Post-Event Wrap Up: Thank you all until next time?

A final note from me to you…

Home now barely 48-hours. Reality hard to digest as jet-lag and place-lag take their toll. That surreal feeling as the mind spins, yet the body is numb. What time is it? 

For the 15th time, we have successfully managed to play host to some great international travelers who circled the globe from Vancouver, Canada to New York City–the long way. Truth be told, our now annual event, The Global Scavenger Hunt, is an anthropological enterprise of sorts–all about people and culture–with the actual traveling but a means to that end. It is–if I can coin a phrase that may have already been uttered somewhere else because it seems so damn perfect a portmanteau–our event is a geodrama of sorts. A geodrama that combines actors with a stage. And since we all know that “all the world’s a stage” as Shakespeare so cuttingly put it, our planet is the stage in this case and we travelers the mere actors playing on it. And over the last 25-days we saw hundreds of exotic backdrops and thousands of interesting supporting characters join in the production. In its simplicity it was an epic madventure–another portmanteau. (But I think two in one paragraph is going too far. So, no more.)

I remember the faces I saw, because…
    
  
We’re all the same...

How do you recap that last three weeks? Our (the Road Officials) passive experience is so much different than our competitive travelers active site-doing experience is. We set it all up–hoops, quick sand, red hearings, fool’s errands, challenges, coffee runs, grand adventures, and all–but don’t actually indulge in many of the scavenges though. But here’s a quantifiable taste of what took place: we personally required 18 separate flights* (the teams only 9 or 10); we stayed in 11 different hotels/Airbnb apartments (the teams a few more no doubt); we ate in over 50 wildly differing establishments in 10 countries (the teams way more); and had to chair 17 informal sit-where-you-can (hopefully) brief event related meetings–but who’s counting!? Oh yeah, and 36,737 kilometers (22,827 miles) visiting 25 unique locals, from: the Mekong Delta to Inle Lake, West Vancouver to Mandalay, Abu Dhabi to Petra, Bangkok to the Greek Isles, Fes to Porto, and Marrakesh to Brooklyn. Whew…not to mention the 300+ scavenges that a few teams experienced along the way! Hmm, seems that it was more than just a little trip.

Our 2019 theme was: Chasing Life…you have to go out and get it. And we think they did. Sure, there was drama. Sure, there were new friendships to be made. Sure, there was anxiety, uncertainty, suspense, apprehension and stress…but there was also: eagerness, fulfillment, accomplishment, wonder, awe, bravery, contentment and happiness. That is what makes our little international geodrama, at some point you will laugh and at some point you may cry. It is impossible to be neutral about some of things they have seen and done. Impossible. That is in fact, chasing life

It was a time for our travelers to get out of their comfort zones for a while, to get away from their autopilot routines where they see without seeing, taste without tasting, and listen without listening. It was a time they could be challenged, to participate, to enjoy freedom of movement, and to live in the moment. To accept the serendipity of time and space. To live fully. To me, that is what travel, when done right, makes you feel–truly alive! Questioning every assumption. So, our hope over the past three weeks was that our participants became both liberated from their daily routines and passionately empowered to engage in the world. It sounds like a paradox, and maybe it is? The duality of their normal obsessing about yesterday’s and tomorrow’s, versus the actually being in their here and now. We saw a transformation take place in all our travelers…front and center we saw emotions rage and thoughts reel…we saw the usual three stages of traveling around the world on our event evolve from fear, to doubt, and to utter confidence…as they faced down their fears with confidence and intelligence to ward off jet-lag, language difficulties, inter-team dynamics, intra-team competition, cultural faux pas, exotic fevers, logistic snafus, time-zone fatigue, bouts of nostalgia (aka homesickness), place lag, contagious diseases, aggressive touts, and cultural shock. They did it all. Lived each moment…participation here is a full-contact sporting activity in The Global Scavenger Hunt. And you know what? I think for the most part we accomplished our goal again–and no one died achieving it! Of course, you can’t please everybody…some chose not to play the game, not to embrace the spirit of the event; their loss.

I remember the sights…
 
   
     
  
 
 
 
…and site-doing:

We also hope we answered the burning question once again, or more to the point, prove our thesis: that authentic travel is still possible in the age of reality TV and smartphones. Travel shows today have moved toward an over-the-top, unattainable type of travel; raising expectations beyond attainment…with the reality being that everything you see and do traveling can’t always be followed by exclamation points. But in our case, it was!!!! We surpassed expectations because you can’t have expectations when you are taking A Blind Date with the World and don’t know where the hell you are going or when. The ultimate magical mystery tour sans the tour part. Convenience today is all destination and no journey…we wanted to take them on a journey. Sometimes struggling is not a problem…we wanted them to be challenged. Happily, by design these are event features, not bugs.

