If any of you are caring for a very sick, hurtful, hateful, heavily medicated loved elderly member of your immediate family suffering from Alzheimer’s, Dementia, hoarding and you are going through mental and/or physical abuse/assaults from them, you need to read the following article. “How to Handle an Elderly Parent's Bad Behavior”

I updated the first part of "ABOUT ME". I say a lot more about the Holyland, added many new photographs and I'm told much of what I say will be new to most readers. I wrote about the history of the Arabs, Jews, the region and Israelis.

Also about my early travels and years in Africa and Norway.

As well as about the "Golden Age" of air travel and Sir Captain Richard Francis Burton.

The "HOME" page has been updated as well. I added more images, speak more about education, Norway and a few other things.

I hope you are entertained and informed.

Thanks for visiting.

Blue Skies

Updated: November 25th 2014


N.B. To mute the music, please click on the blue button at the bottom of this page.

Welcome to my world: A life far from ordinary

Luck has been on my side my entire life it seems; to quote the proverb by John Heywood “I find that the harder I work the more luck I seem to have.” Being in the right place at the right time certainly helped as well and of course, I steered myself there.

I never looked at anything and asked why; I always looked at everything and said why not? In the words of George Bernard Shaw "You see things; you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?” 

I am at a time and place in my life of great fulfillment and happiness sharing my life with a most wonderful and intelligent woman. I met Patti in Hawai'i when I was flying L-19s and giving glider rides tours over Oahu's North Shore for Mr. Bill's Original Glider Rides (AKA Honolulu Soaring Club). We have been married 26+ years, she taught me a lot and I am more in love with her today than when we met over 28 years ago. We have two children who were born in Arendal, Norway. 



Top image looking west towards Kaena Point and a ASK-21 “The Aloha Spirit” in "high tow" by an L-19 at Dillingham Airfield. This sailplane is manufactured by Alexander Schleicher in Germany. The Schleicher Company is the oldest glider company in the world, producing gliders since 1929. This craft is used for aerobatic demonstration flights.
 The L-19 Bird Dogs. All of Honolulu Soaring’s tow planes are manufactured by Cessna and designated Cessna 305. This airplane was developed for the military as an observation aircraft, used in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
 Honolulu Soaring Club also gives scenic tours in Schweizers 2-32s (that is me on short final in a 2-32 looking towards Haleiwa and towards Kahuku Point). The Schweizer Aircraft Corporation is located in Elmira, New York and is the oldest family-run aircraft company in the U.S. They sold their first glider in 1937; the 2-32 went out of production in 1962. It is famous world-wide for being the only glider that can carry three people, the pilot and two passengers.
 Honolulu Soaring (AKA Mr. Bill’s Original Glider Rides) has been in business since 1972. 
Dillingham Airfield (HDH). Mokuleia, Oahu's North Shore, Hawai'i. 1972-2014

Someone once asked her if she would ever divorce me; her reply! "Divorce, no; murder, yes." Patti, you're a good man sister

I attribute much of my success in life to my late Christian mother and father and owe both plenty; for my accomplishments and extraordinary life. They gave me my foundation and moral compass (I never received a left hook from my mom I did not deserve and never saw it coming); supported and encouraged me to go places, see, do and accomplish great things. They trusted and allowed me to leave home at age 14 with a few bucks (they financed everything) and their blessings; at a time when I think the world was a far less dangerous place than it is today.

My journey, the first of many yet to come took me from Djibouti, Djibouti to the sub-continent of India, through much of  Malaysia and Indonesia, down around the entire continent of Australia, back up through the Suez Canal, Southern Europe, through the Straits of Gibraltar, around the Iberian Peninsula, the Bay of Biscay, Western Europe to Oslo, Norway, my final destination.

They were not just great parents but the finest two human beings I have ever known and very proud to call my parents. 

Before letting me leave, they made me promise I would return to school (which I did); you see, education was always a high priority with my family.

I could go into analysis for 20 years and not blame them for anything. (Tom Selleck)

I was able to accomplish things I never thought I would; my mom and dad always had faith in me and as things turned out, they were right. I have a lot of that faith today in our children who will accomplish even greater things in the years to come, two already have.

I never met a man equal to my father and never loved a man as much. There is a Norwegian saying “the apple does not fall far from the tree”. I wish I were half the person my dad was and a fraction of him when it comes to raising our own children.

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” (Pope John XXIII)

My dad, a man of a few words, was the most important influence during my childhood, into my later years and still is today. I started pursuing an education in pre-law to honor him, to follow in his footsteps. But then decided, with my background (already even at an early age), Geopolitics would be more appropriate for my purposes. I know he approved.

He was still living when I returned to school, received my Master's Degree and was enrolled in the Ph.D program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (U.C.S.B.). I had advanced to my C.Phil degree by the time of his death. "The University of California began offering the Candidate in Philosophy degree in the early seventies, but most campuses discontinued the practice before the end of that decade; however, it is still offered at some UC campuses, such as the University of California, Santa Barbara and San Diego, where it may be awarded within one year of advancing to candidacy" (Wikipedia). 

“Whoever does not have a good father should procure one.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

 My late dad (middle) presiding Judge B. Faragallah. He was presiding Judge of Ethiopia and legal advisor to the late emperor H.I.M. Haile Selassie 1st. He co-authored both the penal and civil codes for Ethiopia which were used through the late 1990s.
 The shield behind the judges reads: "Imperial State of Ethiopia led by the king of kings" (in Amharic "Bekedamawi Ethiopia Niguse Negest Mengist").
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 1951-1967. 

I am not young enough to know everything, but I do have a lot to say. In this version of my web page, I thought I would share with you a little of my life experiences, not so much a chronology but rather a documentation of events. A they certainly don't include everything about me or my life.

Judging from the numerous newspapers, magazines, radio and TV interviews; emails I get from "CONTACT ME" every day,  my experiences with people and friends around the world has been such people find my background and stories interesting.  

Over the years many asked me to write a book about my life, well, my ego is not big enough to warrant wanting to write a book, besides; my web page has had over 24 million visitors so far from every country in world. The average number of countries that visit each month is 147.

I am nothing special or different really; I write about many things and cover a gamete of subject matter with many key words. Besides, those who like me already know me, and those who don't like me wouldn't want to read about me anyway.

What I agreed to do for my children instead is to write stories about things I have done, places I have been and people I met over the years. To date, I have written over 20,000 pages and a few, very few of those stories appear in the web page (“STORIES”). My stories have become a mix between personal past experiences and photo essays; many of my photos are imbedded in the text throughout the Web Page.

Among other offers, I was approached to have a movie made based on my life; no thank you, that is not my thing. I have outlived my life and I am not getting out of it alive, all I really care about is how my children remember me and how I influenced their lives; growing up and becoming better persons than I am is enough of a legacy for me.

“The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind." (John Allston) 

Captain Jamile H. Faragallah in one of Atlas Air's passenger Boeing 747-400. In this image, she had just carried 352 Marines into Cherry Point, NC. She made flights into Iraq and Afghanistan for the military and was invited to and decorated in the white house by two presidents for her involvement with her military flights.

Atlas Air. Boeing 747-47UF/SCD 

"Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate."

My daughter Jamile is my oldest child, she operated Boeings 747-400 and B-747 dash8 for Atlas Air for about 24 years. Atlas Air is a freight outfit conducting cargo operations for many airlines and provides an important airlift of cargo and troops for the U.S. military.

She very recently quit Atlas; got tired of travelling and not sleeping in her own bed. Some of you might not understand this, especially those with bucket lists and a longing to travel, everybody wants to travel, or so they think.

She would fly a trip say from New York to Miami and on to the tip of South America via a couple of stops on the way, get to her destination and after her rest period, she would be asked to deadhead to Alaska to pick a plane and fly to South Africa. Then to Amsterdam, to Tokyo, back to Miami....... it never ends. After millions and millions of miles, I guess she decided she didn't want to fly until she is the last person left flying. What she does not realize, is when you are retired, you never get a day off.

For several years she out based in some interesting places around the world, among her favorites where Dubai, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Amsterdam etc. Amsterdam is where she met her husband. Anyway, she is done with travel and just purchased a home on a tropical island where she is enjoying her Jack Daniels, piña coladas and long necks - until she decides what she wants to do next. I have faith in her and her abilities, she is a very intelligent and capable person.and  can do whatever she wants.

I  wonder who she sounds like or takes after? Except I don’t drink. It sure takes a lot to give up being in the top 1% in your game..

She was domestic and international qualified on four B-747s; the 200, 300, 400 and dash8 models. 

The 747-8 is longer than the 747-400F by 18.3 ft (5.6 m) and has a payload of 154 tons (140 metric tons), including tare weight, with a range of 4,390 nm (8,130 km), it is the largest civilian freight hauling airplane after the Russian Antonov An-225 Mriya and the second largest passenger plane after the Airbus A380. She has logged over 15,000 flight hours, accident and incident-free and as Pilot In Command on that equipment.

She is the first female pilot to become a Line Check Airman for Atlas Air. This included giving line checks to Captains and First Officers on routine flights and Initial operating experience (I.O.Es), qualifying new Captains and First Officers.

