Participants Reflect

Past Participants Share Their Experience

As part of our broader public education mission, Global Exchange encourages Reality Tour participants to tell their friends and family about their experiences and the insights they gained while traveling with us. Here are some links to websites, photo galleries and articles written and created by former participants. We've also included articles about Reality Tours found in well-known publications. Please keep in mind that the opinions of our past participants or others writing about us, do not necessarily reflect the views of Global Exchange.
Visiting Afghanistan: A Country at a Crossroads, an article by JA Huber, Women's Delegation March 2006
Greetings from Afghanistan, a blog by Susan Hall, Women's Delegation March 2005
Global Peace Travels, a blog by Ellen Greene, Women's Delegation March 2005
Blog by Heather Rastovac, Women's Delegation to Afghanistan March 2006
Blog by Cordelia Persen, Women's Delegation to Afghanistan March 2006
Read a participant's journal from the delegation to China and World Trade Organization Ministerial
Havana harvest: Organic agriculture in Cuba's capital, by Mickey Ellinger and Scott Braley, February 26, 2010
John Murphey's Photographs and commentary: Sustainable Cuba: Architecture, Planning and Urban Agriculture, February 2010
Why can't we help the Cuban people? an article by Tim Henke, December 2005 Educators delegation participant
Two months in Cuba: Notes of a visiting Cuba solidarity activist (2000-2001)
Blog by Cordelia Persen, Kerala India trip, November 2006
Father John Dear went on the 2004/5 Global Exchange trip with Dr. Arun Gandhi to India and wrote a long diary about it.
Mr Future President: This is Iran. Deena Guzder, Citizen Diplomacy Delegation, 2007
Deena Guzder, on Citizen Diplomacy in Adbusters (.pdf)
Cordelia Persen Journey: Iran
A Rich and Ancient Place, by Martha Hennessy, Citizen Diplomacy Delegation April 2008
To Attack Iran, A Knife in My Heart, a letter-to-the-editor of the Seattle Times, by Nancy Penrose, Citizen Diplomacy Delegation April 2008
Saffron and Nukes by Nancy Penrose, April 2008 participant
Enemies: A Love Story by Judy Carlock, October 2003 participant
Palestine and Israel:
An Open Letter to the Palestinian People by Dr. Farid Esack. Filmed by Sallie Shawl, 2010 Past Participant 
Bush's Security Barrier - William Cook, August 2005
Website created by John Erhart, GX Reality Tour participant, Israel-Palestine, April 2004
My trip to Palestine by Deirdre Mac Dermott, September 2003 participant
This is My Story by Linda Sweiss, January 2002 participant 
My Palestine Notes by David Crame, April 2004 participant 
Initial Thoughts by Ruth Crystal, April 2004 participant 
South Africa:
Reflections on South Africa 12 years after apartheid, an article by 2006 past participant Sherrill Hogen
Article by Tom Huth, October 2000 past participant
US-Mexico Border:
"Venezuela: Can oil trump agony?" by Lowell Blankfort, July 2007
"Report on Venezuela: A Work in Progress" by Natasha Mayers, February 2007
"The Feather That Woke Up the Sleeping Giant" by Father Geoff Bottoms, May, 2006
"Venezuela's battle to aid its impoverished", by Barry Freeman, April 2005
Photos and Artwork from Reality Tours
Reality Tour Photo Contest Winners: 
Some of the top entries from our 1st annual Reality Tour Photo Contest
Chiapas, Mexico:
Photos from the March 2004 Reality Tour 

View past participant Michael Lofquist's pictures: April 2003 past participant
Syria and Lebanon:
Daily Blog and Report from Participant on April 8-17th, 2004 Venezuela Reality Tour 
I had a wonderful time, the group was very well integrated, our guides Carleen and Bahman were perfect, our bus driver and assistant were exceptional and Iran was so beautiful, friendly, and a great country to visit. Our interview with the [ayatollah] in Isfahan, our visit at a high school in Tehran, and our visits to the Mosques, the warmth of the people was outstanding. 
— Martha Hennessy 
Perkinsville, Vermont
 Iran 2008
Fabulous! I would do it again in a heartbeat. People were generous, patient, curious, honest [were] just wonderful...the cultural and historical aspects [were] first rate. Food was delicious. 
— Winnie Omodf
San Bruno, California
 Iran 2008
On what stood out about the trip, the opportunities to meet and talk with Iranians in the company of Americans...who were all really committed to the engagement. 
— Nancy Penrose
Seattle, Washington
Iran 2008
This is not the Blarney Castle and donkey cart tour of Ireland. Global Exchange offers a first-rate package for intelligent travelers who want to immerse themselves in the politics and culture of Northern Ireland in the 21st century. It's very, very good and highly recommended. 
— Rev. Robert Murphy
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Falmouth, Massachusetts
Ireland 2006
I have gone on several GX Reality Tours, one to India and Kerala... I found (the tour) to be full, educational and professional. I found many friends on these trips who I stillcommunicate with. More profoundly, I was able to engage ordinary people like myself and find that the views put forward by the American government in the popular media are quite different than reality. Each encounter is the experience of a lifetime with guides that get to internal life of each country, people. 
— Polly Connelly, India 2003
I had a GREAT time in Afghanistan. Wahid (Omar, the GX trip leader) was incredible and the rest of the staff couldn't have been better. It was a flawless trip, and considering where we were, that is hard to do. I learned so much and look forward to future trips with global exchange...I have traveled around the world, but this trip tops everywhere I have been. 
—Deborah Fulmer, Afghanistan 2003
I've been all over the world, but this was one of the most memorable trips I've taken. It was not a sightseeing trip, but mainly people-to-people with a chance to interact and hear real stories. 
—Jim Mosley, South Africa 1996
The trip turned out to be more of a learning experience that I could have imagined it to be. It was an invaluable experience--just incredible! 
—Nancy Sasser, Palestine/Israel 1998
The choices offered in terms of activities were varied and extremely interesting. The range of choice, and the availability of options, made it possible to satisfy individual and special interests. Theses options made traveling in a large group not only a positive experience but also an extremely rewarding one! 
—Arline Prigoff, Cuba 1999
This was one of the best experiences of my life. It is a wonderful way to break through stereotypes and propaganda that have been forced upon you. 
—Pam Best, Cuba 1998
I've just completed the two-week Global Exchange tour here in Ireland and on the whole very satisfied for having come. I felt the experience both realistic and valuable. I am more aware now how much the people of all parties in the North have suffered. It is my intention to become more active politically, both here and in the Bay Area, hopefully to increase awareness. 
—Maureen Sears, Ireland 1997


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