connects the historia… Read More
2020-08-11 12:00
Thank you to everyone who has followed me on this 10 Day musical journey. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! For the final day of our tour, I am returning once more to Africa, this time… Read More
2020-08-10 12:00
On day 6 of this musical survey, I highlighted an all-male choir from Nuristan, Afghanistan. Today, I want to highlight an all-female choir from Bulgaria. These are markedly different styles… Read More
2020-08-09 12:00
In 2018, I spent a wonderful six weeks in Sydney, Australia. I loved every minute of it: a glimpse of the royals when they visited the opera house, catching some sun at Bondi Beach, seeing t… Read More
2020-08-08 12:00
I originally had a different song in mind to share today. However, recent events have led me to change my plan slightly. On August 4th, the people of Lebanon experienced a massive tragedy wh… Read More
2020-08-07 12:00
If asked to pick a song that represents Afghanistan as a whole, I’d probably choose something by Ahmad Zahir or Farhad Darya. They are the biggest names, though I could list dozens of… Read More
2020-08-06 12:00
Back in my undergraduate days, I took a survey class on music from around the world. The primary textbook was Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World’s Peoples, by J… Read More
10 Days, 10 Countries, 10 Songs: Day 4
2020-08-05 12:00
I wouldn’t normally describe myself as a heavy metal aficionado. That said, I love these guys from Mongolia. For me, the use of throat singing and the Morin Khuur (horse-head fiddle) i… Read More
10 Days, 10 Countries, 10 Songs: Day 3
2020-08-04 12:00
As a graduate student in ethnomusicology, one of my assigned readings was Seize the Dance! by Michelle Kisliuk (1998). Kisliuk conducted research among the BaAka people of Central African Re… Read More
10 Days, 10 Countries, 10 Songs: Day 2
2020-08-03 12:00
For today’s post, I am turning to my homeland, Canada, and its rich indigenous heritage. Like many other aspects of indigenous culture, traditional music has frequently been misunderst… Read More
10 Days, 10 Countries, 10 Songs: Day 1
2020-08-02 13:35
As an ethnomusicologist, one of the great joys of my life is discovering new artists performing music in different styles. I want to share some of that joy with our readers, so each day for… Read More
2020-07-17 18:43
My first teaching placement was in a town called Warman, Saskatchewan. I spent two weeks with an Industrial Arts teacher whose name I can no longer recall. Despite the short time I spent wit… Read More
A Christmas Memory
2019-12-01 14:26
In third grade, I was attending a small school in rural Saskatchewan. I had a great teacher, and I liked my classmates, but sometimes I was misunderstood. One day in early December, our teac… Read More
Oxford Half
2019-11-02 13:26
When I was in university I did a teaching placement in Warman, Saskatchewan. The teacher I was placed with was in his 50s, brilliant at welding and woodwork, and ran half-marathons in his sp… Read More
Dovetail Joints And 3D Printing
2019-10-24 20:59
Something that scares me about today’s society is what I perceive to be a loss of skills. I fear that in our hurry to be seen as modern and progressive we are too quickly giving up the… Read More
2019-05-12 11:58
I’ve met a lot of incredible mothers. I’ve talked to Himalayan village women who have told me harrowing birthing stories. One of them told me how she gave birth at home alone, as… Read More
2019-05-11 02:56
I moved my family to Winnipeg in the dead of winter. There were many reasons for this decision, but coming from a luscious New Zealand summer, I felt I had made a grave mistake. This year, i… Read More
2019-03-26 16:34
In Canada, we’re taught “stranger danger” from a very young age.  It’s deeply ingrained in our consciousness that talking to strangers is not what one does.&nbsp&hell…Read More
2019-02-25 05:22
Last Friday I learned how to make Pamiri aush, homemade noodle soup.  This vegan dish may be served at lunch or as an extra meal between lunch and supper in the late afternoon.  If… Read More
Arts And Crafts
2019-02-17 14:49
The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it. – John Ruskin I sometimes think that I was born in the wrong century. Modern life feels to… Read More
Of Dostum And Ducks
2019-01-11 18:56
It was January 1994. The relative peace in the Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif was shattered as fighting broke out. General Dostum, a local strongman, was consolidating his power. Other partie… Read More
2019-01-06 06:50