In addition to operating the 747 dash8 and being a check airman, she was asked to be a simulator instructor for Atlas Air. She accepted and was stationed at the Atlas Air Training Center at Miami’s International Airport (MIA) in Florida (USA), also known as the "Crystal Palace" where she became a 747-200 Simulator (SIM) Check Airman as well. She eventually decided to return to the flight line, she was not flying enough.

She “Quito qualified” Atlas captains and captains from other carriers from around the world that fly into the old Mariscal Sucre International Airport, the busiest airport in South America that served about 220 flights per day. The old Quito airport was “Captains only”, meaning only captains can land and takeoff there.

The Government of Equador shut that airport down in February 2013. It posed a danger to airplanes as well as the local community.

Among the nicknames they gave Jamile, “Quito Queen” was another.

She invited me to Florida to get "Quito qualified" in both the B-747-400 and the B-747-8, talk about bragging rights………

Jamile H. Faragallah with Mr. James Phillip “Jimmy” Hoffa, leader, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

While with Atlas Air, she organized and represented Atlas and Polar Air pilots and joined the Union. Until that time, pilots were represented by Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The Crewmembers of Atlas voted ALPA out and voted in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

In Aug 2011, Jamile organized for the women pilots at Atlas and Polar Air Cargo to attend the “Women’s Teamster Conference” in New York City. There were women from every imaginable teamster organization in the country. There were female police officers, bus drivers, truck drivers, correction officers and female pilots from other carriers also. Of the thousand Teamster women at the Conference, only Jamile’s group of six women was pilots. She is on a first name basis with Jimmy Hoffa. Jr.

More about this fire cracker later, I am writing a story about her life which I will post in my next web page........the apple does not fall far from the tree...

 "Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit." (Brooks Atkinson)  

"Great Eagle" my last boat in which I completed two single-hand circum-navigations. It was a 42' (47' LOA), 18.5 Ton Ketch Rig Motor Sailor designed by George Stadell and built in Hong Kong. It is one of only eleven boats ever built. The boat is now in Guam, largest and southernmost island in the Marianas Archipelago.

Beautemps Beaupre, Ouvea Atoll. Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia
One of the worst places to dive, no underwater life, but one of the nicest, most tranquil places I have ever been, ever after the long walk from the boat to the trees on the island.

Getting lost is the only place worth going to.

Table Mountain off South Africa.

Of the things I accomplished in my lifetime, I am proudest of being a part of and charter member of Christian Pilots Association (CPA), now a global organization serving the needy; "a mobilizing service agency dedicated to assisting God's people in fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 28:19-20 by providing emergency air logistics, survival services, and supplies for people in need. Flights (missions) usually consist of such projects as disaster-relief, emergency medical hardship cases, airlifts of food, medicines, medical equipment, clothing, etc., to pockets of poverty, and areas of special need." they accept donations

In 1972, after leaving Santa Barbara, California and stopping in El Monte, California to pick up supplies, together with Stephen R. Smith who also was a charter member and later an officer in the none-profit organization, I made the first flight to an orphanage in Mexico. The complete history of CPA is in "FLYING & SAILING".

I spent five and half years circum-navigating single-hand (by sea), sailing one segment in the “wrong direction”, why? Because I can. I rounded all five southern most capes, including the Cape of Good Hope and the Horn ("STORIES" - "Antarctica, one segment of my single-hand circum-navigation") and went through both canals. I took on the Southern Ocean and Antarctica with the intention to circum-navigate Antarctica as well but never made it, not single-hand. I was always of that mind set and in the words of Australian single-hand circum-navigator Jon Sanders: "Why live an ordinary life -- be original". I had overestimated my ability and underestimated Antarctica.

"To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered." (Voltaire)

Antarctica; Crossing 40 degrees, there is no chance; crossing 50, no hope and crossing 60 degrees, THERE IS NO GOD.


Emperor_Penguins_Near_Ekstrom_Ice_Shelf_Weddell_Sea_Antarctica.jpg  Antarctica.__Ice_Lightning.JPG

 Above images are of Antarctica's fauna and flora and a tabular iceberg calved from the ice shelf in the Southern Ocean's Weddell Sea.

 Ted Smith Aerostar - powered by two turbocharged Avco Lycoming piston engines.
It was originally built by Ted Smith Aircraft Company, which after 1978 became part of the Piper Aircraft Corporation.
The aircraft is one of the fastest twin piston engine aircraft produced with cruise speeds of 261 kts. (483 km/h).  Its light construction, low drag and high powered engines contribute to fast climb rates.
The airplane I used to break the round the world speed record in (another story).

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."
 (Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr.)

I attempted to break the round the world speed record (by air) in type and category airplane in a twin engine piston airplane; the Aerostar. Check out "FLYING & SAILING".

I operated airplanes for a U.S. flag carrier and F.B.Os (Fixed Base Operators) on three continents and Hawai'i. Operated "heavy metal" (airplanes over 12,500 lbs.) and light aero planes "bush flying" in Alaska’s arduous conditions in the late sixties where I landed on glaciers. I flew in Ethiopia and Eritrea during the war between the two nations and was a corporate pilot operating the Gulfstreams G-IV and G-V- G--550 by the end of my flying days.

On and off I have flown for 45 odd years, between 1965 and 2010. I made a solo flight in a Rockwell Shrike Commander from Los Angeles to East Africa. When I took delivery of the aircraft, the legendary Bob Hoover checked me out and later in his North American Mustang P-51 (N2251D; "Ole Yeller") now owned by North American Aviation. Bob is "the pilots' pilot" and was made honorary member of the Navy's demo team The Blue Angeles. He is 92 years old (born in 1922).

I can hanger fly all day with the best of them.

"You've never been lost until you've been lost at MaCrickmoraul F. Crickmor

Also had the rare pleasure and privilege to be in the rear seat of a Sukhoi-30 Fighter. Climbing at 540+ feet per second, it seemed like in just a blink of an eye we were at FL-600 and had already quasi left earth's dense atmosphere. But even at four times that altitude, there is still a trace of the earth's "hydrogen cloud" at its outer atmosphere, called the geocorona. At altitude, when I looked up, I saw night; down and it was day. As we went through FL-460, I began to see the upper atmosphere start to get a very dark blue before turning black - night. I could also make out the curvature of earth.

"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death. I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing." (SR-71 Pilots crede)

North American P-51D (P-51 Mustang) and FA/18 Hornet formation. 

In cruise configuration, at 360+ MPH and Packard Merlin V-1650-3 engine, the P-51 Mustang burnt 60+ gallons of fuel per hour and while doing acro, it burnt as many as 120, a full tank's worth. It was the most hands on, most demanding and most dangerous airplane I have ever flown, though my hands were full with the L-1049 (Connie) and L-19 (Birddog). 

With full throttle on takeoff, the plane almost always required full right rudder to keep it going straight. On a good cross-wind day, it gets more interesting, just keeping the beast on the runway. That would require full right rudder, full right aileron and starting on the up wind edge of the active runway. Then you hope everything goes well during the roll because if you needed more rudder, there was none left. You want to "unstick" and get airborne before the torque pushes you off the downwind side of the runway. 

After surviving the takeoff roll, the climb becomes especially interesting; the plane tends to want to roll over. But then, after you survive all that...... the fun really begins, well, maybe. If you are not careful doing acro, you will find yourself up to your elbows with crocodiles with the slightest error. Many high time and commercial airlines pilots have gotten killed in P-51s; took me more than 2,500' to recover from an intentional spin once.

"Asking what a pilot thinks about the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is like asking a fireplug what it thinks about dogs."

Gulfstream G-V-G-550. One of my former offices, mostly for bragging rights.

Boeing 777-236/ER

"The only time an aircraft has too much fuel on board is when it is on fire."

McDonnel Douglas MD-11

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” (Rita Mae Brown) 

I taught at all levels of academia on three continents and started a college in Norway. The first time I attended seaman's school (classes were in Norwegian), lived and worked in Norway was in 1960, I was 15. I also worked a year for Statens Vegvesen, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration in Oslo testing concrete.

In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson. (Tom Bodett) 

My California Community Colleges Teaching Credential, A Community College Instructor Credential.

Subject matter area: Aeronautics and Anthropology as well as the Earth Sciences including Geography, Geology and Geophysics. This credential is valid for life.

I have a working knowledge in several more languages including a little Aramaic and several dialects. I taught in English, Norwegian, French, Italian, Arabic and Amharic. Not just academics; Anthropology, The Earth Sciences; Geography, Geology and Geophysics, Spatial AnalysisUrban Planning in the context of Geography (or the vacuous subject of Sociology); Historic Tension and Remote Sensing), but other subjects as well, including Aeronautics, Flight and ground school Instruction, Sailing, Sky and S.C.U.B.A. diving, Celestial Navigation and Judo  to name a few. I needed to learn the language and terminology for each subject to teach; at least it was for me. Every subject has its own language, terminology and definitions. 

When did I have time for school? I didn’t, I am a 7th grade dropout.....if that, who made it after all; choosing instead to become a student of life and a citizen of the world; I made an appointment with destiny I intended to keep. I did return to school eventually and now hold a wealth of knowledge and more degrees than a thermometer. 

