Desmond Tutu

Consume & Update: Global Citizenship and Geography

Ahh, back from Chicago and back to my armchair office. And here are the interesting tidbits for this week!

Being a Good Global Citizen

Brave New Traveler brought my attention to a website this week that barks right up the tree I'm climbing these days. Project Explorer makes free educational videos for school children as a non-for-profit organization, and a dialogue they've opened up to the world is on the topic of "global citizenship" and what it means to people everywhere.

Here are some of the well-known participants in this conversation I thought you'd find interesting.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu discusses how we can only be human together...

Andrew Zimmern refrains from chomping on scorpions and large intestines to talk about being a global citizen...

Russell Simmons talks about giving as a part of your job on this earth to be a global citizen...

Anthony Bourdain shares his thoughts on how travel can change your perspective...

Find more videos like this on's Good Global Citizen

Other Discoveries

The artist culture is returning to my old Florentine neighborhood: Oltrarno

Thanks, Intelligent Travel Blog, for reporting on the new fruit labeling technique, soon to sweep the nation.

Next week is Geography Awareness Week!

Update on Nomadderwhere

I've got a lot of things to cover, I tell you what!

Someone's gotta tell this guy he's in Chicago

Someone's gotta tell this guy he's in Chicago

1. I returned from my six day trip to Chicago and am thoroughly pleased with what I accomplished. My activities ranged from touristy to local favorite to rare and offbeat. I saw friends and family and ate great food. Chicago is a comfortable and dynamic city, and you can expect a few blogs and videos to come in the next couple weeks.

2. My writing challenge is off to a predictably slow start, especially since I wasn't at home this week and the Nakavika Project is just launching (and taking up all my time). I'm still on for the November 30th deadline of 20,000 additional words to my manuscript. Is anyone else pushing themselves on a challenge this month?

3. Many of you have been click on the Nakavika Project page above and presumably found disappointment in its password-protected status. These pages will soon be public as soon as plans are finalized with my travel partner. This should occur this following week, so stay tuned for the launch date of the NP!

Clark Gallery Photo Show

Clark Gallery Photo Show

4. I am giving a small talk at the Honeywell Center in Wabash, Indiana on Tuesday (the 17th), which will focus on some of my better travel photos and the stories behind capturing them. If you're in the area, come check out the Clark Gallery Photo Show going on right now, and then stick around on Tuesday for the reception! I'm flattered they wanted me to talk, as I am far from even pretending to be professional, but I hope to give them something to think about. The coolest part about all this is that the gallery is named after my late grandfather.

Tooty in the Classroom: Day 23

This post was syndicated to Semester at Sea's Shipmates publication for a new column called "My Life at Sea." As if every day isn't a remarkable gift, I experienced something today that had me choking back tears from unfathomable intensity.

Today, I slept through class due to an unknown time zone change and punished myself in the form of compartmentalized exercise and resumé construction. After our typical hilarious lunch time antics, I struggled through a tedious exam, ran down to deck 2 for a quick shower, and then situated myself within arms length of the front chair in my next classroom.

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu

While I am normally magnetized to the window seat in the back, which usually curbs my seasickness, I relocated in order to improve the vista that I am sure remember my entire life. That swiveling seat and chilled glass of water sitting ahead of me was reserved for the most accomplished man I've ever shared oxygen with, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. His tangible presence summoned immediate attention and respect upon entering the room, even though his wardrobe included board shorts, knee high dress socks, and black leather flip flops. We were all poised with smiles, straight backs, and pencils in the air when he rose to speak from the adjacent podium, but he immediately expressed his own humility ever so subtly in an attempt to homogenize the classroom. Tutu transformed himself from a living legend into the every man within minutes, contradicting all our preconceived assumptions as to why he became an priest and what he was like as a child (entranced by comic books). He became a cartoon character, a goofy man with a drive to inspire the youthful that inspire him unknowingly.

I left with welling tears in a state of intrigued confusion, knowing it would be a while before I could fathom what just happened.

On this ship of dreams, it's just another day when the most famous archbishop in the world speaks to your classroom. At home, it's a jaw dropping phenomenon.

Immediate Hits: Day 4

I will start by saying that, even at day four of one hundred, this is, by far, the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. Even though that’s probably stating the obvious, it needed to be said. And now, I will list the highlights thus far… The cast off from the Bahamas My roommate and her stunning sense of humor Stepping into the Caribbean Sea after a hike around San Juan The sunrise over the first port Saying “Good Morning” to Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the way to said sunrise The crazy cab ride home from Senor Frog’s in a pimped out cab with four ship crew members The cup of coffee from Nadia’s Café The hilarious busboys on the ship and their deadly fruit punch Spanglish Café The refreshing dip by a rainforest waterfall Sleeping very little and living a dream

Imagine living in a Ritz that takes you to unique destinations around the world with 702 college students that travel alongside you. Also imagine knowing for sure that the best moments of your life are approaching in days, hours, or seconds. The world that I study from the map on my wall is accessible at the end of the gangway.

The most unnerving experience so far has been trying to adjust to the slow rocking of the ship and then readjusting to the land multiple times per day. Once we gain our sea legs and learn to balance on the water, we get back on steady ground, where we continue to feel the swaying. I fell off the sidewalk yesterday. Speaking of sidewalks, I stumbled across a water meter in Old San Juan that read “Ford Meter Box Wabash, In,” which I immediately photographed. Even on a voyage around the world, I cannot get away from my hometown.

I am amazed that upon boarding the ship and at cast off, I met people that would get me even more enthused about this program and all it offers. When blisters and sunburns are the most of your worries, you know for sure that life is wonderful. All this perfection will screech to a halt when I get my first glimpse of the third world and its inhabitants. My worries will shift when I give a child a homemade bracelet, knowing that won’t guarantee them a happy or plentiful life.

On this voyage, days of the week won’t matter and the only time you care about is shipboard time (so you don’t get left behind). The skyline of San Juan glitters my vista as I enjoy a surprisingly tasty cup of “Joe.” I no longer smell the ocean air as it is probably my new scent…Eau du Salt & Fish. Along with the worry of these velvet waves swelling gigantically and swallowing us whole, I fear that a day will go by when I won’t appreciate this opportunity and wish I were somewhere else. In hopes of making that thought impossible, I am living by these rules:

1. Be decisive and do something.

2. Don’t sleep…keep going strong.

3. I hear; I forget. I see; I remember. I do; I understand.