Freshman finds that beauty lies in poverty in Guatemala

Callan. Posting this to use with her guest blog.This guest post is brought to you by Callan Gaines, a sophomore at Winthrop University and one of seven students who traveled with Kelly Campbell of the Village Experience and me to Guatemala. She’s an artist studying interior design and has a laugh that can be heard over the zip of a zip line.

Her post reminds me of something designer Bibi Russell told me in Bangladesh: “Beauty lies in poverty.”

When traveling abroad, it is awesome how much you can learn about yourself and this incredible world we have.

My first trip abroad was to the beautiful Latin American country of…

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Men study abroad and volunteer less than women

I’m on a trip with Winthrop University in Guatemala. I’m the only dude.

A few theories as to why this is the case:

1. This trip arranged and led by Kelly Campbell at the Village Experience was billed as a trip with Kelsey Timmerman, and the ladies love me.

2. I’m told that about 70% of the students enrolled in Winthrop are girls. So that means our group of 7 would only have to have two dudes to strike the right proportion.

3. Dudes suck.

Yeah, so number one is ridiculous, but I had to say it. Guatemala is the big seller here.

We’re left with a combination of 2 and 3.

I think what we’re witnessing here, and what I witness visiting countless universities, and volunteering in my community…

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Traveling with Students in Guatemala

The other day I was digging through some old writing goals–circa 2005.  One of the questions that I attempted to answer was, “What is the greatest good my writing can accomplish?

My answer went something like this:

“To introduce readers to people they wouldn’t normally meet, places they wouldn’t normally go, and issues they wouldn’t normally think about.” 

I’m so honored to get to do this from the page and stage.  Now, thanks to a partnership with The Village Experience, I’m on a trip in Guatemala with students from Winthrop University who read WHERE AM I WEARING? as their freshmen common reader experience.  Over the course of the next week we’ll meet garment workers, coffee farmers, and visit fair trade cooperatives.

For many of…

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On Indy Style TV

Where Am I Eating? A Journey Through the Global Food

Thanks to the fun folks at Indy Style TV for interviewing me about Where Am I Eating? and helping me acclimate to Guatemalan heat.

A few random thoughts:

1) I probably shouldn’t have started and ended the interview with my bitter beer face.

2) I will never be not amazed by the angularity of my nose.

3) I went on after a fellow who talked about how to wash and care for home windows. Hard to be more useful than that guy.

4) Not sure where their coffee came from, but it tasted like arm pit….

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