I am an instructor at the University of Southern Maine where I teach for the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Geography/Anthropology Department. I received my PhD in cultural anthropology from American University (Washington, D.C.) and have research interests in gender, indigenous strategies for empowerment, tourism, and economic anthropology. I have traveled extensively but have spent over twenty years living between many different cultures from Europe (France and England) to Lebanon and Mali, West Africa. I first arrived in Mali as a Peace Corps volunteer where I resided for two years in a small village in the African savannah as an agro-forestry technician. In addition to English, I speak French and Bambara an African language of the Bamana people of Mali.