And so now it is over. I firmly maintain that traveling around the world remains the last grand gesture…circa orbem “around the world” is extraordinary…yet obviously possible….the Great Circle..for travelers still curious about what’s beyond the next bend. Like a kid, I still believe that–now 17 laps later! I know that human nature is all about going beyond the horizon; and that hopefully going there broadens our horizons both literally and figuratively. So, the newbies are now veterans; the old salts more in love with travel still. We have gloriously crowned the winners–The World’s Greatest Travelers who won the 2019 edition of the world travel championship–and the losers have mentally imagined all their woulda, coulda, shoulda’s a thousand times by now in their heads. Next year. Yes, we will see some of you again; but for some it is a fond farewell, bon voyage in life. But our hope for all of you is that each of you take a few moments out of the coming days to be still for a while and digest your unquantifiable numerous experiences…to feel them, expand on them…and turn them into lasting lifelong memories. Smile…you did it!

The graduating class of 2019’s The Global Scavenger Hunt! Congrats…

Thank you all. Travel safe and far.


*
Flight Nerd alert…our 
18 aircraft included:

Embraer E175 (2x)
Embraer E195 (2x)
Bombardier Q400 (2x)
Boeing 777 (3x)
Airbus A321 (2x)
Airbus A320 (2x)
Airbus A319
Airbus A330
ATR 72
Boeing 737-800 (2x)

PS> We just want to categorically state that the positive interactions that occurred over our recent four-day visit to Myanmar had absolutely nothing to do with the negotiations that finally induced the Myanmar government to release the two Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters reporters who were freed from prison today after more than a year in detention for covering the country’s deadly crackdown on the Rohingya minority group. It was of course, just mere coincidence, again.

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Day 23: The 2019 World’s Greatest Travelers are?

Day 23:  Saturday, 4 May 2019 – New York, New York (40.7128° N, 74.0060° W)

I’m in a New York state of mind.” – Billy Joel

6:06 PM Update: 

First, I want to say thank you to you all…you all survived your great leap of faith, circled the globe visiting ten secret countries, had an enormous amount of fun that will take weeks to process and years of therapy to address…and arrived home safely! Good job…

Next, I want to thank Pamela for everything…without her this event simply would not happen. Thank you, Pamela! (Thank you, Lucca too, for being a good young man—despite your finicky taste buds— and a great traveler too…You have now visited 52 countries!? Wow…not bad for a 13 year-old…I hope that some of what you have seen stays with you…

Okay, that being said…We are not one’s to hit people over the head as you know…but please indulge me for a minute as I boast a little bit about our Foundation’s work…one of reasons we started this annual global world championship event…we started the GreatEscape Foundation almost two  decades ago now…and over the years some of you have personally visited & helped out at: Tibetan refugee camps in Nepal, orphanages in Laos, hospitals in Cambodia, homeless schools India, hospices in Manila, disabled facilities in Sri Lanka, Ethiopian schools, the slums of Nairobi…and even places in Myanmar. We have done a few great things over the years…in the last decade alone we have funded 12 schools: 1 each in Niger, Haiti, Ecuador, India & Ethiopia; 2 each in Sri Lanka & Sierra Leone, and 3 in Kenya…we know we are changing the lives of thousands of kids (especially young girls)…We helped build the Tamensa Medical Clinic in Niger for migrating Tuareg nomads…it serves as a midwives & nurse training center too…We know that we saved lives & bettered the lives of hundreds. We have helped over 2400 families in more than 60 countries (mostly women entrepreneurs) with our interest and fee free micro-loans (96% of which have gone to women with a 99% repayment)…

And this year, as a direct result of this event, that you all participated in…we are happy to say that we will be doing more…in fact we are happy to say that we will be immediately funding and building two more co-ed elementary schools—one in Ethiopia and another in Haiti… both countries with great potentials and wonderful hard working people…we know they will benefit generations of kids—and a lot of young girls that need liberation through education!—for years to come…

Thank you all.

