Things The World Taught Me in 2014

Things The World Taught Me in 2014
Nasa World photo

I began this blog in June of 2014 with the goal of interviewing one person in every country of the world (roughly 196). By year’s end, I’d spoken with 19 people. They humbled me with their willingness to participate. Surprised, delighted, and disturbed me with their responses.

I learned so much from them. Below, is a small sampling.

(All photos are public domain or used with the owner’s permission) 

A Perfect Day


“On a weekend, right before dawn, when it is so quiet except for the crickets and the last rooster’s crow. I open my bedroom window and watch the sun springing up slowly from the peaks of Mount Kenya. I love to watch the red, orange, yellow bright skies when the weather is agreeable. I also enjoy the huge morning sun as it changes colors until it becomes the small too bright circle unbearable for us to look at.”  – Theresa

Theresa's tea and coffee farm near Mount Kenya.

Theresa’s tea and coffee farm near Mount Kenya.


“I would say that a perfect day is what most Brazilians dream of – no floods in the South, no droughts in the Northeast, no violence in big cities, no government corruption. A perfect day is still to be born in Brazil.” – Jaell


Campinas, Brazil

Favorite Time of Day


“Dawn, or what is referred to as “Sandhya” in India. This is the coolest time of the day, when the sun lazily lifts its eyelids over the skyline. As the melody of the ‘sandhya vandanam’ (the morning song) lilts through the air, Indian housewives draped in saris step out to decorate the threshold of their homes with the kolam (a design drawn on the threshold of a house with a powder made from rice). As the sun rises higher, the diversity of India comes forth in full glory with chants from the Hindu temple mingling with hymns from the Church and the azan from the Mosque around the corner – truly unity in diversity.” – Nandita

Kolam Drawing

Kolam Drawing

What Makes Their Country Unique 


Thoughtfulness.” – Rika

Mt. Sakurajima, Japan

Mt. Sakurajima, Japan


“We’re an island city, and quite proud of that. The last person to be imprisoned for witchcraft was living here (Portsmouth) during WWII. Britain’s last witch was sent to jail for releasing secrets about the sinking of a ship at a séance before the government had told the public.” – Richard

Along the beach in Portsmouth, England

Along the beach in Portsmouth, England


“Fear. Despair.” – Sylvain

Traveling in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Traveling in the Democratic Republic of Congo


“There is so much to see that people from outside Scotland wouldn’t realize. For example, Edinburgh has an underground city. They also have vaults underneath the South Bridge in the city center. They were initially built for storage but because of the damp they ended up being used as homes for poor people.” – Eilidh

Sailing in Scotland

Sailing in Scotland


“People might be surprised to know that Robertsport is a hotspot for surfers from around the world.  Liberia is just spectacular.” – Christine

Liberian Surfing Competitor

Liberian Surfing Competitor

The People


“There is a saying about Hungarians: ‘How can you recognize a Hungarian? He enters the revolving door behind you and gets out before you.’ Two natures about Hungarians: creativity and pessimism. I think it is quite true and comes from our history.” – Laszlo

Hungarian winery cellar

Hungarian winery cellar

Opinions of America

The Netherlands

“Do love the country, been there several times, and have great friends there. What I do not understand is the gun law. Everyone can carry a gun; it is in the Constitution. Because it is so easy to buy a gun and no one will ask you if you can handle a gun, you will have a lot of accidents and uncontrolled shootings.” – Herman


The Netherlands


“Love and… kind of less love:

I love the people.

I love the atmosphere.

I love the kindness.

I love the culture.

I love NY and Sante Fe (NM)!

But. . .

It is the land of freedom but still you cannot know if your food is genetically modified or not.

It is the land of freedom if you have good health and money, they say.

In the land of freedom, I have the feeling that people do not actually get the time to feel the freedom. . .”


Icelandic Volcano -- Orvar A.. Thorgeirsson.Used with permission

Icelandic Volcano — Orvar A.. Thorgeirsson.Used with permission

Favorite Quote


“It is not the cleverest of species who survive but those most adaptable to change,” Charles Darwin. –Ian

Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle, Wales

Outside Their Window


“I see a beautiful country with a lovely and inviting landscape. God’s creation inhabited with unfree people. They have lived under oppression and lies the last two generations and it wounded their souls so much, it will take another generation to be free again. If we are lucky as not all of our neighbors are. Ukraine is a sad example.” – Denisa

Bratislava Castle

Bratisalva Castle, Slovakia



“I grew up in a family where everything was okay. Things turned when I was 11, during the Bush War of 1980. Village children were forced to join the army, women were raped while their husbands and children were watching. This is just a little about my childhood in Uganda.” – Robert

Ugandan children

Ugandan children


“My family are all the hope I need in my life. To see my family in age and number. Grandchild number eight on the way, three of my kids engaged at the moment. So the promise of more.” – Matt

Ennistymon, County Clare

Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland


“It’s the center of the social net we have in Spain, a way we organize life to help each other anytime someone needs it. Fortunately, from the beginning of the economic crisis, many people in Spain survived because of family, grandparents, parents, etc. Otherwise, it is impossible to understand how five million unemployed people survived during the last three years.” – Mario

Gijon, In the North of Spain. Miguel Prado, photographer

Gijon, In the North of Spain.
Miguel Prado, photographer

Greatest Fears


“My greatest fear is global war. I don’t want my son to live in a post-apocalyptic world or even die. I don’t say that all the Americans want war but they are ruled by those to whom God is money. These people don’t care about causalities.” – Alex

Alex's Dacha (vacation or summer house)

Alex’s Russian Dacha (vacation or summer house)


“That I lose my faith in humanity. Somehow, if you do good to people, you believe they will respond in the same way and spread that kindness further. Sadly, that does not always work.” – Olya

St.Olha and Elisabeth church in Lviv

St.Olha and Elisabeth church in Lviv, Ukraine


My contact in Iran was warned not to talk to me. His silence told me much about fear in his country.



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