Category - WTC Details

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And the Winner Is……….
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The Running Possibilities…
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The Great News Just Keeps Coming!!!
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Gino Brann – Our South Korean Friend and Connection
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We Are Super Stoked!
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Which One Do You Think it Should be?
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Adventure Planning (Run Research)
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We Can Do Both
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Workin’ on the Logo
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Travel With a Cause or Cause for Travel?

The Running Possibilities…

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With the help of Google Earth and Wiki, I’ve got a rough draft, so to speak, of the places Clarke could run to.  He’d like to stay on the East Coast as much as possible.  However, some countries aren’t represented here on the East coast so he’ll need to travel to California and/or Hawaii among others.

Here’s the list in the order he may have traveled around the globe and the U.S. locations that have the highest populations from there.

1. Mexico (This is close enough that he may just run to Mexico for real) Guanajuato has 3 wk international festival of the arts in October.

2. Brazil: East Newark, NJ; North Bay Village, FL; N. 34th St New York, NY

3. Nigeria: Prince George’s, MD; Baltimore, MD; Nigerian-American Council in DC (nigerianamerican.org)

4. Egypt: Dearborn, MI; Great Jones St, between Broadway and Lafayette St. in New York there’s an Annual Arab-American & North African Street Festival (was held June 21st this year)

5. Spain: St. Augustine, FL; New Orleans, LA; New York; Florida; West Virginia

6. France: (Louisiana Creole) New England, Northern New York (Statue of Liberty from France)

7. UK (Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales): North Carolina, specifically Western North Carolina in and around Macon and Jackson Counties. (Home!!)

8. Germany: Lely Resort, FL; German-American Steuben Parade held the 3rd Sat in Sept.

9. Italy: Manhattan or the Bronx, NY; South Philly, PA; Newark, NJ; Johnston, RI; Staten Island, NY; Cincinnati, OH

10. Turkey: NYC; Rochester, NY; Washington D.C; Detroit, MI; Turkish-American Festival on 4/23

11. Iran: Bergen County, NJ; Las Angeles, CA (“Inraneles” to Iranian-Americans according to Wikipedia); Washington, DC; New York

12. Russia: New York Metro Area; Pikesville, MD; Roslyn Estates, NY; Peaceful Valley, CA; Sharon Springs, NY

13. China: San Francisco, CA; Honolulu, HI; Ann Arbor, MI; Everett, WA

14. India: Jersey City, NY; Plano, TX; San Jose, CA; Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA

15. Vietnam: San Jose, CA; Garden Grove, CA; “Little Saigon” in Orange, CA; “Little Saigon” in Houston, TX

16. Indonesia: Southern California (historically Berkley College)

17. Philippines: Greater LA Las Angeles County, CA; Oahu, HI

18. Korea: Bergen County – Bergen County – Palisades Park, NJ Broad Ave. in Koreatown; Las Angeles, CA; Anaheim, CA; New York, NY

19. Japan: Honolulu, HI; Gardena, CA; Dublin, OH (5th highest)

20. USA – Put it to a vote?

The Great News Just Keeps Coming!!!

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We met with Dr. Yue at Western Carolina University on July 10th.  It was an interview and Question and Answer session of sorts.  We discussed  what WTC has done so far, what our goals are and how we hope to have the students help with it.  It was very exciting and we are very hopeful that we will be picked as one of the businesses they work with.  She was careful to say IF we work together this Fall whenever we talked about the possibilities but also said that they’d probably assigned multiple groups from one class to work on sections of the project and then collaborate with one another for the whole.  VERY Exciting!

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Gino Brann – Our South Korean Friend and Connection