When I was a child, I remember being so uncomfortable in Afghan houses whenever we were invited for a meal.  I had a strict list of do’s and don’t’s in my mind: never… Read More
Five Film Recommendations
2019-01-05 20:07
I must admit, my film diet typically consists of the latest Marvel hits. Though they can be formulaic, I love the idea of people with superpowers trying to make the world a better place. Tha… Read More
2018-12-27 16:27
When I was studying Dari in Badakhshan, Afghanistan a few years ago, my language teacher taught me a game. It is a game played only once a year on the day of the first snowfall. In this game… Read More
2018-12-18 18:29
Given my Norwegian heritage, Christmas just doesn’t feel right without lefse, a type of flat potato bread. In recent years, I have not been around many Norwegians, so I have had to le… Read More
2018-12-08 09:27
All roads used to lead to Rome. Today they lead to Beijing. A year ago I wrote a blog post that listed ten of my favourite books. Among these was The Silk Roads: A New History of the Wo… Read More
2018-11-17 16:35
Other Side of the Mountains The weather was rapidly changing. The warm, dry autumn weather that had turned the leaves of the poplars into beautiful shades of yellow was now being replaced… Read More
2018-11-10 09:39
Home is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace. –  Dennis Lehane One of the hardest questions for me to answer is “Where are you from?” Or may… Read More
2018-10-27 15:07
This week I have felt incredibly sad as I have watched the news and thought about the world. I watched a documentary on Syria. I watched another documentary about the Mediterranean which inc… Read More
2018-10-27 04:13
“Come, whoever you are! Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. This is not a caravan of despair. It doesn’t matter if you’ve broken your vow a thousand times, still and ye… Read More
2018-10-20 07:15
I stepped out onto the dusty street, greeted by the crisp morning air. It was years since I had lived in Kabul, but the city always felt like home. I did not want to miss out on a single min… Read More
2018-10-15 01:07
In the Persian calendar, New Year’s Day falls on March 21, the first day of spring. Mazar-e-Sharif is the focal point of celebrations in Afghanistan. From all over the country, people… Read More
Know The ‘Stans: Central Asia
2018-10-11 19:08
In the same way that Scotland could be read as “land of the Scots,” Tajikistan means “Land of the Tajiks.” The Persian suffix “Stan” means place or land… Read More
2018-10-08 19:43
The suffix “stan” means “land” in Persian. And so in the same way that many countries end in ‘land (think England, Ireland, Scotland), many countries in Central… Read More
2018-09-29 05:59
Last week I added a post about some of the provinces of Afghanistan. This week it is Pakistan’s turn. Each graphic below is linked to one of our previous blog posts that relates in som… Read More
2018-09-21 18:53
Explore some of the diverse provinces that make up the country of Afghanistan. If you click on the infographic it will link to one of our blog posts that relates to the province. Hope you en… Read More
2018-08-25 14:17
As part of my application for “indefinite leave to remain” in the UK I had to take a life in the UK test. The study materials include UK history, politics and culture. Not knowin… Read More
My Year Without Sugar
2018-08-20 06:31
One day (nearly two years ago now) I was scrolling through a social media feed and I came across a short video on sugar and how bad it is for your health. I decided to try an experiment to s… Read More
Grand Trunk Road
2018-08-04 19:56
“Look! Look again! and chumars, bankers and tinkers, barbers and bunnias, pilgrims – and potters – all the world going and coming. It is to me as a river from whi… Read More
2018-07-29 13:15
I loved growing up abroad and experiencing a part of the world that was different from my “home” country. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience overall, and I hope that my… Read More
2018-07-21 05:22
The word “nomad” is hugely overused. People take gap years and call themselves nomads. YouTube channels, blogs and Twitter handles use the word to conjure up images of travel. Ma… Read More
2018-07-14 07:03
Lima recently shared a post about living in Kabul in the late 1990’s and some of the interactions we had with the regime that was in power at the time. I thought I would share one more… Read More
2018-07-09 07:14
There are some places in the earth where conflict is embedded in the very brick and mortar of a place. Balkh is such a place. Located along the ancient Silk Road of commercial travel, I supp… Read More
