Posts from January, 2008

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preview: australia

Saturday, 26 January 2008

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[Photo]
Map courtesy Google Maps.
Travelling breeds more travelling, so even before we got back from Belize, we immediately started imagining where we were going to go next. I wanted to go to Chile/Argentina (the Valdivian Coastal Reserve, the southern tip, Patagonia) and the lady sparkler was hot on South Africa or Southeast Asia.

Turns out, the Conservancy is sending me to Australia because it is the location of our next Adopt an Acre project. We actually do most of our work on the continent through partners, so we occasionally have to fly in marketing/membership specialists to collect stories, collateral and other materials we need to launch the program.

So, I’ll already be there for about 9 days, and the lady sparkler and I will tack on a little time beforehand. Here is how the itinerary is shaping up:

  • Tasmania — We fly straight into Tasmania from the U.S. and then drive around the island, through Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park and Mt. Field National Park on the way to Hobart, the territory’s capital.
  • Adelaide / Great Ocean Road — We’ll spend a day or two in Adelaide, before renting a car to travel along the south coast on a road much like our Pacific Coast Highway. We’ll stop in three different seaside towns, and pass through a number of parks including Coorong, Port Cambell and Cape Otway National Parks.
  • Melbourne — As soon as we arrive into the big city, I start having meetings for the Conservancy, but the lady sparkler will have a couple of days to explore the city. I’ll have one fully free day to explore before she and I go our separate ways.
  • Gondwana Link — I’ll hop a flight to Perth, which is near our project area, and travel between Perth, Albany, Margaret River and the project itself.

    The story behind the southwest of Australia is much like the Dust Bowl-era high plains of the U.S. — government endorses cultivation, indigenous people are displaced in the onslaught, farming destroys the ecosystem and then collapses due to the land being poorly suited to cultivation.

    The Conservancy is working with local partners and the indigenous Noongar to rebuild segments of the ecosystem, and by preserving the open spaces that remain to link these fragments into a sustainable environment.

  • Sydney — the lady sparkler will come here straight from Melbourne, and I will follow long after she has gone. We will both have a day and two nights, which will be just about enough to get a picture of the Opera House.

Needless to say, we are feel incredibly luck to have this kind of dropped in our lap. More on the work part of the trip next time around.

photos: wedding of the century

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

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[Photo]
IMG_1136, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
words. sometimes, they seem so inadequate. i have heard that eskimos have 34 words for snow. i now believe that texans probably have 35 words for wedding. and, what i just saw probably made a case for a 36th.

when two of our d.c. friends got engaged and invited us to their wedding in waco, texas … i could never have imagined the amazing event it would turn out to be.

there were 600 peope in attendance, and yet i saw the bride and groom more than i think i saw my own guests at my own wedding.

there must have been 20,000 square feet of reception space, and yet there wasn’t a single detail that was overlooked (the trash can’s in the bathrooms were wrapped in fabric that matched the rest of the wedding).

the bridesmaid’s dresses had their own trains. the band was great. the food was fantastic. the place settings were immaculate. the red wine was allowed to breathe before serving. i talked about the english premier league with a groomsman at the afterparty (in TEXAS).

wow. brilliantly done. and the bride and groom look fabulous. my meager mind will never be able to comprehend how such an amazing wedding is even possible. Jenna Bush (getting married this spring in Waco) should be so lucky.

i know it’s hard to soak it all in, so flip through the pictures. i *promise* you, it’s worth the peek.

travel: waco, texas

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

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[Photo]
IMG_1082, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
Explore the Photo Set:
Travel: Waco, Texas (including Baylor University and the Dr. Pepper Museum)