Ryan is a consummate storyteller. Whenever he told stories of the place he grew up in, it was as if I was there myself. He grew up in Mindanao, one of the three main islands of the Philippines, in a place where life was idyllic and time moved slowly. His barrio (a term for a local community) is like a Faraday cage—there was no internet, no mobile phone signals, no cable tv. People actually talked, and get to know each

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