I was born to a dairy farmer and teacher in Dodge County, Wisconsin.  I had penpals from all over the world as soon as I could write and have always been interested in the cultures and countries of the world.  In fact I played teacher and had my little sister do “reports” on them from big set of encyclopedias we had.  I took my first overseas trip in 1979 when my family went on a trip to Europe with a group called, Rural Route Tours.  We saw the famous sites plus a farm visit in England, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.  When I was 16, in 1982,  I spent a summer in Italy in Perugia, Umbria  and then near Cuneo in Piedmonte thru a 4-H/3-P exchange.  There is discovered Moscato among other things like the pizza in Italy is amazing and men handsome.

While I was attending the UW Madison studying Child and Family Studies (with a focus on multicultural families) I  worked at the State 4-H office and there had the opportunity to chaperone a group of Wisconsin 4-H youth to Japan in 1987.  I stayed the the Taniguchi family in Kyushu, Japan and visited Tokyo.

My first husband was a Pakistani Muslim man who had immigrated to the US.  Together we have two grown children, Amie and Andrew.

In the early 90’s I met some Saudi grad students that have greatly influenced my interests and life.  Other than the journals I had written for many years in my teens and twenties,  this was the period of my life when I started to write essays, short stories and began researching for a still unwritten novel about my great grandma’s immigration story from Germany to Wisconsin.

My second husband, Jason, was just finishing his PhD in English literature when we met in Madison, WI.  I convinced him to apply for some international positions I found listed in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  We have since divorced but he is still working at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  While living in Hong Kong we  traveled to China several times, Thailand and a second visit to Japan (where I was reunited with my friends from my first visit).  My husband participated in international conferences so I had a chance to go to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey; France, England,  Bermuda, Seville, Spain and Tangier, Morocco.  We travelled to Poland and Ireland on vacations.

Since divorcing I have travelled twice more to Morocco, Dubai, Egypt and Bahrain.

I have worked in human services both in Dodge County, Wisconsin and Milwaukee.  I have worked most of my career doing eligibility for economic support programs and with the TANF program, W2 or Wisconsin Works.  Currently I am a WIA (Workforce Investment Act) and FSET (Food Share Employment and Training) Casemanager at UMOS in Milwaukee, WI.  The programs provide employment assistance and training opportunities for income eligible people.

I am currently weighing options of returning to school to earn a Master’s Degree or another Bachelor’s degree.

I am a writer, blogger,  and traveller. I love middle eastern and north african food, art, literature, and culture.

I have written articles for local papers about family history and local history topics.  I am submitting short stories and essays and currently working on a woman’s fiction novel with a Arab and American romantic plot. I have attend UW Writer’s Institute for the past three years, and writing workshops by Helen Stefaniak and Wade Rouse. My piece,  Hickory Nuts, will be published shortly in the Best of Milwaukee Writer Circle anthology.

Sue Braunschweig