2018-07-09 07:02
I have to tell my side of the story about Bravo, because of his comment in Kabul Gym that he was an “awkward” teenager. I have to vociferously disagree, and since it wa… Read More
2018-07-07 05:00
There is one evening of my childhood that stands out in my mind for some reason. Unlike other memories, it wasn’t particularly unusual. But it was a moment of my life where I distinctl… Read More
2018-06-30 17:00
1. Walking in Windsor Windsor Great Park is a Royal Park, but most of its five thousand acres are open to the public for free. It has ancient oak trees, forest trails, herds of deer and brea… Read More
2018-06-28 18:10
1. Walking in Windsor Windsor Great Park is a Royal Park, but most of its five thousand acres are open to the public for free. It has ancient oak trees, forest trails, herds of deer and brea… Read More
2018-06-23 08:35
“The simplicity, the lack of choice, of having to make do, that’s what happiness is all about.” — Levison Wood (Walking the Himalayas) I had previously rea… Read More
2018-06-15 16:26
In the late 1990s I was an awkward teenager living in Kabul, Afghanistan. Up until that point my education had been a hodge podge of schooling from a tiny primary school in Saskatchewan to h… Read More
2018-06-09 15:31
One of my first introductions to Moroccan food was at the Al Fassia Restaurant in the heart of Windsor, England. I have since tried Moroccan food in Morocco itself, and this has only served… Read More
Colouring Our Blog Map
2018-06-02 06:20
I find it interesting from time to time to see where in the world visitors to our blog come from. And recently I have wondered where in the world visitors to our blog don’t&nbsp&hellip…Read More
2018-05-28 11:36
I am going to give you such a weapon that the police and the army will not be able to stand against it. It is the weapon of the Prophet (PBUH), but you are not aware of it. That weapon is pa… Read More
2018-05-12 05:29
I took this picture in Bamyan, Afghanistan at a ruined mound known as Shar-e-Gholghola (شهر غلغله) which translates as “City of Screams… Read More
2018-05-05 05:39
(Continued) Finally, Dad made the decision to test the snow ahead before turning back. He unhooked the sled, leaving it with our guide. I hopped on the snowmobile behind him and he slowly in… Read More
2018-04-28 09:17
I previously wrote about how my dad seems like the unlikeliest of world travellers. Yet if you were to find yourself high up in the Hindu Kush mountains in the middle of winter, he would be… Read More
2018-04-26 15:58
Hear the word “California” and most people’s minds leap immediately into images of sunshine and surfboards, and correctly. It is a part of why I moved here, having grown ti… Read More
2018-04-21 06:55
The lama jibbed at the open door of a crowded third-class carriage. ‘Were it not better to walk?’ said he weakly. A burly Sikh artisan thrust forth his bearded head. ‘Is he… Read More
2018-04-13 15:54
One of the reasons I became a Design & Technology/Industrial Arts teacher is that I enjoy woodworking. Ironically, as a teacher I get far less time to spend on this hobby than I would li… Read More
Life In Slow Motion
2018-04-07 08:04
“I’ll just drop off some bags of cement in the village up there,” explained Ali. Then we can deliver the rest of the supplies. Ali turned off the main road onto what looked… Read More
2018-04-04 08:45
Its been a while since I last posted. We just moved house, so in addition to being incredibly busy with packing and unpacking, we have also been without internet. Shortly before we moved I r… Read More
2018-03-25 06:35
I’ve always thought that my Dad is one of the unlikeliest of world travelers. A farm boy from rural Western Canada, he loves peace and quiet, the countryside, tractors, good coffee and… Read More
2018-03-17 07:04
In honour of St Patrick’s Day it seems fitting to share another post about Ireland. I have previously posted about Western Ireland and travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way. One of m… Read More
2018-03-10 09:59
The Afghan province of Badakhshan lies in the North-East corner of the country and borders China, Tajikistan and Pakistan. It was once part of the wider historical Badakhshan region that als… Read More
Escape To Kos – Κως
2018-03-02 06:08
The Greek island of Kos lies a stone’s throw away from the coast of Turkey. With a beautiful beach, fascinating history and amazing food, this was a holiday that ticked all the boxes… Read More
2018-02-23 18:00
