October 2008 Archives
In August 2008 a Seacology group traveled to Fiji to open two new projects. In Ketei Village, located on the Fijian island of Vanua Levu Seacology funded the construction of a community center in exchange for the creation of a 900-acre forest reserve. Our visit to Ketei began with a traditional kava ceremony. Kava is the ground up root of a pepper plant which acts as a calming agent. It has been the center of Fijian traditional life for hundreds of years. (Right, water is being poured into a kava bowl to begin the kava ceremony.)
2008 marked the inaugural year of Seacology Germany, our first affiliate in Europe. The creation of this chapter of Seacology was spearheaded by board director, Peter Pistor. Peter grew up in West Berlin and his profession led him to the USA, where he settled in Los Angeles. He returns to Berlin each year for business during the summer with his lovely American wife, Zina, and their two very active young sons.
Peter has been on Seacology's board of directors since 2003 and has a real passion for Seacology. He knew it would resonate with the German psyche because of their love for traveling to faraway lands (wanderlust!), natural affection for animals and keen awareness of and interest in the environment. As a nation, they even have a Green Party which is, amazingly, already 28 years old.
One of the benefits of speaking other languages is that you are sometimes given unique opportunities. Because I speak German and am acquainted with the culture, I've been asked to serve on the board of Seacology Germany, a task I relish. The fledgling operation is made up of a handful of dedicated Germans headquartered in Berlin who feel compelled to make a difference in solving environmental challenges worldwide.