During my lifetime, I visited 183 countries on every continent, including Antarctica, many of the Islands around the world, some in out of the way places such as Pitcairn in the Southern Pacific Ocean, Easter Island in the Southwestern Pacific and lived in nine countries; Palestine, Jordan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Sudan, the U.S., Norway and Italy. I resided in four states of the United States including Hawai’i, Alaska, California and where I now call home, Texas. I read and write six languages, speak several dialects as well as a working knowledge in some.

Among the things I did while in Ethiopia, I was one of the pioneers of Judo, operated airplanes there, in Eritrea and across the Red Sea. I taught at the University and ran around with Shatto Safaris to several places on the continent for a year, as guide and hunter. I was able to hunt big game while living in Ethiopia.

I write about Shatto Safaris and Ted in "ABOUT ME", a little about him, his outfit and son Mike further down. Mike was once the world's youngest licensed professional hunter and the world's best four wheel driver bar none.

Ethiopia, the Roof of Africa and "13 months of sunshine"

Mursi_woman._Omo_Ethiopia.jpg Southeastern_Ethiopia.jpg _Keren_eritrea.jpg 


Ethiopia, like no other place on the planet.

I was 14 when I left home and took my first extensive trip; from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Oslo, Norway. More about that further down.

I don’t sell or solicit anything in my web page; no adds, Google AdSense or pop ups. I only wish to inform my friends around the world about where I am and what I am doing. I also want to entertain my friends and enemies at home and around the world.

No one can sit and go through the entire web page in one sitting but I am certain it will entertain and hopefully inform everyone about something, assuming you like to read. If not, check out the photo galleries, there must be something you'll enjoy. If nothing grabs you, I suggest you check your pulse then take a long walk on a short pier.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” (Ansel Adams) 

Ulvik, Norway

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.” (Socrates)

 I included fourteen galleries (“GALLERIES”) with over 13,500 images plus another 1,650+ high resolution images in the “SLIDE SHOW”. Other entertainment includes “VIDEOS”, “LINKS”, “STORIES”, “MEDIA”, "HOME", “ABOUT ME”, "JUDO", etc.

The "HOME" page is much longer than it should be and I apologize for that, it is a temporary inconvenience until I re-do the entire web page which I hope will be soon.

"Travel has been my greatest teacher" (Brittany Maynard)


"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."  (John F. Kennedy)

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” (Mae West)
Gondolas, Venice. Italy

Iguazú Falls, Brazil

Taj Mahal. Agra, India

The evening Howl

“Diogenes, when asked from what country he came, replied, "I am a citizen of the world”

Self Portrait: Nabil B. Faragallah

Liliuokalani "Lili" - My most trusted friend & companion.

I want to be the person my dog thinks I am.

1965 Shelby Cobra 427 OD; 0-60 in 4.5 seconds (14.5 sec­onds to accelerate to 100 miles an hour and then stop again).
You can tell a man is going through mid-life crises when he drives a cool car (or is it when he can afford one?), "The car I've always wanted". Spring, Texas 2014

Haile_Gebreselassie_2014.jpg Sergeant_Bekele.jpg
Me with Haile Gebrselassie, arguably the greatest long distance runner ever and Police sergeant "Moustache" Bekele. Two of my all time favorite Ethiopians. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 2014

Haile Gebrselassie broke 61 Ethiopian national records ranging from 800 meters to the marathon, set 27 world records, and is widely considered one of the greatest distance runners in history.

Recent news about Haile, Dec. 2014.

Police Sergeant "Moustache" Bekele was an iconic figure in Addis Ababa; feared, respected and loved by everyone. He also escorted H.I.M. Emperor Haile Sellassie on his drives through the city.

At the office with Frehiwot "Frehi" Yaregal, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia August 2014

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. (Albert Einstein) 

I have seen the world by air, land and sea and can carry on conversations with anyone about anything; be it heads of state, a professor emeritus, people of the clergy, test pilots, citizen of the world or the person on the street. The more I traveled the more people I meet the more I read, the more I realize how much I didn't and don’t know. When I knew nothing, I thought I could do anything.

 “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” (Will Durant) 

Early on, I realized going through life without noticing what is around me was like going through a museum blind folded. I made it a point to be aware, pay attention and always remember.

I am not self made nor am I special; different? Perhaps, but we all are, that is what makes us unique. Something or someone taught me everything I know; good, bad or indifferent. The trick has always been to sort out what is important, worthwhile, useful and remember.

I always choose my friends; never allowed any to choose me. I made sure they are smarter, worldlier, more intelligent and better educated than me. I don't listen to people who tell me what they think I want to hear; conceited people never hear anything but praise.

Tell me who your friend is and I will tell you who you are.

I acquired much of my knowledge reading and remembering; I read a book a day most of my life. My dad early on instilled in me, always reminding me “a person who does not read is as bad off as one who doesn’t know how”, knowledge is power, a key to a better life and future; my children now carry on that tradition.

Equally I learned through my travels; mistakes, mistakes of others; conversations and observations of behavior. Over time, I discovered single conversations across the table with a wise person can be worth a month’s study of books. Woodrow Wilson once said "I would not read a book if it were possible to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it". 

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” I did that several times during the course of my lifetime, I am still learning, unlearning and relearning "Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death".

Formal education is more important, some of us spend many more years getting additional training, attaining higher education in the hope of landing dream jobs, so our families may enjoy and get more out of life. We should contribute to our work as well as benefit from it, not work too hard and hopefully enjoy what we do. Aristotle said “pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”  

That takes a lot of willpower and commitment to achieve, regardless, one is always learning. There are no mistakes in life, just learning experiences. Curiosity survives formal education.  


Me as student at Risøy Ungdomskole for Sjømen (seaman's School). Norway 1960-61.

Students, faculty and staff. Me Sitting, front row third from right. Back as teacher and founder of the college. 
 Risøy Folkehøyskole, Gjeving Pr. Tvedestrand. Norway 1997/98

A Nile cruise, one of several trips I took with a few of my Norwegian students; to Egypt (I am in back by the column). The two adults on the left in back are a Norwegian and Egyptian guides. In Europe, people, students in general tend to travel much more than their counterparts in the U.S. I lead several groups to Egypt, East and West Europe, the U.S., several to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) and Geilo (Norway) skiing
Luxor - Aswan, Egypt 1999-2000

Photo: Magnar Opdal

Above: the school, one view from the fifth floor and bridge in winter, all the water around  which freezes in the winter making it possible to ice skate around some of the islands and out onto the North Sea which also freezes over for several miles. There are 99 other islands around  Risøy,
 Risøy Island, Southern Norway.

 Gus by our home on Risøy Island.
A nice place to live, visit, moore the boat or sail, row, camp, fish or ice skate. 
Risoy, Summer and winter

I left Norway in 1963, returned home to Ethiopia, ran safaris in East Africa for a year while waiting for my worthless Egyptian passport's renewal and the F-1 visa for the U.S. (Student visa). I did many, many, many different things since. I returned to Norway in 1995 at age 50 and became a resident once again. I relearned and by then was becoming a better person.

Ethiopia was home between 1954 and 1964 even while attending private boarding schools in Egypt, Sudan and Norway for almost eight years. I always returned for all the short and summer holidays. Growing up in Ethiopia was very interesting.

Living in Ethiopia as a child, a young boy and an adult, it was and still is very common to converse in and hear six or seven different languages during the course of the day and during mealtimes at the dinner table. It is where I got my taste and start for languages.

Over the years, I had taken languages and the fact so many were spoken at the same time in one place for granted. Until a friend of mine, a Harvard Professor, James M.B. Keyser was in Addis Ababa visiting me one time. Ten minutes into lunch at a friend’s house a few days after he arrived in Addis, suddenly, he stopped talking; he froze looking around the table as though he was a lost child. I asked him what the matter was; he said “In my entire life and my many travels, I have never heard so many different languages spoken in such a small area at the same time”. I said “welcome to Ethiopia”. I picked up several of my languages and dialects while living and travelling in Africa and Europe.

Sometimes it is also important to draw on the command of language and be silent; silence is loud and excruciating. “Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”  I learned by my silence. 

How I acquired my ability to learn languages is quite interesting in itself, perhaps even unusual and by accident for sure. Like most everything else in my life, I never set out to learn languages or do anything; things it seems always fell into my lap, languages was no different. They were a tool for me, something I needed for what I wanted to do. 

Over sixty languages and many dialects are spoken around Ethiopia. They mostly belong to the Afro-Asiatic language of the Southwest Semitic group and related to Ge'ez, or Ethiopic. Cushitic, Omotic, Nilo-Saharan, Tigrinya, and Hermitic are among others that are spoken around Ethiopia. Several Scandinavian and other Indo-European languages, the most widely studied language family in the world are spoken in Norway. 

Living in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Norway, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Italy, the U.S. and travelling the world certainly gave me the exposure and advantage few ever get. Being exposed to languages certainly helped. I saw opportunities and took advantage of them and glad I did.

I did other things in Norway after teaching there five+ years as well. I try not to do the same thing for longer, except for practicing Judo (been doing that since the mid '50s), eating different foods from around the world, sailing and flying. I still enjoy doing all those things very much. I don't enjoy travel anymore though my interests are and have always been far reaching.

