Lived in South St. Paul, Minnesota from birth through college. Began interest in international cultures through University of Minnesota Student Project for Amity Among Nations (SPAN) in Turkey , plus seven repeat visits. Hitchhiked through Europe and Middle East for two summers. Married Art Johnson and moved to Michigan. Raised three children there; also have nine grandchildren . Served on Birmingham, MI Board of Education for six years, Worked at Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, MI as Head of Education for 20 years. Heavily involved in community activities. Moved to Redondo Beach, CA in 1998. Husband of 42 years passed away in 2003.. Member of inaugural class of Leadership Redondo in 2000; served as project leader for class. Became Coordinator of Leadership Redondo in 2002 and served in that role through 2009. On Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce Board for eight years. Initiated support group for the arts, Friends of Redondo Beach Arts, in 2009. Travelled to 181 countries...so far...with goal of 200 countries that are part of Travelers Century Club. Most recent trip: November 2011 to Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana and April 2012 to Borneo and Brunei as independent traveler, depending on local folks to guide me and a friend to the people to meet, the places to see and the things to do in their countries.
Learning...through travel, reading and experiencing life around the world. Community involvement...through participating at the local level in issue-related activities.
The best way to "know" about other cultures is to live as close to the locals as possible. when travelling in foreign countries. That means traveling on public transport, eating in simple restaurants or street stalls, staying in well-located but sometimes spartan guesthouses. This requires dependence on local people who are usually pleased to offer advice on how best to see their country. When given the chance to "show off" their community's assets, local folks often jump in and accompany you, rather than just tell you what to do. They invite you into their homes, take you to their schools, or they direct you to just the right boatman who is sure to get you to the best places. An indirect advantage of this travel style is that you partially dispel the notion that all visitors (but especially American visitors) have lots of money to spend...and it also saves money for more trips!
Anything but sports...I always like to learn.
I don't always know what I'm good at, but people sometimes tell me I should do more of something because I'm "good at it". Who knew? Usually not me...
My son Eric began talking to be about TED and fresh ideas that he was finding. He always had a smile on his face as he discussed these new ideas. I didn't "get it" until I began watching TED Talks on my own. Now I can't get enough of it! Eric sometimes assists with TEDx events, which also makes him happy and right out there with great things to talk about. My friend Nina also let me know about new things she was discovering in TED Talks, which she said her brother was also viewing in Israel and they would then discuss via email. So now I ask myself...why did I wait so long to discover this method of learning in finite capsules of epiphany moments?
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