There are few things that fill me with as much energy and enthusiasm as exploring a new country or place with my camera hung around my neck. I am well on my way to exploring all seven continents, visiting as many countries as I can and encountering fascinating people and cultures along the way. My travels in North America, Europe, Africa and most recently South America, have cemented a few personal observations:
We Play the Hand We're Dealt. I have seen Incan terraces thousands of feet above sea level where crops are still grown, coffee plantations in eastern Africa where the dust in the dry season seeps into every pore, and sheep farms on Ireland's rolling hills. Human beings survive and sometimes thrive in the harshest of climates and make the most of their environment.
Imagine growing up like Dora on a floating island that is smaller than my living room. She and her family live off the lake for food, water and reeds to make their huts and island. Or, imagine building your home in a rain forest nearly 8,000 feet above sea level with stone walls designed to survive seismic activity, which still stand today hundreds of years later. Our ingenuity to survive, and even thrive, amazes me.
© cindy a. stephens