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In true World Tree Circle spirit, we want to spread the word about Clarke’s run and our plans for the website with other countries and their many cultures.  We have found that the easiest way to make new friends is to start with the friends we already have and ask for introductions to their friends whom we haven’t met yet.  So we have been reaching out to our friends abroad.  One of those friends is Gino Brann.  Clarke and Gino have been friends since their youth and met through a mutual friend, Mark Claibourne.  They have stayed in touch and Gino has given us a window into life in South Korea since his move there just after college.  Gino was actually born there and was drawn back to learn more about his heritage.  But I should let him tell you about it in his own words.  Below is an interview Gino graciously agreed to.  We wanted all of you to get to know more about the folks who are helping to make WTC a reality.  Gino will be spreading the word and passing out our WTC T-shirts for us as we move towards Clarke’s run next year.  Take a look……
gino and violet lea                                                        Gino Brann Musician
June 28th, 4:49pm
Why did you go to South Korea?
I was born in Busan in 1982 and moved to the states when I was 2 years old. My mother is Korean and my American father lived in Korea for many years, originally in the late 60s with the Peace Corps. So there was a lot of interest in seeing this part of the world, perhaps in gaining a better understanding of my family heritage. So in the summer of 2004, with the ink still drying on my university diploma, I answered an online ad on daveseslcafe.com and moved to Busan.
How long have you lived there? I lived in Busan from 2004-2005, then headed back to Ohio to take the LSAT and prepare for the next phase. A couple of months after taking the test I got a call from a friend in Colombia who invited me to travel with him, which sounded great, and somewhere on a beach in South America I decided to postpone my law school aspirations and travel a bit more. So I answered another online ad on daveseslcafe.com and moved back to Busan, and here I’ve been ever since.
What are you doing (for a living) now? My time is mostly split teaching English conversation at a university and teaching guitar at an international school. The rest of my waking life is mostly spent playing music and hiking.
What do folks do for fun in SK? Welp…..I’d say your typical folks like to socialize during the daytime in coffee shops and department stores and the like, and during the nighttime in the many shops that cater to the drinking and eating, eating and drinking crowd. Singing rooms are popular here, which is kind of a private karaoke. Fortunately Busan has some great beaches, a couple of parks, and a few hills for hiking, which are all popular weekend activities, as well as a nascent arts and music scene.
gino in s korea
How would you describe life in South Korea to people who haven’t ever been there? I suppose it’s pretty fast-paced. Things in the city seem to be under a constant state of construction and turnover in the name of progress. There are certainly a lot of cultural differences that have taken me a lot of time to fully understand. Until recently, the country was almost completely racially homogenous and there is a deep sense of camaraderie among the people, which I was personally not accustomed to growing up in the states. But all in all Koreans are proud, hard-working people who are deeply generous and hospitable. Sadly, the youth suffer under extreme (by American standards) expectations in school and spend almost all of their time in some kind of classroom. With limited national resources, education is very important and competitive.
Music provided by Gino.  It’s some good stuff.  You might consider checking out his site: ginobrann.bandcamp.com or ginobrannmusic.com

We Are Super Stoked!

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I met with Wendy Cagle at Western Carolina University (WCU) on Monday, June 30th.  It went really well!  We talked about WTC and how we think our working with the college would benefit this project.  She brought up some really good points.  Security is definitely something that will be forefront in our potential users’ minds.  We need to make sure that we have a way to insure that their personal information is protected against hackers.  We will need to work on a risk assessment as part of our process.

She also told me about an amazing entrepreneur right here in Western North Carolina that we should connect with.  His name is Justin Belleme.  He was recently  honored by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and Venture Asheville as Entrepreneur of the Year.  Justin is a 28 year old Asheville native and owner of JB Media Group, LLC, a marketing agency.  He has helped several other small businesses with their kickstarter or other crowd-funding campaigns.  He assists with many aspects marketing a company.  He’ll be the luncheon keynote  speaker at an upcoming seminar that Small Business & Technology Department is holding at the Biltmore Park Campus on July 8th.  We hope very much to attend and meet him in person to discuss our project.

We also talked about the possibility of working with a team of seniors from WCU.  World Tree Circle would be their “capstone” project and we would work closely with the group while they research and develop a portfolio on how to get World Tree up and running.  We may not use everything they put together I’m sure there will be all sorts of great information to use.  It would be phenomenal to  see this become a reality and those students have the opportunity to say that they were a part of this amazing website that everyone is talking about and using.  With international students in the program we may even have an opportunity to create a small scale prototype that they could test run, sharing information, testing translation and making corrections.  It would be invaluable.

We are so stoked to put all of this to use and meet these new people we’ve learned about in the coming weeks.  Please keep the comments coming.  Bing is doing its best to translate them for us.  They aren’t perfect, but I’m going through them and trying to make sure they don’t all go to the spam folder.  Another reason we are excited about getting WTC up and running with the software that allows those who are bilingual to correct those little errors.