When UDI in Norway issued my settlement permit (permanent residence visa) in 1996, it was, still is, Norway's best, rarest and most difficult to obtain. In the 1960s, Norway had very few foreigners and immigrating there was very rare. I was welcomed by some UDI employees in 1996 who said to me "Mr. Faragallah, Norway needs people like you, welcome to Norway". UDI stands for Utlendingsdirektoratet - the Directorate of Immigration. Norway is now one of the most sought after countries in the world by refugees and people from eastern Europe. Only people from EU countries make it into Norway and are starting to dilute Norwegian culture.

Years after living there, I became eligible for Norwegian citizenship which was offered to me. I considered it until I was told I had to surrender my U.S. citizenship. Quoting Charlton Heston’s “cold, dead hands” speech, I turned it down. America can also use people such as me.

My spouse and children each had their own same type of visa but voluntarily surrendered it over ten years ago choosing instead to live in America. I am still a resident of Norway but only visit there a couple of times a year. I have been there over 80 times already.

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A few of my Norwegian Settlement Permit (visa) – Valid for work, residence and multiple entries on a permanent basis. It was re-issued to comply with the European Union (EU) laws, after Norway became a member (they never joined).

I don't need the stickers in my passport which are valid for two years as per EU regulations. I did that for a while to expieite going through airports in Europe (EU as opposed to “all other passports” lines which are much more crowded and long). I also thought it would help going through immigration with other Norwegian citizens upon entering Norway. That is not necessary anymore, they use biometric identification. In all the years I travelled to Norway, I was never once stopped by immigration or customs, there were dogs, but never questioned. On my first visa, my profession is listed as teacher.

 Initially, a visa is issued year to year, after the third year, it becomes permanent.  

America is the greatest nation on earth, I would rather pan handle in the U.S. than live anywhere, even for free anything. This country and American people have been very good to me, my family and everyone I know. It's a great honor and privilege to be an American living here. 

 Los Angeles, California

For sixteen plus years, I lived and waited abroad in several countries as well as in America paying out of state school tuition for several of those years may I add, in order that I may enter and be in the United States legally. I respected and abided by all America's immigration and all laws and still do.

America never did nor does it owe me anything, I owe it. My love, patriotism and allegiances are to this country. When I recite the pledge of allegiance, I mean it.

I lived in Palos Verdes Estates and took up time and space in the 12th grade as well as attending El Camino College in Torrance in California waiting until I was granted legal residency status (the "Green Card"). I never graduated from High School. A little over five years after that, I obtained U.S. citizenship (I eas married to an American citizen, not to "my own kind").

It took way far more time for that, over 13+ years, than when I applied for Norwegian residence, that process only took a month. Norwegian visas are among the hardest in the world to get. Everybody wants to live there, among other reasons, for the free health care, social and welfare programs.

I am entitled to a pension and free health care in Norway today if I were to live there. I choose instead to pay for my own health insurance and care and forego all benefits. We want to live and raise our children in America among Americans and already very glad we are doing that and have no regrets. Our children already had and will have many more opportunities in America than if they remained in Norway; they can always visit there whenever they want. Unlike the United States, even though they were both born in Norway, they are not entitled to dual citizenship, therefore are not Norwegian citizens.

Both our boys are doing exceptionally well here, in school and with their social life. They will grow up to contribute to their communities and society; there is no question in my mind. They are among the brightest, politest people I have ever known, at any age. 

“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”  (Voltaire)

Norway is about 20 years behind the U.S. in health care. Every diagnoses, procedure or surgery that was done on me there was wrong or botched horribly. The two eye surgeries I had done there will cost me thousands of dollars every month for the rest of my life. I would get those eye drops free in Norway today had I stayed there. It is not worth it for me or to my family. I do get some whenever I visit. I came to the U.S. from Norway for my medical care. Free is not always good. 

Skarstad, Norway

 Ålesund, known for its architecture in Art Nouveau style, its surrounding fjords and the high peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps. Norway
Geirangerfjorden fjord. Sunnmøre region, Møre and Romsdal county, Norway. It is a beautiful country.

Norway has one of the highest price levels for personal goods and services in the world; the cost of food is a whopping 47% higher than Europe's average. The average personal income tax is 41.7%. If anyone is to have a second job, regardless of what it paid, their personal income tax bracket automatically becomes 65% (probably more now). Norway's income Tax Rate is as follows (%); Capital Gains Tax Rate 28.0, Net Worth rate 1.1; Inheritance and Gift Tax Rate 30.0. You are also taxed on income earned overseas investments, such as property rental, capital gains or anything else. If you get a third job in Norway, you are taxed even more. You are always punished for trying to get ahead, you never do. 

If you are interested in Norway, there is more at the bottom of the page. When I redo the web page, I will add a page about it.

I lived in Florence as well, Italians often refer to it as the unique "cradle of the Renaissance" ("La culla del Rinascimento"). Italian is my favorite language.  

The Ponte Vecchio, Arno River and The Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy

The Ponte Vecchio across the Arno River. Florence, Italy

Basilica De Santa Maria Del Florence. Florence, Italy

 “Do you wish to speak in Provençal, French, or Latin? 
They are all I can manage, I'm afraid."
"Any will do," the rabbi replied in Provençal.
"Splendid. Latin it is" said Pope Clement.

I am actually a 7th or 8th grade dropout (don't remember which). I know I never completed a single grade except for the three years I studied in Sudan (1957-'59) in elementary school. I advanced grades over the years only because of who my dad was. It is true to this day, it is not what you know but who you know. 

“For every person who wants to teach there are approximately thirty people who don’t want to learn much.” (W.C. Stellar)

I attended and was kicked out of 14 or 15 schools by the time I dropped out, 9 in Ethiopia alone (French, English, Greek, Italian, German and several government schools including Menelik, Tafari Makonen and St. Joseph Schools).

I never graduated or completed high school but had to stay enrolled to be able to remain in the United States legally. I watched my class of 1965 and friends graduate from the sidelines, never was allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. I have since been invited to every reunion that class held since graduation and the big one coming up next summer for the 50th anniversary reunion. 

I also never earned a GED, but somehow managed to stumble through life relying on my life experiences, languages and knowledge of the world.

A GED is “The General Educational Development (GED) Test is designed for people who, for various reasons, did not graduate from high school but want a certificate equivalent to the traditional high school diploma”. 

You can’t direct the wind but you can adjust the sails.

I did return to school, a Jr. College in Moorpark (California) at age 25, carried 24 and 30 semester units and graduated a year later; some units I needed I satisfied with credit by exam. I graduated top of my class and received an Associate Degree (that and a dollar would get me a cup of coffee). I immediately transferred to the University of Calif. There, as an undergraduate student, I made the Dean’s List. To make the Dean’s list, one must earn a grade-point average of 3.75 or higher for the quarter, on a program of 12 or more letter-graded units. I carried 24 units, sometimes more and maintained a 4.0 average (the maximum or best grade one could achieve at the time), I was in a hurry.

School was easy and very enjoyable for me by the time I got to college; I had the desire to learn. If you have  that, nothing is ever difficult. I opened my own doors, teachers did not have to let me in, spoon feed or sit on me. They did provide me with the conditions to learn, the rest was up to me. I wanted to learn, “You cannot teach a crab to walk straight” (Aristophenes). Schools have to be careful, they can sometimes suffocate a child’s desire to learn, one reason learning becomes difficult for some.

“Teachers should guide without dictating, and participate without dominating.” (C.B. Neblette)

I remember the Dean of the Graduate Division at U.C.S.B., also a friend of many years telling me "Nabil, I know you're going to do well and get your degrees, even if you have to knock the door down", he was right, I powered through. It was easy once again for me to stay at the top of my class as a graduate student.

I wanted Dean Collins on my committee until I realized he expected graduate students to do work, WORK? It is the curse of the drinking class; I abandoned the idea quick like and managed to get him off my committee without offending him.

Early in life, in addition to wanting to see the world, meet its inhabitants and shake hands with every tsetse fly in AfricaI wanted to become a citizen of the world. To be a student of life and decided THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT LEARN, the rest is history.

As a child in Bethlehem (Palestine) I enjoyed school. After I left elementary school there, it became a torment, torture and extremely difficult. My experiences were all bad after that, with schools, teachers, curriculums, and principals, especially Catholic and Coptic priests in private boarding schools in Egypt and Sudan.

My worst experience ever was while attending The English School, also known as Sandford School in Addis Ababa briefly. The principal was a Leslie David Casbon (British). He was a Masochistic, sadistic bastard. I endured the most pain and severe beatings from him, so severe; my mom would not recognize me when I got home.

I took Judo just to beat the guy up and looked for him for three years but never found him. The entire time I was at Sandford School and Casbon was the principal, I experienced the greatest hate I ever had for any human being, and hate is a very strong word I never use. I always hoped they buried him face down so he can see where he was going. I have never had such an intense dislike for anyone before or since. 

I was a mere child, Mr. tough jerk. No child should have to go through or endure such behavior or punishment.

I am told this topic, Casbon, me and my brother has been a hot debated topic on Facebook by several people in several countries (I am not on facebook, people contact and tell me). The incident is also mentioned in a recent published book.

“A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.” (Horace Mann)

Today, I have very good relation with students everywhere on every level. I want them to enjoy school, have what I didn't, be liked, respected and know they are appreciated and matter. I can reach each and every student, weather I have 5 or 500 in my classroom, in the words of Robert Frost “I’m not a teacher but an awakener.” In Europe and Africa, our home was always open to students at all hours. At the University in Calif. and Addis Ababa, I had a party every Friday night and many grad, undergrad; PhDs, MDs, staff etc. came. It is different in the U.S nowadays. It seems High School kids are wise beyond their years but very immature, some can be dangerous.

