Why didn’t anyone tell me about Kentucky?

A brief debate about boxing with my nephews combine with an urge to education led to a fun fact trip to Louisville, Kentucky. Just a few hours away from Chicago, a day trip to Kentucky is a must! One of the first item on my agenda was to expose and explore the brilliance of Muhammad Ali.

It’s safe to say that both Marcell and Tre enjoyed their time at the center as well as left with a different perspective of true champion and leader.

Just around around the corner from the center, we toured the Louisville Slugger Museum.

We got the opportunity to explore the slugger making process in the factory as well as explore the different selection of game winning bats from many historical baseball figures. While the trip was a success, I plan to do much more on my next visit!

From Day One to One Day

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I can remember the first day I was exposed me to the world of traveling abroad. My sixth grade teacher shared her summer vacation experiences traveling through Asia.  She brought in Polaroid (hand-held photos for you New Schoolers) pictures of her family in Japan, Vietnam and Hong Kong, which at the time seemed so weird to me and other classmates to learn of a black people traveling to a place so far away. During her presentation, she spoke of how she enjoyed the journey, learned to speak Mandarin, dine with the locals and even dressed in the traditional wear during her visit.  It would be years later that I would learn of another teacher that would experience going abroad, many classmates nor family never wanted embark on the challenge.  When asked by my international colleagues why many Americans never traveled, especially African-Americans, you’re bomb rushed with a plethora of reasons such as some not having the resources, poor decision-making early in life, illness, lack of knowledge and exposure can account for large amounts of individuals not experiencing a life time treasure.  While I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity the leave the United States, I often think of my community as I am now collecting my souvenirs and garments to share once I return back to my neighborhood one day.

I was 35  when I entered the globetrotting community and Asia was the first place I visited, who would have known!  I’ve grown so much as an educator and even discover outside of the beautiful monuments, art work and food tours, I grown to enjoy people-watching.  I admire large families who expose their children to the world of travel at such a young age.  Although they may be too young to realize it, later in life many go on to develop into global citizens, speak many languages either verbal both non-verbal which also prepare them for rewarding professional careers.   Being a realist, I know the thought of hopping on a plane and traveling across the globe for many young pupils in poverty-stricken communities are mere dreams but I strive to do my part by sharing and promoting the joy of travel with my old colleagues, students’ nieces and nephews.  I dedicated much of my summer vacation traveling through the states, taking them on trips outside of the community and when time permits, weekend road trips will soon become a staple.  I’m impressed with their language when they speak about our staycation in passing, I am certain they will develop the desire travel much sooner than later.

I met an avid traveler during one of my frequent  airport layovers that spoke about the best birthday present she had received was a passport application  along with a money order of the amount needed to complete the registration.  It’s a great idea I plan to adopt for my family members in the near future.   It’s as if history is repeating itself but with the help of technology and a more globalized society, dreamers are now becoming believers! If I could find that teacher, I would like to thank her for opening my eyes to a world outside of Chicago, Illinois, Midwest and the United States.  A place that once seemed so large to me as young student, has now become so small.  Yes, as clichéd as it sounds the sky’s the limit and it’s through the clouds you will begin to discovered that true learning comes from just observing the world, even if it through the experiences of others First!

Historic Town of St. George’s B & W Photo Diary

St. George’s was the original capital of Bermuda and is one of the few communities on the island that cater to residents and tourists interested in learning more about the island’s history. Stories about Bermuda’s early years can be heard around lunch tables, during short chats in the souvenir shops and most famously, in a reenactment of 18th Century Trial by the St, Georges Town Crier in King’s Square. To explore more about the latter years of the culture requires several bus rides across the island, where on any given day you will discover chunks of its culture hidden behind the beautiful pastels homes and picturesque walking trails.  Since I’m still at the start of my cultural quest, I learned the best place to start should be on the North side of the island.  I thought to snap some pictures of St. Georges during a time and day when the community seemed to be at peace.

 

Footprints in the Pink Sand

It’s been a year since I moved to Bermuda, an experience that has changed my perspectives on life, education and culture.  While I can easily adapt to new environments, being a newbie to the island lifestyle can pose a huge challenge for a city dweller.

