Category Archives: travel

Sharing the GIS Gospel in Belize

For the last few days I’ve had a chance to serve as an “Ambassador” for GIS – on behalf of Esri – in Belize City.  We’ve held two workshops for educators, one yesterday for primary school teachers and the second today for secondary school teachers. At both workshops, teacher educators (faculty who teach pre-service, future teachers in schools of education) were also participating. These experiences are both inspiring and humbling, encouraging and frustrating. Passionate teachers who want to learn new technologies and are committed to their students’ learning, often stymied by lack of computers and unreliable or absent Internet.

I’ve been interviewed twice by local TV stations, first yesterday on The Morning Show on LOVE/FM, and today by Channel 5 (video can be seen via Facebook, and here’s a link to just our story itself). One of the highlights for this trip so far has been connecting with a new friend and colleague Loretta Palacio, the epitome of beautiful and wound-up GIS energy. Loretta runs the Esri distributorship for Belize.

Interested in sharing your #GIS passion with other educators?  The Ambassador program is one way to gain experiences.

Tomorrow, onward to a big Expo for GIS Day. Over 700 children will be there! I’ll be helping teachers and students explore mapping tools.

use geography to add fun meaning to meetings

Sometimes after a long day, especially at the end of a long week, one’s mind turns to geographic amusement, or geo-musings.  Here’s mine for the day – courtesy of Emily.  Use a digital map to help you find the middle ground to meet a friend. This brings veracity to meeting in the middle! Two guys played with this idea as an art project and first met somewhere in the Czech Republic, then later up a tree in Westchester County. Emotionally appealing idea of making the commitment and then trusting each other to follow through, come hell, high water, traffic delays, or GPS errors.

I like this definition of art works by Roy Ascott, as a “trigger of experiences” rather than an “object.”

Wanted to play with different approaches for calculating exactly what “the middle” is?  Of course, it’s a geospatial question!  Try this Geographic Midpoint app.

Thanks, Emily!

neighborhood watch

Nice memories of my year in Lisbon, under the watchful eyes of the old women in windows.

Frank, the Google Earth guy, sailing around the world

Okay, so first this guy has a full-time job blogging about Google Earth. Obviously he did not have that job before 2005 (when GE was released for the first time in its GE form). Wait, I could have done that job! That was a cool job! But was he satisfied with just being the best known GE blogger in the world? (and he was really good at it!) NO! Frank then had to leave that job for a five-year (5 years!) sail around the world with his lovely wife, Karen. They’ve now been in the South Pacific for weeks, and you can read about their explorations here. Crap! What bad choices have I made in life? What decisions do you have to make, and when, to be poised to JUMP when the spirit says JUMP!?

sculptured City Bell vegetation

Every time we pass by this tree downtown we marvel at it. I think I’ll call it the Poodle Tree.

>Argentina 2, Day 3

>Car, plane, bus. Fourteen hours of flights. Four people, six duffels, three backpacks, one wheelchair, one walker, one saxophone. Nothing like the opening chapter in Atwood’s Poisonwood Bible (the things they carried into Africa), or Tim O’Brien’s amazing short story of carrying thing around Vietnam, but nevertheless overwhelming when it had to be moved from Point A to Point B.

Fortunately, all legs of the travel were uneventful, except for the minor inconvenience of Emily vomiting during the plane’s landing in Buenos Aires. A bit of apple juice followed by a bit of turbulence does it every time.

All long days of travel do eventually end. Three days later, home now is in City Bell (yes, that’s the town’s real name, pronounced in Spanish as “see-tee behl”), which is a suburb of La Plata, which is about an hour away from Buenos Aires. City Bell wasn’t exactly where we had planned to live, but this is where we found a house to rent. The act of making plans is usually overrated.
It’s okay to wonder what exactly the Sinton family is doing in Argentina anyway. After all, wasn’t it just a few months ago that they up and moved from their beloved Vermont to the foreign land of Southern California? The short answer: back in 2006, Chris applied for a Fulbright Fellowship, which he was awarded in early 2007. He was to teach/research at the University of La Plata (in their center for ceramics/materials science) and we’d planned to live here in Fall 2007, but then the move to California happened, and it seemed too crazy to come here within weeks of moving, so here we are now. It’s a short trip: we’ll be back in the States on June 1.
Meanwhile, our employer, the University of Redlands, has been very gracious, accomodating, and supportive of this foray (or is it a folly?). I’m exploring new ways to work remotely, and Chris will return to full-time teaching in the fall.