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. (Albert Einstein) 

I have never known a school or school district outside the U.S. that has police officers on campus or police departments with K-9 units (I am not aware of "School Districts" as we know them in America outside of the U.S., the closest to a district I can think of would be government schools), not that I am aware of at least. Cop vehicles, and cops with dogs are all over the place, at Jr. High and High Schools campuses.

I think I can understand this need in America, there seems to be more problems, campus shootings, drugs, sexual assaults and other illegal activities than anywhere else I have been in the world. 

Thankfully, the police are there not just to investigate allegations, complaints, control drugs and crime; more importantly, they are also there to protect the innocent.

I regressed, sorry. Back to Casbon, although my older brother settled my score with him for me, with interest may I add, I never got the satisfaction to repay Casbon the favor myself. I am not a violent person; in fact just the opposite is true. I have never been in a street fight in my entire life. I am of the opinion the lowest form of humans and the last step for humanity is when one human being strikes another. 

I am a coward, I always walked away from a fight and never had anything to prove. Why stoop that low and strike another human being? If I would consider such a thing, my options would have been the morgue, the hospital or jail and neither of those options appealed to me.

I never had to face a gun, had I, my philosophy has always been, you run to a gun from a knife. 

I just wanted Casbon, I was willing to make an exception to my rule just that one time, it never happened.

The beatings I received were not with paddles, whippings with whips on the soles of my feet, ruler edges on knuckles; they were not “finger wagging” warnings. I’m talking about broken noses, ribs, cheek bones, knocking several teeth out, internal bleeding, you name it, I got. The only thing lacking was water boarding and electric shock. In comparison, Guantanamo Bay is a beach resort. I talk more about those experiences and Casbon in “ABOUT ME”.

Something just occurred to me, those of you reading this about Casbon beating me so severely are probably wondering what I did so bad to deserve such a beating. First of all, no human being should have to go through that, certainly not a child. Secondly, something has to be done about schools in some countries getting away with it. Like everything else, it all falls on and goes back to lack of education; for the government, schools, faculty and principals. My “crime” was I did not turn in my home work on time. 

I showed up for class one morning without my homework (it was busy work and I didn't want to waste my time). I was sent to the principal’s office, Casbon. In my day, being sent to the principal’s office was a death sentence; you never want to be sent there. Casbon asked me why I didn't do my homework, I said it was busy work and saw no reason to do it. He then said “make sure you get it done and on my desk by 07:00 hrs. tomorrow morning.” I said “Mr. Casbon, I will get the homework to you whenever my dad drops me off in the morning” (I couldn't drive then). He picked a very heavy ashtray, thick glass with a tire around it and flung it at me. I dodged, he missed and it went through and broke his office window. That infuriated him; he got off his chair, came around his desk to where I was standing and pounded me into a pulp. It did not end there, he grabbed me, dragged me to my classroom, thrusting me into every wall on the way, when I fell on the steps, he kept kicking me until I got up. I made it into my room and started crying, not from the pain, but from the humility of it all.

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. (Theodore Roosevelt)

Learning and education are paramount, make no mistake about it and wisdom is not wisdom when it is derived from books alone. Knowledge is flour but wisdom is bread.

I am not young enough to know everything and I do have a lot to say. I would like to share some of my life experiences with you. 

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us. (Socrates)

After I dropped out of school, Jr. High, I did not just lay around, sleep late or watch TV all day (there was no TV in Ethiopia at the time anyway) or gotten a menial job someplace but actually decided to see the world and left home. I was 14 and for the first time I was going to be on my own without adult supervision. I had been relentless, persistent and persevering trying to convince my mom and dad for at least six months to let me leave; finally, reluctantly and with conditions agreed to let me go.

I was in a hurry, ready to knock doors down and get an education, see the world, learn, grow and become a better person.  

My final destination was Oslo, Norway. I had never been there before, never heard of the place or even knew where it was on a map. I didn't speak the language, have much money or know anyone there. Somehow I knew I would make it. My dad always told me "if you were put in hell, you'll find a way to succeed. 

I took a flight from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, Djibouti via Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and caught a ship, the M/S Toledo destined for Norway. 

The M/S Toledo, Wilh. Wilhelmsen Lines, Norway. 1961

The M/S Toledo was the first merchant marine ship I crewed on back in 1960-'61, it had just been put into service with an impressive cruising speed of 23 knots (for the time). This was before the days of container ships. We had onboard winches/cranes to load and off load freight into and out of hatches below the decks.

The freighter was built by ERIKSBERGS MEK. VERKSTAD AB., GOTHENBURG/SWEDEN for Wilh. Wilhelmsen Lines, Norway. The hull was laid on Nov. 10th 1959, completed  on January 26 1960. The ship was 525+ feet (160+ meters) long. July 16th 1979, it was sold to Nan Chiao Shipping Pte Ltd. (Sin Chiao Shipping (Pte) Ltd)) Singapore and renamed "New Dolphin". On March 19th 1984 it arrived in Alang to be broken up by Rajesh Iron & Steel Works. Alang is the world's largest bone yard with respect to ship breaking; in the Indian sub-continent, in Gujarat, India. It oversees ship dismantling for almost 50% of the world’s vessels. The ship breaking operations-demolition on the M/S Toledo commenced in the graveyard on June 11th 1984. Today, after three decades, many questions have been raised about the conditions the workers face and especially child and labor laws and conditions at Alang. 

The Wilhelmsen Lines was the world's largest shipping line until they broke it up to minimize their liability after the Exxon Valdez accident. 

The ship left Djibouti for the southern tip of India, calling on Thiruvananthapuram, India, Colombo, Cylon (now Sri Lanka) and Madras in India (now Chennai, it changed its name in August of 1996, the same year Bombay changed its name to Mumbai). From there, we proceeded down the Bay of Bengal and Malacca Straight to Singapore, Malaysia, Jakarta (also known as Tanjung Priok Port) in Indonesia. We continued to Darwin and around the entire continent of Australia. We then headed back up through the Suez to southern and western Europe where we called on several ports in Greece, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Germany and several others. I spent eleven days in Spain according to a letter I wrote my mom. I was introduced to lobster tails in Portugalete (Bilboa), on the North Sea coast of Spain. I like all of Spain very much, been to just about every place there That was my first major trip to faraway lands and the first of many.

After stopping in Gibraltar, we continued around the Iberian Peninsula, to Lisbon, through the Bay of Biscay where I had a bad case of mal de mer the entire time (the bay is often very rough), up to Oslo. I arrived in Oslo sometime in August 1960 (I will have to research that more using letters to my mom and family, but close to that time). That trip, took over six months. 

In the history of Judo, I talk about other interesting aspects of the sport. I started playing Judo in Ethiopia in the 1950s (it was outlawed in 1975) and continue to play today; still trying to get it right you might say. With my late brother, we are the first to introduce the sport in schools throughout America BLACK BELT MAGAZINE.

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Judo "(Japanese: the gentle Way")
Top left image, Ura Nage (back throw), right, Uchi Mate (Inner-thigh throw) both are of the original 40 throws of Judo as developed by Prof. Jigoro Kano. Bottom, tap out or lose an arm and shoulder.

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Seifu Mekonnen's promotion to Judo Shodan (Black Belt 1st Dan (degree)). He is the first Ethiopian ever in the history of Ethiopia to be promoted to Shodan (an Ethiopian National in Ethiopia). Out of admiration and respect to him, I took my Black Belt off and offered it to him. He could not bring himself to wearing it.
A great guy and a wonderful friend to have. I hope to see him before the end of this year.
Oromia, Adama, Southern Ethiopia Summer 2014

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Happy, poor blind Ethiopian children forgetting their problems and sorrows for 8-10 hours every week.
The Judo program is available to all poor, handicapped and blind children in Ethiopia free. We are trying to get Tatamis (Judo mats) and Judogis (Judo uniforms) for the 150 or so students we have so far. Sensei Seifu conducts classes now.
Me with Solomon Kebede Negash, the Ethiopian Karate Chief Instructor and Seifu Mekonnen in front of the Oromia Youth & Sport Affairs Bureau.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia summer 2014

I promoted Seifu Mekonnen to Judo Shodan (Black Belt 1st Dan (Degree)). It is the first ever such promotion in the history Ethiopia and Judo in Ethiopia. He had been practicing Judo over six years. His rank is recognized by all the Judo Federations around the world. 

He is my 1st assistant and eventually wants to open Judo Schools throughout Ethiopia using my name, I will do all I can to help him. Judo is another way out for the very poor in Ethiopia. 

After years of asking me, I finally accepted, I have been appointed Ethiopia’s Chief and head Judo Instructor and technical advisor for all of Ethiopia by the Ethiopian Federal Sports Commission (not the Addis Ababa Sports Commission they are not on the federal level). I will train and standardize Judo throughout the country. I will do all the promotions, train all the instructors and referees as well. I am also the official Ethiopian Olympic Judo team coach. Something we are working on getting organized. 