Adventure Planning (Run Research)

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Run Location Possibilities As we gear up for Clarke’s run and prepare to order the T-shirts I’ve been trying to do some research on all the places in the USA that have high populations of descendants or immigrants from all of the 21 countries we hope to launch in.  I’m also looking for places that are well known for those cultural ties.  For example, I didn’t know that West 46th St in New York, NY was dubbed “Little Brazil Street” because it is historically a commercial center for Brazilians who live and visit that area. We picked our 21 countries from the studies we did on the highest internet use, specifically social networks.  Those original 21 have changed so we will adapt.  According to Internet World Stats as of 2012 the top 20 countries are as follows (in order according to the amount of internet use):

  • China
  • USA
  • India
  • Japan
  • Brazil
  • Russia
  • Germany
  • Indonesia
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Nigeria
  • Mexico
  • Iran
  • Korea
  • Turkey
  • Italy
  • Philippines
  • Spain
  • Vietnam
  • Egypt

According to another site that I found, Epoch Times, there are 10 that use social media more than others. Those are:

  • Britain
  • USA
  • Russia
  • Czech Republic
  • Spain
  • Poland
  • Brazil
  • France
  • Italy
  • Turkey

So these are all the places where we thought we should aim his runs towards.  So far I have places like NY, NY, or E. Newark, NJ, for Brazil due to their high Brazilian population and/or culture (according to Wikipedia).  It’s really rather fascinating.  I mean, as Americans we are taught from very early on that our country is a melting pot, or maybe now more like a tossed salad, lol.  However, I don’t think it really hit home for me.  This makes it more real for me, I think. Statistics aren’t everything though, and the internet is vast.  If you know of somewhere that is culturally rich and would represent a country, any country, and is here in the USA where Clarke can run without having to acquire a visa we’d LOVE to hear from you.  Any and all suggestions are welcome.  We can’t promise to use every suggestion.  Clarke will be trying to visit as many as he can though and invites others to join him.  Even from abroad.  See your country on the list?  Want to run in your area to raise awareness and help get WTC going?  Let us know.  We will try to coordinate your runs and send you some shirts to pass out in your area too.  This is a world project after all.

We Can Do Both

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Always, always love yourself first!  :)<br /><br />
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Travel With a Cause or Cause for Travel?

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ecotourism_ecotour-orgNow lets look at WTC from the business perspective of the travel industry versus from the travelers’.  Ecotourism is the specific field of travel that WTC would like to promote the most.  Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990)  Its the more physical aspect of what this website does.  Uniting different cultures through education and enriched awareness of other places around the globe.

Groups like USAID (United States Agency for International Development) is one such company.  USAID has benefited many countries through ecotourism.  “USAID supports nature-based tourism activities as part of its biodiversity conservation programs in more than a dozen countries worldwide. The Agency’s ecotourism activities include support for developing national park systems, demarcating and equipping new national parks, recruiting and training park staff, and encouraging government reforms that promote regulated investments in private lodging, guide service, and other tourism ventures.”  According to Untamed Path.  So far they have helped to increase revenue and local involvement in conservation in the parks in Nepal, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Sri Lanka, just to name a few.ecotourism1_www-borneo-holidays-com

There are many many eco friendly travel companies and programs out there.  With a few clicks you can have an amazing and conscientious trip planned across the globe.  We did some looking and found some pretty cool ones in just a few minutes.  One site in particular was pretty informative.  Here we found the top 10 suggestions.  The first recommended was a company called Responsible Travel.  They do all the work of finding hotels, tour operators and other travel options that meet strict sustainability requirements and make them available to you on their site.  The second is Natural Discovery.  They specialize in eco friendly accommodations across England.  The 3rd is a company called Good Travel Company.  A lot of the accommodations they provide around the globe are by train and they put all the hotels, tours, etc. that they promote through a strict audit as well.  To read a brief description of the top 10 ecotourism companies highlighted on the site check out the article on www.theecologist.org showcasing them.

 

The scavenger hunt game will work through the ecotourism and businesses around the world to encourage learning from other cultures and people across the globe by promoting their wares and being part of the hunt.  A location to go to, or an unusual or unique product to find.  It will also provide a place for these companies to promote their product as well as network.  WTC could also be a place for the more adventurous to figure out their own eco friendly destination through their own investigations and interviews of fellow users.  World Tree is a place for us to connect, learn from one another, promote causes, help out and showcase our talents, whatever they may be.

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