Friday, April 20, 2012

Travel Notes: Islands in the Salish Sea in Brussels

Brussels public art
Our lives are global when we least expect them to be.

A few weeks ago I answered an inquiry about the history of the Orca Pass International Stewardship Area, a non-governmental stewardship initiative launched in the late 1990s in the transboundary waters of the Salish Sea. In the course of that email exchange, I learned that researcher Henriette Bastrup-Birk resides in Brussels.

Henriette has been a tireless researcher working on her doctorate, tracking the educational, social and governmental aspects of Washington-British Columbia transborder relations in the Salish Sea. She’s attended the biennial Puget Sound-Georgia Basin research conferences and has met with many of us who have worked the ‘transboundary’ issues over the years.

Last evening, after a wonderful dinner in the home of Henriette and her husband Peter, I perused a copy of Islands in the Salish Sea by Sheila Hamilton and Juli Stevenson, published in 2005 and reprinted in 2007.

I admit: I am easily overcome by juxtapositions of time and space. We spoke of Denmark, London, Portland, Honolulu— and Bellingham, Brussels and Vancouver. I am practicing: I will yet to become a true citizen of the world.

--Mike Sato

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