We are now in the process of forming Ethiopia’s first ever Judo Federation, recognized and sanctioned by the Ethiopian Government and yet to be by the International Judo Federation. One of the requirements of the Sports Commission was for us to have at least three federations from around Ethiopia join. Within the first five minutes after I accepted the position, five federations from around Ethiopia joined. We already have another six organizations from around the country asking to join.

It is only a matter of paper work, registering the Federation with IJF (International Judo Federation) and arranging my schedule to be in Ethiopia more often and for much longer periods.

Seifu’s promotion was a huge event. Every Martial Arts Instructor and several clubs from around Ethiopia came for the demonstration and promotion held at the Oromia Community Center. There were several radio, TV and newspaper interviews, a lot of media coverage. Over three thousand people from around Ethiopia came. We had the Oromia auditorium in Adama (S. Ethiopia) for the occasion; Adama is the capital of the Oromia region. It was a big success and lots of fun.

I was and am very proud of Seifu, his performance, promotion and contributions to Judo. I took my Black Belt off and tried handing it to him to wear after I promoted him. Even after my insisting he wear it, he just could not bring himself to do it. Ethiopians are the politest, most respectful people I have ever known. I love the guy.

I am happy to say, we made Judo available to the very poor and less fortunate children in Ethiopia, mostly handicapped and/or blind children. It is free to all handicapped children. There are adult Judokas (students) as well. 

Ura Nage (Back Throw)  
Photo: Lena Andersson

Juventus Judo Club, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1950s - 1975



Me in 2012, Houston, Texas. Former Member 
USA Judo, 
Registered, Kodokan Judo Institute, Japan; Life Member NANKA Judo Yudanshakai, So. California & 
LIFE Member, United States Judo Federation (

Circolo Sportivo Juventus Addis Abeba, Etiopia 
(Juventus Judo Club, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1957-1974).
 Me throwing Gino, Kata Guruma (shoulder wheel throw). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1958.


I am very happy to still be a part of Judo in Ethiopia. I donate all my time to the underprivileged and handicapped children, the sport and everything associated with it.

I also "write" (I am not a writer per say) and included a few short stories about an "EVACUATION FLIGHT" out of Massawa, Eritrea I made, my "SAIL TO NO WHERE" to find a schooner a friend of mine was airlifted from, "THE ISLAND HOPPER, a 14+ hour flight from Honolulu to Guam, rounding "THE HORN", and so on. I try to write a story a week for my children. The most visited page has been "JUDO", almost by three to one over the second most visited page, the "HOME" page.

In "ABOUT ME", I write about the history and conflict in the Middle East; growing up in Bethlehem and Jerusalem and my early travels. I have been told by several scholars, some of the information I included about the Holy Land and the Middle East conflict will be new to many readers. 

 "Life is too short to be busy." (Tim Kreider) 

"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." (Charles Dickens) 

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"Great Eagle" 

Agaña (Guam) sunset.
Read more about Guam: Guam: Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture, Facts, Guide & Travel/Holidays/Cities
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 "Great Eagle" Under sail, pulling into the dock; me below deck, the Main Salon, Galley, Cockpit and bow pulpit. I had the boat painted and canvas changed twice in the years I owned her.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” (Mark Twain)

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Me, aboard "OPPA" with Vicki. Haleiwa, Hawai'i. C. 1978/79.
"Oppa" was my second to last boat, the best boat I ever owned. It was a 32' Cavalier, R.J. Salthouse design motor sailor I purchased in Nagoya, Japan. From Nagoya, I headed to Tahiti but never made it there. I was caught in a hurricane and blown north off course, winding up back in Honolulu.
traded Oppa for "Great Eagle" thinking I would end "camping out". As it turned out, even with the bigger boat, "Great Eagle", I found myself still "Camping out".
Leaving Haleiwa for Hanalei Bay on Kaua'i, where I dropped Vicki off and headed north to San Francisco, California.

Sailing is the most expensive way to travel third class.

Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head at dusk. Oahu, Hawai'i
Hula Dancer. Haleiwa, North Shore, Oahu. Hawai'i.
View of Waikiki Beach and Honolulu to Maili Point from Diamond Head. Oahu, Hawai'i.
Lava flow from Mt. Kilauea. Big Island. Hawai'i

I completed two single-hand circum-navigations in "GREAT EAGLE", 66,000+ Nautical Miles after making numerous yacht deliveries worldwide, "uphill" and "downhill" (more money per mile in "uphill" deliveries) and serving in the Norwegian Merchant Marine. I also made many ocean passages in my second boat "OPPA", one was an attempt to sail from Nagoya, Japan to Tahiti in French Polynesia. On the way, I was caught in a hurricane for 14 days and blown 1,100 miles north off course. I decided instead to head back to Hawai'i. After rebuilding the boat in Honolulu, I resumed sailing and headed to San Francisco. I changed my one circum-navigation route when I decided to round the HORN (south America), head to the Southern Ocean and on to Antarctica.

Many boat owners enjoy downwind sailing; sailing down the Pacific, Baja, along the west coast of the United States and so forth, but hate sailing back to weather. I prefer sailing into the wind, sometimes it the fastest point of sail on some boats. Other times it is a beam reach or even quartering winds are the fastest points of sail as was the case with "Great Eagle", my last boat. I have over 100,000 Nautical Miles of blue water sailing.

Experience can only be replaced with experience. 

“Adventure is just bad planning." (Roald Amundsen - 1872-1928 )

Part of my plan became circum-navigating and rounding the Horn (South America), and to round all five southern most capes, referred to as, Good Hope (South Africa)Leeuwin (the most south-westerly point of Australia)South-East Cape (Tasmania), and South-West Cape (Stewart Island, NZ), which I was able to accomplish. Just something I wanted to do.

I also sailed around the world in "The Wrong Direction" and went through both the Suez and Panama canals. 

I took on the Southern Ocean and Antarctica with the intention of circum-navigating that continent.......except, in the case of Antarctica I abandoned my attempt. I over estimated my abilities and underestimated Antarctica, 1980-85. 

Aurora Australis (also known as the southern lights, and southern polar lights) is the southern hemisphere counterpart to the Aurora Borealis.

“If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it." (Andrew Denton)

"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. I've always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?" Sterling Hayden 

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore". (Andre Gide)

Beautemps Beaupre, Ouvea Atoll. Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia

“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.”  (Markus Zusak)

and Enku. M
y crew in the South Pacific and 
Red Sea. 


Above images: The Dahlac Archipelago. An island group located in the Red Sea near Massawa, Eritrea. It consists of two large and 124 small islands.
Sailing off the Red Sea Coast. Adulis Bay, Massawa & Assab, Eritrea. 
Luciano Perino, Emma Bini and Philippe Leroy, Europe's and one of the world's most prolific actors.
Mojeidi Island, D
ahlac Archipelago, 
Eritrea 1974.

The Pacific, greatest of oceans. With an area exceeding that of all dry land on the planet.
"The tide-beating heart of earth." (Herman Melville)

Under sail. Tahiti, French Polynesia.

Anse Source D'Argent, Digue Island. Seychelles, Indian Ocean.

The Maldives Islands. The Indian Ocean



Phi Phi Island. Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. Union Territory of India.  
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Sunset over Neil Island, Andaman Sea


The islands, people and the Jarawa  
The Andaman & Nicobar IslandsUnion Territory of India, Indian Ocean.

Mt. Tazman, New Zealand.

Crew, after Dominique and I parted ways in Beautemps Beaupre. Nicole sailed with me to The Bay of Islands, off the North Island of New Zealand where I sat out the hurricane season. Yep, I am a guy........

Photo: Daniel E. Morse, Professor Emeritus
Aitutaki, Cook Is., Sept. 2014.

Daniel E. Morse, Professor Emeritus, University of California Santa Barbara
Fields: Plant & Animal Science, Biochemistry, Oncology
Publications: 187 - Citations: 3,226
Collaborated with 405 co-authors from 1980 to 2011 - Cited by
6,482 authors.

Dr. Morse received his B.A. in Biochemistry from Harvard, his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and conducted postdoctoral research in molecular genetics at Stanford University. He was the Silas Arnold Houghton Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School before joining the faculty at UCSB. Honored by Scientific American as one of the top 50 technology innovators of 2006 for his development of bio-inspired, kinetically controlled routes to semiconductor thin films and nanoparticles, Morse was the 7th Kelly Lecturer in Materials and Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and the 3M Lecturer in Chemistry and Materials at the University of Vancouver. Elected a Fellow of the AAAS and the Smithsonian Institution, he received a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, a Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society, and honors as Visiting Professor of Bio-Nano-Electronics in Japan and as Visiting Professor at the University of Paris and universities in Singapore and the UK. His students have received international recognition and awards in numerous symposia and international research meetings.

Dan has been a very near and dear friend since 1972. He is also my academic advisor and my son's mentor.

While sitting out the hurricane season, I flew back to Hawai'i and operated light airplanes and gliders for Mr. Bill's Original Glider Rides. Dillingham Airfield, Oahu's North Shore,Waialua, Hawai'i. 1982. Enough sun while sailing....? You think?

Above, are several of the crew/companions I picked up along the way at various times in different parts of the world during my single-hand circum-navigation. Beautiful people, both on the inside and outside. We met and sailed together after meeting for just a few hours, if that. This is very common in cruising especially if a boat has a reputation of being a happy boat. All approached and asked if they could crew for me. I took a few over the years.

I picked Dominique up on Tikehau Island, the island with pink sand in The Tuamotu and Gambier Islands (French Polynesia). We sailed together through much of the south Pacific to Beautemps-Beaupré Atoll where she got off to return home. I sailed the longest with her. I hated leaving Beautemps-Beaupré, one of the most beautiful places on this beautiful earth. 

Taktsang "Tigers Nest" in Bhutan is one of ten most isolated places on the planet.

The Monastery hangs precariously off the side of a 9,800 ft (3,000 meter) cliff in Paro Valley, in the Himalayas. Legend has it, Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha, arrived on the cliff on the back of a great tigress, before hopping off his unusual mount and toddling off to find a cave to meditate in; a cave that can now be found within the monastery walls. It was built in 1692, the monastery is a strictly practicing, Buddhist-only retreat and the only way to get there is by foot or mule.

"Man must rise above the Earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives". (Socrates)



Gulfstream G-V G-550, one of my former offices.
Operated the G-V G-500 and G-V G-550 (mostly for bragging rights) for about four years. Flying into 40 countries in 90 days was my best record.

There is an aviation gallery as well. I was in aviation a good part of my life (1965 to 2010) and made friends with pilots all over the world. I know they enjoy airplane pictures. I did not fly all the different airplanes in the aviation gallery and not all the aircraft I operated are in there either. I included this gallery mainly because many of the airplanes I operated are now either retired in the Arizona and California deserts or displayed in museums around the world. I feel fortunate to have operated some first generation jets and a few of the last reciprocating engine classics.

Lockheed Super Constellation "Connie" 1049L. I operated that in Alaska, among other airplanes.

African Elephants. Tanzania

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land". (Desmond Tutu) 

I have a long history with Ethiopia going back to 1954. My late dad was the presiding judge and legal advisor to the late and last Emperor, H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie.

H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie was born Ras Tafari Makonen, near Harar, Ethiopia on July 23 1892 (that's who the Rasta religion follows). Hamle 16, 1884 in the Ethiopian calendar. It was July 22 1892, but owing to the omission of a leap-year in 1900 Gregorian calendar, Hamale 16 corresponds with 23 July.

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
(H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie)

The late and last emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie the first with empress Menen.

My dad and I at a social function with the late Emperor. My dad is the one with the glasses by the curtain. The emperor is looking straight at me smiling. I took pictures of him at functions my dad attended on several occasions. 

My late brother, George B. Faragallah (far left), with the late Emperor, H.I.M. Haile Selassie and the late Marshal Tito of the former Yugoslavia. George was the Harbour Master in Massawa, Ethiopia (now Eritrea) during 1950-59

Me with my late brother Samir leaving for Cairo from Lideta Airport (now Army Airport) on a Convair CV-220. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1955

"Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all.”
(Brian Jackman)


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            Africa._Ethiopia._Aunuak_girl_Western_Ethiopia2.JPG   Nuer_Chief_Western_Ethiopia.jpg          Photos: Michael W. Shatto.

 On Safari, Shatto Safaris, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Mike Shatto is the greatest 4 wheel driver that ever lived and I have ever known.

The East African Safari Rally with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background and Massai warriors.

Driving hazards in East Africa.

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” (Barry Finlay)



African Elephants & Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background, Uhuru Point, 19,341' (5,895 m), the summit and the bottom image, some of its ice fields (at the summit). The mountain’s snow caps are diminishing, having lost more than 80 percent of their mass since 1912. The mountain may be completely ice free within the next 20 years due to Global Warming. Mt. Kilimanjaro's first ascent was in 1889. It is Africa's highest and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro annually. Approximately two-thirds are successful. Altitude-related problems is the most common reason climbers turn back.

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A local printing business with an 1862 Liberty Press; 16th century market, Khan el Khalili, Old Cairo, Egypt. I sold this image to Eastman Kodak.
Paracho de Verduzco (often called merely Paracho) Mexico's guitar center is a small city located in Michoacán, Mexico

All the High-Resolution photographs in this web page where taken using various digital cameras, many however, were taken years before the digital age. Back then, I used Leica, Retina and Exacta Varex 35mm mirror-reflex cameras (for a very short time I even used 110mm). A couple of those "state of the art" cameras I used back then were years old at that time but produced excellent images. I moved up to the larger and newer 4x5 format cameras; Rolliflex, Hasselblad, Mamiya and Yashica for a short time. In 1980 when I embarked on my single-handed circum-navigation aboard my 42-ft motor sailor, "Great Eagle", I returned to the 35mm format and the newer single-reflex cameras. I did that mostly because the 4x5 cameras were cumbersome.

It was called film...... 

I chose the Nikon F-2 series camera body and Nikkor lenses; I also had a set of 35mm Canon cameras and manual lenses; I felt were the best at that time. I shot slides mostly, using Kodak film (with silver) almost exclusively. I recently had Kodak transfer several hundred of my slides to Hi-Resolution digital images. On occasion, I also used Agfa products. You will be able to tell the difference between the old and new images.

Lake_Rudolph_area.jpg  _Flirt_Hippopotamus.jpg  Young_Surma_woman_-_Kibish_-_South_west_Ethiopia.jpg

Young Samburu woman, Lake Turkana (formerly Lake Rudolph), Kenya;
Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo and Young Surma woman. South west Ethiopia. 

Baro_River_Nile_Perch_Lates_niloticus_Western_Ethiopia.jpg Nuer_village_Ethiopia6.jpg
Photos: Michael W. Shatto.
Nile Perch - Nuer, Western Ethiopia. Shatto Safaris, Ethiopia."There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday, no one became fat because he broke a fast." Ethiopian proverb

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"C", "D" (Expert) License, Master Rigger, Jump Master and Instructor Ratings. Several of my older skydiving certificates, I have them all, except for sissy jumps certificate (tandem). I am also a jump pilot.

Free Fall, an airgasm and the most fun I have with my clothes on.

Skydive_Being_stupid_-_BASE_jumping.JPG  Skydive_16-Way.JPG
Being young and stupid, illegally base jumping (acronym for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth, now simply known as B.A.S.E) and closing in on a 16 way.
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  •   Taking possession of my first brand new airplane. I was 21 years old in this picture. It was also my first solo cross country flight from Wichita, Kansas to Torrance, California.
  • Cessna Delivery Center, Wichita, Kansas. July 1967
  • Ted_Smith_Aerostar_600.jpg
  •  Aerostar, The Airplane I used to break the round the world speed record in. 1974 

    Jinan-Gus and Chrissy, Oak Ridge, Texas, U.S.A. May 2014

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    The RA, Thor Heyerdahl's raft/boat; Kon-Tiki Museum & Gustav Vigeland 's sculptures; Frogner Park. Oslo, Norway.


    The U.N. ranks the country as the world’s most desirable place to live and lists Norwegians as having the best living standard in the world, together with Australia and Iceland; the country is one of very few in the world that is debt free. Over twenty years ago, they had already invested the next generation's money (from oil). 

    Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has grown so much that it makes every Norwegian citizen a “theoretical” millionaire. The country reached the milestone thanks to increases in oil and gases prices during 2013.

    While the rest of Europe remains mired in financial crisis, Norway has quietly been amassing a huge fortune which reached 5.11 trillion crowns (US$828 billion), according to figures from the country’s central bank - Norges Bank.

    The new figure is over a million times Norway’s population which totaled 5,096,300 in the third quarter of 2013. The surplus revenue from Norway’s oil and gas investments around the world is collected in the Government Pension Fund Global.

    The fund ballooned in 2013, raking in a total of 288 billion crowns (US$46 billion) from around the world. Norwegian Finance Minister Siv Jensen told Reuters the fund helps protect Norway from volatile fluctuations on the oil and gas market." (Reuters)

    The country also has one of the highest standards of living and the highest cost of living in the world. Try US$10 for a gallon of regular gas (used to be $12), US$11 for a glass of beer at a self serve pub, a bottle of beer is US$17, a pint of local bear is US$25 (I never drank by the way). A regular pizza is US$22; Fajitas are $50 a piece (I make far better ones for far less) and the most expensive McDonald's in the world where you'll pay US$23 for a single meal of Big Mac, soda and fries. A slice of bacon was US$1.50 (with the skin still on. Ever tried chewing bacon with skin still on?). Sales Tax is 25%/18% on food, yet, the people don't complain, they are taken care of and are used to it.

    There are too many social programs to support, most food and machinery are imported, hence the high cost of living and taxes. They have a think tank always finding ways to tax people more. I had to pay a "noise tax" on a toy airplane I purchased for my son; it made some sound while taxiing. They have a tax for noise winter tires with nails emit and of course it is against the law to drive on summer tires during the winter. Is that creative or what?  Check these facts about Norway, written by a Norwegian.

    “The health care bill is nothing about health care- it's about controlling the people.” (David Lincoln) 

    The Government of Norway is reinventing communism and trying to sneak it in the back door. It is a cult.........of sorts “give us all your worldly possessions and all your money and we will take care of you” and takes care of you they will and do, very well, no denying that. They even prepare your annual income tax returns, for you and for everyone in the entire country (over 1 million of Norway's residents today are immigrants called "blacks" by locals, which is the same as using the "N" word in America). All that remains is for you to sign the completed the tax forms and mail them in; they never make mistakes.

    When our children were born (in Arendal, Norway), we had to submit each child's name to the government for approval before a birth certificate could be issued. They approved one name but not the other. One of my sons was nameless for six months until the U.S. embassy in Oslo straightened out the mess on their passports and Social Security cards, the birth certificate remained Norwegian. Imagine that, asking the government permission and approval to name your child. In Norway also, if one changes residence address, unlike in America where you fill out a change of address card at the local Post Office, there, you have to register with the government office or the post office will not accept the address change or deliver your mail.

    The government has complete access to every computer in the country. They know everything about everyone down to your shoe size, its value; the value of your vehicle, property, home, furniture, your salary and annual raises, what is in your checking and savings accounts, how much insurance you carry and for what, what you owe and so on; you get my drift. They know everything about its citizens.

    The only time in my entire life I was ever called "Nigger", was in Norway in 1960. Some drunk came up and said to me "Hey Nigger, the best thing you can do is go back to your ship". I was sitting on the steps of the Nationaltheatret (The National Theater on Karl Johans gate, the main street of Oslo by the main harbor. The theater is considered the home for Ibsen's plays). I got up and left. 

    Looks like a store in the former U.S.S.R. (for those who forgot, it means Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly called Soviet Union or Russia, it was a Marxist–Leninist state.)

    The Vinmonopolet (wine monopoly, government liquor store), Norway.

    The government also gets a share of every McDonald's or other business that start in Norway, I think about 30%, not sure about this one. There are no privately owned liquor stores as we know them in America only "Vinmonopolet" stores as they are called, owned by the government since 1939 (wine monopoly stores, they don't try to hide the fact they have a monopoly). It is the only store-institution with the authority to sell alcohol above 4.75 % Vol. to end-consumers. The government has 242 stores covering all Norway. They only sell wines and alcohol in its owned stores and the organization does not use any agent stores; they want all the profits and taxes from all the sales "Greed will find a way". 

    McDonald's, Bergen Norway

    On a positive note, when a child is born in Norway, back 19 years ago at least, the government gives each child US$5,000 cash (probably more now), free health checkups every month (by a nurse practitioner) and US$300 a month until they turn 18. This money is for baby stuff; cribs, clothes etc. medicine and Taxi transportation to and from Dr's. offices are free as well (that came in real handy for me during the winter. I let those with more experience driving on ice do the driving).

    A few of the things I learned living in Norway that stick in my mind to this day are: “that is not allowed, you must be punished and you must pay”. There are no rewards in Norway. When I tried suggesting and introducing rewarding students at the college I started to my boss, I was asked to appear in front of the governing board to explain this alien concept to them; they flat out rejected the idea telling me “only animals get rewarded”.

    They have something else we don't have in the U.S. During the month of December, you only have to pay half your income tax for that month and during summer, you are exempt from paying taxes on an entire month, which is you summer vacation money. July is usually the holiday month since it is the summer's best month (I have seen it snow in late May). Pretty much most all of Europe shuts down during the summer; they take their holidays very seriously.

    And here is something some of you will find appealing, at least interesting. I had to have an MRI done on my back and with just three machines in the entire country at that time; I was forcibly put on sick leave which turned out to be more than a year of waiting. I didn’t want that but I had no choice. During that period, the government paid my employer my full salary, which paid me my full salary on time as always. The board then hired my spouse, for less money than what they were paying me; she replaced me and got paid by my employer, they saved money and problem solved. When I returned to work, they offered me to work 10% without any loss of pay, I declined and finally quit, I wanted to work full time.

    As a rule, the employer is obliged to pay sick pay for the first 16 calendar days (employer's period). After that, the Norwegian Government office, NAV takes over the responsibility. NAV was originally an acronym for Ny arbeids-og velferdsforvalting (New Labor and Welfare Administration) but is now seen as a word. 

    As an employee, you are entitled to self-declared sick leave, i.e. to notify your employer that you are unable to work due to illness without having to present a medical certificate. The main rule is that self-declared sick leave can be used for up to three work days at a time. For more than that,  you must present a medical certificate from a doctor. Self-declared sick leave can be used four times in the course of a 12-month period. You must have been employed for at least two months to be entitled to take self-certified sick leave. 

    If you are sick longer than the time allowed by the self-declaration, you must get in touch with your doctor in order to get a medical certificate. If the doctor regards sick leave necessary, he/she will issue a medical certificate for the required period. The doctor will also assess whether full sick leave (100 per cent) is required, or whether you are able to perform some of your work and only need partial sick leave. For example you may be on 50 per cent sick leave and work 50 per cent of the time. The employer will adjust your duties and follow up while you are on sick leave. Active sick leave or other measures from NAV may be considered. You still would collect your 100% pay, even if you only worked 10% but you still must have a doctor's note.

    Sick leave money is a 50 year old “reform”; I call it a tradition in Norway. Not something lavish Norwegians have given themselves just because they found oil. There is mostly a drastic increase of misuse and fraud by -mostly the one million plus immigrants that now reside in Norway.  Immigrants are also the largest “consumers” of all of Norway’s welfare reforms ranging from sick leave money (sykepenger), unemployment benefits (dagpenger), support for single parents (overgangsstønad), sick pension (uføretrygd) and so on so forth. This fact has been presented in report after report from SSB (statistics Norway) and NAV. 

    Let's face it, like the United States, though not quite as rich monetarily, the immigrants there, like the U.S. use up most of the resources, the difference being, there are over 14 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. that don't contribute to the system.

    Immigrants and refugees don’t go to Norway for political asylum but for economic reasons. Many of them shop around Europe to find the best welfare system that best suits them and after getting kicked out of other countries. This overuse, misuse and abuse of Norway’s welfare system are the focal point of the voters in the coming elections in Norway. 

    I lived in a refugee camp with mostly Croatian and Iraqi refugees for a month (I was alone in Norway at the time and wanted to know about them). I was fascinated by their stories, how they were smuggled through the mountains in Turkey, into Greece, working their way country to country, how they forged their documents and smuggled money and extra children in. They file they were married back home when they were not. After establishing residency, they fly home choose and bring back a wife. The stories I heard were something Ian Fleming would write about. By the time immigrants make it into Norway; they are very savvy, they knew how to work the system. I ate better in the camp than I did in my own home, loved their stories.....and food. 

    Unemployment benefits in Norway are for three years, receiving up to 80 % of your pay and that can be extended after the three years.

    Wasn’t it the British rock band Dire Straits, that coined the phrase "money for nothin and chicks for free"? Welcome to Norway. 

    The prominent Senterparti-politician Sandra Borch (Central Party) calls Norway “the social security office of Europe”.

    Check out Norway's written law, the Janteloven; social conformity is like nowhere else in the word. I can write a book about living in Norway, why bother?

    No, thank you, I will enjoy my Chinese all you can eat buffet in the U.S. with real meat and vegetables (sometimes) for US$7.99. I have a lot of class, it is all low.

    The Bald Eagle, America's symbol

    Sometimes we joke about being "the land of the free"; America IS the land of the free. For those of you who think otherwise or like to bellyache about the United States, or others that like to talk about "back home" and how much better things were there, leave, go back home.

    Those of you still milling over what I am saying, if you ever have the chance, try living in North Korea, East Timor, Myanmar, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia or some of the countries I lived in, even Mexico; you will be home sick so fast, you will make a beeline for America before you can learn to say crepúsculo. 

    What makes a child gifted and talented may not always be good grades in school, but a different way of looking at the world and learning. (Chuck Grassley) 

    Some of the photographs of Norway ("GALLERIES" - Norway) were taken within a five-mile radius of both my homes there; one home is on Risøya (an Island) on the south east coast of Norway, the other, my summer home, is in Lista, located south-southwest of Lindesness, the furthest point south in Norway along the Norwegian Sea (the North Sea).

    The Lofoton Islands in North Norway

    The country is one of the most beautiful I have ever been to. The people are very friendly, kind, and not at all aggressive, unlike the Dutch or Mexicans; they get all the jokes, happy by nature, easy and fun to be around. What surprised me though is when I first got there I found everybody can read and write in Norway but very few are educated. 

    Ulvik, Norway

    With Captian Svein Ivar Olaussen aboard the school and cruise ship GannSvein is one of several of my closest friends in Norway.
    Stavanger, Norway 2013
    I have a standing invitation to drop by, stay onboard or go on any of the ship's cruises anytime. He gives me free acess to the entire ship "all areas, all hours", from the bridge to the engine room.
    I enjoy spending time having fun with the students, crew and teachers when I am onboard. I have also prepared slide shows for the cruises.

    M/S Gann docked at Odda, Norway. November 2011

    Odda is located in southeastern Hordaland County, surrounding the southern end of Sørfjorden in a beautiful fjord, with rushing waterfalls, mountain peaks and "eternal snow". Surrounding the town with two national parks, The Trolls Tounge, Røldal with the deepest snow in Europe, the unique stave church, Buerbreen glacier and the historical industrial town Tyssedal are among many other things to see and do. 



    M/S Gann's engine room and control panel and Gus starting up the ship's engines. Stavanger, Norway 2012

    Spitsbergen, Norway




    “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) 

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    Updated November 25th 2014, Houston Texas

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