Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington DC

Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington D.C. on a snowy day...

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Appalachian Trail, Maine

100 Mile Wilderness Hike, Monson to Mt. Katahdin, Maine, September 2010
I undertook this grueling trip with my long-time college friend, Johan Borchert. We were inspired long ago by Bill Bryson's hilarious novel "A Walk in the Woods" and, based on our shared history of misadventures, decided to throw on our backpacks and attempt the most difficult part of the course.
The weather was in our favor as it was unseasonably warm and humid for that time of the year in upper Maine (90F, 85%). This tends to somewhat dampen your spirits when carrying a full pack with a 10 day food-supply.
In retrospect, we had a blast, augmented by our interactions with various through-hikers with trail-names like Aikido Joe, Saguara and Sherlock. The scavenger bears and moose made the trip even more 'exciting'. To be continued...

KIST, Seoul, Korea

Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea. June 2010
Returned from a trip to South Korea with a seminar at KIST (Korea Institute for Science and Technology). Noticed the following sign in my hotel’s elevator. Wondering how hard you’ll fall when entering the elevator shaft head first...

One evening, we were treated to an authentic Buddhist temple meal at a restaurant in Insadong, named
Sanchon. Owned by a former Buddhist monk, the food style is "temple vegetarian," patterned after the traditional monk's meals prepared with fresh local ingredients. As the small plates kept appearing on the table, I believe I lost count at 25. Also in the picture below, Arto Urtti and Marjo Yliperttula (University of Helsinki)

Easter Island

Relatively close to Chile (3,500 miles West) lies Rapa Nui, Isla de Pascua, or Easter Island, home to massive monolithic head statues (moai). Though remote, it is definitely worth the trip. Rented a mountain bike (well, let’s not upgrade these bicycles too much; the shocks were worn out and the bikes weighed a ton. All the roads are dirt tracks) and explored the many sites. Most impressive is the quarry site, Rano Raraku, with heads scattered around in various stages of completion. Also, below is a picture of Ahu Tongariki, where many toppled moai were put back on their platform.


Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Visit to the Catholic University of Chile in Santiago, Chile to present a departmental seminar and review the Department of Pharmacy (part of the Faculty of Chemistry) for their planned development of a graduate program in pharmaceutical sciences. Pictured are (from left to right): Drs. Gonzalo Recabarren, Carlos Pessoa, Peter Swaan, Camilo López, Pablo González, José Fuentealba, María Javiera Álvarez, Roberto Ebensperger, Patricio Huenchuñir, and Mario Faúndez.