This article was originally posted at http://www.echospace.org as a Learning Center, an online space that you can use to explore cross-cultural learning with friends, family or students.
A Trip of a Lifetime
In this Learning Center, I want to share an incredible experience I had during the summer of 2009. I was invited to attend a ten-day course in Inupiaq land use and values, put on by the Inupiaq people and the North Slope Borough. They ran the class in a way that no one will ever forget: they took us out on the tundra in the foothills of the Brooks Range to LIVE the experience. I hope you enjoy it!
I should first start out by mentioning that I learned that I would be participating in this course approximately nine days before my scheduled departure. Therefore, when I say “I had no idea what to expect” I truly meant it. I was asked “do you want to go to Alaska?”, and I quickly replied “yes!”
I have grown up in New England, and have been working in Massachusetts for the past four years at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
I work directly with the photographic collections at the NBWM, which include a large Arctic Collection. So, I can say that prior to this experience, I knew a small amount about the terrain and the culture. Minimal at best. But still, it is my belief that when someone asks you if you would like to partake in something outside of your comfort zone (no matter how vastly outside), you say “yes” and contemplate later.
Read more at my Learning Center at echospace.org.
To see all the photos from my trip, visit my Flickr site.