5 Thoughts About Graffiti – Messages on the Landscape

Graffiti – is it vandalism or a message on the landscape, something that transcends time to bring a view of the past into the present? At what point does graffiti stop being a problem and become a valued artifact, and who gets to make that judgment? Here are some random thoughts generated by graffiti aroundContinue reading “5 Thoughts About Graffiti – Messages on the Landscape”

How Does Your Program Smell?

  Does your natural or cultural site or facilities have a “signature” odor? That may be a strange question but it has more to do with interpretation than you may think.     I was reminded of the power of the Proust Effect when I visited the Science Teacher website that suggested going to aContinue reading “How Does Your Program Smell?”

Guide Training in Rwanda – a Rewarding Venture

In October 2012 we made our first trip to Rwanda to work with Nyungwe Nziza, a USAID funded project with Development Alternatives International (DAI) to help the fairly new Nyungwe National Park (2005) reach its potential as a tourist attraction and valued nature preserve. It has been a national forest since 1933, but the changeContinue reading “Guide Training in Rwanda – a Rewarding Venture”

The Mountain Gorilla Experience in Rwanda

Just one hour in the presence of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes of E. Africa can make you rethink who and what you are. We just led an ecotour through the three national parks of Rwanda: Nyungwe in the southwest, Akagera in the northeast and Volcanoes in the northwest. At dinner on the lastContinue reading “The Mountain Gorilla Experience in Rwanda”

Five Ways to Keep Your Special Event Special

Think about Mardi Gras, and New Orleans comes to mind. Pamplona evokes images of the running of the bulls. Times Square in NYC seems to own New Year’s Eve. I noted several other cities with events but the big televised ones with strong brand identity were at Times Square. Special events help create a communityContinue reading “Five Ways to Keep Your Special Event Special”

Messages Matter

I just posted the video seen above on my Facebook page after Carolyn Widner Ward (thanks, Carolyn) posted it on hers. I had seen the original award-winning video, La Historia de un Letrero by Alonso Alvarez Barreda, several years ago (thanks to Eliezer Nieves-Rodriguez for the reminder and Dr. Sam Ham for the deep background on hisContinue reading “Messages Matter”

Program Scope Objectives, A Measure of Success

If you’re an interpreter or guide working on the front-line of an agency, organization or tour company, how do you evaluate your success on a daily basis? Is it the number of smiles you receive, the volume of the applause, the “good job” comments made by your peers or supervisors? More than a dozen yearsContinue reading “Program Scope Objectives, A Measure of Success”

Optimism Is a Choice We Make

I used to like the story about 10-year old twin boys at Christmas-time. Their parents explained to a psychologist that one was always optimistic, expecting good things to happen and the other expected the worst, a pessimist. “What can we do to balance their attitudes about life,” they asked. The specialist suggested they disappoint theContinue reading “Optimism Is a Choice We Make”

Six Reasons to Train Collaboratively

I recently stood for several minutes at an information desk at a park waiting for one of several workers on duty to notice me and ask to help. They were deeply engaged in personal conversations. Their uniforms indicated that some were employees and others were volunteers. At any park, zoo, museum, historic site, forest, aquariumContinue reading “Six Reasons to Train Collaboratively”

Passages Create Connections

In the 1980s I was managing a nature center in Pueblo, Colorado. A local Italian family asked if they could plant a cottonwood tree along our waterfront in memory of their grandfather. Beaver had cut down many of the cottonwoods over the years, so we allowed the planting and I was amazed when more thanContinue reading “Passages Create Connections”