Saturday, September 24, 2011

Global Exchange Reality Tours

Some of you have asked what tour company I went to North Korea (and Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine...) with.  The company name is Global Exchange and they run a series of Reality Tours that take people all over the world.
 "The idea that travel can be educational and positively influence international affairs motivated the first Reality Tour in 1988.  Global Exchange's Reality Tours are not designed to provide immediate solutions or remedies to the world’s most intractable problems, nor are they simply a kind of voyeurism. Rather, Reality Tours are meant to educate people about how we, individually and collectively, contribute to global problems, and, then, to suggest ways in which we can contribute to positive change locally and internationally.

Reality Tours offer participants an opportunity to journey to other countries to examine a situation first-hand, to see beyond what is communicated by the mass media. By joining us on one of these delegations, participants have the chance to learn about unfamiliar cultures, meet with people from all walks of life, and establish meaningful relationships with people from other countries."

Photos from North Korea

Propaganda is the backdrop throughout North Korea
Taking a ride in the subway

Meeting the President of Guinea during UN General Assembly Week in NY

Suzanne and I get to meet Alpha Conde, the President of Guinea
Lots of you know that my favorite NY event of the year is the UN General Assembly. 193 world leaders came to town this year and I did my annual session of stalking. This year I did really well!

Somehow I befriended some Guinean's in the Waldorf lobby and told them I'd love to meet their new President. An hour later I managed to join a crowd of 25 prominent Guinean's from DC, Boston and NY up in the country's suite and was part of a surreal time mixed with referential treatment, lots of Islamic prayers and genuine love of their country all in a language I didn't speak. And mixed in all that was real pleasure that my friend and I cared about their country.