That is what my grandmother used to say [ along with 1000's of other gems...]
the more I travel, the more I realise we are all basically the same.
Don't get distracted by the administration of the country, the inhabitants all want a fair go, the right to bring their children up in health and safety and a decent job and wage to bring it about.
Traveeling in America meeting American's I am constantly amazed by the generosity of these people...so many foundations and personally funded initiatives to help others, further research, endow the arts...
I know from the outside you have a view of the administration but the people I am meeting are not happy with that...and really hope for change.
Being Australian I was living with a front man I detested, whose policies were taking Australia down very dark paths, I had to answer questions of people in other countries- politely worded "so what do you think of Australia's....?" It was hard -not agreeing with the governemnt but the image set by my government was leading other people to think I too, was like that.
I really hope the new guy Rudd brings change...seems good so far.
so some wonderful things I have come across in the States, apart from the very warm welcomes.
The Explorers Club http://www.explorers.org/ I was lucky enough to be taken to the monthly dinner and talk, upon my arrival in SF. I was nearly asleep when I arrived - jet lag and then Lee, my host said "Explorers Club" WOW!! I picked right up.
How amazing, the lady talking that night is currently the head vet at the Marine Wildlife Rescue Centre in SF, fresh from a gig as Veternarian to the Mountain Gorillas where you had to back pack your clinic up to your patients!
The other topic that was hot there was the Global Heritage Fund, http://www.globalheritagefund.org/ a privately set up fund to help protect sites in the third world of global importance. They work on the idea that if you help improve local conditions then the local people will get behind you and help protect the sites.
Small world... about 3 years ago I met a man in the Calico Museum in Ahmedbad http://www.calicomuseum.com/ who was in India working for some fund setting up a project to protect an Indus Valley site[ one of the oldest agricultural sites of humanity] I did not remember the name of the organization but have often wondered how they were going- that was them! and it looks very good.
And then on Tuesday Marty Jonas a local artist took my under her wing, we visited the Bernicia Arts Centre to view the latest show of a group she is involved with- Great work http://www.edgeartgroup.com/ keep an eye on what they are up to...
Marty is a talented artist and a talented collector of art, she was kind enough to give me a guided tour of her house, many galleries would envy her her venue and swoon over her collection, so many things to see in the 'flesh'- Barbara Lee Smith, Kuba cloth from Rwanda, her work, Jane Dunwald, me, Jan Beany and Jean Littlejohn, Afghani embroidered and beaded coats....so many I feel really honoured and a bit shy to see a pice of my work on the same walls.
What a wonderfully rich day.
and she showed me about Instant Indigo...another great find, thank you, thank you, thank you