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
A – Two of them
A – 20 Percent
A – Get warmer
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
A – There are 4 people underweight for every person overweight
A – Less than 10 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!
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…