This week I attempted to travel around the world. No, I’m not trying to be some kind of modern-day Phileas Fogg, breaking a new record for circumnavigating the globe. Instead, I’m working on a project.
As some of you know, I teach middle and high school social studies. Last year, my Geography class was decidedly lackluster. This year, though, I have a plan: every two weeks, I’m going to create a travel montage highlighting a particular country. I want to include posters, brochures, postcards, a clock with the local time, and – of course – sample the national cuisine.
Of course, the obvious solution would be to employ the vast knowledge of Wikidpedia and Google Image Search, but I want things to be more real. Therefore, I set about contacting the embassies of 34 countries from around the world. The list was entirely arbitrary; I sat down and made a list of the countries that I would want to learn more about. Here’s the list:
Germany, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Portugal, Greece, Romania, Italy, France, Ireland, Norway, Spain
Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines
Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Zaire (D.R. Congo), Madagascar
Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru
Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada
Believe it or not, I heard back quite quickly from several embassies. Norway wins the prize for promptness, though, with a response time of 5 minutes. Garrison Keillor would be proud. So far, several countries have promised to send me supplies: Germany, France, Norway, and South Africa. I am on a waiting list for Peru. I was disappointed to learn that several countries do not send out information, including Italy, Japan, Cote D’Ivorie, and Costa Rica. I have not received a response from any of the other countries.
Now, I would appreciate your help. I know from the site stats that I have visitors from around the world. If you live outside the US – or know someone who lives outside the US – and are willing to help me out by sending me some local brochures, posters, magazines, newspapers, or anything of the sort, please let me know. It doesn’t have to be a country from the list, any country would do.
I could hope beyond hope that this would get picked up by Freshly Pressed, but somehow I don’t think this article meets those standards. So, if you can help, let me know. If you can’t help personally, repost, reblog, or share my plea; you can help make Geography class a more interesting place to be!