Now, we end the 2019 edition of the travel world championships…safely I might add. No one died—I know our bar is low! Our participants all just circled the globe in one trip…a rare feat indeed…too bad the Circumnavigators Club is so archaic. You have all lived outside your comfort zones for 23-days…escaped your daily routines & default modes of existence…again no small feat in this day and age. You all ate a lot of interesting things, met a lot of gracious wonderful people—hopefully made some new friends—and had too numerous to mention amazing experiences. We promise, that you will re-live some of these moments for the rest of your lives.. And you all embraced our 2019 event theme, because you all Chased Life…and are now more interesting people for doing it. Pamela & I truly hope that you had an amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventure with us…thank you all!

Award time in the Gold Room of the historic Villard Mansion of the Lotte Palace Hotel in New York City:

Kim of Retired Traveling Chicks has won the players pool with only five ten correct guesses of countries we visited—and $380 to boot! Congrats Kim.

Karen of MargoPolos won the Pre-Event Global Literacy Test (part of our test is here courtesy of the late Hans Rolsing and Gapminders.com) by beating the chimps with 8 out of 16 correct answers…8 of our participants where beaten by the Chimps who would have guesses correct 33% of the time! Congrats Karen…

Order & Chaos stayed in the Cheapest Hotel winners…a 32 Euro Moroccan half-star. 

Finally, The Global Scavenger Hunt is a competition—the world travel championship in fact—and only one Team can win…so, without further ado:

The NYC leg did not effect our standings coming out of North Africa/Iberian Peninsula, and that means that (2019 – Leader Board):

In 3rd Place: Order & Chaos’s Sal & Vivian

In 2nd Place: Lazy Monday’s Kathryn & Eric

Which means that the winners of The Global Scavenger Hunt and the new 2019 holders of the World’s Greatest Travelers crown and title are Team Lawyers without Border’s Zoe & Rainey—who have won the event now six times since first competing in 2008. Pamela and I both look forward to having them defend their title on our dime in the next edition of the world travel championship…whenever that may be!? Thank you all!

We are off to our Bon Voyage dinner at Pazza Notte…and like all great travelers, crash at 8:23PM!

PRE-Crowning Event Post


We arrived last evening around 9:00PM at our NYC hotel, the Lotte Palace

Welcome back home to America…North America, home to Canada, USA, Mexico…and 20 other American countries!

First the Old News:

The teams that handed in scorecards where peer reviewed and the hard master of travel final test, North African + Euro Leg (Par 6) played out like this with a few minor adjustments (things closed, partial credits, etc):

5th – Transformed Travel Goddesses who did not quit and fun too!
4th – SLO Folks had a tough emotional leg, but still stayed true in spirit.
3rd – Order & Chaos did a 92 scavenges including 5 Bonuses earning 5,310 points.
2nd – Lazy Monday kept busy doing 102 scavenges and 7 Bonuses earning 5,680 points.
1st – Lawyers without Borders had a ball (as usual) also doing 102 scavenges (but more point worthy scavenges) and 7 Bonuses earning 6,110 points…

Congrats all on finishing the difficult but fun leg…

So now we are getting interesting, after eight legs (24 of 25)…the overall top 3 teams are:
4. SLO Folks with 96 points
3. Order & Chaos 81 points
2. Lazy Monday 46 points
1. Lawyers without Border 33 points

Observation? What is it with American teenage girls carrying pillows through airports?

New News: This morning at 8:30AM (I know it is early but we are all on Euro-time which has set our body clocks 5-hours later–so we where all up!) we began a quick, fun 8-hour Urban Par 1 urban adventure Manhattan scavenger hunt…Hope everyone finishes strong and has fun in The Big Apple—Remember all placing teams must hand in a score sheet to qualify for medals!)…

Later toady we will crown The World’s Greatest Travelers later today…following our 4:00PM check-in deadline…


5-Sample NYC Scavenges
-take in a Yankees game or a Broadway show
-Have one of each of following: a New York bagel, a New York hot dog, a New York deli sandwich, a slice of New York pizza, New York cheesecake, a New York egg cream, or an old-fashion Manhattan!
-locate five pieces from five of the nations you just visited in the Met
-Visit Strawberry Fields, pay John Lennon tribute
-do one scavenge in each of the five boroughs of New York City

A biggie at the Natural History Museum

Making art on graffiti wall


Hudson Yard’s newest mall attraction: The Vessel

PLEASE…check in later for a final report from today!


Last Chance…We try not to hit our readers/followers over the head about The Global Scavenger Hunt’s cause-related, charitable purposes, but this annual event raises funds for GreatEscape Foundation’s twin goals: building co-ed elementary schools in low & middle income nations, and distributing interest-free no-fee micro-loans to budding global entrepreneurs (mostly mothers). Both our methods of helping others help themselves are designed to facilitate their great escape from the cycle of poverty—one person at a time! Happily, we have improved the lives of thousands: building a dozen schools, a mid-wife training facility, and funding thousands of mothers wanting to make a better life for their families.

So, if you have it in your heart to not eat a lunch out this week in order to make a small secure PayPal GreatEscape Foundation donation during the course of the 2019 event, we know a lot of kids needing a basic education that would thank you. And we’ll thank you too…with a tax receipt. Thank you!

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Day 22: Homeward Bound, almost

Day 22: Friday, 3 May 2019 – Porto, Portugal (41.1579° N, 8.6291° W)

Why do we feel sorry for people who do not travel? Because, unable to expand externally, they are not able to expand internally either, they can’t multiply and so they are deprived of the possibility of undertaking expansive excursions in themselves and discovering who and what else they could have become.”  – Pascal Mercier from the novel Night Train to Lisbon

BTW…our site had a minor international infection…it is cured and all is good!

Good Afternoon from OPO…we are EWR bound.

All the teams and participants arrived alive and in good spirits after their six day North Africa/Iberia Peninsula mad dash…albeit a tad worse for the wear. But the smiles were genuine. We are melancholy today…happy everyone is safe loading their homeward flight, but sad that our 23-day around the world adventure is nearing an end. The traveler in me sad, the Event Director in me ecstatic!

So, quickly Three Things I learned since I last saw everyone on Sunday morning in Marrakech: Teams were really busy, one team did 93 scavenges in countries…we have a serious competition and my cursory glances at the score sheets while I was photocopying them tells me it is anyone’s event—even lower placed teams did a lot, more than I thought they would…and finally, this leg was kick ass from beginning in Morocco to the end here in Porto—everyone loved it.

One-Minute Interview with Order & Chaos from Porto.

Observation…watching my (now significantly less heavy) luggage go through yet another hi-tech scanning device, I realized that my luggage has had more CAT scans over the last three weeks than I have in my life. Ahh, the USA for-profit medical system (sic).

We should have a flood of photos and some videos coming, but here are few to begin…check back later and we should have more by the time we land in New York.






We try not to hit our readers/followers over the head about The Global Scavenger Hunt’s cause-related, charitable purposes, but this annual event raises funds for GreatEscape Foundation’s twin goals: building co-ed elementary schools in low & middle income nations, and distributing interest-free no-fee micro-loans to budding global entrepreneurs (mostly mothers). Both our methods of helping others help themselves are designed to facilitate their great escape from the cycle of poverty—one person at a time! Happily, we have improved the lives of thousands: building a dozen schools, a mid-wife training facility, and funding thousands of mothers wanting to make a better life for their families.


So, if you have it in your heart to not eat a lunch out this week in order to make a small secure PayPal GreatEscape Foundation donation during the course of the 2019 event, we know a lot of kids needing a basic education that would thank you. And we’ll thank you too…with a tax receipt. Thank you!

See you again soon…


Take us home Vasco da Gama…hopefully they go the right way!

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Day 21: Where is everybody? Morocco? Spain? Portugal?

Day 21: Thursday, 2 May 2019 – Seville, Spain (37.3891° N, 5.9845° W)

A thousand and one Arabian Nights may be 999 too many for some!” – William D. Chalmers, circa 1989

Good morning from Portugal…we got here a few days ago, flew directly from Marrakesh. Easy, peasy. Two worlds, so close yet so far away…maybe too far away for some of our travelers. We know they are all being tested to various degrees: their endurance—it has been a fun but tough 21-days of non-stop traveling; their travel IQ’s—there are so many things to see and do—and thus choices to make; their situational awarenesses—are they making the right choices?; their integrity—are they cutting corners and taking short cuts in their desire for more points? As Peter Gabriel sang—This amusement never ends.
  
Sights and tastes of Porto…

Well, the 2019 edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt’s international legs will come to an end tomorrow at 11:30AM in our Porto hotel…we hope to see everyone there to receive their next 4–hour notice. Where are we off to next?

BTW…that feature photo atop the blog today is from our bedroom window this morning in Porto! We are actually in Vila Nova de Gaia neighborhood just across Ponte de D. Luis I from Riberia overlooking the many Port warehouses. We can see: Rozés, Taylor’s, Cockburn’s, Graham’s, Churchill, Ferreira, Ramos Pinto, Offley, Croft, Porto Cruz, Cálem, Sandman, Vasconcellos, Burmester…who knew there were so many! WOW: A world of wines…

Also wondering, if any our teams got to swim in all our 2019 Seven Seas Scavenges: Straits of Georgia (YVR), South China Sea (SGN), Andaman Sea (RGN), Persian Gulf (AUH), Dead Sea (AMM), Gulf of Aqaba (AMM), Aegean Sea (ATH), Mediterranean Sea (RAK),  and the Atlantic Ocean (OPO)…we will see?
    
Yesterday was May Day….

Last night I was torn…my two favorite soccer teams (FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC) faced off in a UEFA Champions League game at Nou Camp…they have historically only played each other nine times ever: with 3 wins, 3 losses and 3 draws. Close…  Mohamed Salah played great as usual and had quality chances, but once again, it was all Messi last night as Barco won 3-nil over The Reds, netting two brilliant goals—including his 600th career goal on a sensational free kick ala Beckman in his dreams! Me thinks he is a man on a mission…

We are off to survey the Douro River Valley wine area by boat…where property is cheap—comparatively speaking of course coming from California!

Don’t forget to follow your favorite teams…although we have no idea where they get the time (or energy?)…some of our 2019 teams are blogging, and open to social media interactions too:
Lawyers without Borders (blog) –
Order & Chaos (blog) –
Transformed Goddesses (blog) FB & Instagram links –
MargoPolos –  Twitter fed – Margo’s (blog) Karen’s (blog)
The FILLIES (blog) FB + FB & Instagram links –
NEXUS (blog) –
Team Ying 2.0 (blog) –

We’re 71% almost home…

Okay, until tomorrow’s checkin deadline…that’s all from Porto, Portugal.

The Children of the Revolution say, “Change Now!”


Can’t read one of my papers this morning?

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Day 20: The Rock & Beyond…We hope?!

Day 20: Wednesday, 1 May 2019 – Gibraltar (36.1408° N, 5.3536° W)

I believe that the earth is very large and that we who dwell between the pillars of Hercules and the river Phasis live in a small part of it about the sea, like ants or frogs about a pond.” – Socrates


The Pillars of Hercules (aka the Straits of Gibraltar) North Africa & Iberian Peninsula

Okay…I admit it, we are not in Gibraltar aka Tariq’s Mountian), although some teams are by the looks of a few photos we’ve received…but actually, it is hard to say where everyone is…Seville? Algarve Coast? Lisbon? Fatima? On a train in Spain? A bus in Portugal? Stuck in an elevator? Teams still have 48-hours to go as I write this until our Friday morning checkin-deadline here in Porto. Have fun, play smart and be safe!

Quote of the Day: “I don’t get ready; I stay ready!” Kathryn of Lazy Monday

Observation: What is it with ex-pats and homeland?…in Gibraltar they are extra-British, everything from home super exaggerates its Britishness, which is never pretty…and as one of our young team so eloquently stated this morning: “They all have sticks up their butts.” …what us old-British hand would call “the stiff upper lip”….yep, all true!

BTW: On my mega-infrastructure projects wish list (that includes among other things: a fast train between LAX and SFO, finishing the Pan-American Highway through the Darwin Gap, and bridge/tunnel combo between Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast) I humbly submit that a bridge/tunnel combo also be constructed across the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco that would link Africa with Europe! It’s time…

Sipping a good strong coffee this morning along the fog-draped Douro River here  in Portugal, I realized that although it may be a small country, Portugal did once rule the oceans. Think about it….they had colonies on three continents, including: Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Macau, East Indies, Goa, and Malacca…and my 83% cacao Sao Tome dark chocolate was pretty good too! (Especially with a finger of port.)

Speaking of vinos….Coming from the Sonoma/Napa area, we are a tad jaded when it comes to great wines—some have said that we sample a new type every day!—but I have to say that the Douro Valley region’s emergence as a hotbed of prize-winning red wines—and not just port—is well earned. Good stuff goes to those willing…

Here are a few photos from some folks…

Casablanca’s wonderful seaside mosque

Lawyers w/o Borders & Order & Chaos ballooning

Retired Traveling Chicks in Seville


Order & Chaos visiting The Rock (not Alcatraz)

Honey, there is a monkey on our balcony!


Good eats in Lisboa…

The Original…Henry the Navigator (look him up in your Funk & Wagnalls)

Okay…doing an almost final dump here of our Pre-Event Global Literacy Test (aka Chimp Test because a chimpanzee would be correct 33% of the time) to keep you amused—and we are sadly running out of time:
9. Worldwide, 30-year-old men have spent 10 years in school, on average.  How many years have women of the same age spent in school?
A – 9 years
B – 6 years
C – 3 years

10. In 1996, tigers, giant pandas, and black rhinos were listed as endangered.  How many of these three species are more critically endangered today?
A – Two of them
B – One of the
C – None of them
11. How many people in the world have some access to electricity?
A – 20 Percent
B – 50 Percent
C – 80 Percent
12. Global climate experts believe that, over the next 100 years, the average temperature will…
A – Get warmer
B – Remain the same
C – Get colder

13. A map…

14. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), the U.S. Government spent what percentage of its budget foreign aid in 2016?
A – About 25 Percent

B – About 12 Percent

C – About 1 Percent
15. According to the UN, which global nutrition portrait is the truest for people 18 and older?
A – There are 4 people underweight for every person overweight
B – There are 4 people overweight for every person underweight
C – There are roughly an equal number of overweight and underweight people
16. According to the Deutsche Welle, with 3.8 billion passengers in 2017; what percent of the global population flew in 2017?
A – Less than 10 percent
B – 10-25 percent
C – More than 25 percentFinally…We try not to hit our readers/followers over the head about The Global Scavenger Hunt’s cause-related, charitable purposes, but this annual event raises funds for GreatEscape Foundation’s twin goals: building co-ed elementary schools in low & middle income nations, and distributing interest-free no-fee micro-loans to budding global entrepreneurs (mostly mothers). Both our methods of helping others help themselves are designed to facilitate their great escape from the cycle of poverty—one person at a time! Happily, we have improved the lives of thousands: building a dozen schools, a mid-wife training facility, and funding thousands of mothers wanting to make a better life for their families.
So, if you have it in your heart to not eat a lunch out this week in order to make a small secure PayPal GreatEscape Foundation donation during the course of the 2019 event, we know a lot of kids needing a basic education that would thank you. And we’ll thank you too…with a tax receipt. Thank you!

The Answers:
9 – A – (1 of our travelers got that correct: Chimps leading 8-1)…everyone is getting more school years in.
10 – C – (1 of our travelers got it correct: Chimps extend lead 9-1)…eco-tourism is providing an incentive to protect endangered species when combined with governments who care.
11 – C – (6 of our 17 travelers got that right…Chimps 10-1)…the electrical grid is expanding (even when a simple solar panel is used at night to help a child read their text book!)
12 – A – This was the only answer everyone got right! Yeah! (Chimps up 10-2)
13 – was a map I could not replicate…but only 3 got it correct (Chimps up 11-2)
14 – C – Another great showing, with 11 correct answers (Chimps still up 11-3)…less than 1% of US Federal budget goes to helping out other countries—
15 – C – Just 2 got it correct (Chimps cleaning house here up 12-3)…for the first time in history (we crossed the Rubicon about 5-6 years ago) there are just as many overweight folks as underweight. Think about that?
16 – Just under half got this correct, enough to beat the chimps….

The Chimps could have guessed 1 of 3 more correctly than our educated travelers guessed with all their working knowledge: The Chimps win the Global Literacy Test 12-4!

So what does this mean? Well, for one, we don’t know what we don’t know and think we do know. We are grossly misinformed. Misconceptions abound. Despite our traveling ways, most of us know very little about our planet, or the state of its people. We must try harder…read more and not just let the fear-driven negative headlines rule the day. A President once told me: Don’t mistake headlines for trendlines. Secondly, we hold old paradigms a little too close when new paradigms have obviously emerged. A dangerous mindset in which to make decisions. Finally, the world is changing so much so quickly. One of the many pleasures of being able to circle the globe yearly as we do, now since 2002, is that we bear witness to those rapid changes first hand up close and personal. I am not saying all those changes are for the better (either long-term or short-term), but what I am saying, is that the condition of human beings on our amazing planet is getting better—there is less violence, people are are living longer, people are better educated, people are healthier, women are more in control of their lives than ever, and people are materially wealthier. If any of those metrics mean anything…we as a species are progressing. Now, whether we do the right thing, the enlightened thing…only Spock knows!

Okay…more from wonderful Porto tomorrow…

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