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For instance, my introduction to the island culture was quite brief while living in Asia I toured Thailand.  A very tourist and popular destination with a host events to keep you entertained during your stay.  While I haven’t had a chance yet to tour the Caribbean, I was fortunate to land a job on the beautiful North Atlantic gem to get me started.img_6528-1

Bermuda sits just east of Florida and only a couple of hours away from the mainland.  A beautiful relaxing paradise that ironically never comes up in international conversations.  During my research, I learned of the expensive urbanity, everything from the six-dollar loaves of bread, to the one dollar apples and fifteen hundred-dollar studio apartment rentals were mind boggling. I learned very quickly, networking here is mandatory and not optional especially if your seeking to land a job and are contracted to stay for a while. While on the tailend of settling, I struggled with the stagnated and snaillike demeanor which can easily be misunderstood for laziness.  I learned the greatest  asset this country have is the warm invitation from the local community.  I was able to make connections via social media and email quickly and soon found a cheap apartment, furniture and learned of the best places to shop for food. Visitings websites such as www.nothingtodoinbermuda.com and www.emoo.bm and the The People’s List  page on Facebook opened the door to monthly calendar events which provided more of social life as the environment is very family oriented.

While quite beautiful, it’s very small, 22 miles long to be exact!  In most cases in the US it would be considered a neighborhood. The island consists of nine parishes (or communities) all are easily accessible by boat, bike, car or bus.  There’s a railroad trail converted into a walking path, great for late evening and afternoon cool downs.

In my short time, I complete The End 2 End Marathon, (for which I walked), attended my first Carnival and Soca Parade and  the international sailing competition the America’s Cup, for which America lost. In total, the experience was priceless.

While I  have yet to find a great eatery, I have sampled their signature dishes, which are the The Traditional Fish Sandwich and Fish Chowder and was given more suggestions about others spots that I plan to write about in later posts.

With so much more to unravel about this gem and the infamous “Bermuda Triangle”, I can honestly state that my time thus far has been notable.  I plan to continue to stroll the shoreline of these pink sand beaches to explore more about this unique peninsular otherwise known as Bermuda. 

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On top of the rocks at Horseshoe Bay! Have a Bermudaful Day!!

 

The End 2 End Challenge

Each year many locals and brave ex-pats take to streets of Bermuda to walk, run and bike from one end of the island to other all in the name of charity and the perfect excuse to come out and have fun with family and friends.  The island of Bermuda stretches just short of 22 miles, so of course one would think it wouldn’t be that long of journey to complete. While very few decided to go the long haul, I decided to stay within the majority and start my journey from the middle of island.

The course travels on the old railroad trail along the sea, where you soon discover beauty defiantly have an address here on the island!  Many local businesses are stationed throughout the route giving away food, small gifts and words of encouragement.  The locals were very supportive and the music in Somerset Parish, a community towards the end, took me back to the crate and record days in high school.  I really enjoy this event and discovered that a fourteen mile hike on a Saturday morning was not so bad.

Little Rock Arkansas: Retracing the steps of “The Little Rock Nine”

Nearly 5 years ago, I decided to explore my options, take a risk to travel across the globe to teach abroad in the Middle East.   At that time, the state of education had

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A collection of items donated from each of the students to the museum that was built to honor their legacy.
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These shoes belong to Elizabeth Eckford, a young  women who was brazen enough to withstand the anger, yelling and rage from segregationists when she made attempt to enter school.
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I had to capture this moment as I truly admire these unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.
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A portrait created a art student from Little Rock High School.

it’s troubles but I learned to adapt and persevere to become a passionate Special Needs Educator. I took for granted the restorative natural of travel and how easy it is to explore the United States without a passport or visa.  That’s why every Summer I create an agenda and go on a road trip to visit places and/or states I’ve never seen.  This year, one of the many places I traveled to  was Little Rock, Arkansas. I had the liberty of walking the same route nine students took nearly 60 years ago to force their way into high school to get the educated.
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The Little Rock Nine were a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas.