Category Archives: Art

The Road to Kars: How I Made it Back

Last May, when I quit my job to move to Kars, Turkey to live with nomadic beekeepers, there were three thoughts running through my mind:

1. I have no idea what I am doing.

2. I know no one.

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How to “make it:” on business pitches, lotus leaves, and Kickstarting Balyolu

Photo by Claire Bangser: Our creative genius, and the visionary who helped to breathe life into Balyolu with a video, a message, and a vision. Claire - you inspire me! (

I am staring at a boardroom of strangers. I don’t know who they are, but they include corporate leaders of many businesses including Kiva, Bing, House of Genius, TravelShark, and more. My face is hot, and a rush of deep emotion feels like a fiery liquid – starting in my stomach and moving through all my veins into my face. Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry I repeat in my head. But before I know it, I am covering my scrunched up face with a sheet of paper. Scribbled at the bottom of that paper is one phrase: “you’re going to make it.” Read the rest of this entry

Remembering the Beauty of Van – and Helping to Rebuild it

Famous faces of Van.

On October 23 at 13:41pm, a 7.2 Richter scale earthquake hit the Van province. Approximately 280 people have been reported dead and hundreds more missing. Nearly 300 after-shocks vibrated surrounding provinces of Kars, Agri, and Igdir. Aid efforts across the region are channeling funds, supplies, and volunteers to help repair damages, rescue trapped civilians, and provide food and shelter. (more…)

Tasting Ramazan and other Holy Honey Matters (The Mellified Man & Mumijo)

Camili Muslim worshipers and honey bees have a few things in common, they both love bright colors, flora, and elaborate geometry.

A famous Turkish honey saying, “He who handles honey licks his fingers,” must not have considered he-who-practices-Ramazan, the Muslim holiday of fasting. As we open hives and begin harvesting honey this month, my beekeeper friends look at me miserably, their fingers all sticking without any licking! (more…)

Tomb Raiding for Bees – Luxor, Egypt


“I don’t know what you are talking about,” shrugged our guide. We had hired a day guide for the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Nobles, a series of ancient tombs constructed and sealed between 16th and 11th century BCE when Southern Egypt was ruled by Pharaohs. Today, Egypt is between governments, the tombs are empty of their former contents, and they unpredictably open and close based on the nap schedules of the tomb key holders. (more…)


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