Who knew it could be so wonderful to watch a man, middle-aged with wispy gray hair, clothed in jeans and a cable knit sweater against the chill of the English countryside, talk about the qualities of compost on YouTube? The way the Englishman pronounces it, even the word “compost” sounds soothing.

Anybody who has carried water on a long hike knows: Hauling water is exhausting and humans need a lot of it. Escaping Earth’s gravity with enough water to quench the thirst of explorers on the moon, Mars or beyond, is a much bigger problem.

After two weeks in quarantine in a Bangkok hotel, two more weeks in Thailand to complete various adoption requirements to bring our 7-year-old home, a seven-hour flight to Doha, a 14-hour flight to Chicago and a 3 1/2 hour flight to El Paso, we returned home a family of six Tuesday night.

Getting to Thailand is hard in the best of times, separated from El Paso by more than 8,500 miles, 22 hours of flight time and 14 time zones.

Every year around this time we ask, “Who will be El Pasoan of the Year?”

Microsoft is following in the wake of Google and Facebook and investing in newsrooms in El Paso and Juárez to help protect local journalism. The borderland is one of the first four communities nationwide that the technology giant has selected to participate in its pilot program.

The last time I spoke with Nico Tejeda, who oversees five hospitals in El Paso as the group CEO of The Hospitals of Providence, COVID-19 cases had fallen after a worrisome spike.

When the overture to Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” started playing from the back of the pickup truck in the airport parking lot, my oldest son’s first words were, “Bugs Bunny!”

It’s not surprising that manufacturers in this region, one of the largest industrial centers on the border, buy a lot from suppliers: $39 billion worth every year by one estimate.

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