For my birthday I was given a subscription to the Spicery. The way it works is that each month I am sent a box of spices and a recipe for a four-person meal. The spices are blended for diffe… Read More
The Things That Lie Ahead
2018-02-20 07:18
Walking along the beach by Crystal Cove just southwest of Los Angeles I had a feeling, a feeling that asked me, “What’s around the next bend?” And around the next bend was… Read More
2018-02-17 20:09
(continued) Jay breathed deeply in a vain attempt to quell the rising hurricane in his emotions. He deserved this letter. Hadn’t he worked hard for the postal service for fifteen years… Read More
2018-02-17 18:03
Last week I went to Big Bear Lake with most of my coworkers for a retreat. We rented out a six-bedroom house right on the shores of the lake and spent three nights in the 6,752 foot atmosphe… Read More
2018-02-17 09:49
There are a lot of things that we owe to the Silk Road besides silk itself. Some examples include paper, Algebra and bathroom tiles. Personally I am thankful for kebabs. Served from Xi&rsquo&hell…Read More
2018-02-10 07:10
My teacher training in Canada followed a “student-centred” approach to education. I use many aspects of this approach in my teaching practice and see it as highly important. That… Read More
2018-02-07 06:32
Marrakech, Morocco gave me one of my favourite holidays. There was the adventure of the Jemaa el-Fnaa market square: snakes, lutes , story tellers and caleche horse carriages. Then there wer… Read More
2018-02-03 07:12
Looking back at some photos from a trip to Paris, I was struck by the amount of greenery in the photographs. Parks, walls and balconies all were made more beautiful by the shades of green th… Read More
2018-01-31 08:33
Meditation: Seeing to hear I thought I’d try a little experiment on here. Last weekend, I went to a workshop on hearing God. There was a meditative activity given that I thought was co… Read More
2018-01-31 06:54
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign. – Robert Louis Stevenson I don’t think I have ever felt more foreign as I did when I spent a night in Guangz… Read More
2018-01-27 06:53
In the summer of 2010 I traveled with friends to the North of Pakistan to the beautiful Deosai Plateau, hoping to reach Skardu. We hired a jeep, packed some tents, and set off. The scenery w… Read More
2018-01-24 06:43
I have always loved chickens. This might be partly due to the fact that my dad grew up on a farm and then introduced me to chickens from a young age. One day when I was nine or ten years old… Read More
2018-01-20 09:01
I enjoy a lot of things about living in the UK but there are definitely things that I miss about Canada. One of these things is being able to escape into the Canadian wilderness. The UK does… Read More
2018-01-17 06:32
Exploring destinations that are closer to home can be more exotic and surprising than expected. Rather than going abroad for last summer’s holiday, my wife and I drove up to the Isle o… Read More
2018-01-14 07:31
The postman parked his truck, shouldered his bag and began the trek down the line of houses on Seville Street, Greenbridge Bay. They were almost identical cinderblock houses, painted red to… Read More
2018-01-10 06:39
I went to the Women’s Garden in Faizabad, Afghanistan last year with 3 generations of female relatives. Men are not allowed. It was a happy and peaceful place. Near the entrance was a… Read More
2018-01-10 06:15
A few years ago now I was working with an NGO in a remote region of Central Asia. I was helping to set up a pilot project that would provide vocational training and help to start small busi… Read More
2018-01-06 07:12
I find Islamic Architecture to be beautiful and fascinating. Symmetry, arched doorways, intricate motifs and beautiful colours are some things that many examples of Islamic Architecture have… Read More
2018-01-03 06:23
Sousse, Tunisia was my introduction to Africa. Of course I knew I was just dipping my toe into what is a vast and incredibly diverse continent. The blue and white paint and the sandy beaches… Read More
The Battle Of The Bear
2018-01-01 03:04
When we were growing up, there was a battle between us and our dad. What he wanted and what we wanted overlapped in that our yard was always filled with furry and feathered creatures. But in… Read More
2017-12-30 09:11
Fancy taking a seaweed bath? Sligo on Ireland’s West Coast is the place to go! While I was tricked into this by my wife, I do have to say it was an enjoyable adventure. The experience… Read More

Share the post

Other Side of the Mountains


Subscribe to Other Side Of The Mountains

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription